by Ariel Frailich
In the mid- to late Seventies, Dai Vernon’s classic trick, ‘Triumph’, originally published in Stars of Magic, became popular again. Many versions, variations and additions appeared in print at that time. I, too, fell under the trick’s spell, and wanted an in-the-hands version.
I played with ideas for a while and came up with one I liked. I called it ‘NTPT’ — No Turn Preset Triumph — because the handling that precedes the shuffle eliminates the reversal of half the deck after the shuffle, a necessary step in most versions of the trick.
Inspired by Derek Dingle’s ‘Color Triumphant’, I even came up with a colour-changing variation, published under the name ‘Off-Colour NTPT’ in the July, 1979 Linking Ring.
Reading Karl Fulves’ Millenium Aces (see the review) reminded me that I had a version of ‘NTPT’ based on the half-pass. I changed the name because it does use a reversal, unlike the original ‘NTPT’.
A card is selected and replaced in the deck. The performer shuffles the deck, half the cards face up and half the cards face down. After showing the deck to be in a rather mixed-up condition, all the cards magically turn to face the same way, except for one card — the selection.
Have a card selected, memorized and replaced near the centre of the deck. Hold a break below the card.
Perform any half-pass below the break, then allow the selected card — the card above the break — to riffle off the thumb, and maintain a break above it with the left little finger. Move the portion above the break forward about an inch, then flip it face up, injogged for about half its length, and hold it in place with the left hand.
Re-grip the cards and do an in-the-hands riffle shuffle, dropping the selected card last. As you finish squaring the deck in left hand dealing position, establish a Tilt break under the top three cards.
Now follows a lovely convincer from Paul Harris. As you explain that some cards are face down and others are face up, slide the top, face-down card off the deck (this is the selection) insert it into the break, and square. You no longer need the break. Slide the next card off (face up) and genuinely insert it into the middle of the deck and square. Do this again for the next face-up card, and one last time for the face-down selection.
Finish by doing a regular fan or a pressure fan. All cards will be face up, except the selection, which is face down in the centre.
There are several good presentations for Triumph-type tricks. I like the classic ‘drunk who shuffled every which way’ story. I think ‘Triumph’ is one of those tricks where an elaborate presentation can get in the way of the magic, so it’s best to keep it light.