Phil Ivey was battling a lawsuit in which he was accused of cheating at Crockfords Club in London of nearly $12.5 million when he used an illegal technique called “edge sorting” to gain an unfair advantage during his game of Baccarat. The casino realized what Ivey did and filed a lawsuit stating that Ivey had not won the $12.5 million fairly.
Ivey filed a counter lawsuit in 2013 stating that while he indeed using a technique called “edge sorting” it was not an illegal technique but rather a skill that a professional gambler takes years to develop. Ivey filed a lawsuit against the Crockfords casino stating that his reputation was far more important than the amount of money. The WSOP describers Phil Ivey as arguably the great poker player of this generation and Ivey has won millions in career prize money including 10 WSOP bracelets.
When Ivey won at Crockfords, his winnings were not given to him in person but a promise was made to transfer his prize money. Once Crockfords established that Ivey had manipulated the game, they refused to transfer the money and instead filed a lawsuit against him. Ivey had his $1.5 deposit refunded but his winnings were withheld. Furious with Crockfords and the way he was treated, Ivey approached the courts for a verdict.
The judge who presided over the case said that it all came down to a simple question. Did Ivey cheat the casino and was there sufficient evidence to prove this. Based on evidence and witnesses, the judge concluded that Ivey did manipulate the croupier to deal cards in such a way that gave Ivey and unfair advantage, thereby helping him to win these large sums of money. The judge there ruled in favor of Crockfords and the casino does not have to pay Ivey any money based on the ruling.
Ivey also has another lawsuit pending of a similar nature, filed by a casino in Atlantic city. In a statement, Ivey said
I am 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. I believe that what we did was a legitimate strategy and we did nothing more than exploit Crockfords’ failures to take proper steps to protect themselves against a player of my ability. I am pleased that the judge acknowledged in court that I was a truthful witness