Poker superstar Phil Ivey's divorce has been in the news more than once but the latest edition should put it to rest...unless, of course...he remarries and gets a divorce. On Thursday, March, 28th, 2013, the Nevada Supreme Court's decision was that the ruling in the divorce would stand.
Phil Ivey's ex-wife, Luciaetta Ivey, had filed a petition back 18 months or so ago and she claimed their 2009 divorce case did not treat her fairly. The petition Luciaetta filed with the higher court claimed that a $5,000 campaign contribution was made by Phil Ivey to Judge Bill Gonzalez. Gonzalez handled their divorce proceedings. The contribution was made to Gonzalez three months after the Ivey's divorce was final according to Luciaetta's argument.
Luciaetta's petition also argued that her ex-husband had stopped paying spousal support in April 2011 - about the same time the U.S. Department of Justice seized the Full Tilt Poker domain name. Phil provided documentation later showing that he received about $920,000 each month from Tiltware for his involvement with the company. Tiltware was the software and marketing arm of Full Tilt Poker. Luciaetta Ivey collected about $180,000 a month as taxable alimony from Phil's Tiltware payment and Phil received the $740,000 that remained according to the records.
Phil Ivey's attorney, David Chesnoff, argued back in June that the case was already dead and the uncontested divorce gave Luciaetta 'millions.' Thursday found the court unanimously agreeing to deny Luciaetta's petition because neither Luciaetta's due process rights nor Nevada law were affected by Judge Gonzalez's ruling over the case.
According to the court the campaign contributions were not significant enough to "raise a reasonable question" as to Judge Gonzalez's impartiality.
According to documents obtained by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Justices Mark Gibbons and Michael Cherry wrote:
"Without more, the campaign contributions are insufficient to demonstrate that actual or implied bias existed on the part of Judge Gonzalez. Campaign contributions made within statutory limits cannot constitute grounds for disqualification of a judge under Nevada law."
When the ruling came on Thursday, Phil Ivey was in Mexico playing high-stakes cash games at Full Tilt Poker. He won more than $736,000 over Wednesday and Thursday which makes him the biggest online poker winner of the week so far.
Image courtesy of PokerNews.com.