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A Blind San Antonio Man Is The World’s Greatest Card Cheat

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According to our state mythology, cheating at cards in Texas used to be enough to get a man shot. These days, it’ll get you a lengthy profile on CBS This Morning and a feature-length documentary—especially if you’re able to up the ante by pulling off your amazing feats of dexterity as a blind person.

That’s the easy hook to this 4-minute spot from CBS that aired yesterday, about San Antonio resident Richard Turner, who spends the segment blowing the mind of the network’s Manuel Bojorquez. Turner, in between describing his life story (which includes 10-20 hours of practicing card tricks every day for decades) explains how, as a blind man, he developed a sensitivity to textures that allows him to identify certain cards without seeing them. He also demonstrates dealing from the bottom of the deck, cheating at three-card-monty, and other tricks that would make him an unsavory character in a saloon. 

The video is a fun look at a compelling character with a heck of a talent—which is something that Texas A&M graduate Luke Korem seems to have recognized. Korem announced yesterday that he’s begun production on a feature-length documentary called Dealt which “follows Richard Turner on his journey of self-discovery after losing his sight at the young age of nine,” according to a press release on the film.

The press release also offers additional biographical details about Turner, explaining that:  

In his formative years Turner battled with drugs and alcohol due to feeling helpless and defeated. However, Turner eventually developed an enhanced sense of touch, and when he picked up a deck of cards his life changed. Mentored by Dai Vernon, known as the only man to ever fool Harry Houdini, Turner quickly became the greatest card magician of his time. 

Expected to be released in 2015, the film will likely be an inspirational story, not above a pun. (“Turner is also a speaker who motivates others to ‘deal with the hand they’ve been Dealt in life,'” reads the press release.) At the very least, card tricks are fun to watch, and if the CBS spot is any indication, Turner is not above revealing a few secrets about his craft, seemingly confident that knowing how he’s dealing from the bottom of the deck doesn’t mean you could stop him anyway. 

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