Poker Hall of Famer Phil Ivey was just dealt a poor hand in the United Kingdom.
The U.K. Supreme has ruled that the 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner isn’t entitled to recovering the $10.1 million he won at Crockfords casino in London back in 2012.
Ivey used a controversial technique called edge sorting to gain an edge against the house in a form of baccarat called Punto Banco. The casino said he cheated and refused to pay Ivey his winnings, and so he sued two years later.
He lost a series of court rulings prior to the Supreme Court decision. The high court was basically tasked with deciding whether Ivey was a cheater in the eyes of the law because of his dishonesty toward the casino. The court said that Ivey “duped” the dealers.
“It makes no sense that the U.K. Supreme Court has ruled against me, in my view, contrary to the facts and any possible logic involved in our industry,” Ivey said in a statement.
“At the time I played at Crockfords, I believed that edge-sorting was a legitimate ‘advantage play’ technique and I believe that more passionately than ever today. As Mr Justice Mitting found, this is not just my personal view but one that ‘commands considerable support from others’ and I am grateful to the Supreme Court for confirming Mr Justice Mitting’s finding that I was a truthful witness in this respect and that this was my honest belief. As a professional gambler, my integrity is everything to me. It is because of my sense of honour and respect for the manner in which gambling is undertaken by professional gamblers such as myself that I have pursued this claim for my unpaid winnings all the way to the Supreme Court.”
Ivey maintains that edge sorting was a legitimate way to beat the house. He never touched the cards and in no way engaged in any criminal misconduct.
“It is very frustrating that the U.K. judges have no experience or understanding of casinos and advantage play, or the ongoing battle between casinos and professional gamblers attempting to level the playing field. If they had, I am very confident the result in this case would have been in my favour.”
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