Why Phil Ivey is Not a Cheater Despite Borgata Claims

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Why Phil Ivey is Not a Cheater Despite Borgata Claims

This week’s hot story without a doubt has to do with poker pro Phil Ivey’s alleged cheating at the posh Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.  That establishment has filed a nearly $10 million lawsuit against poker’s biggest money earner.

But Aaron Todd, Gaming Guru for CasinoCity.com, offered up a total of 10 reasons why what Ivey is accused of doing is not cheating.

He’s essentially accused of counting cards during baccarat games by taking advantage of the card manufacturer’s defects.

Todd first points the finger at the casino, claiming it is their job to protect valuable information from a player.

If a blackjack dealer unintentionally reveals that the first card off the shoe for the next hand is an ace and bets are still open, is it cheating for the player at first base to increase his bet? The player is using information that the casino didn't protect and is betting accordingly. That's not cheating.

Likewise, it is the Borgata that elected to use the faulty cards in the first place.  Sue the manufacturer, which they are in fact doing.

Other observations by Tood that make sense:  Ivey didn’t mark the cards nor was he guaranteed to win as opposed to a college student using a cheat sheet that has all the correct answers.

Ivey succeeded only in flipping the house odds from 1.06 percent in the house's favor to 6.765 percent in his favor.

Obviously, playing a game with an expected return of 106.765 percent is a great deal for the player. But it's not a guarantee that he will win.

First and foremost, Todd argues, the casino agreed to Ivey’s terms.

This is the only argument that matters, in my mind. The Borgata agreed to Ivey's terms. The casino is always in charge; they run the game. If it decides to run the game in such a way that a sharp player is able to take advantage, that's its own fault.

- Ace King, Gambling911.com