On October 12, 2022, Ring 216 held its first live, in-person Close-Up competition since the beginning of the pandemic. There were nine competitors and a good contingent of audience attendees, with more watching on Zoom. Only those attending in person were given ballots to vote.
In the Standard Division (those who had not previously one a contest), Jeff Friend divined a word that a spectator selected from the collected works of Shakespeare; Jonathan Chen burned people with his version of changing dollar bills to hundreds; Syd Kashima transformed a selected card and then teleported it to his pocket; and the card a spectator selected from Mitch Kothe turned out to be the only non-blank card in the deck, and then vanished to reappear in the card case.
In the Masters Division, Meriam Al-Sultan caused two selected cards to fuse together in a most off-beat manner; James Chan performed an ambitious card routine and three-card monte; Tom Collett brought aces to the top of a spectator-shuffled deck and then used them to make coins appear and gather together; John Morgan performed a routine in which red and black cards outfoxed the magician, and then showed how knotted handkerchiefs can mysteriously become undone; and Calvin Tong dazzled with sleight of hand involving three coins that underwent multiple transformations.
The winner of the Master’s Division was Calvin Tong. The People’s Choice Award in the division was a tie between Calvin Tong and James Chan. The winner of the Standard Division was Jonathan Chen, and the People’s Choice was won by Mitch Kothe.It felt very good to have everyone back seeing live magic again.