Phil Ivey, the multi-millionaire Poker champ, is considered by most to be the Tiger Woods of Poker. However numerous gambling sites see him as nothing more than a common cheat. Ivey is involved in a court case with Crockfords, a London casino. He is suing the gaming site for withholding a £7.3 million payout from two years ago. The casino also accuses him of card reading. It also appears that Ivey is facing similar legal issues with an American-based casino.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City wants Ivey to return £5.9 million of the winnings They claim that he won the money by cheating.
Both casinos accuse the 38-year-old of ‘edge sorting’ a technique which they view as cheating, however, Ivey disagrees with the accusation. His lawyer was recently quoted in the Daily Mail refusing that his client is a cheat, saying that “each and every penny was the result of sheer skill”.
But what is edge sorting? It is when players guess the face value of a card by studying and then spotting slight flaws on the back and edges of the cards. This is a form of ‘advantage gambling’ that helps players gain a great advantage against the casino. Thia is because they are able to tell between cards and adjust their betting accordingly. Most gamblers who consider themselves ‘advantage players’, something that – according to the Daily Mail – Ivey admits to doing, argue that this is a real and legal skill. The casinos, however, see it differently.
Phil Ivey More on His Case
The September 2014 court battle between Ivey and Crockfords is the biggest in casino history and could well set a precedent for future disputes of this kind. The Daily Mail reports that the Mayfair-based Crockfords alleges Ivey “acted to defeat the essential premise of the game [and] operated a scam.” Ivey goes on to say that the casino is aware of how edge sorting works and the impetus is on them to ensure players are unable to play that kind of game. The same newspaper went on to say that he claims casinos often agree to advantage players’ requests to ensure that they continue to play at their establishments – a claim, that if true, suggests both Crockfords and Borgata are not the victims of a scam as they suggest.
The outcome of Ivey’s legal wrangles is of great interest to all in the gambling industry and should cause all sites to check their cards when a skilled player like Ivey is in the house.