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Found 9 results

  1. More details have emerged in Borgata's lawsuit against poker legend Phil Ivey, his supposedly accomplice Cheng Yin Sun, and card manufacturer Gemaco. Ivey (pictured) and Sun are being accused of using a technique known as "edge-sorting" to make off with $9.8 million at the baccarat tables, while Gemaco is being sued for producing the flawed cards that allowed the pair to gain the statistical edge over the casino. According to the lawsuit, Ivey contacted Borgata in April 2012 with a list of demands for playing a session of high-stakes baccarat at $50,000 a hand. Those demands included a dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese, a purple deck of Gemaco playing cards, a pit to himself, permission to have a guest at the table, and use of an automatic shuffler. The lawsuit details that Ivey played four sessions in 2012, all of which went exceedingly well for the poker pro. In April of that year, he played for 16 hours and banked $2.416 million and in May he played a total of 56 hours, taking home $1.597 million. In July, he was allowed to up his maximum bet to $100,000 per hand and walked away with $4.787 million. But Ivey's most interesting session came in October, just as the Crockfords casino in London announced that it was withholding his £7.8 million win at Punto Banco due to suspicion of cheating by "edge-sorting." Borgata officials claim they questioned Ivey about the incident, to which he responded that he was "disgusted" and was tired of speaking about it. He then said that he planned to sue Crockfords (pictured) for the winnings. Borgata allowed him to continue playing, but now says that Ivey proceeded to lose up to $2.7 million back to the casino on purpose in order to make the cheating seem less obvious. Gaming lawyer Maurice VerStandig believes the case against Ivey and Sun is dubious at best. "Edge-sorting falls somewhere between card counting and weighted snake eyes – and the law is yet to figure out just where," he told PokerNews. "There is no real precedent for cases like this." VerStandig highlighted as ridiculous the unusual claim by Borgata that Ivey used the casino's own shuffling machine as his "cheating device." "The suggestion that a casino can be fraudulently induced into dealing a card game with its own cards, equipment, and personnel is seemingly fantastical," he said. He also pointed out that the casino agreed to all of Ivey's terms in advance. While he believes that the Borgata's case against Ivey and his companion doesn't hold much water, he believes the casino's suit against card manufacturer Gemaco, with its lack of quality control, is valid. "Borgata lost just under $10,000,000 to a player who exploited this lack of uniformity; law and reason alike support the suggestion that Gemaco likely acted negligently and breached a warranty or two along the way." In fact, he believes the suit against Ivey and Sun only serves to water down the "otherwise robust pleading" against the manufacturer. US District Court Judge Noel Hillman has already told Borgata's lawyers that the suit needs to be cleaned up before proceedings can continue. Apparently, the casino's legal team failed to identify Ivey's home state, only saying that he was a "citizen of the United States currently residing in Mexico." The lawsuit made the same generalization when describing Sun's state of residence. But, while these errors have been pointed to in the poker media as a blow to Borgata's case, VerStandig said, "The flaws that led to this specific order are both common and hyper-technical." Even so, if the suit is not amended before April 24, the judge will be forced to throw it out. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. 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. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. Daniel Negreanu (pictured) recently made his opinions about Borgata's lawsuit against Phil Ivey abundantly clear, going on several 140-character-fueled tirades defending his friend on Twitter. The Atlantic City casino is suing the poker legend for $9.6 million, claiming he won the cash using a technique it considers to be illegal. Negreanu, never afraid to speak his mind, started out by questioning the judgment of the casino staff, who allowed Ivey to allegedly run his "edge-sorting" scheme in the first place: "Been reading up on poker news lately and the people running the Borgata high-limit pit have to be incredibly stupid overall." In the Tweet, Negreanu is likely referring to the fact that casino management agreed to allow Ivey to raise his betting limit from $50,000 to $100,000 per hand after he had already won millions of dollars playing baccarat and then continued to allow him to play even though he had been accused of using "edge-sorting" at a London casino. He had praise for Ivey and reiterated the sentiment of many gamblers, saying, "My hat's off to any man who can get an edge on a big-time casino. It's just straight baller and I have zero empathy for the big fish." Going back to the mistakes made by management, Negreanu Tweeted, "Big fish sets all the rules, okays all the rules, they need to eat it when they get beat and not be whiny biatches about it." The "rules" to which he refers are the conditions for the high-limit session of baccarat set by Ivey (pictured) and approved by the casino. The seemingly strange requests included a dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese and shuffled using an automatic shuffler, a private pit, the ability to have a guest at the table, and, most importantly, a deck of purple Gemaco playing cards. "It's appalling to free-roll customers," Negreanu continued. "Take their money if they lose but don't pay when they win? Are you for real Borgata? That's dirty." Negreanu continued the mini-tirade and called into question how Borgata's image could suffer with gamblers after the incident. "Suing customers who crushed your souls is a bad look. You got bent over. Might as well smile and enjoy it," he ranted. "No one in the world has empathy for Borgata in this. Stop playing victim because your hustle wasn't as good as Ivey's." The consummate gambler even admitted to having been played in the past, but always settled his debts. "I've been hustled before, but the idea of not paying was never even a consideration! Borgata - you got hustled bad. Get over it already," Negreanu said. In one of his final Tweets on the matter, Negreanu summed up how many gamblers view the whole situation. "Borgata, you thought Ivey was stupid and you tried to bury him. He hustled you, smoked you, and left you feeling silly. Stand responsible!" Borgata is suing Ivey, along with his alleged partner in the scheme Cheng Yin Sun and card manufacturer Gemacofor lack of quality control. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. After lying dormant for much of the last few months, the lawsuit filed by Borgata in Atlantic City against poker pro Phil Ivey (pictured) over $9.6 million that Ivey won at baccarat has heated up in recent weeks. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- The original lawsuit filed by Borgata in April had been quiet as of late, but Ivey's attorneys reopened the battle with a motion to dismiss the caseearlier this month. According to John Brennan's Meadowlands Matters blog, the motion asked to dismiss the case on the grounds that Borgata did not file its complaint in the required time frame and that Borgata's claims are inadmissible because a private company cannot make them in court. The motion also stated that the New Jersey court system isn't the place for solving such issues, noting that the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and Division of Gaming Enforcement normally handle disagreements. On Tuesday, Borgata fired back with its own motion to dismiss Ivey's motion. In it, Borgata's attorneys stated, "This case involves a premeditated, practiced, and intricate scheme by [Ivey] and Cheng Yin Sun to gain an advantage playing baccarat. Although their motion cleverly attempts to apply existing case law to the facts in this case, defendants cannot escape the fact that it is only casinos, and not casino patrons, that are regulated by New Jersey's Casino Control Act." Borgata's motion went on to state that the casino is completely within its rights to file a lawsuit against Ivey and Sun. In a previous case that involved players at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, a court found that a "private right of action" is allowed by the court system for a casino against a patron. "This was the only way for the Golden Nugget to recover its alleged damages." The case hinges on several visits by Ivey to Borgata in 2012, where he requested that the casino provide him with an outlet for baccarat. Playing at $50,000 per hand, Ivey put $1 million on the table, but had several requests that Borgata had to comply with in order to get his business. Ivey requested a private area where he could play, a dealer who could speak Mandarin Chinese, the ability to bring a guest (allegedly Sun), one deck of purple cards from Gemaco, and an automatic shuffler. Borgata acquiesced to these requests and over the span of four sessions from April to October 2012, Ivey was able to book $9.6 million in profits. The Borgata sessions were done at the same time that Ivey and Sun allegedly went to London for a similar game at Crockfords Casino. In several sessions in August 2012, Ivey is alleged to have won £7.3 million that Crockfords has, to this point, refused to pay out. That case is still awaiting adjudication. Both casinos are alleging that, through the use of "edge-sorting," Sun would direct the dealer to turn particular cards a certain way, stating that it was an Ivey "superstition," so he could recognize said cards when they came out of the deck. The knowledge of the cards could swing the advantage from the casino to Ivey, both casinos profess, and Ivey hasn't denied that he and Sun did this in either case: Ivey and Sun have 12 counts against them in the Borgata lawsuit, including violations of RICO laws. A New Jersey magistrate judge, Ann Marie Donato, has scheduled a conference between the two sides for August 5 in which the discovery process will begin. That process could take up to eight months to play out, meaning that any potential trial wouldn't begin until 2015. In the meantime, Donato has suggested that both sides attempt to mediate the situation and avoid a long and costly court battle. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. With millions of dollars of baccarat winnings on the line, 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Ivey (pictured) granted a rare interview to "60 Minutes Sports" this week, during which he defended his reputation while giving viewers a unique glimpse into his past. Ivey is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Borgata in Atlantic City and Crockfords Casino in London, where he and companion Cheng Yin Sun won just over $20 million using a technique known as edge-sorting in 2012. The 38-year-old is suing Crockfords, who withheld his $12.1 million in winnings, and is himself being sued by Borgata, who cashed out his $9.6 million score, but is now fighting to get it back. Before turning to the subject of his current legal troubles, the "60 Minutes" segment touched on the poker champ's long history in the gambling industry. Growing up as part of a large, close-knit family in Roselle, New Jersey, Ivey was introduced to poker at the age of eight after accidentally stumbling into one of his grandfather's back room card games. He soon became hooked on poker and, later, while only a teenager, would take a bus to Atlantic City on the weekends and play 16 to 17 hours a day using a fake ID. "I realized I was good at poker when I was around 16, but I figured I could be really good when I turned 21," he said. What Ivey has since achieved in the world of poker is clear; what's less known are his high-stakes gambling exploits away from the poker table. That's where Borgata and Crockfords allege they were cheated and claim that the 38-year-old used illegal methods to gain an advantage and win millions playing baccarat. Ivey made no attempt to hide the fact that he and his partner used edge-sorting during their sessions at the two casinos. "They spend millions of dollars on game protection," he said. "The casino is my opponent and it's my job to exploit weaknesses in the houseand give myself the best opportunity to win." Game security expert Jim Hartley was surprised that management allowed the poker pro to play baccarat at all. "I wouldn't let Phil Ivey play slots at a place I was working at," he said. "I know Phil is a 'sharp.' He's very, very smart and he's the kind of guy you just don't want in your joint, period." As part of the scheme, Ivey requested a specific card shuffler, which he said would keep the cards in a certain order, and a Chinese dealer who spoke Mandarin who could communicate with Sun. His companion was more than an onlooker; Sun is a well-known card shark and has been banned in many casinos throughout the world. "She was part of my strategy in giving me the ability to execute this advantage play of mine," Ivey admitted. He also revealed that using the edge-sorting technique would have given him around a 5% or 6% advantage. The casinos claim that Ivey was not forthright in his reasons for making the strange requests and "broke the unspoken contract between player and casino" by claiming that they were made out of superstition. Ivey disagreed and asked, "If I make a request and the house grants it, then how can that be cheating?" "My reputation is everything in gambling," he told 60 Minutes. "To risk my reputation over winning some money, I wouldn't do that." In breaking news on Wednesday, Ivey has lost his case against Crockfords. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. A federal judge has denied poker pro Phil Ivey's motion to dismiss a lawsuit levied against himby Marina District Development Co., LLC, parent of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, in conjunction with Ivey's use of "edge-sorting" to win nearly $10 million at the casino in 2012. The case will now proceed into the discovery phase. In April 2012, Borgata filed its lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against Ivey (pictured) and his female companion, Cheng Yin Sun, accusing them of number of crimes including Breach of Contract, Breach of Implied Contract, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Fraudulent Inducement, and Fraud. The company also sued playing card manufacturer Gemaco on six counts, including Breach of Contract and Negligence. Ivey and his attorneys filed a motion to dismissin July, a motion which Judge Noel L Hillman has now denied. The case stems back to April 2012 when Phil Ivey called Borgata, telling them he was planning on playing there and asked for special arrangements to be made for high-stakes baccarat sessions. According to Borgata, the special requests were made under the pretense of superstition. Ivey requested a private gaming area, a dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese, permission to have a companion sitting with him, an automatic card shuffler, and an eight-deck shoe specifically composed of purple Gemaco playing cards. Wanting a whale's business, Borgata agreed to Ivey's requests and the maximum bet was set at $50,000. Ivey deposited $1 million with the casino in advance of his trip to Atlantic City. Ivey cleaned up. On April 11, 2012, he won $2.4 million, then returned in May with the same conditions and won another $1.6 million. In July, he changed the terms slightly, getting Borgata to double the maximum bet. He then proceeded to win $4.7 million at baccarat. In October, he returned for one more go at it, winning $825,000. Borgata alleged in its lawsuit – and Ivey has since admitted as much – that Ivey's requests were all a part of a plan to work the game to his advantage. Normally, the backs of cards have a symmetrical pattern; when face down, they appear the same no matter how a card is oriented. But Ivey knew those specific Gemaco cards were mis-cut, creating an asymmetrical pattern and giving him an advantage. In a statement, Judge Hillman wrote, that "Borgata has pled plausible claims sounding in fraud" and is allowing the case to move on to discovery. Discovery is a pre-trial phase in which the opposing sides exchange information about evidence and witnesses they intend to use in court. It is designed to avoid, as the American Bar Association puts it, "trial by ambush." We'll keep you posted on the latest. In the meantime, here's a look at the edge-sorting process:
  7. Phil Ivey(pictured) is in a heated legal battle against Atlantic City's Borgata Casino, which is suing the 10-time bracelet winner for $9.6 million, the amount he won at its baccarat tables using a technique that the casino considers to be cheating. In response, Ivey has made counterclaimsalleging it was the casino which tried to take advantage of him using attractive cocktail waitresses and free alcohol. This week, Borgata filed a brief to have those allegations dismissed by summary judgment, a document that revealed new details about the incident. Borgata claims that Ivey and a woman named Cheng Yin Sun committed fraud against the casino via a technique called edge-sorting, in which eagle-eyed players exploit tiny imperfections on the backs of playing cards. Over the course of several sessions, Ivey used his VIP status to make several odd requests that would help him in that scheme, including requiring a purple deck of Gemaco playing cards and a Mandarin-speaking dealer. The pair walked away with nearly $10 million in winnings, with the casino only becoming suspicious after Ivey had been accused of using edge-sorting at Crockfords Casino in London, where he and Sun had won several million dollars as well. In a 19-page brief filed this week, Borgata said the issue simply boiled down to whether edge-sorting was legal. "When the dust kicked up by Defendants' repeated attempts to vilify the casino industry settles, we will have come full circle to the beginning of this case," said Borgata attorney Jeremy Klausner. "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?" Borgata also challenged Ivey's claims that he was not able to review the playing cards in question, as they had been destroyed by the casino. "Mr. Ivey is a well-known, high-stakes, professional gambler and a longtime VIP customer of Borgata. Borgata had no reason to suspect Mr. Ivey intended to engage in edge-sorting or any other cheating or unfair play," it stated. Borgata brushed aside Ivey's argument that he was taking advantage of by the casino as well. "The individual playing cards do not change the answer. Complimentary drinks do not change the answer. Cocktail servers do not change the answer," said the brief. "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." With the filing came several new details about how Ivey and Sun were able to pull off such stunning wins. In the document, Ivey's partner is referred to as one of the only people in the world who knows how to edge-sort at baccarat. It claims that people have offered to pay Sun to teach them the technique, but she has always refused. Edge-sorting is extremely difficult and took Sun three years to teach herself. To pull off the scheme with Ivey, she instructed the dealer to give her a peek at the next card off the deck before turning it over on the table. But before flipping it, Sun would tell the dealer how to orient the card (for a "superstitious" Ivey) on the felt. It would then be put back into the shoe, but turned in a way where she knew what it would be when it came up again. Advance knowledge of what the first card off the deck will be gives a baccarat player a substantial edge over the casino. "Mathematically, players with first card knowledge have an overall advantage of approximately 6.765% over the house. The advantage is up to 21.5% for 'player' bets and up to 5.5% for 'banker' bets," said the brief. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  8. In March, Phil Ivey (pictured) was deposed in a case involving alleged edge-sorting at Borgata in Atlantic City. The casino sued Ivey for almost $10 millionand, in turn, Ivey counter-sued Borgata. PokerNews managed to obtain a portion of the deposition, which took place in March. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Borgata filed suit against Ivey in April 2014, calling his actions in baccarat "premeditated, practiced, and intricate." His sessions at Borgata occurred in 2012 and involved a private area where he could play, a dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese, the ability to bring a guest, one deck of purple cards from Gemaco, and an automatic shuffler. According to the deposition, no one from Borgata asked any questions about Ivey's demands. The 10-time bracelet winner said, "I played multiple hours and they never asked me to stop or never asked me what I was doing, what was my strategy." All told, Ivey won $9.6 million at baccarat, allegedly by taking advantage of imperfections in the deck, using a colleague to ask the dealer to turn certain cards. Ivey suggested that in order to avoid getting swindled in the future, Borgata (pictured) should use a CSM machine, explaining, "It's a continuous dealing machine where… the cards just get reused and reused but they change the order or something. I'm not sure exactly how the cards work. I just know… we don't have a way of beating it." Ivey also added that simply changing the decks out would also solve the issue. As he put it, if Borgata or any other casino did not want to invest in CSM technology, "A cheap thing they could have done is just not reuse the same deck… That's the easiest way to protect yourself." Some of the deposition that PokerNews posted centered on Borgata's cocktail waitresses. Ivey called them the "prettiest waitresses in town" and said he had an "unlimited budget" for alcohol. All the while, he was playing baccarat for five- and six-figures a hand. You might also recall that Ivey won £7.3 million at Crockfords Casino in London (pictured) playing a game called punto banco. The casino alleges he used the same tacticsas he did at Borgata. Crockfords withheld payment and Ivey sued. In October 2014, a judge ruled against Ivey, dismissing the Crockfords case and leading Ivey to appeal. Ivey said at the time, "I'm obviously disappointed with this judge's decision. As I said in court, it is not my nature to cheat and I would never do anything to risk my reputation." In the deposition, an update on the Crockfords legal action was also given. Ivey relayed, "We appealed and we got granted the right to appeal the case… We have a new trial in December, which is very difficult to get appeal over there. It's very tough. Once you lose a case… it's usually done with." We'll keep you posted on the latest. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. In April 2014, Borgata in Atlantic City sued Phil Ivey for $9.6 millionafter the latter went on an epic winning streak in baccarat. The casino claimed Ivey (pictured), a 10-time bracelet winner, edge-sorted in order to gain an unfair advantage over the house and therefore shouldn't be able to retain his winnings. Now, Ivey is countersuing. Here's why Ivey is countersuing, according to ESPN: "Borgata had destroyed the decks of cards in question. Further, the countersuit claims a representative of the casino acknowledged that the casino was aware playing cards have cutting 'tolerances,' that Ivey never touched the cards, and that granting the special requests of high rollers was not unusual." Ivey reportedly asked for a specific type of playing card that had the irregularities, an automatic card shuffler, an eight-deck shoe, a private dealer, and the companionship of Cheng Yin Sun, who spoke Mandarin to the dealer and reportedly asked for certain cards to be turned. Borgata agreed to all of Ivey's requests. The rest, as they say, is history. According to a previous article here on PocketFives, "Ivey cleaned up. On April 11, 2012, he won $2.4 million, then returned in May with the same conditions and won another $1.6 million. In July, he changed the terms slightly, getting Borgata to double the maximum bet. He then proceeded to win $4.7 million at baccarat. In October, he returned for one more go at it, winning $825,000." The Borgata case moved on to the discovery phase in March of this year. Borgata called Ivey's actions "premeditated, practiced, and intricate." Ivey has been accused by Crockfords Casino in London of using a similar tactic to win at a game called punto banco. The site quoted Ivey as saying last October regarding those allegations, "It's not in my nature to cheat and I would never do anything to risk my reputation… I believe that what we did was a legitimate strategy. We did nothing more than exploit Crockfords' failure to take proper steps to protect themselves against a player of my ability." An appeal in the Crockfords case will be heard in December, according to ESPN. Ivey won over $12 million from the London establishment. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
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