I was just watching the performance of Joshua Jay's effect The Big Deal. It's your usual gambling-ish premise with the usual kicker ending of some impossible to get hand of cards.
My main problem with this type of presentation is it's a gilding the lily with hints of the dreaded "Too Perfect Theory". In this demonstrations effect, you find a card thru impossible circumcisions.. er.. stances. Since the premise of odds is stressed, the conclusion of the selected card being found is impressive enough. However, in this case the magician mentality kicks in and he can't help almost thumbing his nose at the audience, which might lead some to question the fairness in which he had spent so much time building up.
A lot of the problem with many magic plots is that we feel EVERY routine has to have a HUGE ending. It has to have a magical ending even. This is not always the case. Once you have gone to the trouble of setting up the idea that the odds are against you and then kick the people watching in the balls with this impossible feat of stacking the deck, it almost cheapens it. By revealing you knew what was going to happen from the get go, it lessens the impact of the package as a whole.
A lot of us want to make sure we drive home the point we're magicians, MASTERS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE SARMOTI!! Er.. sorry.. However, there is a big difference between good magic and good theater... and if you eat your vegetables and get good grades, I might just tell you what it is someday.
Bow before Mr. Happy Pants.