Borgata's Case against Phil Ivey Proceeds to Court

5 years ago
Borgata's Case against Phil Ivey Proceeds to Court
23 Mar

Borgata's lawsuit against Phil Ivey has been allowed to proceed to court, the Pressofatlanticcity reported. After losing his legal battle against the Crockfords late last year, the high roller is now faced with another challenge, the only difference being that Ivey is playing the role of defendant in the current case.

The Atlantic City-based Borgata is suing the ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’ for the amount of $9.6 million, which they claim he won by using a technique known as edge sorting. It involves exploiting the defects on the back of playing cards, which allowed Ivey to gain a significant edge at the baccarat tables.

During a preliminary hearing earlier this month, JudgeNoel Hillman gave his approval for the case to move forward and Ivey will most likely have to fight his battle out in the open. The federal judge disregarded arguments by Ivey’s lawyers insisting that their client saw nothing more and nothing less than what any employee at the casino should have been able to see.

Hillman believes that Borgata’s case has merits and standing, as the casino presented plausible claims. Their claims against both Phil Ivey and Gemaco, the cards’ manufacturer, will proceed to the discovery phase and, depending on how things pan out, it could be put before a jury.

Ivey’s defense is not based on claims of innocence but rather on the claim that what he did does not constitute cheating, as he only used what the casino provided for the games. At no point was there any tampering with cards or any actual cheating taking place.

That approach did not bring much luck in the Crockfords case. Although JudgeMitting deemed Ivey to be a “truthful witness,” he established that the high roller had no legal claims to the money he won in August of 2012.

If the same logic is applied in the Borgata case, things don’t look too good for Ivey, as he could be on the line for nearly $10 million.

It seems that the notion of a freeroll doesn’t really get through to the judges. Whether it's because they don’t care or they simply don’t understand, we can only guess. When the facts of these cases were first made public, many felt that the casinos were, in fact, freerolling Ivey.

If Ivey lost, which was completely within the realm of possibilities, as he was by no means guaranteed to win despite the edge, they would simply keep the money. If, on the other hand, he won, they could claim cheating and still keep the money.

One big difference between the two cases is that Ivey is in possession of the money he won from Borgata in 2012. Had he not been paid, as was the case with Crockfords, the outcome would most likely be the same, but having ownership of the money should actually work in Ivey’s favor.

We will keep you posted as things move along.


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Ivan Potocki is the editor in chief and one of the lead news writers for PokerTube. His natural flair and enthusiasm for journalism combined with a deep poker knowledge make him an exciting contributor for PokerTube.The experience garnered playing poker professionally for several years and the knowl...Read more


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