The legal battle between poker pro Phil Ivey and Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel & Casino continues to take place and get a lot of social media attention. The casino filed suit against Ivey stating that he used edge sorting and card counting to gain an unfair advantage and win $9.6 million playing mini-baccarat back in 2012.
The casino alleged that since Ivey and his partner Cheng Yin Sun manipulated the process, they should not be eligible to claim the $9.6 million. Ivey decided to file a counter-suit stating that the Borgata casino encouraged him and his partner to play and destroyed evidence when they got rid of the cards in question. Ivey also stated that the casino used a strategy of cocktail waitresses and alcohol to distract him and Yin Sun so that they would end up losing to the house.
The poker pro denies cheating and says that he won because he was able to use his skills and his attention to detail to beat the house. Ivey used the same card counting strategy at Crockfords Club, a London casino and won over $12 million. The casino filed a lawsuit alleging that Ivey cheated and a UK court found the poker pro guilty and ruled that the casino was not required to pay out his ‘winnings’. The Borgata hopes that it can get a similar ruling in its favour and recently moved the court to dismiss Ivey’s counter-suit.
The casino stated in its filling that “The facts of this case are undisputed that Mr. Ivey and Ms. Sun set out to deceive Borgata with their sophisticated scheme and they were successful in doing so. This issue is, and has always been a simple one: is edge sorting, as specifically admitted to and practiced by Mr. Ivey and Ms. Sun, cheating or unfair play? There is no defense that changes the underlying nature of defendants’ edge sorting scheme. It is either permitted or not, lawful or unlawful, and that is the question before this court.”
The casino also addressed Ivey’s claims of using alcohol and cocktail waitresses to distract them by stating that Ivey’s counterclaims were being used to distract the court from the real issue which came down to the poker pro resorting to card counting to gain an unfair advantage.