Ivey Settles Protracted Dispute With Borgata

By Ben Hamill - July 12 2020

Ivey Settles Protracted Dispute With Borgata

Controversial Poker player Phil Ivey has allegedly finally reached a settlement agreement with the Borgata, Atlantic City. The supposed settlement relates to a nearly decade-long dispute between Ivey and the popular MGM-owned casino over a 2012 Baccarat edge-sorting drama.

The settlement is apparently not yet finalised and as such, the details thereof are not yet known. The information was gleaned from a court filing lodged at the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit some time last week.

A settlement is probably the best possible end to the $10-million dispute, especially since legal experts had previously indicated Ivey to enjoy an advantage in terms of being a favourite to win the appeal. Following an order by the US District Court for New Jersey in 2016, which order ruled in favour of the Borgata and in favour of Ivey and partner-in-crime Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun paying back the $9.6 million they had won from the casino, along with an additional $500,000 in damages, Ivey had taken the matter on appeal, refusing to comply with the initial court’s order.

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They Did The Crime

That Ivey and Sun had been edge-sorting was never really in dispute. The pair in April 2020 made contact with Borgata management and arranged for a private area of the casino and a high-stakes Baccarat table and dealer. Ivey furthermore requested that the dealer should be able to speak Mandarin Chinese, and also that an 8-deck shoe of purple Gemaco cards be used during play. An automatic shuffling machine was also requested. In return for all of these, Ivey would wire a $1 million deposit directly to the Borgata, which he duly did.

The first hint of trouble would have been that Ivey had up on the pair’s arrival at the Borgata, instructed the dealer to turn the cards in a specific way and direction. This was what had enabled Ivey and Sun to identify certain minutely tiny discrepancies on the cards in play.

Cheaters make use of this method in order to gain an unfair advantage over the casino by knowing the value of a concealed card beforehand simply by recalling the value associated with a specific discrepancy or marking previously spotted on the back of the card in question.

A Lot Has Happened

The result of the edge-sorting unfair advantage was a $9.6 million win by Ivey and Sun, which the Borgata duly paid. The casino however two years later in 2014 filed a lawsuit against the pair, demanding that the ill-begotten winnings, together with damages, be refunded to the casino. Ivey, after having dodged and dived the casino and court’s order for four more years, eventually in 2018 filed an application to appeal the ruling.

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