Popular internet poker professional Phil Ivey is facing charges that he is a cheater from London poker room Crockfords, whom Ivey is suing for millions of UK Pounds.
The allegations come as Crockfords responded to Ivey's lawsuit, which was filed when the poker ace claimed that the poker room did not pay him millions in winnings. Through its response, Crockfords is claiming that Ivey used a manufacturing flaw on playing cards, allowing him to see the value of the cards before they were flopped over.
The cheating allegedly occurred in August of 2012 when Ivey participated in a game of high stakes Punto Banco at the card room. Ivey showed up to the London card room in the company of a woman from Las Vegas, who apparently has been banned from two land casinos in the past.
Ivey began slowly, dropping down £500,000. Shortly thereafter, Ivey was able to negotiate a raise in betting limits which he used to his advantage. The nine time World Series of Poker bracelet winner went on to take in more than £12 million before he stopped playing.
Crockfords paid Ivey back his £1 million, but has not paid out the £12 million. This lack of payment is what spurred Ivey to sue the card room.
As of press time Ivey has not responded to Crockfords' allegations of him cheating, and it is not known whether or not his association with the Las Vegas based woman is what caused the row.
My instant reaction to reading this was "garbage" because it wouldn't matter if the cards were marked in a game of Punto Banco (baccarat). There is no player choice or skill involved and everyone can see the player and banker's cards.
Then I found this post on Richard Marcus' site which adds a bit more detail, and suggests that Ivey asked the dealers to hold the cards up so he could see the back of them before he placed a bet, and insisted on repeatedly using the same shoe of cards instead of a new shoe on each shuffle. It suggests that he or his companion may have been edge sorting the cards. It really makes you wonder, assuming that what Marcus has written is indeed true.
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Thanks for that update, Ed. It surely seems that the betting world never has a shortage of truly bizarre stories.
Add another one to to the bucket.