The Borgata Casino filed a lawsuit against Phil Ivey Jr., who has the reputation of one of the best poker players in the world, claiming that he won $9.6 million in baccarat, in a card-cheating scheme.
The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It is owned by Marina District Development – a venture between Boyd Gaming and a trust founded by MGM Resorts International.
The luxurious complex opened in 2003 and it is not only the largest hotel in Atlantic City, but also among the top-earning casinos there.
The shocking news
When the information about the lawsuit made it into the gambling news, the shocking part was not the cheating claim itself, because such cases happen on a regular basis, but the fact that the accused person is not just any poker player, but Phillip Dennis “Phil” Ivey Jr.
He is playing professional poker for many years now and his career is more than impressive. His collection of wins includes nine World Series of Poker bracelets and one World Poker Tour title.
Phil has reached nine WPT final tables and his reputation among many as the best all-round player nowadays, is not a coincidence.
The Borgata Casino claims in the lawsuit that Ivey and his collaborator utilized a defect in the used cards, which were made by a manufacturer in Kansas City. This flaw gave them the chance to sort and arrange good cards in baccarat.
The problem cards
According to the casino, operating under US gambling laws, the used cheating technique gave Ivey an unfair advantage on four occasions between April and October 2012.
The Borgata Casino claims that the poker pro Phil Ivey Jr., won $9.6 million in a card-cheating operation, and files a lawsuit against him
• This is not the first cheating accusation for the poker player
• He has an impressive collection of poker awards
• No comments are issued by neither of the sides, of the conflict yet
This technique, which is called edge sorting, is against New Jersey casino gambling regulations, which was the reason for the indictment.
So far both, Joe Lupo, senior vice president of Borgata and Ivey’s lawyer declined to comment on the situation.
The lawsuit claims that the cards, manufactured by Gemaco Inc., had a defect, which was conveyed in the fact that the pattern on the back of the cards was not consistent.
The cards were supposed to have rows of small white circles, which looked like the tops of cut diamonds, but Borgata insists that some of the figures were only a half or a quarter of diamond.
The same card manufacture company is currently undergoing a lawsuit started from the Golden Nugget, another Atlantic City casino, which claims that the company provided unshuffled cards, which allowed gamblers to win around $1.5 million.
Back to the hot Borgata lawsuit, it claims that Ivey and his partner gave specific instructions to a dealer to flip the cards in particular ways, based on whether it was an attractive card in baccarat.
Because 6, 7, 8 and 9 are considered good cards in this game, the bad cards had to be flipped in different directions, therefore after couple hands, the good ones were arranged in a certain way – with the irregular side of the card facing in certain direction, which helped Ivey see them when coming out of the dealer stash.
This claim against Ivey, comes after another one made by the Malaysia-based Genting Group, filed in Britain’s High Court, which accuses the player in similar cheating scheme.
It alleges Ivey and his partner of improperly winning around $12 million, thanks to cheating in baccarat, and Ivey has denied any fault on his part.