Phil Ivey may have 10 gold World Series of Poker bracelets and be able to work his way through massive fields in a poker tournament but his skills at staying out of the limelight in matters that are court related seem to be lacking.
Back in April of this year the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey sued Ivey for $9.6 million. The lawsuit stems from an alleged cheating incident at the baccarat table after Ivey went on a winning streak. Cheung Yin Sun, known as the “Queen of Sorts,” is also named in the lawsuit because she is believed to have been Ivey's accomplice and the two used a method known as edge-sorting to create an unfair advantage.
Ivey claims the lawsuit is frivolous and is counter suing the Borgata. Ivey also claims the casino destroyed the decks of cards that were used during his winning streak and the cards play a huge role in his defense.
When the Borgata filed the original lawsuit against Ivey and Sun, the casino claimed the duo exploited a defect on the backs of the cards — Ivey had specifically requested these cards from April 2012 to October 2012 during four visits.
"Plaintiff Borgata had a duty of care at all times relevant hereto due and owing to the defendants, to maintain, sequester and preserve the precise playing cards utilized by the plaintiff in each of the casino games patronized by the defendants from April through July of 2012," from the countersuit. "Plaintiff Borgata knew that those playing cards were critically material to Ivey and Sun's defense, and knew further that destruction of those playing cards would render the defendants irrevocably prejudice in defending against plaintiff's claims and in securing judgment against the plaintiff."
ESPN reports that according to a Borgata casino representative cutting 'tolerances' in playing cards are known by the casino and special requests are not uncommon and granted to high rollers by the casino.
Ivey's special requests reportedly were for an automatic card shuffler, a private playing area, and an eight-deck shoe of purple Gemaco playing cards. Ivey deposit $1 million with the casino and his requests were granted. Ivey did not physically touch the cards but his companion, Sun, reportedly asked the dealer in Mandarin to turn certain cards...this is believed to have helped her identify differences in the cards and allowed her to give Ivey beneficial information.
Check back for more on this story as it develops.