Phil Ivey Files a Lawsuit against Crockfords Casino

By Maria McCoyGoogle
After the news that Phil Ivey had his winnings withheld because he was suspected of cheating while playing Baccarat at a Crockfords casino, Ivey has finally confirmed that he has gone along with a lawsuit against the casino.

Last year Ivey won a massive $12.1 million, (£7 million) playing Punto Blanco, which is a game of chance where skill is not something that comes into the equation. That’s why London’s Crockfords became suspicious because they couldn’t believe that Ivey was having so much luck on a game that really doesn’t usually swing in favour of the punter as much as it had on the nights Ivey sat down to play.

A British newspaper, the Daily Mail, wrote the story up saying that Phil Ivey was originally £1 million up then £2 million on the first night. Ivey was wagering £50,000 a go at the game and then moved up to £150,000. He was at one point around £500,000 down before he started racking up his huge profit.

Phil was back the next night and racked up another £5 million profit when he decided enough was enough and it was time to quit while he was ahead. Ivey was told that due to his win being on a bank holiday the wire transfer to his account wouldn’t happen immediately. However, Crockfords had opened up their Ivey investigation due to the large amount of money that had been won with the money never arriving in Ivey’s account.

Since Ivey has threatened legal action, but now he has declared that he has gone ahead with a law suit against the casino b ecause it seems this is the only way to resolve the dispute and get answers from Crockfords.

The variation of Baccarat Phil was playing is known as Punto Banco. The dealer and the banker receive two cards and the values are added together. The 10 and all picture cards are valued at 0 points, and the idea of the game is to get a score of 9 or the closest number below 9. A 10-5 hand would be 5, a K-J hand would be zero or a 5-4 hand would be a 9, which is the best score you can get. Punters simply bet on the banker or the player to win, and if the punter has backed the winner he/she gets paid even odds on their bet. There is also an option to bet an 8-1 prospect on the hands tying.

Crockfords defence is such that Ivey knew which cards were 8s or 9s as these are the most valuable in the game. Also, cards such as 6s and 7s were also worth his while knowing about. Ivey’s companion was asking the dealer to rotate the cards every time one of these cards came out claiming it was good luck. The dealer had no idea this could be a cheating tactic. Apparently some cards in the deck were cut in the factory incorrectly and so having the cards set at an angle means the player can see which cards have been cut incorrectly. As Punto Blanco is played with multiple decks, Ivey and his companion apparently worked out which cards were likely to be favourable from the imperfect cards in amongst the multiple decks of cards b ecause they would be able to count which ones had already come out of the shoe.

One flaw in Crockfords defence is that they originally said they sent one of their own investigators from Gentings, the company that owns Crockfords, to check out the video cameras, check the deck of cards as well as talk to the dealer and floor staff from that night. The investigator said there was nothing that looked out of the ordinary. The only point left hanging in the air now is Ivey’s female companion who has been ban from other casinos.

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