Blog Archives

New Pop Haydn Videos Coming Out!

We will be shooting some new teaching videos in the next two weeks! We are very excited!

The videos will include “Phoenix Aces”, “Multiplying Balls for the Street,” and my “Shell Game” routine. These will teach all the moves, patter, and presentational details of each routine. These routines are extremely commercial and strong, and have been an important part of my performing repertoire for many years. These videos will be available before the end of September, and maybe even sooner. They will be $25 at that time, but if you pre-order, you can save $5.00, and be the first to receive the DVD.

Pop Haydn and the Gentleman Shells

“Scoundrels Touch” S4S Shell Game video available as download!

Scoundrels Touch

Chef Anton, Whit “Pop” Haydn, and Bob Sheets outline their advanced system for the shell game and teach routines complete with patter and alternate endings for walk around, as well as demo the methods used by hustlers to work the scam for money. The psychology and philosophy of the game are explained and demonstrated. The advanced system for working the shells that was briefly outlined on Volume I, is here explained in full and seen in operation in live performance videos.

On Disc I, Bob’s complete original instructions for handling his Sheets Acquitment and his system for working the shells (Absolutely Nuts) is here amplified and expanded, with new and more detailed explanations and a live performance of the routine for a regular audience in theMagic Castle’s Close-Up Gallery. Bob has added a number of new ideas and deceptive ruses, but more importantly, you see the whole thing up and running. Whit adds some maneuvers and moves, along with some new devices that make they system unassailable.

On Disc II, Chef Anton performs and explains his own routine. Whit discusses psychological outs while contrasting two very different live performances in the Magic Castle’s Close-Up Gallery of is shell routine. Incredible video of a street hustler working his craft at a music festival is shown and explained, with Scoundrel Member Giuseppe Aliotta discussing the props and betting cycles used by the contemporary street hustler. Pop shows how the Maneuvers can be very useful for working with a hand held board. New shells and props for the game are demonstrated.Pop and Chef discuss the idea of “Thinking like a Scoundrel” and how it is applied to magic performances. The Escobar Move is demonstrated along with some variations by Chanin. Several versions of the Kick Steal are demonstrated.

Included in this download are a number of pdf and other files that can be used as a further resource and several training aids that make learning the moves easier. These are enclosed in a .zip file. All the moves and maneuvers from Introduction to the Shell Game are briefly taught here.

For More Info or to Buy: Pop’s Magic

“Introduction to the Shell Game” available as download!

IntroShellGame 2

This is the downloadable video (.mp4 — 479 mb — 1 hr 16 min) of our School for Scoundrels Introduction to the Shell Game DVD

In November of 2004, Bob Sheets, WhitPop” Haydn and Chef Anton combined their original methods for the ancient swindle, the Shell Game, and taught this new system to the School for Scoundrels class at the Magic Castle

This video is far more than an introduction to the game, it is an introduction to a whole new way of looking at the shell game, and a new system for performing the game that is rock solid, unassailable, and easy to learn. 

For more info, or to buy: Pop’s Magic

Highlights of School for Scoundrels

Pop Haydn, Bob Sheets and Chef Anton teach the 19th annual School for Scoundrels at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

The class teaches the history, psychology, moves and ruses, and application to magic of the classic street swindles Three-Card Monte, the Shell Game and Fast and Loose.

Here are some highlights of the class:

Shell Game in the W C Fields Bar

Pop Haydn performs the Shell Game in the W. C. Fields Bar at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. Pop is one of only two performers to have ever been named “Magician of the Year” in the WC Fields Bar by the members of the Magic Castle.

This performance was recorded by photographer Billy Baque on Dec 1, 2013.

School for Scoundrels, our 18th Year!


School for Scoundrels, 2012
Photo by Billy Baque


Pop Haydn and Chef Anton will be teaching their eight-hour course on street scams at the Magic Castle again this November. This course has been taught every year at the Magic Castle since 1996.

The course covers the history, psychology, moves, ruses and application to magic of the three major street scams–Fast and Loose, Three-Card Monte, and the Shell Game–hands on instruction from two experts.

This class is open to anyone over 21, whether they are members of the Magic Castle or not.

We have had historians, magicians, police officers, lawyers and many others take the course over these many years.

It is a great class for steampunk writers and characters, as these games are easy ways to make local money when in a different culture or time period.

No prior knowledge or skill is required. All necessary props will be available for the students during class, and can be purchased from School for Scoundrels.

We have complete notes available in print and DVD.

The course is taught on four consecutive Sunday nights, and a second class is offered on Monday nights, beginning on Sunday, Nov 3rd, and Monday, Nov 4th. The course is taught at the Magic Castle in Hollywood in the Classroom which is next to our library.

It is $160 per person for the class, to be paid at the first class.

We accept up to fifteen people in each class.

If you would like to register, e-mail Nancy Magill at

Pop Haydn — The Shell Game

Pop Haydn performs the shell game in the W. C. Fields Bar at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. September 8, 2013. Pop Haydn was named “Magician of the Year” in the W. C. Fields Bar by the members of the Magic Castle in 2005.

Pop Haydn in the W. C. Fields Bar this week!

Pop Haydn will be performing at the Magic Castle this week in the Parlor of Prestidigitation Thursday through Sunday (Sept 5-8). I will be trying out some new material.

Here is a slideshow of Pop’s appearance in the W. C. Fields Bar by Billy Baque:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Learn the Shell Game, Three Card Monte and Fast and Loose!

Pop Haydn

“The School for Scoundrels” will be held in November with two classes–one on Sunday Nights beginning Nov 4th, and one on Monday Nights beginning November 5th. The classes are from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm for four consecutive Sunday or Monday nights. Fee is $160. Classes are held at the Magic Castle in the classroom by the Library.

The four classes are taught by Pop Haydn and Chef Anton, and are open to members and non-members. No prior experience or knowledge is required.

We cover the basic street swindles Fast and Loose, Three-Card Monte and the Shell Game, explaining the history, psychology, stratagems, moves, and application to magic of these ancient “games.”

We not only explain how to demonstrate these swindles in exhibition, but to actually play and win against all comers just as it would be done on the street. We believe that we have a lot to learn as magicians from the techniques and thinking of the street con artist. We need to call and hold a crowd, control their thinking and manipulate them into behaving the way we want them to, in just the same way as the street hustler setting up a monte game.

This course is educational and fun.

To sign up, call Nancy Magill at (323) 344-8793, or e-mail at She will set you up.

Pop Haydn is a past vice-president of the Academy of Magical Arts, and a six-time performing “Magician of the Year” award-winner. He is the author of several books and DVDs on street short cons, and along with his business partner, Chef Anton, has been teaching this course at the Magic Castle for the past sixteen years.

Chef Anton is the two-time “National Trick Shot Champion at Pool,” and has twice been nominated for “Bar Magician of the Year” at the Magic Castle. Chef is the author of the Pool Hustler’s Handbook and several DVDs on magic and billiards. He and Pop Haydn have created a number of new ruses and moves for these ancient games which they have explained for the first time in this course and the videos and books that have come out of the School for Scoundrels.

%d bloggers like this: