Ivey Gets Another Shot at the Crockford Pot

2 years ago
Phil Ivey Another Shot Appeal Crockford Casino
15:57
01 Dec

Phil Ivey’s long-running legal case with London’s Crockford Casino in Mayfair has taken a new twist this week, with Ivey being given leave to appeal after a judicial ruling stated that his £7.8million ($12million) case raises an important question of law and has “a real prospect of success”.

‘This is really great news,” said Ivey in an interview following the decision. “I am getting a second shot and I’m hoping we will win this time around.’


The lurid case has seen accusations of ‘cheating’ by the casino who refused to honour the huge wins which Ivey landed playing the baccarat format, punto banco, back in 2012.

Ivey in his defence claimed ‘It is not in my nature to cheat, which is why I was so bitterly disappointed by the judge’s decision a year ago, even though he said I was a truthful witness.’

Shortly after a court ruled against Ivey in September last year, Ivey’s lawyer, Matthew Dowd of Archerfield Partners, stated, "Phil is seeking to appeal the decision on the basis that the Judge was incorrect in both fact and law to conclude that ‘edge sorting’ was cheating.”


Edge-sorting, which Ivey claimed in court is a legitimate approach to the game and not cheating, involves a player paying close attention to the discrepancies which occur in the patterns on the back of certain makes of playing cards.

He also used the technique at the Borgata in 2009, winning $9million, in a case which is also still ongoing. As reported here on PokerTube, 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.


Speaking of the court cases, Ivey explained,

When you are a professional gambler you are always looking for ways to gain an advantage over the casino. It’s their job to prevent me from having any advantage. Sometimes I come out on top, sometimes they do.

Genting Casinos, the owners of the Crockford Casino, dispute Ivey’s view on edge-sorting as being legitimate, reportedly arguing instead that their “croupier was tricked into helping the gambler after he pretended to be superstitious. He convinced staff to let him play repeatedly with a single pack of ‘lucky’ cards that had a pattern suited to edge sorting.”

In both cases Ivey was aided at the punto banco tables by well-known edge-sorter Cheng Yin Sun, who apparently took most of the major decisions related to the cards.

Ivey and Sun had made special requests before their visits to both Crockford’s and the Borgata which included a specific make of cards –Gemaco’s purple gem-backed design – a card-shuffling machine and specific instructions on how the cards should be displayed.

Of the current Crockford’s case, Ivey stated after his winning spree: “It was all pretty amicable, but after a few days the money hadn’t turned up.

Speaking to the MailOnline yesterday, the poker star, reputed to be worth over $100million, said: ‘When you’re accused of cheating it’s a very big deal in gambling. I’m not allowed in certain casinos because of what happened. But my colleagues have been tremendously supportive – they know what is cheating and what is not.”

The Appeal Court date of December 10th will see Ivey’s lawyers argue that because last year’s judge found that he was “a truthful witness," and that since cheating involves being the opposite, his appeal should stand.


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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