According to NJ.comand a variety of other outlets, the Borgatain Atlantic City has filed suit against poker pro Phil Ivey (pictured) over a $9.6 million baccarat win that occurred two years ago. The site explained, “While playing,Ivey allegedly cheated by fixating on pattern flaws on the back of the cards, a technique commonly known as ‘edge sorting,’ according to the lawsuit.”
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. In 2012, the same year Borgata alleged the cheating at its casino took place, Ivey booked a £7.3 million win at Punto Banco at Crockfords in London, but that casino refused to pay out.
Punto Banco, as you might know, is a variation of baccarat and, according to our original story on the matter, “The card backs were emblazoned with a diamond pattern that is normally symmetrical. The cards in the game that night, though, were allegedly miscut at the factory, producing an asymmetrical pattern, one where the diamonds on one edge were sliced in half.” Read how Crockfords alleged Ivey cheated.
At both Borgata and Crockfords, Ivey reportedly asked the casino to rotate cards, hold the shoe, and allegedly exploited his knowledge of the mis-cut cards. Our article pointed out, “Crockfords alleges that because of the asymmetrical card backs, the cards that were turned were easily identifiable. Ivey and his friend supposedly used that information to their advantage during later deals.” Here’s a graphic from the Daily Mail that shows the alleged process:
Borgata has also filed suit against Kansas City-based card designer Gemaco, and “a female partner of Ivey’s, Cheng Yin Sun, who allegedly gave instructions to the dealer,” according to NJ.com.
The Press of Atlantic City detailed that in April 2012, “Ivey contacted Borgata to arrange a high-stakes game of baccarat in which he agreed to wire a deposit of $1 million and a maximum bet at $50,000 per hand. Ivey also made special arrangements, including having a private area, or pit, a casino dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese, one eight-deck shoe of purple Gemaco playing cards to be used for each session of the play, and an automatic card shuffling device.”
The same news source added, “Borgata said in the lawsuit that Ivey told them he made these requests because he was superstitious.” However, each of Ivey’s demands, according to Borgata, furthered his ability to “surreptitiously manipulate what he knew to be a defect.”
The automatic card shuffler, for example, would prevent each card from being turned and the purple Gemaco playing cards contained the critical defect. Ivey also visited Borgata in May, July, and October 2012, according to the Press.
CardPlayer revealed that the Crockfords incident is still pending. Borgata officials PocketFives contacted late Friday declined to comment, instead instructing us to get in touch with the casino’s legal department, which was closed for business for the weekend. It remains to be seen if Ivey would be allowed in the casino for the World Poker Tour Championship, which will emanate from Borgata later this month.
Stay tuned to PocketFives for the latest.