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Judge: Poker pro Ivey, pal broke gambling rules in $10M win

GamblingGambling: Judge: Poker pro Ivey, pal broke gambling rules in $10M win
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A federal judge ruled on Friday that poker pro Phil Ivey and a companion violated state gambling regulations in the way they won nearly $10 million at cards at an Atlantic City casino.

U.S. District Court Judge Noel Hillman determined that the pair did not meet their obligation to follow gambling regulations on four occasions in 2012 by having a dealer at the Borgata arrange Baccarat cards so they could tell what kind of card was coming next.

By shifting the odds in their favor, they violated the New Jersey Casino Control Act, the judge ruled. He threw out allegations by the Borgata that the pair had committed fraud, and the casino now has 20 days to outline the damages it says it suffered.

"Borgata and Ivey had the same goal when they entered into their arrangement: to profit at the other's expense," the judge wrote. "Trust is a misplaced sentiment in this context."

Ivey has won nine World Series of Poker bracelets. Lawyers for him and the casino did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.

The Borgata claimed the pair exploited a defect in cards that enabled them to sort and arrange good cards. The casino says the technique, called edge sorting, violates state casino gambling regulations. But Ivey asserts his win was simply the result of skill and good observation.

The Borgata claims the cards used in the games were defective in that the pattern on the back was not uniform. The cards have rows of small white circles designed to look like the tops of cut diamonds, but the Borgata says some of them were only half-diamonds or quarters. Ivey has said he simply noticed things that anyone playing the game could have observed and bet accordingly.

The judge noted that Ivey and companion player Cheng Yin Sun instructed dealers to arrange the cards in a certain way, which is permitted under the rules of the game, after Sun noticed minute differences in them. But he ruled those actions did violate state Casino Control Act and their contractual obligation to abide by it in gambling at the casino.

Ivey and Sun, the judge wrote, "view their actions to be akin to cunning, but not rule-breaking, maneuvers performed in many games, such as a play-action pass in American football, or the 'Marshall swindle' in chess."

He said "Sun's mental acumen" in distinguishing the tiny differences in the patterns on the back of the cards was "remarkable."

"But even though Ivey and Sun's cunning and skill did not break the rules of Baccarat," the judge wrote, "what sets Ivey and Sun's actions apart from deceitful maneuvers in other games is that those maneuvers broke the rules of gambling as defined in this state."

AP

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16 comments. Last comment 1 month ago by KY Floyd.
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A long and winding road
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Posted: October 21, 2016, 10:48 pm - IP Logged

The casino is at fault for having defective cards and allowing the game ( hands ) to play out. But let's ignore that fact. This judge must have seen video to support the conclusion because the article isn't very clear on the evidence presented to conclude such a decision.

~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

 Thanks be to the giving numbers: 1621,912,119 02014

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    Happy California
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    Posted: October 21, 2016, 11:22 pm - IP Logged

    $10,000,000.00  Easy come, Easy go.  I would be upset.

     I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

     Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

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      NY
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      Posted: October 22, 2016, 2:17 am - IP Logged

      The casino is at fault for having defective cards and allowing the game ( hands ) to play out. But let's ignore that fact. This judge must have seen video to support the conclusion because the article isn't very clear on the evidence presented to conclude such a decision.

      I agree that it's strictly the Casino's fault for using defective cards, but that doesn't mean the casino doesn't have a legitimate case. I've got no idea what the official state gaming rules say, but I'm comfortable assuming that the judge does know. Based on the ruling I'd guess that there's a rule that says players can't use defective equipment to their advantage just because the casino doesn't notice the defect.

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        USA
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        Posted: October 22, 2016, 6:20 am - IP Logged

        I Agree with ALL that was said above.

        I always liked Ivey thought he was a good Player but apparently Ivey's been cheating (was reading Related Stories) for awhile now.

        I say It's the Casino's fault for having the bad cards they need too go after the Card Manufacture, their the one's that printed the default in the Cards!

        It's pretty stupid Ivey had the Dealer turn the cards an make it easier to tell which were bad/good cards.

        If it was obvious enough too tell that's Probably how he got caught! DUH

        Sorry but I don't see how it's the Player's Fault that the cards were defective!

        HAPPY HOLIDAYS, BE SAFE & GOOD LUCK Y'ALL Sad Wavey

          LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif
          N.C.
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          Posted: October 22, 2016, 6:21 am - IP Logged

          I agree that it's strictly the Casino's fault for using defective cards, but that doesn't mean the casino doesn't have a legitimate case. I've got no idea what the official state gaming rules say, but I'm comfortable assuming that the judge does know. Based on the ruling I'd guess that there's a rule that says players can't use defective equipment to their advantage just because the casino doesn't notice the defect.

          you are correct it is the Casinos fault. the casino may have a case with the state. but maybe they shouldn't.
          all the man did was take advantage of thier neglagence. whenever you gamble, sooner or later your going to lose.
          I think the casino should pay up, shut up, learn from thier mistake and move on.
          whats the difference between what he did, and someone counting cards in thier head while playing blackjack?

          "know your limitations, but excede your expectations"

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            Framingham,Ma
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            Posted: October 22, 2016, 9:48 am - IP Logged

            This is just the same thing when person wins at slot machine's and casino claims machine was faulty and doesn't want to pay. Should be Casino should be at fault no matter, unless it is cheating by means of the customer bringing something in that helps in winning. Casino then can go sue the manufactors of that product. Who can say how long a machine has worked improperly, so you keep pouring money in and not winning, yet win jackpot and casino now find its at fault. Same with the cards, who is to say casino did not notice this before and use it to their advantage. Their equipment, their responsibility, PERIOD.

              reddog's avatar - patch
              Greensboro, North Carolina
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              Posted: October 22, 2016, 10:32 am - IP Logged

              Being at the right place,(table), at the right time.

              US Flag

                realtorjim's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcT7U3t20NgScoPlxOqLT6TR0vQeJNBV3_tTswe1XeFDTsdw3NLZ

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                Posted: October 22, 2016, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

                you are correct it is the Casinos fault. the casino may have a case with the state. but maybe they shouldn't.
                all the man did was take advantage of thier neglagence. whenever you gamble, sooner or later your going to lose.
                I think the casino should pay up, shut up, learn from thier mistake and move on.
                whats the difference between what he did, and someone counting cards in thier head while playing blackjack?

                You're forgetting LottoAce, it is illegal for someone to count cards in their head while playing blackjack.  How do they determine if this is occurring?  There is a distinctive play style when someone is counting cards.  Don't want a trip to the room without windows in the casino!  Bash  Why is it illegal?  Because it reduces the house edge.

                  I'm feeling a jackpot win coming my way!

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
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                  Posted: October 22, 2016, 2:26 pm - IP Logged

                  I wonder if lotteries have similar rules in case players discover a flaw in their games that can be exploited?  I've read they suspect players who continue to beat the odds of cheating but usually can't prove it without their cooperation. Wink  Bash

                   * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                     
                               Evil Looking       

                    Artist77's avatar - batman14

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                    Posted: October 22, 2016, 3:23 pm - IP Logged

                    You're forgetting LottoAce, it is illegal for someone to count cards in their head while playing blackjack.  How do they determine if this is occurring?  There is a distinctive play style when someone is counting cards.  Don't want a trip to the room without windows in the casino!  Bash  Why is it illegal?  Because it reduces the house edge.

                    I never got that rule. If one can remember 3 aces have been played, then why not? I have a very good memory so I am sure I would get kicked out. Lol It is hard Not to remember.

                    J'aime La France.

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                      Posted: October 22, 2016, 6:29 pm - IP Logged

                      "I don't see how it's the Player's Fault that the cards were defective!"

                      Nobody has said it's the player's fault. The court ruling only says that the player can't use the defect to his advantage.

                       

                      "all the man did was take advantage of thier neglagence."

                      Kind of like I'd only be taking advantage of your negligence if you drop your wallet and I keep it?

                       

                      "it is illegal for someone to count cards in their head while playing blackjack."

                      Card counting isn't illegal in the US as long as you don't use some kind of device to do it, but casinos are generally allowed to ban people they suspect of counting cards. It's certainly true that counting cards is a legitimate skill, but casinos market it as a game of chance and the house plays their hand that way. Anyone who doesn't like playing it when the house has an advantage won't be forced to play.

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                        Kentucky
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                        Posted: October 22, 2016, 8:01 pm - IP Logged

                        "I don't see how it's the Player's Fault that the cards were defective!"

                        Nobody has said it's the player's fault. The court ruling only says that the player can't use the defect to his advantage.

                         

                        "all the man did was take advantage of thier neglagence."

                        Kind of like I'd only be taking advantage of your negligence if you drop your wallet and I keep it?

                         

                        "it is illegal for someone to count cards in their head while playing blackjack."

                        Card counting isn't illegal in the US as long as you don't use some kind of device to do it, but casinos are generally allowed to ban people they suspect of counting cards. It's certainly true that counting cards is a legitimate skill, but casinos market it as a game of chance and the house plays their hand that way. Anyone who doesn't like playing it when the house has an advantage won't be forced to play.

                        "Kind of like I'd only be taking advantage of your negligence if you drop your wallet and I keep it?"

                        It's similar to when Don Johnson won over $5 million playing Blackjack at the Borgata. The casino agreed to his stipulations that actually shifted the percentages to his favor. Ivey's stipulations that included a Mandarin Chinese speaking dealer should have raised a red flag but the Borgata agreed. Agreeing to the type of playing cards Ivey asked for was really stupid too.

                        Ivey is counter-suing the Borgata for destroying the playing cards they used.

                          grwurston's avatar - Cute animals_Spider.jpg
                          Winning makes me smile.
                          bel air maryland
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                          Posted: October 22, 2016, 10:28 pm - IP Logged

                          The cards aren't defective, it's just how they are made.

                          Edge sorting

                          From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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                          Edge sorting is a technique used in advantage gambling where a player determines whether a face-down playing card is likely to be low or high at casino table games by observing and exploiting subtle unintentional differences on the backs of some types of card, after persuading a croupier to cooperate by unwittingly sorting the cards into low and high.[1] Many packs of cards produced by manufacturers have unintentional edge irregularities. Typically all the backs of the cards in such a pack are identical, but the two long edges of each card are consistently distinguishable: the pattern is not symmetrical to a 180° rotation (half a full turn). During the course of a game, a player will ask the dealer, a casino employee, to rotate some face-up cards, perhaps saying they feel it will bring them luck. The dealer does not realise that cards are being turned so that low cards, typically, 6, 7, 8, or 9 are one way round, high cards the other way round, and that the edges are different. The dealer is also asked to shuffle the cards with an automatic shuffler, which does not change the orientation as a manual shuffle may do. The dealer is not obliged to comply with these requests, but will usually do so if thought to be due to gamblers' superstition or mistrust. Over the course of a game, low cards will tend to be oriented one way, high cards the other.[2] Once a significant proportion of cards have been rotated, any player who knows this can gain a statistical edge more than outweighing house edge by using the knowledge whether the card to be turned is likely to be low or high.[3]

                          A UK High Court judgement ruled that the technique, which requires the player to trick the croupier into rotating cards, is cheating in civil law, and that a casino was justified in refusing payment of winnings; this ruling would not be applicable if the player simply took advantage of an observed error or anomaly for which he was not responsible in, say, the backs of the cards.

                          "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                          The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

                          Don't just think outside the box, crush it.

                            grwurston's avatar - Cute animals_Spider.jpg
                            Winning makes me smile.
                            bel air maryland
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                            Posted: October 22, 2016, 10:51 pm - IP Logged

                            I wonder if lotteries have similar rules in case players discover a flaw in their games that can be exploited?  I've read they suspect players who continue to beat the odds of cheating but usually can't prove it without their cooperation. Wink  Bash

                            I suppose if someone was able to hit Pick 4 straights 2 or 3 times a week every week, they would think they were cheating

                            because it would be way out of the 1:10,000 odds. Or they would say the person has to be spending thousands of dollars. But

                            who's to say it couldn't be done, and for a lot less than would be thought. Wink

                            "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                            The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

                            Don't just think outside the box, crush it.