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Phil Ivey Responds to Borgata Cheating Allegations: ‘Was All Skill’

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Jul/03/2014
Phil Responds to Borgata Cheating Allegations: ‘Was All Skill’

Poker pro Phil Ivey is looking to have a lawsuit filed against him by the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City dismissed.  The Borgata alleges that Ivey and a companion cheated the casino out of nearly $12 million while playing baccarat.

The suit claims that the some of the baccarat cards made by Gemaco turned out to not have a perfectly symmetrical design on the back of the card. Ivey, the suit claims, was able to figure out what the first card to be dealt was based on said imperfections and this, in turn, gave him a significant advantage over the “house,” or casino.  The Borgata is seeking $9.6 million in damages.

Gemaco is currently fighting a lawsuit from another Atlantic City casino, the Golden Nugget, claiming the firm provided unshuffled cards that led to gamblers beating the casino for $1.5 million.

“Each and every penny of defendants’ winnings was the result of sheer skill,” Ivey’s lawyers wrote in court papers.

Ivey’s spokesman John Falcicchio said the motion was filed Wednesday night. The Borgata had no immediate comment.

Noted gambling attorney Nelson Rose is in agreement, telling Gambling911.com in an exclusive interview that Ivey is not a cheater, at least when one considers the evidence that has been brought forth thus far.

"Edge sorting has been around for decades," Rose told Gambling911.com. "I was called in as an expert witness in a marked card case and one of the first things I did was look to see if there was a pattern to the design on the back of the cards. 

"Cheats can easily create a deck of cards they can read by buying many decks of cards with a simple pattern, like diamond shapes, and then creating a single deck where, say, only the ten-count cards have full diamonds in the corners."
But in a casino, he said, it is the responsibility of the casino to make sure everything in a game is ship-shape, not the player.

"It is up to the casino to make sure that there are no readable markings on the backs of cards," Rose said. "I remember touring the Sands Casino in Macau the month it opened and looking into the room where employees destroyed cards after a single use.

"Ivey used information available to all players," he said. "By definition that was not cheating."

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

 

 

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