After losing an appeals court ruling in November concerning an attempt to collect the over $9.5 million he allegedly won while enjoying games of high-stakes baccarat at London’s exclusive Crockfords casino, American professional poker player Phil Ivey has now been granted permission to appeal the matter to the European nation’s Supreme Court.
Ivey is a holder of ten World Series Of Poker bracelets and admitted to winning the cash at the Genting Group-owned United Kingdom casino in August of 2012 by teaming up with partner Cheung Yin Sun and employing “edge sorting” techniques in which players endeavor to spot individual card manufacturing defects. Despite conceding that the 40-year-old had not touched any cards during the punto banco session, the Court Of Appeal ruled that Crockfords did not have to hand over the cash as the controversial method could be seen as unintentional cheating and give professional players an unfair advantage.
“Last November’s Court Of Appeal ruling made no sense to me,” read a Tuesday statement from New Jersey-born Ivey. “The original trial judge ruled that I was not dishonest and none of the three Court Of Appeal judges disagreed and yet the decision went against me by a majority of two to one. I am so pleased that the Supreme Court has granted me permission to fight for what I genuinely believe is the right thing to do in my circumstances and for the entire gaming industry. I look forward to the Supreme Court reversing the decision against me.”
December saw judge Noel Hillman from the United States District Court For The District Of New Jersey rule in favor of MGM Resorts International and its attempt to recover approximately $10.1 million it paid Ivey in 2012 as a result of a baccarat session at its Borgata Hotel Casino And Spa in Atlantic City that allegedly saw Ivey utilize similar “edge sorting” techniques.
Ivey is due to be represented in the London court case by Richard Spearman from Thirty Nine Essex Chambers along with Wilberforce Chambers’ Max Mallin and Matthew Dowd of Archerfield Partners and the whole matter in the United Kingdom could well now be decided before the start of the summer.
“Phil [Ivey] and his legal team are delighted that the Supreme Court judges have decided that the Court Of Appeal’s decision should be reviewed,” read a statement from Dowd. “The Court Of Appeal’s ruling left the interpretation of Section 42 of the Gambling Act totally unclear and the decision to grant permission to appeal demonstrates that the Supreme Court agrees with that view.”