Phil Ivey Loses Crockfords Edge Sorting Case
The British High Court has ruled that the Crockfords Club in Mayfair does not have to pay £7.7 million pounds to top poker player Phil Ivey after they found his “Edge Sorting Technique”, which was used during a two day gambling spree, was cheating and therefore illegal.
The case, which began after Phil Ivey sued the Mayfair Casino for withholding winnings, began in August when Ivey and fellow professional gambler, Cheung Yin Sun, contacted the Crockfords Club and offered to put up a seven figure sum in advance if they would allow for a few special requests.
The demands Phil Ivey asked of Crockfords included:
- A set of purple Gemaco playing cards
- An Automatic shuffler
- A dealer that spoke Mandarin Chinese
These, Ivey said, were due to him having certain superstitions, which he even used later when his accomplice persuaded the dealer to rotate certain cards to help with Edge Sorting, the ones that Ivey had identified by the flaws on the back of the cards, 180 degrees so they could be easily identified at a later stage. This also happens to be where the automatic shuffler came into play as it allowed for the cards to be shuffled, without jeopardizing their alignment and could be easily identified as high or low cards when they were dealt.
During the hearing, which was even refused an appeal by the presiding judge, who said: “Mr Ivey had gained himself and advantage and did so by using a croupier as his innocent agent or tool”.
Justice Mitting also went on to add: “It was not simply taking advantage of error on her part or an anomaly practiced by the casino for which he was not responsible. He was doing it in circumstances where he knew that she and her superiors did not know the consequences of what she had done at his instigation”.
“This is, in my view, cheating for the purpose of civil law”
The instance at the Crockfords Club was not the first time Ivey had used the Edge Sorting technique as he had paid a visit to the Borgata in Atlantic City earlier in the year. But, the Borgata failed to recognize Ivey had influenced the game and paid out his winnings, a sum of $9.6 million, which the casino is not trying to recoup after recognizing Ivey’s use of Edge Sorting following the Crockfords case.
Ivey, speaking at the conclusion of the hearing, said “I believe what we did was a legitimate strategy and we did nothing more than exploit Crockfords’ failures to take proper steps to protect themselves against a player of my ability. Clearly today the judge did not agree”.
While the court case against the Crockfords Club has now been finalized, the court case with the Borgata has yet to be resolved and depositions will continue until July 2015. What influence the Crockfords’ case has in the Borgata one, is yet to be determined although lawyers for the Borgata could use the ruling in their favor.
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