Poker Pro Phil Ivey is widely regarded as one of the top poker players of all time having won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets. Ivey and his playing partner Cheung Yin Sun had two lawsuits filed against them by the Borgata Casino in New Jersey and the Crockford Casino in London, England.
Both lawsuits alleged that Ivey and his partner used ‘edge sorting’ a technique that is used to count cards and considered illegal in casinos. The Crockford casino refused to pay Ivey and his partner the £7.8 million pounds that was won during 2012 stating that he had cheated and hence the money belonged to the casino.
Ivey fought the case and after a long legal battle the UK court determined that Ivey was guilty and ruled in favor of the casino.
Below is a interview with Phil Ivey published last year for Showtime : 60 Minutes Sports
Ivey was extremely disappointed with the ruling stating that he had never cheated in his life and would not do anything to jeopardize his reputation in the poker community. Ivey decided to oppose the ruling and filed an appeal stating that the money belonged to him and he was not willing to let the casino get away so easily. The UK Court of Appeal recently decided to give Ivey an appeal and now a court hearing has been scheduled for Ivey on the 10th of December for him to appeal the initial ruling.
In a statement, Ivey said
As I said at the time of the London verdict last October, it is not in my nature to cheat which is why I was so bitterly disappointed by the judge’s decision a year ago, even though he said that I was a truthful witness and that he was sure that I didn’t believe that what I was doing was cheating. This wording from the Court of Appeal, that the grounds of our appeal raise an important question of law and have real prospects of success is quite simply the best news I’ve had since I won the £7.8m at Crockfords over three years ago in August 2012.
Ivey and his partner admit to noticing manufacturing defects on the set of playing cards but maintain that they never tampered with the cards in any form. They used these manufacturing defects to their advantage and state that only a poker player with a highly developed skill-set would be able to do what they did and hence their winnings must be awarded fully to them.