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Judge: Poker Pro Phil Ivey Didn't Commit Fraud Against Borgata

Ruling Friday Doesn't Say Whether He'll Have To Pay Back Millions

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A federal judge on Friday ruled that poker legend Phil Ivey didn’t commit fraud against Borgata, but he did breach his contract with Atlantic City’s top grossing casino.

Ivey and playing partner Cheng Yin Sun won nearly $10 million from the casino in high-stakes baccarat sessions in 2012. The ruling didn’t say whether the two gamblers will have to return any of the money to the casino.

Borgata has 20 days to outline its damages from those sessions. Ivey and Sun were able to capitalize on manufacturing defects on the backs of the cards to gain a small but significant edge on the casino.

The two never touched the cards, but the “edge sorting” technique is controversial. Ivey has maintained that it wasn’t cheating.

There were no criminal charges stemming from the sessions.

The breach of contract comes from the judge ruling that Ivey and Sun violated New Jersey gambling regulations by getting the upper hand in a game that is supposed to have a house advantage.

“The odds will be set up to benefit the ‘house,’ and the state will tax the revenue,” the judge wrote in his 30-page ruling. "In short, and by design, over time every gambler who plays against the house will eventually bet—and lose—more than they win. Of course, some games allow for more skill than others and there is always lady luck. But the principle that the odds are against you is literally true and eventually wins out. This is something every gambler knows.”

U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman added: “Even though Ivey and Sun’s cunning and skill did not break the rules of baccarat, what sets Ivey and Sun’s actions apart from deceitful maneuvers in other games is that those maneuvers broke the rules of gambling as defined in this state.”

After Borgata submits a proposed form of judgement, Ivey and Sun will have 20 days to file a response.

Ivey has won 10 World Series of Poker tournaments and should be a lock for the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017, after he turns 40 years old.

A similar edge sorting case in London went against Ivey and Sun. The two are appealing the ruling that said Crockfords Casino could keep the pair’s £7.8 million in winnings.

 
 
 
 

Comments

PATENTATTORNEY2
almost 4 years ago

BORGATA WILL MAKE A WRITTEN DEMAND FOR A CERTAIN AMOUNT. IVEY'S LAWYERS WILL THEN RESPOND TO BORGATA'S CLAIMED AMOUNT. THEN THE PARTIES CAN ENTER INTO A SETTLEMENT FOR AN AGREED AMOUNT WITH ALL PARTIES WAIVING THEIR RIGHT TO APPEAL. OTHERWISE THE JUDGE WILL SET THE AMOUNT DUE FROM IVEY FROM WHICH IVEY AND/OR BORGATA CAN THEN APPEAL.

 
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Adam7
almost 4 years ago

The double standard is strong in the judges words.

 
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Leighton
almost 4 years ago

Seems fairly obvious, The only one liable here is the manufacturer of the playing cards…

 
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PATENTATTORNEY2
almost 4 years ago

THIS IS THE JUDGE'S DECISION: "Borgata’s contract-based claims are premised on the contention that when Ivey and Sun played Baccarat at Borgata, Borgata agreed to fulfill its obligations to provide a gaming experience in compliance with the New Jersey Casino Control Act (“CCA”), N.J.S.A. 5:12-1, et seq. (“CCA”), and Ivey and Sun agreed to play the game in compliance with the CCA. Because Borgata complied with the CCA, while Ivey and Sun did not, Ivey and Sun breached their agreement with Borgata."

 
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TandG21
almost 4 years ago

Pay the man HISSS money

 
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PATENTATTORNEY2
almost 4 years ago

IVEY WAS PAID FOR HIS WINNINGS A THAT TIME. BORGATA IS SUING TO GET THE MONEY BACK.

 
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StabbedInTheBack
almost 4 years ago

This doesn't sound good for Ivey, a big bundle of cash is about to land in Borgata casino i feel...HOUSE WINS

 
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shakhtar
almost 4 years ago

Another judge completely clueless about gambling. It's scary how many judges who couldn't pass basic statistics courses get to decide legalities of liberty of contract cases involving concepts they can't even comprehend. If that casino has one video poker machine that has over a 100% pay back with optimal play, it destroys his whole narrow minded definitions.

 
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Alisa1
almost 4 years ago

Why Ivey needed the cheat? He definitely knows how to play! I think WSOP needs a rule specifically addressing this issue. I like observing poker games, but I've never played with real people. I'm learning to play on-line on http://en.casinoz.me/ and probably I would stay with on-line games cos this statement " the house always wins" doesn't inspire me!

 
Reply
 

Alisa1
almost 4 years ago

Why Ivey needed the cheat? He definitely knows how to play! I think WSOP needs a rule specifically addressing this issue. I like observing poker games, but I've never played with real people. I'm learning to play on-line on http://en.casinoz.me/ and probably I would stay with on-line games cos this statement " the house always wins" doesn't inspire me!

 
Reply