Phil Ivey has lost the biggest ever lawsuit in UK casino history. Ivey and the UK’s oldest casino, Crockfords Casino, which is owned by Genting Casinos went head-to-head for £7.8 Million or about $12 million.
The situation arose after Ivey won this amount of money while playing at the Casino. He was given a receipt for his winnings and told that the funds would be sent to him later. Upon further investigation into Ivey’s massive win, Crockfords decided to withhold the funds, alleging the Ivey cheated to win them. Ivey took them to court in an attempt to recover the money. He said the following about his decision: “I am deeply saddened that Crockfords has left me no alternative but to proceed with legal action, following its decision to withhold my winnings,” Ivey said. “I have much respect for Gentings, which has made this a very difficult decision for me. Over the years I have won and lost substantial sums at Crockfords and I have always honoured my commitments. At the time, I was given a receipt for my winnings but Crockfords subsequently withheld payment. I, therefore, feel I have no alternative but to take legal action.”
Phil Ivey openly explained his Edge Sorting technique that he used to gain an advantage over the casino in a statement submitted as part of the proceedings: “During the second session on August 20th various requests were made for the deck to be changed at the end of hands. Crockfords complied. Kelly identified a deck with an asymmetrical pattern on the reverse side. Kelly would ask the dealer to reveal each card in turn by lifting an edge so that Kelly could identify whether the card was a 7, 8, or 9. The first time that Kelly identified a key card, she told the dealer that it was a 'good card' which she wanted the dealer to rotate in the opposite direction to all the other cards. Again Crockfords complied. In this way, key Punto Banco cards were orientated in the opposite direction to the rest of the deck.”
The judge ruled in favour of Crockfords, noting that what Phil Ivey did would be considered “cheating for the purpose of civil law.”