Jan Rouven may not be a familiar name, but a new honor may help propel him into magic's major league.
Rouven, an illusionist who performs six nights a week at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, won the International Magicians Society's 2014 Merlin Award. He was presented last month with the statuette onstage in the Starlite Theater.
Rouven, who calls himself "The Man With Nine Lives," performs a variety of seemingly death-defying feats with names such as "Bed of Death" and "Fire Spiker."
The "Water Tank" illusion, – in which Rouven, handcuffed and chained, escapes a watery grave, is reminiscent of one of Harry Houdini's most famous acts, the "Chinese Water Torture Cell."
Legendary magicians Siegfried & Roy, also Merlin Award winners, so admire their fellow German illusionist that they allow him to use some of their original props in his show, according to Rouven's website.
Rouven will celebrate his third anniversary at the Riv on Saturday. He performs nightly except Fridays.
Tickets cost $78.70 to $127.20 including taxes and fees.