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Ivey Takes Casino to the UK Supreme Court over Cheating Claims

- July 19, 2017 By Oliver Young -

Ivey sued the casino for a prize of £7.7 million.

Phil Ivey hopes that the UK Supreme Court will rule in his favour.

Phil Ivey is not an uncontroversial individual, to say the least. This famous poker player has been involved in a few scandals over the years. Most notable, he has been accused of edge sorting on several occasions. In 2016 a federal judge ruled against Ivey and he had to pay over $10 million to an Atlantic City casino, despite the fact that both he and his lawyers, rejected the cheating claims earlier.

Ivey’s partner has also been accused of edge sorting. Ivey was again accused of cheating by UK’s Genting Group and the company refused to pay his £7.7 winnings, following a discovery that he was engaged in edge sorting. The court ruled in favour of the casino, but for Ivey the case wasn’t closed.

Ivey Adjusted Decreased the House Edge to 1%

Ivey and his partner Cheung Yin Sun won just a bit over £7.7 million at Punto Banco, in August 2012 at Crockford’s Casino, located in London’s Mayfair. Crockford’s is one of the many UK casinos run by Genting Group. Ivey left the casino expecting his winnings that were supposed to be wired to his account, but he only got his original £1 million worth investment back.

Then Ivey decided to sue the casino, but the judge ruled that edge sorting was actually illegal and that the casino had the right not to pay Ivey and his partner. Then Ivey took the case to the next level and the case was brought in front of the Court of Appeals, where the three judges voted 2 to 1 in favour of the casino. It was ruled that Ivey and Yin Sun changed reduced the regular 6% edge to just 1%, which according to the Court was not permitted.

Now, following the second ruling against Ivey and his partner, the poker star advised his lawyers to continue the proceedings and now Ivey’s fate is in the hands of Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Thomas, Lord Hughes and Lord Neuberger who are the Supreme Court judges that are supposed to review the case and reach a decision.

Ivey’s Lawyer Claims He Was Being Honest

The main argument in favour of Ivey is the fact that both courts found that he and his partner weren’t acting dishonestly. According to Ivey’s lawyers this alone is sufficient for the Supreme Court to decide that his actions weren’t illegal. Ivey’s legal team used an Oxford Dictionary from 1989 where the meaning of the word cheating is defined by the phrases ‘fraudulent dealing’ and ‘deceit’, whereas the lawyers that represent the casino used the Concise Oxford Dictionary where the definition is put on the term ‘to gain an advantage’.

Ivey said at one of the hearings that he was analysing things from a mathematical perspective and that’s how he choose to act the way he acted, because he knew that it would increase his chances of winning. In his view, there is nothing illegal about that.

Crockford’s legal representative said that that the fact that Ivey didn’t perceive his actions as dishonest doesn’t imply that he had the right to do what he did, adding that he wanted to portray himself as some sort of a modern Robin Hood.

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