Phil Ivey v Borgata Legal Tennis Match Continues as Casino Files (Yet Another) Motion

October 9th, 2015 | by Greg Shaun
Phil Ivey Borgata court battle edge sorting

Phil Ivey v Borgata: another court filing by the Atlantic City casino drags the Ivey court case into another round. (Image: Reuters)

Phil Ivey’s ongoing baccarat battle with the Borgata took another turn this week after yet another motion was filed by the Atlantic City casino.

The latest move in a war that’s been raging since 2014 sees the Borgata asking a federal court judge to dismiss the counter claim filed by Ivey back in July of this year.

After being advised by his legal team that his best defense was a good offense, Ivey moved to sue the Borgata in the summer.

Taking the property’s argument that he deliberately set out to cheat in the now-infamous edge-sorting controversy, Ivey’s countersuit stated that the casino is actually guilty of exploiting him through a combination of alcohol and attractive women.

Additionally, the poker pro also claims that the Borgata had a duty of care to protect its decks and since he never physically touched any cards, can’t be liable for the outcome of any deal.

Not Buying Ivey’s Bluff

Since Ivey took a stand in July, the Borgata has been considering its options. On October 7, it filed a motion to have the claim dismissed, calling Ivey’s assertions nothing more than “gimcrackery.” In case you’re unfamiliar with that term (we were), it means “obvious or contrived effects” and dates back to 1770, which, we are guessing, was the last time it was used in conversation.

“When the dust kicked up by defendants’ repeated attempts to vilify the casino industry settles, we will have come full circle to the beginning of this case,” read the Borgata’s latest court filing.

It went on to suggest that the central issue is whether or not Ivey deliberately set out to deceive the casino and gain an unfair advantage, an issue the Borgata believes isn’t in any doubt.

“This issue is, and has always been, a simple one: is edge sorting, as specifically admitted to and practiced by Mr. Ivey and Ms. Sun [his accomplice or partner, depending which side you’re on], cheating or unfair play? The individual playing cards do not change the answer. Complimentary drinks do not change the answer,” the motion continued.

Never-Ending Battle of Wills

Ivey originally won $9.6 million playing baccarat at the Borgata back in 2014, not long after he won more than £9 million ($13.7 million) playing the same game inside London’s exclusive Crockfords Casino.

Soon after the win, the Borgata refused to pay Ivey his winnings and claimed it was because he and his accomplice/partner, Cheung Yin Sun were using illegal techniques.

It later transpired that a production error by the card’s manufacturer Gemaco allowed Sun to read the small imperfections and alert Ivey when favorable hands occurred.

Ivey later admitted that he had used a technique known as edge sorting, but asserted that there was nothing illegal about it because he was simply taking advantage of an error that wasn’t of his doing.

A court battle soon started, and for more than a year the two parties have been using a litany of legal tactics in a bid to out maneuver each other to determine who gets to keep the $9.6 million. At this rate, we’re putting our money on the two sides’ mutual legal counsel.

Following the latest court filing by the Borgata, a judge will now consider the document and deliver a verdict during a hearing on November 2.


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