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Phil Ivey appeal in Crockfords Club casino ruling underway in U.K.

14 Apr 2016

By Gary Trask
Phil Ivey's bid to recoup the £7.8 million he won at Crockfords Club casino four years ago began this week in a London courtroom.

Ivey and a partner won the hefty sum playing Punto Banco – or baccarat – in the U.K. in August 2012, but he was forbidden to actually collect his winnings when a High Court ruled that the 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner's technique, called "edge-sorting," unfairly aided the two players as they wagered a reported £50,000 per hand.

Phil Ivey is in court this week, hoping to recoup winnings from a U.K. casino.

Phil Ivey is in court this week, hoping to recoup winnings from a U.K. casino.

Following months of failed negotiations, Ivey filed suit against the Genting-owned casino in May 2013. In 2014, the court ruled in favor of Crockfords and Ivey was granted permission to appeal, which began on Wednesday.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Ivey was present in court this week. His lawyer, Richard Spearman, told the court, "For a long, long time cheating has been regarded as involving dishonesty . . . There are a lot of games in which deception, certainly in the sense of bluffing, is integral to the game," and that his client "would not act dishonestly."

The now 40-year-old Ivey said in a statement through his lawyers, "It is not in my nature to cheat, which is why I was so bitterly disappointed by the judge's decision, even though he said that I was a truthful witness and that he was sure that I didn’t believe that what I was doing was cheating. This wording from the Court of Appeal that the grounds of our appeal raise an important question of law and have real prospects of success is quite simply the best news I’ve had since I won the £7.8 million at Crockfords."

Ivey faced similar charges in April 2014 when he was sued in federal court by the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, which claimed the $9.6 million he won in 2012 was earned through cheating at high-stakes mini-baccarat. The casino claimed Ivey "manipulated a defect in the playing cards through a special manner of dealing that he requested."

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, Ivey was assisted in the scheme by an associate who spoke Mandarin Chinese with the dealer.

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