Professional poker player Phil Ivey has lost a lawsuit wherein he was sued by the Crockfords Casino of cheating the casino out of £7.7 million thanks to a card flaw.
Ivey originally won the money while playing Punto Banco at Crockfords in 2012, exploiting a flaw in the playing cards to tell what cards were coming up. The technique, called edge sorting, was the center issue of the lawsuit, as the casino claimed it was not a legitimate gambling strategy. The casino caught on and seized the £7.7 million that Ivey was originally awarded and Ivey filed suit against them.
The case was originally settled in the casino's favor in 2016 and Ivey appealed the case. This time five justices unanimously ruled against him, noting that the poker pro had interfered with the way that the casino typically plays the game by using deception and dishonesty. Ivey noted that he never touched the cards, instead telling the casino that he was superstitious and requested that they rotate the cards, which he then identified using the edge sorting technique. This constituted cheating according to the court.
Speaking about the case Crockfords attorney Stephen Parkinson said, "This is one of the most significant decisions in criminal law in a generation. The concept of dishonesty is central to a whole range of offences, including fraud. For 35 years, juries have been told that defendants will only be guilty if the conduct complained of was dishonest by the standards of ordinary, reasonable and honest people, and also that they must have realised that ordinary, honest people would regard their behaviour as dishonest."
"The supreme court has now said that this second limb of the test does not represent the law and that directions based upon it ought no longer to be given by the courts."