How do you beat Phil Ivey? Take him to court. Ivey has been running stone cold in a pair of cases revolving around his use of edge sorting while playing Baccarat and the latest ruling is going to cost him dearly.
According to the Associated Press, a federal judge has ruled that Ivey and companion Cheung Yin Sun must repay $10.1 million to the Borgata Casino & Spa after violating their casino contract on four occasions in 2012.
Borgata Gets Ivey’s Winnings But That’s All
If there is a positive to be found in this ruling, it is the fact that the final judgment was more than $5 million less than requested by the Borgata. Borgata not only attempted to recoup their winnings but also comps and potential losses to the casino by Ivey had he not employed edge sorting.
The method by which the Borgata came to their $15.5 million claim was deemed too speculative. Instead, the judge ordered that Ivey repay his winnings at Baccarat along with some craps earnings that were spun from his big scores.
U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman said that the case was about, “voiding a contract that was tainted from the beginning and breached as soon as it was executed.”
Ivey Will Appeal
Unsurprisingly, Ivey will appeal this ruling. Ivey’s attorney stated that. “What this ruling says is a player is prohibited from combining his skill and intellect and visual acuity to beat the casino at its own game. The casino agreed to every single accommodation requested by Phil Ivey in his four visits because they were eager to try to win his money.”
It is Hard to See a Scenario Where Ivey Comes Out Victorious
At this point, it is difficult to envision a scenario where Ivey will come out victorious in his case with Borgata. While everyone is focusing on whether Ivey was or was not an “advantage player,” the courts are looking at whether Ivey violated his casino contract.
Ivey argued that he was simply taking advantage of the defects on the card and that anyone playing the game could have noticed the defects and bet accordingly. That said, would a normal player ask the dealer to manipulate the cards so that they can see them better?
The courts in New Jersey are not arguing whether Ivey cheated at Baccarat but instead are arguing whether Ivey abode by the Casino Control Act. Getting the courts to rule that his actions did not violate the CCA is going to be difficult. Ivey will appeal and will likely be forced to pay up.