Whether you think it's a shortcut or not, women are suckers for things like this. Same with palm reading or tarot or street magic or any of that bullshit. Doesn't matter how ridiculous - they'll eat it up, and view you as a more exciting person because of it.
Just think of it as an extension of peacocking. You make yourself look exciting by dressing well - why not make yourself seem exciting by learning a little magic?
You almost had me until you said peacocking. But I do get your point.
Here's the thing about crutches. At some point it will become stale and won't work anymore. This happens to all types of entertainment. So today while it's a good opener in some settings and makes you interesting...next week it may be dried up and old. You'll have to eventually figure out a new way to entertain a woman to get and keep her attention.
On the other hand if you have an awesome personality, you don't need any tricks. You don't have to worry about if you're being entertaining enough to maintain a woman's interest. You don't have to be her entertainment. You don't have to worry about your pickup techniques going stale.
If it's getting you laid, by all means do it. Just don't be surprised when it stops working.