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Awkwafina To Play Poker Pro Phil Ivey's Baccarat Partner In Upcoming Movie

Nora Lum Will Play The Lead Role In SK Global's "The Baccarat Machine"

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Actress and comedian Nora Lum, more commonly known by her stage name “Awkwafina,” will play the lead role of Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun in the movie The Baccarat Machine, according to a report from the Hollywood Reporter.

Sun made headlines after partnering with 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Ivey in a baccarat scheme. The duo used a technique known as ‘edge sorting’ that allowed the pair to spot and distinguish manufacturing defects in the cards that gave the gamblers an edge over the house.

In 2012, Ivey and Sun used the technique to beat Atlantic City’s Borgata casino for $9.6 million and London’s Crockfords casino for another £7.8 million. Crockfords ultimately wouldn’t pay out the seven-figure sum and Borgata is still in a nearly decade-long legal battle with the poker pro for several years in an attempt to recoup the money.

Lum has starred in The Farewell, Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8 and has her own television show on Comedy Central titled “Awkwafina is Nora From Queens.”

The movie is based on Michael Kaplan’s article “The Baccarat Machine” which chronicled Sun’s life as major casinos worked to keep her out of their properties because of her edge sorting talents and how she eventually teamed up with Ivey to go on one of the most famous gambling runs of all time.

While most of the world has heard of Ivey and knows his story, the film will Sun will be the main character. The project will be produced and financed by SK Global, the same firm that was behind Moneyball, Crazy Rich Asians and Jesus Rolls.

SK Global announced plans for the movie in February of 2019. It has not been announced who will play Ivey or if the film will keep Ivey’s name in the script.

Ivey cashed in four events at the 2019 WSOP, but his winnings were confiscated by the Borgata following his eighth-place finish in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship. The development makes it unlikely Ivey plays another tournament on American soil until the legal skirmish with the New Jersey casino is settled.

Dan Cates and Illya Trincher claimed to back Ivey in those events and sued for their share of Ivey’s confiscated winnings.