Borgata Hotel Casino Sues Phil Ivey for Millions
Legendary poker player Phil Ivey is being sued by Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa for millions of dollars. Ivey is best known for winning 9 World Series of Poker bracelets during his illustrious career. He proclaims himself to be the Tiger Woods of Poker, and there is no doubt that his poker prowess is off the charts. The lawsuit that has been levelled against Phil Ivey claims that he cheated to the tune of $9.6 million. But the game in question is not even poker, it’s baccarat.
Allegations against Phil Ivey
The lawsuit is an interesting one because it assumes that Ivey and a colleague knowingly exploited card defects to enable them to gain an advantage over the house in games of baccarat. The cards were made by a manufacturer in Kansas City and they were defective. Ivey and his co-accused purportedly were able to pick out the high-value cards in the game, thus gaining an advantage over the casino. This took place on 4 occasions from April through October of 2012.
The technique that was used is described as ‘Edge Sorting’ and it is illegal in the state of New Jersey. Representatives from the Borgata Casino refused to comment on the matter. According to the terms of the lawsuit, the cards were defective because the patterns on the back of the cards were not uniform. There are rows of white circles that look like cut diamonds on the back of the cards, but some of them were only half diamond or quarter diamond shapes. The company that produced the cards – Gemaco Inc., is also facing a lawsuit from another casino in Atlantic City – the Golden Nugget Casino.
Phil Ivey apparently told the dealer to flip cards in certain ways, depending on whether it was a high-value card in the game. The cards that Ivey would be most interested in included 6, 7, 8, and 9. These cards are the best-value cards in the game of baccarat. This game does not allow players to go bust, as blackjack does. In baccarat the goal is to get as close to 9 as possible but if you exceed 9, then 10 is simply subtracted from your total.
The Supposed Scam Revealed
According to the lawsuit, the undesirable cards would be turned over in a different direction. Following several hands, the desirable cards would be arranged in a manner that was easily identifiable to Phil Ivey and his companion. Ivey insisted that the cards be automatically shuffled, and not shuffled by an actual casino dealer. This ensured that the orientation of the cards would not be changed and that Ivey would be able to detect desirable cards from undesirable cards.
This is not the first time that Phil Ivey has been the subject of intense scrutiny by a casino. A lawsuit was also filed against him in Britain’s High Court by the Genting Group. They claim that Ivey cheated them out of $12 million at one of their casinos, also in the game of baccarat. In that particular lawsuit Phil Ivey also denied any wrongdoing.