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Phil Ivey Claims Edge Sorting Requires Skill

With 10 WSOP titles to his name, no one is disputing the skill of Phil Ivey when it comes to playing poker. But his lawyers are asking a New Jersey court to also consider edge sorting at baccarat as another skill attributable to the poker pro.

The latest court filing in the Borgata Casino’s case against Ivey in which the casino claims that Ivey used an unfair advantage to win $9.6 million at the baccarat tables was a Motion to Dismiss filed by his attorneys, AP reported. Ivey’s counsel found fault with Plaintiff’s claims in three distinct ways.

The motion for dismissal contends that Ivey did nothing that would fall under the definition of cheating, that time has run out for the casino to recoup lost money beyond a six-month window, and that alleged violations of New Jersey’s casino regulations must be made by state regulators and not casinos.

Each and every penny of defendants’ winnings was the result of sheer skill,” stated the motion.

The legal dispute centers around Ivey’s nearly $10 million in winnings collected while playing baccarat four times at Atlantic City Borgata in 2012. Ivey and a female associate persuaded baccarat dealers to flip various desirable cards a certain way and place them back into the deck after noticing defective patterns on the back of the playing cards.

The dealers were also instructed to use a machine to shuffle the cards to ensure that once the card denominations were known and returned to the deck, Ivey and his companion could easily determine the approximate value of the cards merely by looking at the defects on the back.

The Borgata filed a lawsuit in April aiming to recoup the money it paid Ivey under the belief that he and his cohort were using an unfair advantage and cheating. Ivey is also at legal loggerheads with a London casino in a similar case where the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner filed suit as the plaintiff. In the latter legal fracas, the casino refused to pay Ivey almost $12 million in winnings after determining how he managed to win.

Motions to Dismiss are standard filings in civil matters in which the defense aims to have the case thrown out without progressing further. The plaintiff has a specific period of time to respond to the motion and generally attacks the claims made by the defendant in asking the court for dismissal.

Ivey, of course, is currently in Las Vegas for the 45th running of the World Series of Poker. He recently won the WSOP $1,500 Eight Game Mix event for $167,332, putting him in elite company among four players who have at least ten WSOP titles. Phil Hellmuth leads the pack with 13, while Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Ivey all have 10.


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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.