I had seen Mahdi perform on television (Penn & Teller's Fool Us), but as is the case with magic, it was a much different experience seeing him live, in person. In addition to performing some mesmerizing card tricks, Mahdi also told some fascinating anecdotes about his life, several of which have been written about in this wonderful article for the Conjuring Arts Research Library.
This being billed as a lecture for magicians, Mahdi thoughtfully explained many of his unique techniques and approaches to magic. One might assume that these techniques would only apply to him (or anybody without hands), but Mahdi was actually teaching the magicians how to do some of his card maneuvers. This was not a simple demonstration - it was a lesson.
Not being a card-man myself, even I, Smallini, picked up a few choice tips from Mahdi. He showed why he is known for his work with "doubles" by expertly manipulating two (or more) cards as if they were one. One move that drew "Ahhh"s from the crowd was his "kicker" of a double. Two cards (seen as one) were placed on the table, and then Mahdi "kicked" or quickly hit the cards so that they went flying across the table, but would not separate!
What a great evening it was seeing this incredible man speak, perform, and teach.