A lot of thought went into the guy's show, especially about the interplay between the sleight of hand of the magician and the deeper theme of the show about the construction of identity.

Are we in agreement that the letters from friends/relatives had to be fake and, if so, those people were plants? Such is the ordasity of a good magician that he knows he's going to get away with it, at least in the moment, because the audience so wants to believe.  Even I did not think "this is ridiculous" until the show was over.

But throughout the show, he kind of warns you that to some extent you re going to get played.  Hence the folk tale about the inability to distinguish between dog and wolf at sunset and the significant amount of time he spends explaining how he became a wolf in the form of a card game hustler and how even when the players are staring at his hands, they can't tell what he's doing.

Is the fakery about the letters a betrayal in some way?  It sort of feels wrong yet it's consistent with one of the show's repeated themes.  That our reality is partly objective and partly made up.  When it's cloudy, the sailors make stuff up for the ship's log.  He throws one person out per night with the big book and they come back the next with their invention of what happened the night before.  The illusion of the Roulletista's immunity to the gun keeps him alive until he meets someone who doesn't know ho he is and then it's over.

Fascinating stuff.  

I dunno about the letter trick. Having plants is just a too obvious and simple way of accomplishing it.

I think I might have to watch it again.

I haven’t a clue about the letters.  It would seem that he’s need to involve too many people in the deception but I also don’t know how else it might be done.  

I thought identifying everyone’s card could be through original surveillance when they picked the cars and then a miniature ear piece that would tell him which person picked one card.   But he also has an in rebel memory and maybe he just memorizes what everyone picked having watched a video of it.  

No matter what, great show.  

Identifying everyone by their card seems much more like a conventional trick, albeit a very good one no matter how he did it.  But you know it's a trick.  He does not somehow magically know what each person's card is. 

The letter thing is different.  The letters are presented as real when they can't be.  Their perceived authenticity is what provides the "wow."  With other great magic tricks, you know that the magician is using some technique to fool you but you are wowed by your inability to see it.  If the letters are unreal, I don't see how the readers can be real.   The question for me is this "trick" offensive as it plays on the emotions of the audience (people were crying) or is it connected to the deeper messages of the show about identity and how it is a mix of real and invented stuff.

 It was a very impressive show.  

I'm perfectly happy not to know how it was done. Also perfectly happy to admit that I only cried twice watching it.

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