Phil Ivey Files Countersuit Versus Borgata

6 years ago
Playing cards in question apparently destroyed
25 Jul

The edge sorting case between Phil Ivey and the Borgata Casino became a bit more interesting as the 10-time WSOP champ re-raised the Atlantic City casino, filing a countersuit requesting dismissal of the complaint and compensation for damages.

Among the allegations cited in the counterclaim prepared by Ivey's attorneys is a charge of "spoilation of evidence" due to the apparent destruction of the actual Gemaco playing cards used by the casino when Ivey and co-defendant Cheng Yin Sun took the Borgata for more than $9 million over numerous playing sessions at the baccarat tables in 2012. Ivey claims that the ability to adequately prepare his defense is diminished without the playing cards available to be entered as evidence, ESPN reported.

Additionally, Ivey alleges that Borgata was well aware "that card backs such as Gemaco's purple Gem back design was routinely and consistently produced with minor and acceptable design variances" despite inspection and approval from state gaming regulators.

Ivey lost a similar case in London that he initiated as the plaintiff when Crockford's Casino wouldn't pay $12 million in winnings after crying foul over the tactics used by Ivey and Sun, a reputed edge sorting pro. That case is not yet over, however, as Ivey was granted an appeal that will be heard later this year.

The Borgata case differs in that the New Jersey casino already paid Ivey his winnings and are now trying to recoup their losses as the plaintiff.

The successful edge sorting strategy of Ivey and Sun relied on the granting of special conditions, such as a private table, a Mandarin-speaking dealer, and the use of purple Gemaco playing cards. Sun instructed the dealer to turn cards certain ways to expose any design flaws on the back, essentially permitting her and Ivey to know the values of some of the cards by reading the back after having seen the fronts previously.

Counterclaims are common in civil suits, as lawyers for defendants typically pull out all the stops in attempting to swat away the allegations against their clients. If the actual playing cards utilized when Ivey and Sun won almost $10 million from the Borgata were indeed destroyed, it would certainly seem to bode well for the defendants.

It's up to the judge to decide.

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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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