Monday 25 December 2017

Phil Ivey loses $10.2m court battle

phil ivey
It's not been a great end of year for Poker supremo Phil Ivey. Granted in his astoundingly successful poker career he's won ten World Series of Poker bracelets and even a World Poker Tour title. He's also amassed a net worth that's thought to be around $100 million, but this court battle with a London casino means that he won't be adding a further $10.2m (£7.7m ) to that.

This unusual situation came about as a result of playing a baccarat variant known as Punto Banco at Crockfords Club in Mayfair over 5 years ago. The case against the casino was initially dismissed in 2016, and  Ivey appealed so the case moved to the supreme court, where five justices upheld the decision.

The crux of the matter came down to whether a technique used known as 'edge sorting' was legitimate or dishonest. In short Ivey had identified  minor differences in the pattern on the reverse of cards. He had persuaded the croupier to deal in a certain manner on account that he claimed to be superstitious. The situation was further complicated by fact that at the time the casino had agreed to pay out the winnings and wire them to him in Las Vegas. Instead they just sent back his stake, and not the winnings.

Lady Justice Arden in her ruling states that  Ivey and another gambler interfered with the process of the game and as such the casino is not required to pay out. It is seen to be a significant ruling hinging on the concept of dishonesty.


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