Evidence Mucked in Phil Ivey Edge Sorting Case

5 years ago
Borgata confesses that playing cards are routinely disposed of
18 Aug

The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City wants Phil Ivey to pay back the $9.6 million he and co-defendant Cheng Yin Sun won by employing edge sorting tactics, but cannot produce the playing cards at the crux of the controversy.

In legal documents filed last week, the Borgata admitted that the eight decks of Gemaco playing cards used by the casino in 2012 when Ivey and Sun negated the house advantage and walked away from the baccarat tables as big winners are gone, the AP reported. The 10-time WSOP champ and his lady companion argued in a countersuit filed a few weeks ago that the lack of evidence is grounds for dismissal and the awarding of damages.

But the Borgata argued otherwise in its latest filing, admitting that playing cards used at the casino tables are either destroyed, given away, or sold as souvenirs in gift shops. That shouldn't preclude the case from moving forward, the plaintiff stated, as the casino was unaware of the edge sorting maneuvering of Ivey and Sun until after the fact.

The Borgata also confessed to knowing that sometimes decks of playing cards are not perfectly symmetrical with regard to the designs on the backs, but seemed willing to put the blame on New Jersey gaming regulators for allowing such playing cards to be put into play. The Borgata's own dealer assisted Ivey and Sun by placing cards in the automatic card shuffler a certain way as requested by the defendants, allowing the pair to know if cards favorable to their hands were about to be overturned as subsequent hands progressed.

As most PokerTube readers are aware, Ivey used his staus as a high roller to obtain several advantages not available to the typical riff-raff who play casino pit games. Requesting and receiving design-flawed Gemaco playing cards, a dealer fluent in the Mandarin language, and a private table complete with automatic card shuffler all played into Ivey's scheme that allowed he and Sun to read the backs of the playing cards.

Whether that scheme was cheating or a legitimate strategy awaits a judge's decision. A British judge ruled against Ivey in a similar case that the poker pro initiated when Crockford's Casino wouldn't pay him his winnings, but an appeal has since been granted and the mulligan allows Ivey to try again later this year.

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Charles is a Chicago native and long time poker player who dusted off his journalism degree and began writing about poker following the events of Black Friday in 2011. He has written for a number of leading poker websites, offering his insights and expertise on subjects ranging from online poker leg...Read more


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