Publish: 21.02.2017

Phil Ivey, the two-time Baccarat offender

The Tiger Woods of Poker, in trouble with Borgata

phil-iveyKnown for his unquestionable achievements in the Poker world, Phil Ivey, the Tiger Woods of Poker remains in the media limelight with his legal battle against Atlantic City’s Borgata.

Baccarat at Borgata                             

The high roller has been involved in what Borgata is claiming to be the biggest baccarat scandal in casino history and the two have been embroiled in a long four-year legal battle. The amount being disputed in the Borgata case is $9.6 million, which Ivey won playing baccarat a few years back.

Ivey walked out with the winnings, but once the Borgata realized that he had used edge sorting, the technique of exploiting discrepancies on the cards’ backs to make better decisions, they lawyered up and took the matter to the court. The ongoing legal battle has seen both parties present their arguments, with Ivey never denying he used the technique, but adamantly refusing to recognize edge sorting as cheating.

UK Judge ruled against Ivey

Ivey was involved in yet another identical case with Crockfords Casino in the UK. In this particular instance, the high roller was denied his winnings out right for
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a type of Baccarat casino game and when he tried to retrieve them at court, the judge decided Ivey’s actions constituted cheating, and his request was denied.

Not so with the Borgata incident, where the jury is still out, wondering if a Casino player having the edge in this way, excuse the pun, can really constitute cheating. A federal judge has ruled that no fraud has been committed although Ivey did breach his contract with the casino contract.

Play with fire and you may get burned

The question remains, whether what Ivey did could be consider illegal rather than unethical. Phil Ivey and the casino negotiated a list of terms and the Borgata failed to adequately protect themselves against one of the best card players, ever.  It’s hard to feel sorry for the Casino, although to say that a scam was present is a hard argument to make.