Friday, April 11, 2014

Ivey on the Edge

The breaking story this afternoon in poker revolves around this new lawsuit brought by the Borgata versus Phil Ivey. Says PokerNews, the casino is suing Ivey for a whopping $9.6 million -- that is, more than the WSOP Main Event winners have been taking down over the last several years (although not this year with the new $10 million guarantee for first) -- an amount representing money won by Ivey at baccarat.

“The Borgata lawsuit alleges that Ivey exploited manufacturing flaws in playing cards during four sessions” of the gambling game that took place back in 2012. The claim is that Ivey used a method called “edge sorting” to exploit flaws in the cards used in the game.

Thus the Borgata is suing him, his “partner” who accompanied him during the sessions (Cheng Yin Sun), and the card manufacturers, too, with the charges including racketeering, fraud, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, and something called unjust enrichment.

If it all sounds familiar, that’s because we all already learned about “edge sorting” thanks to a similar dispute involving Ivey and the Crockfords Casino in London involving some sessions of Punto Banco (another baccarat variant) also taking place in 2012. Only there it is Ivey suing the casino who decided to withhold £7.8 million of his winnings after they suspected him of something similar. (Of note, Ivey admitted to “edge sorting” there, but still wants his winnings.)

I wrote about that situation here last spring, talking a little about this funny little 1966 Bond-ripoff called Kaleidoscope starring Warren Beatty with which the story seemed to evoke some parallels.

The immediate reaction to the Borgata lawsuit is very similar to how many were responding to the earlier story regarding Ivey’s suing Crockfords, namely, folks pointing out how it seems the casino’s responsibility to protect themselves against something like “edge sorting” by ensuring the integrity of their games.

Of course, the pattern suggested here is intriguing as well. What had seemed like a unique situation happening at Crockfords involving some poorly manufactured cards reads a little differently now that it appears the same sort of problem happened elsewhere. I suppose there’s another pattern lurking as well suggested by another “cheating” incident (this one alleged) involving the materials with which games at the Borgata are played (the earlier one involving chips, of course).

The Crockfords case has yet to be decided, and this one assuredly will take some time in the “sorting” too (pun intended). Will be curious to see where both end up, as well as whether or not Ivey comes out ahead in both of these legal games.

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Blogger lightning36 said...

What is your opinion? Cheating? Clever AP move? Tough luck to the fat cat casinos?

4/12/2014 11:50 AM  
Blogger Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Instinctively I'd respond like others to say the casino is culpable for carelessly offering an exploitable game, although the fact that this is a second instance involving Ivey and "edge sorting" makes it hard to resist wondering if there's more to discuss. Feels like it would be a hard case to win for the Borgata, however.

4/12/2014 1:44 PM  
Blogger angerisagift said...

I AGREE. how is it cheating? he didnt switch or mark the cards? he just to took advantage of a flaw in the cards

4/12/2014 6:15 PM  

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