Phil Ivey is a renowned poker player, but recently he has been embroiled in controversy regarding accusation of cheating while playing baccarat at Borgata Casino.
Phil Ivey, who is well-known professional poker player, has been accused by the Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino for cheating at a high-stakes mini-baccarat game in 2012. Recently Ivey’s legal team responded to the claims by stating that he didn’t cheat, but instead used his skills and talent to record massive winnings from the house.
Gambling news reports that Ivey’s lawyer issued a 23-page reports denying any wrongdoing against the casino and maintains his client’s innocence. “Each and every penny of [Ivey’s] winnings was the result of sheer skill. Plantiff alleges that Ivey’s exquisite power of discernment somehow transforms his play into cheating and swindling.”
The Borgata Casino pleads that Ivey and his partner cheated by noticing manufacturing defects on the back of the cards during the play. Supposedly this allowed them to have an edge on the house and rake in over $9 million in winnings, which the casino describes as an illegitimate win. The casino further claimed that this action comes against gaming rules.
Ivey’s lawyers stressed that it’s the casino’s own fault claiming their “complaint is…nothing more than an attempt to justify its own negligence, motivated by its subjective intent to take as much money from Phil Ivey as it could during his specially arranged and agreed visits.”
Borgata Casino is to blame
• Ivey raked in over $9 million from baccarat at Borgata Casino
• Ivey has also accused of cheating at Crockfords Casino in London
• “Edge sorting” a popular technique to identify card imperfections
It has also been brought the public’s attention that the poker player didn’t break any US gambling laws and that “at no point did Ivey or his female companion touch the cards or any other gaming equipment.” The lawyers argue that any of Borgata’s employees could have seen the strange patterns on the playing cards, which gave Ivey an edge of 6.765 percent.
The lawyers remarked that the casino is only complaining about losing because it didn’t play out in their favor. Borgata Casino “voluntarily chose to grant every single request because it wagered defendant Ivey would lose his multi-million dollar deposits and hopefully more. Plaintiff only now alleges that its own game was illegal because it lost that wager.”
It is quite ironic that Phil Ivey’s first casino gambling experience came from a city in which he now faces problems for charges of cheating.
The lawsuit released by Borgata stated, “Ivey’s true motive, intention, and purpose… was to create a situation in which he could surreptitiously manipulate what he knew to be a defect in the playing cards in order to gain an unfair advantage over Borgata.”
Previous case of cheating accusations
Ivey has previously faced cheating claims from the Crockfords Casino based in London, UK. After a long and strenuous dispute, the world famous poker player admitted to using special techniques that would grant him a greater edge over the house.
He managed to scoop around GBP 7.8 million from the popular gaming facility during a Punto Banco (baccarat) session that lasted for an entire two days. After securing himself the large pot, the casino suspected something was not right with the way he played the game, and decided to withhold the winnings pending a review.
The casino decided to hand him back the original GBP 1 million he staked as a starting bet, but kept the rest until they came up with the appropriate evidence of him cheating. Subsequent court documents revealed that Ivey acknowledged that he could read the cards, but did not cheat.
Crockfords made a statement highlighting that Ivey “acted to defeat the essential premise of the game.” However, the poker player believes that the technique of “edge sorting” is legal and is a well-known and accepted practice among gaming industry’s insiders. He stresses that players in US poker rooms are known to make use of this technique when they can.
Additionally, Ivey also commented how casinos often allow players to engage in special advantage techniques that grant them a greater edge and higher chances of winning. He says that casinos generally do this so that big players would not be discouraged with their betting tendencies.
Edge sorting is a practice whereby a highly skilled player notices inconsistencies in the design on the back of the cards and is therefore able to decipher what value it holds. Ivey used his female friend Kelly to assist him with this trick. She was able to spot a flawed deck of cards after it changed many times.
The initial hands that he played were unsuccessful losing GBP 500,000 in the process, however when he discovered the correct cards he swooped over GBP 7 million.