Poker Ace Phil Ivey Loses Appeal In £7.7m Supreme Court Appeal
Professional poker player Phil Ivey has lost his appeal to the London Supreme court to recover his £7.7million from the Crockfords Club in Mayfair in 2012.
Ivey was playing a version of baccarat called Punto Banco. He was accused of using an illegal strategy called edge-sorting which according to the owners of Crockfords Club, Owner Genting Casinos UK not legitimate.
On Wednesday a unanimous decision by five justices held up the majority decision of the Court of Appeal. The technique of edge-sorting is a system which involves identifying the tiny differences on the pattern on the reverse of playing cars. This information is then used to exploit and increase the chances of winning. It is alleged that Ivey persuaded the croupier to rotate the cards based on the notion that he was superstitious. Ivey himself never touched the cards.
According to Lady Justice Arden there was no doubt that the action of Ivey and another gambler Cheung Yin Sun did in fact interfere with the process of the game and that the intervention was considered as an act of cheating.
Lord Hughes also pointed out that under the rules of Punto Banco there is an essential element of the game which must remain pure chance with the cards delivered entirely randomly and unknown to the punters. He said Ivey went on to stage a carefully planned and executed strategy.
Hughes did not mince his words and said,” He accomplished exactly the same result through the unwitting but directed actions of the croupier, tricking her into thinking that what she did was irrelevant. That it was clever and skillful, and must have involved remarkably sharp eyes, cannot alter that truth.”