Published on October 10, 2014 in Industry News

Phillip IveyIt may not seem unusual for a 10-time World Series of Poker champion to win large amounts of money when gambling at a casino, but Philip Ivey may have taken winning too far. 

In 2012, Philip Ivey and his companion, Cheung Yin Sun had marathon sessions of playing popular card game, baccarat. Now Ivey is suing Crockfords Casino Club in London for refusing to pay out his massive winning of £7.7 million. At the same time, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City are filing a lawsuit against Ivey seeking reimbursement of the almost £6 million he won while playing at their casino. 

While many seemingly strange requests were made by Ivey before playing at the casinos, his needs were simply seen as superstitions, which baccarat players are known to indulge. While the casinos don’t doubt that Ivey is a skilled player, their problem lays in that he and his companion, Sun were using a controversial method called “edge sorting”.

According to attorney Maurice VerStandig, edge sorting “amounts to little more than the strategic exploitation of inconsistencies in the way patterns on the back of playing cards are cut.”

After leaving Crockfords without his winnings due to a death in the family, CCTV security footage was examined and that’s when the casino determined that Ivey and Sun had been cheating. 

While many consider Ivey’s edge sorting method as merely a clever way to beat the house, the request for very particular purple Gemaco Borgata playing cards, an automatic shuffler and a dealer who specifically spoke Mandarin Chinese are reasons to suspect that foul play was at hand.

While Ivey denies ever cheating, claiming that it is his job to “try to exploit weaknesses in the house”, it is up to the High Court Judge to decide whether edge sorting is in fact cheating or not.