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It didn’t take long for Borgata’s legal team to try and take advantage of an England High Court ruling against Phil Ivey. According to, Borgata attorneys have petitioned a U.S. District Court to apply the High Court’s ruling to their case against the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner.

Last week, England’s High Court determined that Phil Ivey cheated on his way to winning over $12 million in punto banco, a form of baccarat. On Monday, attorneys filed a three-page brief that shared this ruling in U.S. District Court in New Jersey and asked that the judge use that judgment to reinforce their claim that edge sorting is cheating.

Facts Nearly Mirror Crockford’s Case

In the Crockford’s case earlier this month, Phil Ivey was attempting to have the casino pay over $12 million in winnings he racked up playing punto banco. Ivey argued that edge sorting was a legitimate strategy and that he was an “advantage” player in using this strategy against the casino.

The High Court judge ruled that Ivey’s actions constituted cheating under common law primarily because he used the croupier as his tool during the game. According to testimony, Ivey and his accomplice had detected a flaw on the back of playing cards and then instructed the croupier to deal the cards in such a way that they could expose this flaw.

Borgata is contending that the facts in their case are primarily the same except for the fact that Ivey is the defendant this time around. Ivey is being sued for over $9.6 million in winnings following several winning sessions at the Borgata in 2012.

Prior to these sessions, Ivey’s associates made several requests from the casino that included using the same type of cards that were known to have the printing flaws they used to run their system. These demands were made under the ruse that Ivey was “superstitious.”

Attorneys Argue High Court Ruling Should Apply to Case


Borgata attorneys were quick to point out in their filing that the judge ruled edge sorting as cheating, but perhaps a more important point was that the determination was made based on “common law” and not that of England’s Gambling Act of 2005. Attorneys called the ruling “instructive” because it directly addressed the issue of whether edge sorting was indeed legitimate gaming strategy.

The attorneys further contend that they are not attempting to enforce New Jersey’s Casino Control Act. Instead, they believe that the English ruling should carry over to their case since it has already been litigated.

Ultimately, the Borgata attorneys are seeking that,


“First, ….. this Court should extend comity to the judgment of the High Court of Justice.”


“Second, the scope of the English judgment’s collateral estoppel effect, whether viewed under federal law, New Jersey state law, or English law, should preclude Ivey from re-litigating the issue of whether ‘edge sorting’ is fair play.”


“Since the issue has already been fully and fairly litigated by Ivey, and since the issue was integral to the English Court’s judgment, Plaintiff would be entitled to judgment on the pleadings against Ivey, at the very least, on Count I of the Amended Complaint.”


Poker Players and Industry Professionals Continue to Rally Around Ivey


Poker players have been rallying behind Ivey since last week’s decision. Doyle Brunson tweeted what was the sentiment of most following the case:

“Ivey could have lost and would have to pay. That’s bull chit, he had an advantage, not a lock.”

Others are arguing that the casinos are liable to make sure that someone is unable to take advantage against them and should have absorbed the losses.

The question now is whether a judge will agree with the poker community or sode with the casino. This case is far from over as it is certain that the loser, regardless of side, will appeal.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.