Last week, a judge ruled against Phil Iveyin his high-stakes lawsuit against Crockfords casino in London, concluding that the poker pro had cheated by using edge-sorting to win $12.5 million at the baccarat tables. Daniel Negreanu (pictured), a six-time bracelet winner and friend of Ivey’s, was stunned by the verdict and had some harsh words for the casino and the presiding judge in a recent interview.
“I think it’s ludicrous, I think it’s absurd, completely unfair, and absolutely wrong,” he told PokerListings.
“Casinos, by nature, are designed to take advantage of people by manipulating and deceiving them into thinking they can win,” he said. “A player gets the best of them, in the sense that he finds flaws in what they’re offering, and they should go, ‘Oops, we screwed up.’ They should pay it like honorable people and then move on and address their issues.”
Crockfords, of course, had a very different opinion of the matter and was quick to withhold Ivey’s massive win after deciding he and his partner, Cheng Yin Sun, used edge-sorting to gain an advantage with the prohibited technique.
In his recent interview on “60 Minutes Sports”, Ivey (pictured) made no attempt to hide the fact that he used the controversial strategy to win the cash. “The casino is my opponent and it’s my job to exploit weaknesses in the house and give myself the best opportunity to win,” he said.
Not only does Negreanu believe the dismissal of Ivey’s case to be unfair, he also believes the incident could have a negative effect on Crockfords’ bottom line by scaring away high rollers. “It sets a bad precedent for gamblers who are going to gamble high,” he said. “You could win a bunch of money and then all of a sudden – without doing anything that’s considered cheating – be told you’re not getting your money.”
While Crockfords acted quick enough to freeze Ivey’s winnings, Borgata (pictured below) in Atlantic City wasn’t so lucky. In 2012, Ivey and Sun used the same strategy there to add another $9.6 million to their baccarat profits. The casino paid out the cash before the 38-year-old’s London exploits came to light. They are now suing Ivey, Sun, and Gemaco to try and recoup the losses.
Negreanu spoke out in his friend’s favor in that case in a series of Tweets in April: “It’s appalling to free-roll customers. Take their money if they lose but don’t pay when they win? Are you for real Borgata? That’s dirty… My hat’s off to any man who can get an edge on a big-time casino… I have zero empathy for the big fish.”
About the recent Crockfords decision, his anger was clear: “In every logical human being’s mind, it’s an open and shut case, but the judge ****ed him in the ass,” he said.
Due to his involvement with the Crockfords trial, Ivey has missed most of WSOP APAC this year, but Negreanu isn’t worried for him. “He’ll be fine,” he assured. “But I’ve talked to him and he’s not happy about it. He felt good about the case. I think if there is an option to appeal, he will appeal.”