December 23, 2016 Poker Gossip, Poker News jan

Phil Ivey ordered to pay back $10.1 million dollar to Borgata

U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman has ruled that Phil Ivey and his friend, Cheng Yin Sun, have to return just over $10 million to the Atlantic City based Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

What did Phil Ivey do?

While setting up marathon Baccarat sessions at the Borgata, Ivey had some demands.

He insisted that Sun should sit at the table with him, that only one deck of Borgata playing cards be used. The dealer also had to shuffle the cards with an automatic shuffling device.


The pathern printed on the back of the cards was slightly asymmetrical. If a high value card was dealt, Sun asked the dealer to rotate it before shuffling the deck again. The strategy allowed Ivey to know the approximate value of the cards before placing his bets.

“Baccarat is a casino game well known for unique and superstitious rituals. Thus, Sun telling the dealer to turn a card in a certain way did not raise any red flags for Borgata.” Hillman wrote.

The Curt Rulling

Phil Ivey and his table partner Cheung Yin Sun will have to pay back Borgata the money they have won by using edge sorting at their tables.

The biggest part of this fine, $9,6 million, is due their edge sorting while playing baccarat. But, they also have to return $504,000 that Ivey won at Craps.


The Court did not claim that Ivey broke the rules of Baccarat or fraud the casino. He only breached the contract with the casino. By that he failed to abide by the state’s Casino Controls Act and is responsible for the damage.

In his rulling Hillman wrote: “Knowing the value of the card beforehand … dramatically increased the odds their resulting bets would beat the house,”

Ivey’s attorney, Ed Jacobs, said that they will appeal as Ivey only “beat the casino at its own game.”

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