Although not a new release, this is the first chance we’ve had to review Tequila Hustler. If I preface the review by the observation that I don’t think I’ve ever seen MindFX put out a bad effect, you will see where this review is going.

The Effect

This is (one of) Mark Elsdon’s take on the classic ‘which hand’ effect. The premise for this utilises the Truth Teller/Liar puzzle which you may well know. Briefly, the spectator chooses whether to play the role of a truth-teller or a liar, and then hides a coin or small object in their hand. They also have the option of switching hands or not. And yet the performer is able to reveal exactly where the object is hidden.

The Pros

This is a fabulous method for this effect – which doesn’t need any of the electronic tomfoolery of some modern methods – and is incredibly easy to do allowing all effort to go into presentation. Irrelevant to the magic, but I also love the derivation of the title!

Mark explains the whole thing very clearly in the early pages of a 36 page booklet or pdf (we had the download version). I love the method and presentation. He then outlines several variations utilising slightly different objects and presentations.

mark elsdon - tequila hustler - reviewAnd if this were not enough, we then get Colin McLeod, Peter Turner and Michael Murray’s presentations/extensions of the idea.

The variations

Colin’s version extends it to a showier piece with more participants. Peter’s uses a slightly different premise which I personally preferred. And is full of other little gems on the ways. In fact I think I might well try to combine this with one or two other effects which a related premise (e.g. Lolli Hero).

I love Michael’s work generally and applaud his desire to get a further reveal out of the thing. But I found his take a little too complicated – certainly on first reading. Perhaps it would come across more clearly in performance, or if I wasn’t reading the day after I flew to the other side of the world…

The Cons

I’m really not sure there are any really. Tequila Hustler is delightfully impromptu (you can work with the people and objects that happen to be around) and wonderfully simple. I suppose the standard drawback of all these kinds of routine is the fact that at the end of the day they are only 50/50 choices. But with good presentation and moderate repetition you can overcome that.

So I would highly recommend you grab a copy of Tequila Hustler and get hustling! It’s available as a download or physical booklet. stock both – the physical book is £20.99 or the ebook is £18.99 (at the time of writing).

Review copy kindly provided by Murphys Magic to whom dealer enquiries should be directed.

Mark Elsdon – Tequila Hustler – review
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