Legal maneuvering continued in the edge sorting case between the Borgata Casino and Phil Ivey, as the poker pro’s legal team filed a new pleading last week that centered around how the casino gains advantages over gamblers.
It seems that Ivey’s attorneys want to depose a knowledgeable Borgata food and beverage manager in order to determine the length at which the casino will go to obtain an advantage over its customers, such as providing free alcohol. Not only will the casino ply its patrons with free food and drink, but the alcohol is brought to the gamblers by “scantilly-clad cocktail waitresses,” all as part of a method to “distract and impair” the judgment of those patrons, stated Ivey’s legal team.
Of course, the Borgata would rather not allow the food and beverage manager’s testimony to be allowed, as the truths revealed could be damaging to their case. So the two sides are fighting over the relevancy of such testimony. The decision ultimately rests with the judge, who may rule on the matter on the next court date, September 8.
Prettiest Waitresses in Town
While it’s common knowledge that the casino has an advantage over gamblers due to the structure and rules of the pit games, Ivey argues that the Borgata aims to gain an even greater edge due to its tactics. And part of that strategy is the attire and “friendliness” of the Borgata Babes, the collective title of the waitresses who apparently do a bit more than just serve drinks, according to Ivey.
In his deposition, Ivey stated that the casino will do “anything they can do to give themselves an advantage.” The 10-time WSOP gold bracelet winner added that “everyone knows that alcohol impairs your judgment, and they offer that and they have the pretty cocktail waitresses and they’re all very flirty. They’re talking to you, you know. I got quite a few [telephone] numbers.”
Also in the recently filed brief, it was learned through deposition testimony of a previous Borgata representative that there is a specific job description for the Borgata Babes. In addition to being polite and friendly with customers, the Borgata Babes are required to meet appearance standards designed to “add to the allure of the environment.”
Edge Sorting the Equalizer
While the casino has the house advantage and attempts to gain more of an edge by providing free food and drink via sexy Borgata Babes, Ivey used an edge sorting strategy. He certainly doesn’t deny that he read the Gemaco playing cards in use during numerous baccarat sessions in 2012 due to design imperfections on the back and won over $9 million by doing so.
But, his lawyers argue, that was done because both the casino and player are engaged in a battle and each employ their “own devices to gain an advantage over the other.” In other words, the Borgata was attempting to take advantage of Ivey in various ways, while he did the same via edge sorting.