Three years ago, Phil Ivey crushed a punto banco game at Crockfords casino to the tune of £7.8 million. Unfortunately for Ivey, Crockfords withheld the money, then won a lawsuit against the poker champ to keep their millions. But this isn’t the end because a judge recently granted Ivey permission to appeal the case.
“This is really great news. I am getting a second shot and I’m hoping we will win this time around,” Ivey told the Daily Mail. “It is not in my nature to cheat, which is why I was so bitterly disappointed by the judge’s decision a year ago, even though he said I was a truthful witness.”
As much of the poker/gambling community heard, Ivey beat the Crockfords punto banco game through a technique called “edge sorting,” where you exploit tiny flaws on the back of cards. And the 10-time WSOP champion fully believes that he was merely using smart advantage play, rather than cheating like he’s been accused of.
“When you are a professional gambler you are always looking for ways to gain an advantage over the casino,” he explained. “It’s their job to prevent me from having any advantage. Sometimes I come out on top, sometimes they do.”
As for Crockfords, they claim that Ivey tricked their dealer into giving him certain concessions out of superstition. For example, he asked that the cards be rotated 180 degrees because he thinks it’s good luck; however, the real reason is that this allowed him to better spot flaws on card backs.
Despite Crockfords’ argument, Ivey still fully believes that he’s in the right and will challenge the case again. And he’s not only hoping to win because of the money, but also to restore his reputation.
“When you’re accused of cheating it’s a very big deal in gambling,” said the 39-year-old. “I’m not allowed in certain casinos because of what happened. But my colleagues have been tremendously supportive – they know what is cheating and what is not.”