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Poker News | Gambling and the Law

Lawsuit Against Phil Ivey by Borgata to Proceed by Judge's Orders

Phil Ivey
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Phil Ivey is back in the news but it is safe to assume that it is not for the reason he would prefer. Anyone that has kept up with news centered around the 10-time WSOP gold bracelet winner is aware that Ivey lost the court battle with Crockfords Casino last year in October. The latest spotlight on Ivey has him facing a lawsuit by the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa very much like the one that the poker super star is facing with Crockfords. A federal judge's ruling last week allows the lawsuit — filed in April 2014 — to move forward.

The lawsuit was brought against Ivey by Borgata due to Ivey's ability to use manufacturing flaws in the playing cards to win $9.6 million during four sessions at the Baccarat table in 2012. The method used by Ivey is known as "edge sorting" where he was able to pick up small variations in the printed pattern on the backs of the cards. This same method was used in the Crockfords incident by Ivey and a supposed accomplice — Cheng Yin Sun — who went to the tables with him.

Ivey filed a motion to dismiss but U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman's decision was "Borgata has pled plausible claims sounding in fraud," and the claim will be allowed to move into the discovery phase.

Sun is also named in the suit. Her involvement was reportedly giving instructions to the dealer as she sat at the table with Ivey.

"Ivey and Sun argue that Borgata willingly agreed to all of their requests and provided all the implements of gambling, and that all of those requests, along with their observation of the patterns on the playing cards, were lawful," from Hillman's statement posted in the "Ivey and Sun also note that even though Borgata wishes to cast itself as a victim of deceptive intentions, the 'essential mission of Borgata's casino operation is to encourage patrons to lose money by orchestrating a plethora of deceptive practices, such as loud noises and flashing lights on slot machines, hiding the clocks, making exit signs almost impossible to find, having cocktail waitresses wear revealing clothing, and comping copious amounts of alcohol to 'loosen up' their patrons. There is no doubt that much of the defendants' characterization of the casino milieu is accurate, as tangential a defense as it may be."

Depending on the outcome of the discovery phase Ivey could be in the middle of a trial facing off with Borgata.

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