Phil Ivey Edge-Sorting Case Given 2015 Deadline

August 15th, 2014 | by Greg Shaun
Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey may have to grind for 12 months to resolve his latest legal battle with Borgata. (Image:

The Phil Ivey edge-sorting case won’t reach a conclusion until July 31, 2015, according a recent ruling by a court in New Jersey. After filing a $9.6 million lawsuit against Ivey for what it believes to be cheating, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa will now do battle against the poker pro for the next 12 months.

What Lies Ahead

With Ivey unwilling to accept that his playing method was illegal, representatives for the two parties recently met in Camden, New Jersey, for a scheduling conference. After hearing statements from both sides, the judge ruled that a series of dates must be adhered to in order to bring the case to a conclusion. The legal timetable includes provisions for research, a telephone status meeting, and the deposition of expert witnesses, as follows:

Agree on digital discovery matters by August 29, 2014
Initial discovery requests served by September 30, 2014
Telephone status conference on November 10, 2014
File amended pleadings and motions by November 28, 2014
All pretrial discovery concluded by March 31, 2015
All expert reports for defendants due by April 30, 2015
Deposition of expert witnesses concluded by June 30, 2015
Dispositive motions filed by July 31, 2015

In addition to both parties having to comply with certain deadlines, the court also requested that the Borgata submit a RICO case statement. With a time limit of 30-days applied to the order, the casino must now substantiate any claims made against Ivey and his accomplice, Cheng Yin Sun. Of course, if both parties can agree on an out-of-court settlement, the case could be concluded before 2015. However, if neither side backs down, the case will almost certainly go to jury trial.

Ivey Staying Strong

Since learning of the Borgata‘s intention to withhold his baccarat winnings, Ivey has remained strong and formally dismissed the lawsuit in July. Although the high stakes pro has previously confirmed that he used edge-sorting while playing baccarat at London’s Crockfords Casino, he maintains that it doesn’t constitute cheating.

Like all good poker players, Ivey is adept at exploiting an opponent’s weaknesses (in this case, the house and the card manufacturers) and that’s the position he is taking with regard to the Borgata’s claims. Because he was able to identify a flaw in the cards used by the casino and make it work in his favor, Ivey believes he didn’t break any laws and will use this as one of his arguments in court.

Defining the RICO Act

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act was enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 and focuses specifically on racketeering. In essence, the act allows leaders of a syndicate to be tried for a crime. In regard to Phil Ivey’s case, this means that even though he wasn’t the player reading the cards (this was done by associate Cheng Yin Sun), the Borgata can still make a case against him, as he ordered the moves to be made.


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