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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Lawsuit Against Foxwoods Filed by Ivey's Edge-Sorting Accomplice, Cheng Yin Sun

Cheng Yin Sun courtesy of
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The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa filed a lawsuit against Phil Ivey back in April that accused the world's top rated poker pro of cheating with a technique known as “edge sorting” in baccarat. The casino claims that in 2012 Ivey used that technique to win $9.6 million. Cheng Yin Sun was also named in the lawsuit as Ivey's accomplice. Ivey has since filed a motion to dismiss stating that skill turned the win in his favor.

The Day Connecticut now has a report up that Sun is one of three Chinese nationals — along with Long Mei Fang and Zong Yang Li — who have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Connecticut against Foxwoods Resort Casino. The lawsuit against Foxwoods claims the casino owes them more than $1.1 million in mini-baccarat winnings from December 2011. Also included in the suit, the trio is seeking the return of $1.6 million they had deposited with the casino. Edge-sorting crops up once again as Foxwoods claims it was cheated and refuses to pay.

"I can confirm that Cheung Yin Sun was also Phil Ivey's playing partner in mini-baccarat sessions that gave rise to the Borgata lawsuit in New Jersey and the Crockfords lawsuit in London," said Marvin Vining, who is one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs. "She played with different playing partners at Foxwoods, and the circumstances of all three lawsuits are slightly different. But the Foxwoods plaintiffs did employ essentially the same type of edge-sorting strategy as involved in the other two lawsuits."

In December of 2011 on the 23rd-24th, before the plaintiffs visited the property, the lawsuit against Foxwoods claims the plaintiffs deposited $1.6 million with Foxwoods. During the visit to the property the plaintiffs won $1.148 million playing mini-baccarat. The suit goes on to state that Foxwoods refused to refund their deposit and pay out the win because an unfair advantage was used by the three plaintiffs over the house.

"Basically, edge-sorting is possible because some brands of playing cards are not cut symmetrically across their backs and some players are gifted with eyesight keen enough to tell the difference," the suit reads. "… If Foxwoods and Foxwoods management knew that plaintiffs were edge-sorting and let them practice their form of advantage play anyway — intending to keep their losses if they lost but not honor their winnings if they won — this would be intentional fraud.”

According to the lawsuit, edge-sorting is legal in some U.S. gaming jurisdictions and in Connecticut. The director of the Mashantucket gaming commission's Inspection Division does not agree. New London attorney Sebastian DeSantis represents the three plaintiffs but in February 2012, they were found to have violated Foxwoods' gaming regulations and the commission later upheld that ruling.

The Borgata suit not only accuses Ivey and Sun of breach of contract, racketeering, fraud, conversion, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy, but also names card manufacturer Gemaco Inc.. Sun’s lawsuit against Foxwoods does not mention Ivey.

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