Famed poker pro Phil Ivey has had to give up earnings he made gambling after being accused of cheating by a casino. Ivey, who has won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, had sued the London casino for money he won and was withheld from him because they accused him of cheating to win. Unfortunately for Ivey, he lost the case and $12 million.
According to the Washington Post, Crockford's Casino had accused Phil Ivey of cheating at a game called Punto Banco, which is a form of baccarat. Baccarat is nothing like the Texas Hold 'em game that Ivey is famed for playing. The idea of the game is for the player to form a hand that is closer to 9 than that of the banker, or dealer, in order to win.
The cheating by Ivey was alleged to have happened in 2012. The London casino accused Ivey of edge-sorting, which is considered illegal by casinos. Edge-sorting is done by guessing whether a face-down card is going to be high or low. Many gamblers, including Ivey, do not think this technique is cheating -- but the casinos do.
In a statement reported by The Guardian, Phil Ivey stated that he was "disappointed' with the decision but was glad that the judge noted that he was a truthful witness when he testified.
"As I said in court, it is not my nature to cheat and I would never do anything to risk my reputation. I believe that what we did was a legitimate strategy and we did nothing more than exploit Crockfords' failures to take proper steps to protect themselves against a player of my ability."
The suit alleges that Ivey knew about a design flaw with the playing cards used at the casino and he had exploited that flaw to win the money. The playing card manufacturer Gemaco is also named in the suit.
Along with edge-sorting, the Borgata claims that Ivey and a Chinese associate, Cheng Yin Sun, gave the dealer specific instructions on how to turn the cards as they were dealt. It is believed that those instructions, along with the design flaw, allowed the poker pro Ivey to win millions of dollars.
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