Phil Ivey no doubt has many virtues, but being a generous friend in need must be at the top of the list based on a recent string of events involving fellow poker pro Paul Phua, his son Darren Phua, and now a few more poker buddies who are benefitting from Ivey’s largesse.
That’s because Phil Ivey has put up yet another million dollars towards the bail of two more people involved in the alleged World Cup betting ring that was being run out of three villas at Caesars Palace. In the latest move to free his high-stakes poker friends, Ivey posted the entire $500,000 bail for Wai Kin Yong, and also contributed $500,000 towards the $1.5 million bail for Yong’s father, Richard Yong.
Just like when Ivey helped bail out the Phuas, he wasn’t alone in his effort to free the Yongs. Daniel “Jungleman12” Cates put up $1 million as well, completing the bail for Richard Yong and ensuring that father and son could also be bailed out.
A third defendant was also released, and his story is tied to the world of high-stakes poker as well. That man is Hui Tang, who will be staying with Tom “durrrr” Dwan in Las Vegas as a condition of his own $1.5 million bail. Poker player Gabe Patgorski will be taking custody of the Yongs while they await their court dates. The three defendants are being subjected to electronic monitoring, and will not be allowed to gamble or use devices with Internet access.
For those keeping score at home, Ivey has now contributed $2 million towards the bail of four defendants in the sports betting case. He also gave $500,000 each to Paul Phua and his son Darren Phua. Meanwhile, Andrew Robl has paid $1.5 million (entirely towards freeing the elder Phua), while Cates has spent $1 million on the effort.
Like Phua before him, Richard Yong is a common face in the biggest poker games in the world, both in Macau and Las Vegas. Yong was one of the 48 players in the first ever Big One for One Drop, putting up $1 million to buy into the charity tournament, and is said to play in the biggest cash games in Macau.
Ivey said he helped the Yongs out because they are personal friends of his.
“I have the utmost respect and trust for them,” Ivey said.
The Phuas, Yongs and Hui Tang are five of the eight defendants who were indicted this week by a Las Vegas federal grand jury. All eight are accused of running the betting operation from the Caesars Palace villas during the World Cup up until their arrests on July 13. Each defendant has been charged with one count of unlawful transmission of wagering information, as well as one count of operating an illegal gambling business. Each defendant could be fined as much as $250,000 for each count, and could potentially face several years in prison.