When I was a kid my grandfather taught me the Cups & Balls. It is one of the oldest tricks with hundreds of variations. The effect known as acetabula et calculi was performed by Roman conjurers as far back as two thousand years ago. There is even evidence to suggest that the Cups and Balls effect dates back to Ancient Egypt!
It is the one trick I always teach my students. Even Houdini expressed the opinion that no one could be considered an accomplished magician until he had mastered the Cups and Balls. As you can see here, Phoenix is on his way!