Phil Ivey, Borgata on Verge of Settlement in $10M Edge Sorting Case

Phil Ivey's drawn-out legal drama may finally be coming to an end.

The drawn-out legal battle between poker superstar Phil Ivey and Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino appears to be finally coming to a resolution.

As reported by NJ Online Gambling, a court filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit indicated that Ivey and the Borgata have “reached a settlement” of an undisclosed amount and terms in the high-profile, high-stakes baccarat edge-sorting case.

The case stretches all the way back to 2012 when Ivey and his associate Cheng Yin “Kelly” Sun won roughly $9.6 million during multiple sessions of playing baccarat at the Borgata. The pair knew of a printing defect on the back of the Gemaco-manufactured playing cards used by the Borgata which they used to gain an advantage on the house, more commonly referred to as “edge sorting”.

In April 2014, after being alerted to the technique, the Borgata filed their initial lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Ivey and Sun, with accusations of Breach of Contract, Breach of Implied Contract, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Fraudulent Inducement, and Fraud.

After two years of legal wrangling, in 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sided with the Borgata, awarding them a judgement of $10 million against Ivey and Sun.

Since that time, the Borgata has been trying to collect with little success. The company sought was granted the ability to seize Ivey’s assets in Nevada as well as claim his winnings when he returned to the World Series of Poker in 2019 and cashed in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for over $124,000.

The lawsuit is thought to have been a major factor in Ivey’s absence from the U.S. poker scene in the past half-decade.

Since 2016, the case has been on appeal. Ivey has been making his case that “edge sorting” does not equate to cheating or fraud. The definition of what defines a marked card and who did the marking was seemingly at the center of the appeal. The Borgata was arguing that the cards that were used were marked. Ivey and Sun, who never denied using the edge sorting technique. They requested a number of conditions under which they would play and to which the Borgata agreed to. Ivey and Sun never physically touched or marked the playing cards.

While it is uncertain the terms of the resolution, should the District Court vacate a set of orders and decision, Ivey and the Borgata will be clear to finally put this near decade-long issue to rest.