Phil Ivey’s five-year-long dispute with London’s Crockfords Casino in Mayfair came to an end after the UK Supreme Court ruled in favor of the casino. Ivey will now be unable to pocket the £7.7 million he feels he won at the casino in 2012 playing ‘Punto Banco’ but was wrongly denied to him.

The casino claimed that Ivey had violated the rules to win. They claimed that Ivey had used a technique known as edge-sorting to recognize face-down cards and thus gave himself an unfair advantage. Ivey did not deny the charges, instead claiming all he had been doing was exploiting the casino’s own shortcomings to tip the balance in his favor. Ivey received only £1,000,000 of the £7,700,000, with his ‘winnings’ withheld.

Ivey first got the case to court 2014 where the High Court decided that edge- sorting was cheating as per the civil law, although the presiding Judge Mitting had declared him as a “truthful witness” and acknowledged that Ivey did not believe what he had done to be cheating.

After the High Court ruled in 2014 that edge-sorting was a form of cheating, Ivey took his case to the Court of Appeal a year ago. Yet, he was denied as the Court dismissed Ivey’s claim that he was ‘advantage player’.

Taking the case to the UK Supreme Court, the highest authority in the land, Ivey had hoped for some respite. The five judges, however, consistently maintained the major decision of the Court of Appeal, which rejected his case on the premise that dishonesty was not a vital component of ‘cheating’.

Lady Justice Arden explained, “In my judgment, this section provides that a party may cheat within the meaning of this section without dishonesty or intention to deceive: depending on the circumstances it may be enough that he simply interferes with the process of the game.”

She added, “On that basis, the fact that the appellant did not regard himself as cheating is not determinative.”


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