The Phil Ivey edge-sorting case which dominated the gambling headlines over the past year or so has spilled over into a court battle between the Borgata casino and the card manufacturers who supplied the cards which Ivey insisted on using during his $multi-million baccarat wins.
Borgata are seeking $10.1million in damages from Gemaco, the company which produces the cards used in the contentious cases dating back to 2012 – having already won their court case against Ivey and playing partner Cheng Ying Sun when the court decreed that the players had breached their contract with the casino.
Gemaco claimed this month in a 61-page filing that their 2011 contract with Borgata specifically excludes ‘any liability for gaming losses’ and argue that the casino are not entitled to ‘double recovery’.
The case centres around the design imperfections on the reverse of the cards, Gemaco’s legal team stating: ‘It is well known by the Borgata and the casino industry in general that playing cards are not perfectly cut and that there are asymmetrical patterns that can exist on the backs of cards.’
Gemaco add that: “These cards, even with asymmetrical patterns, are acceptable and used every day in regular casino gaming without any issues.”
Borgata dispute this, citing New Jersey gaming regulations as well as denying that the casino industry at large accepts the argument that imperfections are part and parcel of the card industry.
According to Gemaco, Ivey’s partner in the winning baccarat sessions, Cheng Ying Sun, has ‘confirmed that she can identify imperfections with any cards, regardless of who manufactures them. She testified that the card manufacturer is irrelevant and that she is able to gain an advantage with any card and can pick up imperfections in almost all instances.’
Ivey’s demands when playing included ‘one 8-deck shoe of purple Gemaco Borgata playing cards to be used for the entirety of each session of play’, with Gemaco stating in their filing that the duo’s winnings were the result of ‘the combination of Sun’s remarkable mental acumen and the card dealers turning the cards’.
As Cardplayer.com pointed out this week, ‘a New Jersey detective investigating the edge sorting wanted to file criminal charges against Ivey because he viewed the cards used as being ‘marked’, but was ‘instructed to leave that decision to the New Jersey Attorney General’s office in the Ivey case. Despite Detective Koch’s efforts, the Attorney General declined to charge.’
The most recent court documents claim that Ivey attempted to use his edge-sorting technique not only in the well-documented cases involving the Borgata and London’s Crockfords Casino, but also in Australia and Canada.
Ivey himself has been missing from the poker scene of late, mainly due to these long-running court cases, but re-appeared this week in Beijing for a promotional event supporting a new Chinese poker app.