While the latest divorce news in the world of sports and entertainment is the NBA superstar Kobe Bryant splitting up with his wife Vanessa, the poker world has its own story. Arguably the most recognized poker pro, an eight-time WSOP bracelet winner, Phil Ivey is getting divorced from his wife Luciaetta who, according to the reports, received over $2.2 million worth of assets, plus $180,000 a month in alimony.
Although the term “getting divorced” may be a little misleading. Ivey and his wife's divorce case took place two years ago. However, the process has been recently renewed when Luciaetta Ivey discovered that in 2009 her husband had donated $5,000 to the Family Court Judge Bill Gonzalez, who handled their divorce case, reelection campaign. However, Phil Ivey's lawyers claimed that “at the time of the contributions, Judge Gonzalez no longer had jurisdiction over the case because it was closed. Mr. Ivey and his attorneys exercised their constitutional First Amendment rights to donate money to the campaign of a judge they believed should be re-elected “
However, with new evidence in her hands Ivey's ex-wife decided to file a petition with the Nevada Supreme Court. In the document Luciaetta Ivey also claimed that her ex-husband had not been paying alimony since April 2011.
“The public is entitled to know that impartiality is the rule for the judiciary,” states Luciaetta Ivey's petition. “Further, Luciaetta is entitled to fairness and the appearance of fairness before this court and recusal is the only way that she can be sure to receive both.”
After looking into the new facts, the court admitted that the issues raised by Ivey's ex-wife were of “arguable merit” and bind Phil Ivey to provide an answer in 30 days time.
So just a few days ago Phil Ivey's attorneys’ David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld sent the Nevada Supreme Court a response. The document included proof that according to the divorce settlement, Phil Ivey's alimony was supposed to be taken from the money that he received from Full Tilt's software company Tiltware, LLC. However, since due to the events of April 15, 2011, Ivey no longer receives payments from Tiltware, the alimony was ceased as well.
Phil Ivey's lawyers also brought up some of the other divorce details, specifically the amount of property his wife had received according to the divorce settlement. Not only did Luciaetta Ivey get to keep a purse collection - estimated value of $1.2 million - as well as jewelry valued at more than $1 million, but Luciaetta was also left with no debt; she kept her car, her life insurance policy, and received a down payment for a new house.
Chesnoff and Schonfeld also underlined the fact that besides leaving his wife millions of dollars worth of assets, Phil Ivey also agreed to take on more than $170,000 in credit card debt as well as a gambling debt of over $15 million. “Luciaetta ended up with no debt, with millions of dollars worth of property, and with specific unambiguous alimony provisions,” stated Phil Ivey's attorneys in the response.