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Poker Pro Phil Ivey Engaged in Trickery to Win £7.7m Casino Tells Court

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Oct/03/2014
Poker Pro Phil Ivey Engaged in Trickery to Win £7.7m Casino Tells Court

Poker pro Phil Ivey is alleged to have “stitched up” London’s Crockfords Club Casino by taking advantage of a minor flaw in playing cards, the High Court heard on Thursday.

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“Stitching up” is defined as “trickery”.

From the Independent:

Professional player Phil Ivey created an “air of superstition” by insisting on wearing a lucky hat, using a lucky Asian card dealer and a lucky pack of cards to hide the fact that he had adopted a system that tipped the odds in his favour, the casino management claimed.

Mr Ivey is suing the casino group after it returned his £1m stake but refused to pay his winnings after claiming that it had been cheated out of the money.

Another casino, the Borgata in Atlantic City, has lodged similar claims against Ivey.  That casino is suing the poker pro for millions of dollars.

One prominent gaming attorney, I. Nelson Rose, tells Gambling911.com, what Ivey did was “not cheating”.

"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."

The case is ongoing.

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

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