Phil Ivey, one of the best-known faces in the poker and gambling world, has been battling a long and hard battle against Borgata Resort and Casino. The casino is suing Ivey for his $9.6 million in baccarat winnings from a few years back, claiming Ivey and his partner Sung are not entitled to any money since they won it using the technique known as „edge sorting.“
The New Jersey court ruled that Ivey’s actions don’t constitute cheating as such, but he did find his actions in breach of contract and not in line with the state gambling legislations. As such, Borgata was given an opportunity to come up with a number they see fit as compensation for damages caused by the said breach.
A few days ago, Borgata’s counsel filed the casino’s claim with the court, requesting more than $15 million in total damages. Apart from the original baccarat winnings, the filing also covers several other aspects which the casino believes should be included.
The biggest additional claim, exceeding a $5 million total, relates to the amount Ivey was supposed to lose had he played fair and square. The number was calculated using the standard house edge in baccarat (between 1.06% and 1.24%), a total number of hands Ivey played, and the average bet per hand.
Apart from this, Borgata also wants to restore $250,000 they spent on the high roller’s comps, i.e. various perks the casino provided making sure Ivey feels comfortable and continues playing. Of course, this was before they were aware of what was going on.
Finally, Borgata also wants around $500,000 Ivey won playing craps during one of his visits. This request is based on the assertion the high roller used the money he won playing baccarat at the craps table and, hence, he shouldn’t be allowed to keep any of his winnings.
Ball Back in Ivey’s Court
Now, the ball is back in Ivey’s court, as his legal time has twenty days to file a complaint. Considering the amount of money Borgata is going after, it is certain Phil Ivey will not just stand by and let chips fall as they may. The high roller is certain to continue battling this case as long as there is any chance to reduce the amount or avoid paying back altogether.
In a similar case in the UK, Ivey’s been fighting a losing battle. In his case against Crockfords Casino, Ivey’s been trying to get the money the casino refused to pay after his winning baccarat sessions. The casino has also based their refusal to pay on the fact the high roller used edge sorting techniques, and courts have sided with them on two separate occasions already. In the UK, Ivey has one more shot with the Court of Appeal.