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During my weekly poker home game, the topic turned to Phil Ivey and the lawsuit brought against him by the Borgata regarding edge sorting.

A U.S. judge recently refused to dismiss the case, ruling that proceedings will move forward toward an eventual trial. As most are aware, this is the second such lawsuit involving Ivey winning millions of dollars at baccarat. The first was at Crockfords Casino in the UK, where Ivey lost as the plaintiff.

The Borgata case differs, in that Ivey is the defendant and already collected his winnings.

Learning to Grind the Baccarat Tables

With empty beer cans piling up around him, Jerry, my friend and poker buddy, offered his analysis:

“Forget Ivey Poker,” he said. “That edge sorting seems more lucrative. If Ivey started a coaching and training website that would teach players how to play better baccarat, I would sign up in a minute.”


This brought a round of laughter from all the players in attendance. We collectively wondered if such a website were possible.

“Of course it is,“ Jerry insisted. “It would have a three-tiered subscription package. It would be complete with videos designed for beginners, intermediate players and high rollers in which the finer points of getting an edge while playing house-banked casino card games can be learned.”

While our laughter continued, it was quickly pointed out to Jerry that only high rollers can make the demands at a casino table that Ivey made in order to gain an advantage.

“You can’t run before you walk,” Jerry exclaimed, popping open another beer. “A lot of poker players don’t know s**t about baccarat. You’d have to teach them the basics first, before getting into high roller edge sorting action at the baccarat table.”


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We all wondered who, other than Ivey himself, would sign on as a Team Ivey Edge Sorting Pro in order to serve as instructors in the training videos.

“Well you can start with the chick who was with Ivey at Crockfords and Borgata,” Jerry surmised. “She’s apparently an expert at the craft. Then after other players learn how to edge sort and make big bucks, they can join the Ivey League of edge sorters.”

While hands were won and lost and the beers kept flowing, the discussion turned to the fact that Ivey lost the first case and may suffer the same result in New Jersey. Potential players won’t sign on at the website if they are not sure about collecting their money from the casino, it was stated to Jerry.

“He’s gonna win,” Jerry said adamantly. “He should have won at Crockford’s. Ivey did nothing wrong in either case. The casinos complied with his requests. It’s that simple.”

A debate ensued as to whether it really was that simple. Although none of us has a law degree, the general consensus among everyone except Jerry was that the Borgata has a good case considering that the casino attorneys are pointing to the Crockford’s decision as part of their argument.

As the evening came to an end and, as usual, Jerry had more empty beer cans in front of him than poker chips, he was asked if he wanted to make a wager as to the outcome of the Ivey edge sorting case. He was hesitant about putting up cash to back his claims, but stubbornly insisted that Ivey would prevail.

“You wait and see,” Jerry said. “Ivey will win in Jersey and appeal in the UK. It will prove that my idea for is a great one!”

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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.