Phil Ivey Ventures Back Into Live Poker

By Ben Hamill - October 01 2018

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is commonly regarded as one of the best poker players in the world – and also one of the planet’s strongest professional gamblers. With that said, his controversial gaming tactics have landed him in various sticky situations, one of which may end up costing him a handsome $10.1 million.

The long-standing case between Ivey, his partner Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, and Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino has seen a number of developments over the past few weeks. With that said, these developments came as somewhat negative news for the gambling pro and his companion.

Borgata Seeks to Reclaim $10.1m

The legal case between the casino and the two players is based on several high-stakes Baccarat rounds played by Ivey and Sun at the Borgata back in 2012. The games resulted in the duo winning a hefty $9.6 million, plus $500k in Craps, which the establishment happily paid over.

However, the Borgata is now aiming to claim its money back after learning that the pair used the edge-sorting technique to win their fortune. The two exploited small discrepancies on the backs of playing cards to gain an advantage over the house, ultimately winning millions because of it.

In 2016, US District Court Judge Noel Hillman ruled that what the gamblers did did not break the rules of Baccarat, per se, but rather broke casino rules in the state of New Jersey. In the case’s latest developments, it was made clear that Hillman denied the players’ motion to stay enforcement of his judgement, without bond pending an appeal.

The ruling essentially enabled the Borgata to try to claim back its $10.1 million from Ivey and Sun while an appeal is pending. The duo’s legal team filed the appeal earlier this month in a bid to overturn the latest slew of devastating rulings.

Ivey Spotted in Las Vegas Rooms

In previous court filings, legal representatives of the player asked the court to delay the enforcement of the ruling as the amount to be paid back would cause the gamblers ‘irreparable harm’. Borgata lawyers have contested the claim, highlighting the fact that Ivey seems to have once again entered the high-stakes poker scene in Las Vegas.

With 10 WSOP gold bracelets and many other poker accolades under his belt, Ivey is undoubtedly one of the world’s best players. However, he has been scarce on the live tournament scene over the past few years, avoiding the Las Vegas cash game scene as well. According to a number of reports, the player has been frequenting rooms in Macau instead.

However, he has popped up in several live tourneys over the past few months, winning a couple of them and cashing in others, including those that formed part of the summer WSOP series. It is yet to be seen what the next leg of the Borgata case saga will entail – but fans of the game are nonetheless hoping to see Ivey back on the felt more frequently.