The 2019 World Series of Poker came to an end last month, with thousands of players, both professionals and amateurs competing. Players from around the world descend on Las Vegas in the hopes of earning a gold bracelet. One pro in the competition was Phil Ivey. Having won 10 bracelets already, Ivey is an experienced competitor. He managed to cash out four times this year, but did not receive his earnings as the Borgata Casino of New Jersey was able to seize them.
Ivey cashed out a total of four times during the 2019 WSOP for $133,398 in total. His best finish was during the $50,000 Poker Players Championship where he earned $124,410 for 8th place. Instead of the WSOP paying Ivey his due, the Borgata was handed the money.
The Borgata was able to claim the cash as part of payment owed by the player. The US Marshals Service confiscated the funds to go towards over $10 million owed by Ivey to the gaming venue.
In 2012, Ivey along with his partner, Cheng Yin Sun, were visiting the Borgata and decided to play baccarat. They earned $9.6 million after the session. The Atlantic City casino realized later on that the two players were using an edge sorting technique to win at the game. Ivey and Sun found defects on the cards to gain an edge over the house and take the casino for the large sum of money.
The casino then sued Ivey for a much larger sum of $15.5 million. The amount included the his win as well as comps that were provided and what they should have won based on the traditional house edge.
A judge decided to rule in favor of the casino and ordered Ivey to pay back a total of $10.1 million. The Borgata instantly had trouble getting the money back from him in New Jersey. In the Garden State, only empty bank accounts were found. The legal team of the casino stated that he had moved his money to a bank in Mexico.
The court eventually ruled in favor of the Borgata once again, allowing the casino to go outside the realm of New Jersey to seek payment. Up until the 2019 WSOP, Borgata had been unable to see any of the owed money.
While the poker pro was playing in the WSOP, the attorney for the casino brand, Jeremy Klausner, was able to serve the management of the series a notice that they had received a writ of execution on Ivey. This is how the venue was able to obtain the funds.
Now that the Borgata was able to secure some of the funds owed via the WSOP, it is unlikely that Ivey will be playing in US poker tournaments any time soon.