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Phil Ivey reportedly read back of cards to win $11.9 million at casino

Phil IveyAccomplished gambler and noted professional poker player Phil Ivey was denied a payout of £7.8 million by a London casino last year, and the Daily Mail says that is because he is suspected of exploiting a card manufacturer’s error to read the back of the cards.

As we shared with you last year, Ivey won £7.8 million playing a game called Punto Blanco at Crockfords, an upscale, private casino in London. Though he initially lost around $800,000 at the game, Ivey and a female companion went on a hot streak over the rest of his first night and the next two nights.

Ivey requested that the casino deposit the money into his bank account. They initially agreed to the payout, but they changed their mind after learning that Ivey’s partner had her membership revoked from another casino. They only returned his $1.6 million bankroll.

Investigators were flown in to speak with the casino’s employees and review surveillance tapes. Now the Daily Mail is explaining what the casino believes was going on.

Crockfords believes Ivey and his partner were reading the back of the cards, which they say were flawed due to a manufacturer’s error during the cutting process. Apparently the backs of all the cards did not have a full geometric pattern like they’re supposed to, which allowed Ivey and his friend to read the cards. They started off gambling £50,000 per hand and later tripled that amount.

Ivey’s partner reportedly convinced the dealers to hold up the cards and give them a full 180 degree look at the cards. They also reportedly convinced the casino to reuse the same cards the next day, which is a departure from the typical practice of destroying cards after sessions.

Ivey’s partner, who is also from Las Vegas, reportedly teamed with a few others to win over a million dollars at casino using the same method. They had their payout withheld by the casino, and the gaming commission upheld the decision.

Ivey says he did nothing illegal and is suing to get the money. Do you think he should get it?


Around The Web

  • SpinMax

    of course he should sue and he should win, cept the system, specially with casinos is corrupt, so he will lose

  • Diego Mendoza

    It’s not his fault the casino screwed up. He didn’t break any laws. Clearly, the money should be his.

  • Mexoplex

    im always for the little guy vs casinos….but if it’s true, they got the dealers ” to hold up the cards and give them a full 180 degree look at the cards.” Then you have to wonder why they would do that? Or the dealers in on it too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.dee.712 Michael Dee

    If he would have lost $12 million, they would have just kept it. The casino screwed up, they should pay the man. If they feel burned, they should sue the manufacturer of the cards. After all, they showed they knew of the bad cards beforehand because they’ve used this excuse to not payout before.

  • maasmaniac

    its their equipment. its their game. its their responsibility.

    if he did read the backs yes, he was exploiting. that’s how you win any game . use your skills and exploit the opponents weaknesses.

  • mnelson52

    You play the cards you’re dealt. If the casino had a faulty deck that is their mistake. They had the same opportunity to read the cards as he did. The Casino gambled with their own cards and lost. The Casino also consciously chose to let him keep playing with that deck. They should have to pay the man. Did they know some decks were faulty so they can cheat you also?

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.sayre.5245 David Sayre

    pay the man all casinos are set up to cheat you out of your money. they just dont want to pay out now so they are making excuses burn them for the money and investigate thier practices.

  • johnb

    they should make good, they knew who he was, shame on them. where the going to tell him, don’t worry about the 800 k he was down, I don’t think so

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003789864223 David Thomas

    Buyer beware. The customer is always right. Ivey had lost money with the same brand of cards from the same manufacturer. Ivey had gained an advantage which he had exploited and manipulated to win. The casino employee had deviated from protocol which was unknown to the dealer. The dealers should be familiar with the rules of the casinos. The person has a supervisor or pit boss. What is the outcome to all the previous players who were at the tables using this same brand of cards? Are they entitled to refunds? Can the casino determine that the defects in the cards were the only factor in his winning? Ivey has gambling acumen. Gambling is a game of chance. Ivey took a chance and he had won. He did not cheat. He was not counting cards. the gambler had no placed any personal marks in any manner. He had not touched any of the cards. He used visual analysis to determine the right cards at the right deal. The dealer had complied with a request from a famous gambler. Ivey had not demanded that the dealer perform any illegal act. If the act was not illegal or there were no trespass against the policy of the casinos on the part of the gambler, the winnings are legitimate. The rules are the same for all players and all dealers. The dealer was probably dismissed from the job.

  • hectorrabinobitz@msn.com

    ivey is one of the biggest piece of shits on the planet, dealt to him many times in vegas. he treats every dealer like garbage.

  • cappolis

    Crockfords needs to shut up and pay up. They got beat at their own game.

  • bphilly

    deffiently should if a player is smart enough to beat the system in the game its fair for him to win the money because clearly others were not intelligent enough to see it

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.arnold.3382 Andrew Arnold

    Hell yeah he should get paid. The casino bought the cards, the casino used the cards.

  • Quantummechanic720

    Casino error: Collect 11 million bucks

  • Smashy76

    It’s not the player’s issue the casino used those cards. It’s not the players issue to enforce protocols. The casino is 11111000000000% wrong. How ridiculous. I’m wondering what the Casino raked in or earned during the period of the tournament?

  • Keith Paredes

    If they were stupid enough to use the same cards for an entire tournament, multiple days, then they should be stupid enough to pay. What a bunch of idiots.

  • squiggysmom1

    No way do I believe someone was that lucky at a casino. Over $11,000,000? Puleeze. Casinos know every trick in the book, and they know the odds of winning and losing. It’s their business to protect the house and ensure that winnings don’t get out of hand. These two were reading the flaws on the cards, or why would they have requested the same cards be used the next day- something the casino usually never does? Add to that the fact that his girlfriend had been barred from another casino for cheating, and there you have it. I have a feeling that some people lost their jobs over this.

  • To be fair

    There was no mention as to the reason Ivey’s female companion had her membership revoked at another casino. I’ve read elsewhere that this companion and the dealers all spoke the same foreign language (Cantonese) and communicated that way. The requests to change the position of the cards didn’t raise any suspicions at the time because the pit bosses didn’t understand the requests and though it was only superstition.

  • Norman Fitzgerald

    In any poker game, an astute player watches the other players for a “tell.” Being able to spot the “tell” can mean the difference between walking away with the pot, or going home empty handed. Nobody faults the winning player for picking up on his opponents “tells.” None of the other players can withhold their losses because the winning player used their weaknesses to his advantage. That is part of the game. Players that dont want to lose, work on ridding themselves of their “tells.” In this case, the casino had a “tell,” and the player picked up on it. That’s not cheating. The player didnt slip any other cards into the deck. He wasnt counting cards. He merely exploited the casino’s “tell.” And they were the ones stupid enough not to try and get rid of that “tell,” when they should have between days. Pay the man his money. God knows they arent going to give back the money lost from any other players that werent astute enough to pick up on their “tell.”

  • irrenmann

    Except that all casinos have policies about not paying out or allowing you to continue playing if you violate a vaguely written set of behaviors, including counting cards and so on. I’m sure buried in the fine print is something that says they don’t have to pay out if they lose money due to manufacturer-error-induced faulty equipment.

  • Anne Charles Siperek

    No, of course not. He cheated. End of story.

  • soulo1

    even if true, he should still get PAID