Six years ago, Phil Ivey won $9.6 million off the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa through baccarat edge sorting. But the Borgata sued him in 2016 and won $10.1 million — including the $9.6 million in winnings, plus another $500k in comps.
Ivey has yet to repay the money, though, which has caused the Borgata to file a motion for payment. The court document cites that Ivey cashed four times at the 2018 WSOP for around $140,00, and that he’s more than capable delivering the $10.1 million.
Borgata Brings Up Ivey’s Lavish Lifestyle
Phil Ivey has always had a taste for the finer things in life ever since becoming an elite poker pro. Attorneys for the Borgata have brought this up in their motion, which notes that Ivey’s extravagant lifestyle proves he can make payment.
“This case is about money, nothing more and nothing less,” the Borgata’s documents state. “Ivey already has Borgata’s $10 million and he is clearly not in danger of going out of business.
“Defendants did not and cannot demonstrate irreparable harm as a matter of law. They are not entitled to a stay pending appeal.”
Ivey’s Attorneys Argue that Paying the Borgata would Cripple Him
Lawyers for Ivey have countered with the argument that he can’t pay the full $10.1 million, because it would devastate his livelihood. Their court documents explain that Ivey relies on a large bankroll to make money from poker. And paying such a significant chunk of money would have a “devastating impact” on his job.
These attorneys have been asking for an extension on payment ever since the case ended in 2016. They cite how the Borgata makes over $800 million in annual revenue and doesn’t need the $10.1 million right away.
Brief History of Ivey vs. Borgata
Ivey originally won $9.6 million from the Borgata with the help of an accomplice named Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun. They used a technique called edge sorting, where one identifies flaws on card backs to guess the values.
The Borgata originally paid Ivey. But they later sued to recoup the money after citing that Ivey and Sun “cheated.” A New Jersey judge sided with the casino, noting that Ivey/Sun made odds requests like having the cards rotated 180 degrees (makes edge sorting easier) and that a (flawed) Gemaco purple deck be used for the entire game.