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Phil Ivey Admits To Noticing Flaws In Cards At Crockfords En Route To $12.1 Million Win

Poker Pro Still Suing Casino For Withholding His Winnings

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Professional gambler Phil Ivey has admitted to playing with an unusual advantage in a game of punto banco at a London casino last year. Ivey took the property for $12.1 million, but it refused to pay after suspecting something shady had happened.

The Daily Mail reported Saturday that court documents show Ivey has said he was able to read the cards, but maintains that it was the casino’s fault for allowing the opportunity to arise and that what he did isn’t considered cheating. He still wants his money.

The flaws in the cards reportedly occurred during the manufacturing process. Ivey and a Chinese woman who he was playing with reportedly never touched the cards. Ivey’s companion reportedly was able to notice the flaws in the cards and alerted Ivey.

Court documents of Ivey’s claim state:

“During the second session on August 20 [Mr Ivey] made various requests for decks of cards to be changed at the end of hands with which [Crockfords] chose to comply.

This continued until Kelly [Ivey’s companion] identified a deck or decks of cards where the pattern on the reverse side of the cards was asymmetrical."

Ivey was betting £50,000 a hand at first, before asking the casino to raise the maximum bet to £150,000. The casino did refund his initial £1 million stake.

In May, Ivey released a statement when it was announced that he would be seeking legal action against Britain’s oldest casino, which is owned by Maylasian gaming firm Genting.

“I am deeply saddened that Crockfords has left me no alternative but to proceed with legal action, following its decision to withhold my winnings,” Ivey said. “I have much respect for Gentings, which has made this a very difficult decision for me. Over the years I have won and lost substantial sums at Crockfords and I have always honoured my commitments. At the time, I was given a receipt for my winnings but Crockfords subsequently withheld payment. I, therefore, feel I have no alternative but to take legal action.”

Ivey, a nine-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, has won more than $30 million from live tournaments and online poker during his illustrious career.

Punto banco is a form of baccarat.

 
 
Tags: Phil Ivey,   Casino,   Crockfords
 
 

Comments

Fl_Skygod
10 months ago

I do not know the game of punto banco, but, let's imagine for a moment that the ability to "read" defective cards gave equal advantage to the house OR to players, as Mr. Ivey admits it did him; Would Phil be so sadly committed to the principle of 'it isn't cheating' and pay up if an attentive dealer admitted to using such an edge in taking him for 12.1 million? No. He sure as shit would consider it cheating then. The Casino has done the straight-up thing and refunded his million dollar stake, despite his admitted angle-shooting. His lawsuit is despicable.

 
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Casey2
10 months ago

Except you don't play against a dealer. Your playing against the house. The dealer/house would gain no advantage from these cards so your point is moot.

 
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rmcjacket23
10 months ago

While I agree for the most part that if the reverse would true, Ivey would consider himself to have been "cheated", this is certainly the type of lawsuit that Ivey could win easily, although we all know this is going to get settled out of court for an unspecified amount.

The reality is... Ivey didn't violate any game rules or violate any casino rules that weren't already authorized by the casino. And since the casino is inherently liable for any manufacturing defects in any of its products, if the case were to actually go to a judge, he would rule in Ivey's favor in almost all cases.

But again, this is all moot.

 
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Serge2
10 months ago

In either scenario, it's the casino's fault. Not really sure what you're trying to argue here. Besides which, you're talking about a hypothetical scenario, not what actually happened.

 
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Brad10
10 months ago

It's the casinos fault, the'll lose in court... If they were smart the should just pay up, to avoid the legal fees and bad press

 
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John25
10 months ago

Phil Ivey should pay for Daniel Negreanu's new hair plugs

 
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Peter14
10 months ago

Well, I'm still waiting for my Full Tilt refund.

 
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Diego4
10 months ago

very clever indeed...He see's what other people can't..however...his greed has no limits...and he should be on the "we dont need this guy in the world" list...full tilt of shi.te!

 
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Fl_Skygod
10 months ago

Let me be more blunt. Strictly speaking, Ivey may have a point that he did nothing "illegal". It was still cheating, as he admits to having an advantage over the game(that he then took obscene advantage of). Legal and moral are not the same. From a moral point of view, his actions are despicable. If I go to my ATM and request 40 dollars and the machine receipt says 40 and the machine malfunctions and gives me 4 million, I am wrong to take money which is not mine. It's that simple. He took 12+ million!

 
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Bryce
10 months ago

Let me be even more blunt-----You're an idiot! Any one who would side with the casino in this situation is either a total frickin imbecile, or they have some kind of stake in the game. i.e. casino shareholder, or partial owner of 1 etc. You seriously
thinkhim noticing a flaw in the manufaturing process of the cards that the casino didn't,that he then was able to take sadvantage of is cheating? seriously?---that's no different than all the technigues they (the casinos) use to screw us out of every dime they can every second we're in their establishments! It'd be like some one telling another at the poker table their tells while still playing at the final table of the wsop main event. You whining about him cheating is as laughable as all the techniques the casinos use to get our money. I love all these posts that use the word "ethically", as if any casino in the world is"ethical". No way they'd return any of his money or we would even know about this were the situation reversed and they'd been the ones with the card reading advantage which resulted in they being 12 mil richer! No frickin way! Could you be any more ridiculously hypocritical?

 
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Fl_Skygod
10 months ago

Even if being brought up right wasn't enough to know Phil's actions were cheating, I would still know, because I own a dictionary. Your analogy of tells is totally inappropriate. Tells are an integral part of the game and everyone knows it equally. If you really believe that casinos are unethical, the solution couldn't be simpler, stop going into them. Using that claim to rationalize cheating is disingenuous.

 
 

oliveras19
10 months ago

If you go to an atm machine and request $40 but the machine gives you $400 and you keep the $400 then technically that would be a crime. Remember you are on candid camera and the transaction is timed with the camera. The same applies to a window teller situation.

I perform many depositions and defend many criminal defendants.

Why would Ivey admit to a prejudicial fact against him (i.e. that he knew about the defective cards and that he used such information to play against the casino) if the casino has no knowledge of the prejudicial fact and/or if the casino does not know that Ivey knew about the defective cards? It may be that Ivey knows that the casino got to Kelly and she spilled the beans against him. So now he is admitting under oath to a middle of the road position rather than deny everyting outright which might be considered to be perjury. The key to Ivey's lawsuit one way or the other is what Kelly testified to under oath at her own deposition. Since there are no absolutes in life the parties will probably settle this matter in secret and the casino will pay Ivey 50% of the monetary demand.

 
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Dan9
10 months ago

Um people THE CASINO SCREWED UP! If I'm playing poker against others and I notice a flaw in the cards and use that to my advantage and it gets noticed later, do I have to return the money to the others? no. And the casino wouldn't do anything about that either. However when its their money its a different story. Ethically is it the right thing to do to alert the casino of the faulty cards, yes. But still its the casino who screwed up. You can't reneg on a bet because you didn't realize you had faulty cards. I bet is a bet and just because you didn't notice it, well that's your fault casino. Pay your bet you owe and chalk it up as an expensive lesson learned. I think the fact that the casino wont honor its bets is despicable, not Ivey's actions.

 
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Mr. Honest
10 months ago

I think in the end its cheating. However its not breaking a law and comes down to individual choice. If the casino took 12 million from Ivey and realized after he left that the cards were tainted. Would they try to contact him (definitely has his info) to give the 12 mil back? Im not to sure about that one.

 
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pokertruth
10 months ago

It makes no sense for Ivey to make such a material admission against his own interest unless Ivey knows that the casino has even more prejudicial evidence against him.
For example Ivey may know that Kelly spilled some beans against him and now he is covering for himself.
In the long run if Ivey does not have an airtight claim and if the casino does not have an airtight defense then the parties will most likely secretly settle for about one-half the claim.
It also depends on the attitude of the British jury. A jury might prefer that the money stay in Britain. Both lawyers in the case have to take the jury factor into account.

 
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Michael58
10 months ago

The casino is responsible for the condition and quality of the cards used in it's games. If Phil noticed a defect, he is not required to notify the casino. As far as I'm concerned, the casino should pay out the money. Now...I would also say the casino should turn around and sue the card manufacturer, since it was their faulty cards that cause their loss in revenue, assuming the card manufacturer provides some sort of quality guarantee.

 
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AceupmySlv
10 months ago

Forget about whether or not it is cheating or what is ethical etc. No matter what anyone says in a post, I doubt anyone would bring it to the attention of the casino if they noticed a defect in cards or even a betting pattern at a slot machine that caused it to pay out more than it should. Like someone else said, you would not bring someone's tell to their attention why playing them in a high stakes poker hand/match and they would essentially be the 'house' in that situation since they are the one paying for your profit.

The problem with Ivey is that he took it too far and got greedy. If he just skimmed off a mil or two and called it quits at that point, he would have probably walked with none of this coming up. Or if he got up a few mil and then alerted the casino to the defect he 'just noticed', played a little longer and gave back some winnings, and then left up a few mil, the casino would have had to pay him as they could not determine when he actually noticed the defect and if he had taken advantage of it or not up to that point.

With that said, the Casino should give Ivey a choice. Either get paid his money and be barred from any of their owned establishments for life (which is perfectly legal of course), or get paid back his initial buy in or maybe even 1.5 times his initial buy in and move forward from there. I am almost 100% positive the casino has some sort of Errors and Omissions insurance or something similar to recoup a good amount of these losses due to the defective cards. Their premiums would go up and/or they would take the entire 12mil hit and that is why they chose to take this stance.

 
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Chauncey
10 months ago

#1 there was no function of the cards that were dysfunctional. Ivey asked the Pit Boss to make sure the Dealers would turn the cards at an edge he was doing this and noticed that when they checked them he could tell if they were face cards giving him a slight edge. Now the pit boss should have never allowed this but the pit boss thought it was superstitious and didn't matter. I would hold the pit boss and who ever else was in charge and hold them liable for whatever the losses were i doubt insurance would cover a personal error but ivey probably knew what he was doing was wrong in some matter he just found a moronic pit boss it would be the same if you found a dealer in a casino who was paying in correct odds .

 
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