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Phil Ivey sued by casino for allegedly cheating house out of $9.6 million

Phil IveyProfessional poker player Phil Ivey is being sued by an Atlantic City casino that alleges he cheated in order to win $9.6 million over the course of four baccarat sessions in 2012, the New Jersey Law Journal reports.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City has sued Ivey alleging that he read defects in the back of patterns printed on playing cards in a method called “edge sorting.”

The suit accuses Ivey of breach of contract, fraud, conversion, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy and racketeering, according to the report. It also names the card manufacturer — Gemaco Inc. of Blue Springs, Mo. — and Cheng Yin Sun, who accompanied Ivey on his trips to the Baccarat table and gave instructions to the dealer.

According to the suit, Ivey contacted the Borgata to set up special arrangements for a baccarat game in 2012. He asked for a private pit, dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese so Sun could give the dealer instructions, and an automatic card shuffler. The casino believes the shuffler is key because it keeps all the cards facing the same direction.

The suit says Ivey won:

- $2.4 million on April 11, 2012
- $1.6 million on May 3, 2012
- $4.8 million on July 26, 2012
- $824,000 on Oct. 7, 2012

The suit says Ivey was up by as much as $3.5 million during the October session, but they believe he may have intentionally dumped after being confronted with reports from the hotel that he used the edge sorting method to win around $12 million at a London casino.

We covered a similar story back in Oct. 2012 when word emerged that Ivey was denied a payout by the London casino. It was revealed a year later that Ivey was using the “edge sorting” method to cash in.

Ivey supposedly claimed that he wanted his special conditions at the Borgata because he was superstitious, but they believe he was just requesting those conditions to maximize his ability to read the cards and manipulate the situation.

Ivey asked for the money to be deposited into his bank account in Mexico, where he lives.

Does the casino have a case here?

Borgata is trying to claim that Ivey broke a law that bans the use of marked cards inside a casino. They also supposedly are claiming that the automatic shuffler was used as a cheating device.

It’s pretty clear that Ivey was setting up these casinos because he found a way to exploit the system. Should he be forced to give the money because he was smart enough to exploit something he discovered? It doesn’t seem like that would be right, though he seemed to rig things in order to win.

I think the most fair option would be a settlement for a much smaller amount, which would be an acknowledgment that Ivey was smarter than the casinos, but still used some unsavory methods in order to take that much cash. Had he won much less, he probably would have escaped without an issue. Maybe that’s the penalty for being too greedy.

H/T NJ.com

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?

Poker champ Phil Ivey reportedly denied $11.7 million payout from London Casino

By now, you would think casinos are used to paying Phil Ivey. The eight-time World Series of Poker champion has made millions of dollars throughout his gambling career, but at the moment he could be more than $10 million short.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Ivey recently won $11.7 million playing a game called Punto Blanco at Crockfords, an upscale casino in London. The game involves no skill and is simply won and lost by the cards the dealer hands out, and Crockfords is reportedly witholding the money Ivey won on the game after he went on a massive heater.

Ivey requested that the money be deposited into his bank account, but Crockfords has only returned his original bankroll of $1.6 million. The Daily Mail reported that Phil initially lost $800,000 when he began playing the game but then he and a female companion went on a two-night hot streak. The lady with whom he was gambling reportedly had her membership revoked by another casino.

Investigators have flown to London to speak with employees from Crockfords and review surveillance cameras. Ivey and his lady friend reportedly never touched the cards, and the situation is said to have turned into an “increasingly tense stand-off” with lawyers from both sides working to sort through it.

Could Ivey and his friend have worked together to win $11.7 million at a game of chance? Unfortunately, I know nothing about Punto Blanco or cheating a casino and I only understand crazy bets like this one and this one, so I can’t say. One one hand you can see why the casino would be suspicious. On the other you have to wonder how Ivey would have pulled off such a job.

H/T Huffington Post