Phil Ivey Dismisses Borgata $9M Lawsuit Against Him

July 7th, 2014 | by Jason Reynolds
Phil Ivey, Borgata, lawsuit

Phil Ivey appears to be unconcerned with his latest legal dispute with the Borgata. (Image: WSOP)

Phil Ivey recently won his tenth WSOP bracelet, but instead of going out to celebrate, he instructed his legal team to officially dismiss the $9.6 million lawsuit brought against him by the Borgata Hotel Casino.

Despite Ivey’s credentials at the poker table being unquestionable, the New Jersey casino recently raised doubts over the legitimacy of the poker legend’s baccarat performances.

According to the lawsuit, the Borgata is claiming $9.62 million because Ivey and his associate, Cheng Yin Sun, allegedly defrauded the casino during four separate sessions of baccarat back in 2012. One interesting aspect of the lawsuit is that the Borgata admits questioning Ivey before his final session in light of Crockfords Casino’s allegation that he had used edge-sorting techniques in London.

However, despite this information, the Borgata allowed Ivey to play and claimed that after he won $1 million, he intentionally lost more than $2 million in order to mask his previous day’s cheating.

Ivey Says It’s All Skill

The amount of money being claimed is the money Ivey won during the sessions, but according to the man himself, he won the cash through “sheer skill”. Although Ivey doesn’t refute the claim that he used edge-sorting techniques, he and his legal team have stated categorically that such a strategy doesn’t constitute cheating.

However, the Borgata believes that certain card’s imperfections and the process of edge-sorting contravenes both its own house rules and New Jersey state casino regulations and is, therefore, illegal. Indeed, as a testament to the Borgata’s desire to place the blame firmly on all other parties concerned, the card manufacturer, Gemaco Inc., has also been included in the lawsuit.

Ivey’s Legal Line

With this in mind, the Associated Press reported that Ivey’s lawyers have officially reiterated that their client’s tactics could not be classed as cheating. Moreover, they claim the six-month statute of limitations to recover money gained through illegal methods has passed and, thus, Borgata has no rights to pursue the matter.

The final prong to Ivey’s legal rebuttal is that an individual casino isn’t permitted to pursue infractions of state casino regulations. Thus, even if the New Jersey Casino Control Commission had a problem with Ivey’s techniques, it wouldn’t be something the Borgata could chase independently.

What is Edge Sorting?

In a nutshell, edge sorting is when a player spots and exploits a slight imperfection on the back of certain cards. Because of a manufacturing error, some cards, such as the 9s, can have a different pattern on the bottom right-hand edge. With this defect, a skilled player can ask the dealer to turn the cards at a certain angle to identify whether or not it will be useful. This is reportedly the method Ivey and his accomplice used both at the Borgata and Crockfords Casino, London.


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