Judge Sides with the Borgata to Leave Phil Ivey $10 Million Worse Off

October 24th, 2016 | by Kaycee James
Phil Ivey loses Borgata case.

Phil Ivey didn’t commit fraud, but he’s still not getting $10 million from the Borgata Casino. (Phil Ivey/Twitter)

Phil Ivey is $10 million worse off following a negative verdict in his edge sorting case against Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino.

Despite hopes that a court would declare his $10 million baccarat win back in 2012 was within the rules of the game, Ivey was left with a bittersweet taste following Judge Noel Hillman’s verdict.

The US District Court judge did absolve Ivey of any charges relating to fraud, but also determined that he breached his contract with the casino.

Ivey Not Guilty but Not a Winner Either

Although the Borgata has 20 days to outline the damages it suffered after Ivey and his partner, Cheng Yin Sun, read small printing errors on the cards to gain an advantage, it will likely consider the ruling a win.

Ever since the US casino withheld Ivey’s $10 million winnings it has maintained that Ivey broke the rules and isn’t entitled to his winnings.

In contrast, Ivey has maintained that he was simply exploiting a legitimate angle as he would do in any situation at the poker table.

At the centre of Ivey’s case is the idea that Gemaco’s printing error was not his fault. Moreover, he never touched the cards during the $10 million session and, in his opinion, wasn’t able to influence the action.

To bolster his case, Ivey also outlined how casinos routinely exploit players in a variety of ways. In particular, Ivey claims the Borgata continually offered him alcoholic drinks, as well as a selection of attractive women in a bid to distract him.

Great Skills but the Casino Always Wins

Unfortunately, despite having a valid point, Judge Hillman was forced to conclude that Ivey and Sun had violated the New Jersey Casino Control Act. 

Although it’s difficult to judge the tone of Hillman’s decision, the written court documents do suggest she sympathized with Ivey’s strategy.

“Ivey and Sun’s cunning and skill did not break the rules of Baccarat. 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,” read the report.

The unfavorable verdict isn’t the first time Ivey has lost out on a major baccarat payout. During the time he was cleaning out the Borgata’s chip racks, Ivey also banked more than $9 million in London.

Playing baccarat inside the exclusive Crockfords Casino, Ivey was able to employ the same strategy he used at the Borgata.

Unfortunately, as the Borgata did, Crockfords withheld Ivey’s winnings and a court battle ensued. That result also went the way of the casino, which just goes to show that the old saying “the house always wins” is most certainly true.


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