Phil Ivey has filed suit against Crockfords casino for withholding his £7.8 million ($12.1 million) winnings. The nine-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner was playing Punto Banco at the Genting-owned casino accompanied by a "beautiful Oriental woman" back in October 2012. The casino refused to pay Ivey his winnings. Months of negotiations did not find a resolution and the suit was filed at the High Court today, May 7th, in London.
Ivey commented on the suit:
“I am deeply saddened that Crockfords has left me no alternative but to proceed with legal action, following its decision to withhold my winnings. I have much respect for Gentings, which has made this a very difficult decision for me.
“Over the years I have won and lost substantial sums at Crockfords and I have always honoured my commitments. At the time, I was given a receipt for my winnings but Crockfords subsequently withheld payment. I, therefore, feel I have no alternative but to take legal action.”
We reported Ivey's win in our News Flash with information gained from the English newspaper the Daily Mail, where sources said Ivey was playing Punto Banco for £50,000 per hand. Ivey was stuck £500,000 at one point, but after receiving permission the stakes were increased to £150,000 per hand and Ivey managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and win back his losses to finish £2.3 million to the good.
The following night Ivey is thought to have returned to Crockfords and his winning streak continued as he ran his total winnings to £7.8 million.
Matthew Dowd of Archerfield Partners, Ivey's lawyer, said:, “It is with great regret that Phil has been forced to issue court proceedings against Crockfords to secure payment of his winnings. The matter is now in the hands of the Court.”
Archerfield Partners and Richard Spearman QC represent Ivey.