Phil Ivey Sued by Borgata for Baccarat Cheating
The Borgata Casino is suing poker superstar Phil Ivey for $9.6 million. The claim? Ivey cheated at baccarat by using a trick called edge-sorting.
The Borgata's lawsuit claims that Ivey was able to use a tiny defect in the way some cards were printed to gain a big edge at the Baccarat table during four sessions back in 2012.
The manufacturer of the apparently faulty cards was Gemaco, which is also named in the lawsuit along with Cheng Yin Sun, a female accomplice of Ivey's that sat at the table with him.
Edge-sorting isn't marking cards but instead is identifying certain cards based on defects in the printing process that leaves some cards with noticeable imperfections on their backs.
Ivey allegedly negotiated several rules and stipulations with the Borgata that helped him pull off his wins, including getting a baccarat table to himself in the pits, a dealer that spoke Mandarin, a guest allowed to sit at the table, and -- most importantly -- that one eight-deck shoe of purple gemaco Borgata playing cards would be used.
Ivey claimed that his demands were based on superstition but each appeared to be an angle to take advantage of the defective cards, as playing alone ensured he could maniuplate the deck and his companion Cheng Yin Sun gave instructions to the dealer in Mandarin to arrange the cards in a way that would help Ivey track certain cards.
Ivey is known as a high roller gambler who has won and lost millions playing poker, craps, and betting on sports but this is the first time he's been accused of gaining an "unfair" advantage.
It's not the first time that a casino has sued Ivey for big wins resulting from edge-sorting, however. In 2012 Crockford's casino in the U.K. sued Ivey for $11.7 million in a nearly identical case with defective cards also playing a big role in that case as well.
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