Nine-time World Series of Poker champion Phil Ivey is in some trouble again. The Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City has sued Ivey for $9.6 million, claiming the world champion cheated at baccarat.
It’s not the first time that Ivey has been suspected of bending the rules. In May of 2013, the Genting Group sued him for the same reason – cheating at baccarat.
The Borgata claims that Ivey and his partner, Cheng Yin Sun, visited their casino on four different occasions between April and October of 2012. Each of the four trips was fairly profitable for Ivey, who won between $800K and $2.4 million during those visits.
Ivey, who is very good at what he does, apparently used a technique called edge-sorting to tilt the odds in his favor while playing baccarat at the Borgata. The lawsuit contends that Ivey knew of a defect with the playing cards and was able to exploit that defect to the tune of almost $10 million.
For each of his visits to the Borgata, Ivey specifically asked for purple Gemaco Borgata playing cards. He also asked for a dealer who spoke Mandarin Chinese, apparently for Yin Sun. By knowing of the defect and examining the cards, the Borgata says that Ivey gained an unfair advantage and cheated his way to the $9.6 million. On his last visit in October of 2012, Ivey was up over $3.5 million, but the casino claims he lost most of it on purpose so as not to raise suspicion.
The lawsuit comes almost exactly one year after Ivey filed suit against Crockfords, a London casino. Ivey won nearly $11 million playing Punto Banco in August of 2012. The casino accused him of cheating and refused to pay his winnings. Ivey admitted that he did read the cards, but that he did not cheat.
Ivey has not commented on the suit, but its outcome could play a big role in the rest of his career. Las Vegas casinos, as well as others around the U.S. and the world, may become wary of Ivey and his tactics and not permit him to play. It would be a shame to see his brilliant career end this way. Here’s a look at Ivey at his best – the top five plays of his career.