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Abby Messick

Abby served as an associate editor for the Casino City editorial team for three years, between 2015 and 2018.

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Poker pro Phil Ivey loses appeal against Genting Casinos

4 Nov 2016

By Abby Messick
Phil Ivey disagrees with the ruling of the appeal.

Phil Ivey disagrees with the ruling of the appeal.

Phil Ivey, a 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, lost his appeal against Genting Casinos U.K. this week.

The appeal concerned whether he cheated by using a technique called edge sorting to win almost $10 million during a game of baccarat. It was decided that Ivey had been manipulating the odds in his favor and influencing the croupier to deal cards in specific ways.

Ivey won the sum in 2012 while playing at London's Crockfords Club Casino. Edge sorting – considered by some to be morally dubious – involves the player attempting to differentiate face-down cards as being high or low based on subtle differences in the cards' design or other flaws. Ivey claims this technique is perfectly legitimate.

The U.K. High Court seems to feel otherwise, as back in October 2014, Judge John Mitting ruled against Ivey's claim after he sued the Genting-owned casino in May 2013.

January 2014 saw Ivey appeal against the London High Court's decision. Now, more than two years later, judges of the Court of Appeal confirmed the original verdict of the case, meaning Ivey won't be seeing any of the money.

On the ruling, Ivey said in a statement, "This decision makes no sense to me. The trial judge said that I was not dishonest and the three appeal judges agreed, but somehow the decision has gone against me. Can someone tell me how you can have honest cheating? I'd like to add that I am very grateful to Lady Justice Sharp who decided that the trial judge was 'wrong' to decide that I had cheated. The public should read her judgment. It makes perfect sense."

Ivey's lawyer, Matthew Dowd of Archerfield Partners LLP, felt similarly: "The Court of Appeal’s decision leaves the law totally unclear as to what constitutes cheating at gambling. Four judges have looked at this issue now, and none of them have been able to agree on the correct interpretation of section 42 of the Gambling Act. It essential that the law is clarified, and in light of today's decision, we are seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court."

The professional poker player has dealt with a similar situation in the past, when in April 2014 he was sued by the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City.
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