Posts Tagged ‘Phil Ivey edge sorting’

Phil Ivey Loses £7.7m Baccarat Case in UK Supreme Court

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

phil-ivey-crockfords-appealPoker pro Phil Ivey has lost his appeal in the UK Supreme Court over a £7.7 million baccarat case. Ivey challenged a 2014 high court ruling to overturn a decision that he “cheated” to beat London’s Crockfords casino.

This case began in October 2012, when Ivey won £7.7 million through an advantage-play technique called edge sorting. This involves spotting imperfections on card-backs to predict card values. Crockfords returned Ivey’s £1 million stake, but refused to give him anything else.

The famed gambler enlisted the help of Cheung Yin Sun, an edge-sorting expert who helped him beat Crockfords.

All five UK Supreme Court justices ruled that Ivey and Sun went beyond normal advantage play to win the fortune.

In the original appeal last year, Lady Justice Arden explained how the Gambling Act 2005 states that cheating violates the implied contract between players and casinos. Here’s her statement:

“In my judgment, this section provides that a party may cheat within the meaning of this section without dishonesty or intention to deceive: depending on the circumstances it may be enough that he simply interferes with the process of the game. On that basis, the fact that the appellant did not regard himself as cheating is not determinative.

phil-ivey-baccarat-edge-sorting“In particular the actions which Mr Ivey took or caused to be taken had a substantial effect on the odds in the game and Crockfords were not aware of this at the relevant time. In these circumstances, no lower standard applied in this case because Mr Ivey was an advantage player who was in an adversarial position with the casino.”

Ivey is no doubt perplexed by the court’s final decision.

“The trial judge said that I was not dishonest and the three appeal judges agreed, but somehow the decision has gone against me. Can someone tell me how you can have honest cheating?” he told The Guardian.

This is now the third legal proceeding that Ivey has gone through with his Crockfords edge sorting case. And none of the courts have seen it his way. That said, his chances of recovering the £7.7 million in winnings are likely gone.

Judge Rules that Phil Ivey Violated Gambling Regulations

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

ivey-borgata-lawsuitThere’s good news and bad news for Phil Ivey regarding his $9.6 million baccarat case with the Borgata casino.

The good news is that U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman ruled Ivey didn’t commit fraud to win in baccarat. The bad news is that the judge believes Ivey violated gambling regulations in New Jersey.

The latter won’t carry any criminal charges in the poker pro’s case. However, it will definitely have an effect on whether he gets to keep the $9.6 million he won.

Judge Hillman wrote that he believes Ivey and his companion, Cheng Yin Sun, overstepped normal advantage play by asking the dealer to arrange baccarat cards in a special way. This allowed them to better see the card backs and tell what the values were before they were dealt (a.k.a. edge sorting).

This falls in line with what the Borgata claimed in their lawsuit, writing that edge sorting violates state gambling regulations. The casino points out that Ivey knew the requested Gemaco deck was defective and that he’d gain an advantage by spotting the flawed card backs.

Ivey has argued all along that he merely beat the casino at their own game, and the Borgata complied with every request that he made.

Judge Hillman alluded to this by writing, “[Ivey and Sun] view their actions to be akin to cunning, but not rule-breaking, maneuvers performed in many games, such as a play-action pass in American football, or the ‘Marshall swindle’ in chess.”

Hillman thinks that “Sun’s mental acumen” in spotting the card pattern flaws was “remarkable.”

But according to ABC News, the judge still doesn’t side with them in this case.

“But even though Ivey and Sun’s cunning and skill did not break the rules of Baccarat,” wrote Hillman, “what sets Ivey and Sun’s actions apart from deceitful maneuvers in other games is that those maneuvers broke the rules of gambling as defined in this state.”

The Borgata has less than three weeks to list all the damages that have been done to them as a result of this case.

As for Ivey, this legal matter isn’t over yet. But it still feels like he might be headed for another loss, just like his Crockfords case.