Phil Ivey’s legal battles with the Borgata Casino have been going on for years. Now, the Atlantic City casino was granted a motion to seize the poker legend’s assets in his state of residence, Nevada.
How It All Started
This saga goes all the way back to 2012. Phil Ivey and his gambling partner, Cheung Yin Sun were playing baccarat in the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ. They used the method called “edge-sorting” while playing which seemed to have served them very well. The two ran their bankroll up to over $10 million.
However, the legality of edge-sorting is questionable. Edge-sorting means that you mark your high and low cards by turning them upside down before handing them back to the dealer. Since the patterns on the back of the cards aren’t always perfectly symmetrical, you can tell which card is turned which way up.
Ivey was originally paid out by the casino. Later, however, he was sued to return the 8-figure sum he won.
Ivey never disputed the fact he used this technique to win, rather he argues that it’s a legitimate strategy to beat the game. As he put it, the casino failed to protect itself against “a player of his caliber”.
The Latest Developments on Ivey v. Borgata
The Borgata Casino has recently been granted permission to collect the $10.16 million judgment in Nevada.
Previously, the gambling hub and its parent company were allowed to try and collect Ivey’s assets in New Jersey, where the “crime” was committed. However, it turned out Ivey has no valuables at all in the Garden State.
The motion to docket the judgment in Nevada was filed by Borgata in October 2018. This new, devastating ruling which approved that motion was made by U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey, Noel L. Hillman.
And Borgata can be expected to go for Ivey’s assets eagerly. Previously, the New Jersey casino wrote in a motion they filed that “Ivey’s holdings have been estimated at $100 million, and the above shows these holdings, at least those that are ascertainable, are based in Nevada”.
Things Have Not Been Going Ivey’s Way in Court
The 10-time WSOP bracelet winner had a similar case against the Crockfords Casino in London. There, he was playing another card game called “punto banco” and was also edge-sorting to win.
However, the UK casino caught him in the act and did not pay his winning out, rather just refunded his £1million stake. In turn Ivey sued them for his £7.7 million winnings.
That case – after several appeals – went all the way up to the UK High Court where Ivey ultimately lost. This is definitely a bad omen for the American cardplayer.
Ivey had to take some “L’s” in the court room against Borgata too already. In August 2018, the US District Court ruled that he has to pay the $10.1 million judgment to Borgata.
How many times can Phil Ivey lose baccarat cases? It's looking more like he's going to have to pay the Borgata its $10.1M if he doesn't appeal again. https://t.co/Cd10j6ATVf
— LegalUSPokerSites (@legal_poker) August 30, 2018
When in September Ivey’s lawyers argued that that would mean “irreparable harm” to his gambling career and therefore he should be able to stay the judgment, that request was overruled.
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