Phil Ivey is having his day in court concerning the lawsuit by him against London's Genting's Crockford Casino for withholding his £7.8 million ($12.1 million) in winnings — the lawsuit was filed in May of 2013.
The casino claims Ivey used a technique known as "edge-sorting" while playing Punto Banco to win the money and the casino has stated that Ivey cheated. Ivey has formally admitted that he did use the technique to "reduce or reverse the perceived house edge."
Ivey explained to London's High Court: "It's not in my nature to cheat and nor would I risk my reputation by acting unlawfully in any manner," the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner said. "As a professional gambler, my job is to seek to lawfully reverse or reduce the perceived house edge."
Ivey continued, "My integrity is infinitely more important to me than a big win, which is why I have brought these proceedings to demonstrate that I have been unjustly treated."
Ivey's thought is that all information that is available to all players must be assimilated and used as a legitimate way to reduce the house edge, especially by professional gamblers. And even with all the information available, the player may still face huge losses.
"I use a variety of strategies whilst playing in casinos," Ivey told the judge. "I would not be doing my job very well if I did not seek to use to my benefit weaknesses that I identify in the way that casinos set up or offer particular casino games."
Ivey went on to say that he could lose a lot because "no system is fail-safe." He continued expounding on the perils that gambling could have on his bankroll because, "Each time I play I risk failing to execute the strategy properly. Some of these are very complex or difficult to execute..."
By the end of next week the Crockford's case could come to a close but that won't be the end of Ivey's day in court. He has been sued by the Borgata Casino in New Jersey for $9.6 million. The lawsuit by Borgata also includes Ivey's companion Cheng Yin Sun who is believed to be Ivey's accomplice in the claim that Ivey cheated at the baccarat tables.
Ivey considers the steps that he has made to collect an edge over the house to be completely legitimate and will join James Brown on 60 Minutes Sports on October 7th in an interview.
Ivey says, "Casinos don't like card counters, shuffle trackers, bias wheel players or any skilled or advantage players, though none of these advantage-play strategies are considered illegal."
The 60 Minutes Sports teaser:
Every Tuesday at 10:00 PM a segment of 60 Minutes Sports airs on Showtime, check the schedule for the full interview with Ivey.
Image courtesy of bbc.com.