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Poker Legend Phil Ivey Settles $10.1 Million Lawsuit With Borgata

More Than Six-Year Legal Battle Concludes With Undisclosed Agreement


The Phil Ivey-Borgata baccarat saga finally concluded last week after more than a six-year legal battle.

According to court documents filed July 2 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the two parties have come to an agreement on the $10.1 million that the 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner owed the Atlantic City casino.

The filing stated that after an oral argument on Sept. 17, 2019, the court referred the parties to the court’s mediation program where an agreement was reached. Predictably, the details were not disclosed.

The battle in the courtrooms stemmed from several epic high-stakes baccarat sessions in 2012. Ivey and his partner, Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun, beat the Borgata out of $9.6 million. After it was revealed that the duo was using a controversial technique called “edge sorting,” the casino filed suit against Ivey and Sun.

The technique allowed the pair to spot manufacturing defects on the cards and gain an edge over the casino. Ivey and Sun used the same technique in the UK at London’s Crockfords casino and won £7.8 million, but the casino wouldn’t pay out the money. Ivey sued the casino and lost.

Borgata, on the other hand, paid Ivey and Sun and were forced to use the legal system to try and get the money back.

Borgata sued for $15.6 million two years after Ivey’s massive win. The total which included hundreds of thousands of dollars in comps and the $5.4 million the casino’s legal team figured the casino would have beaten Ivey for if he had been playing straight up.

In 2016, the judge decided that Ivey would be forced to pay the casino $10.1 million, after factoring the $500,000 Ivey won playing craps after his baccarat session.

Unfortunately for Borgata, Ivey’s bank accounts in New Jersey were completely empty and Atlantic City’s highest-grossing casino was unable to seize the funds. A letter from Wells Fargo confirmed that Ivey had no money in his bank account. Borgata’s legal team claimed that the money was transferred to a Mexican bank account.

In 2018, Borgata sought approval from the courts to cross state lines and go after Ivey’s assets in Nevada. The court ruled in favor of Borgata in February 2019.

A few months later, at the 2019 WSOP, Ivey cashed four times for a total of $133,398, including an eighth-place finish in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $124,410. Borgata seized it at the conclusion of the series.

With Borgata seizing Ivey’s winnings, it looked like the days of Ivey playing American poker tournaments were over since he would basically be playing without any chance of being paid. But the conclusion of the saga gives him the option of playing all the major American events. Whenever they resume.