Ivey admits “edge sorting” in Crockfords lawsuit

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 16, 2013 Posted in Legal Poker News, Poker Gossip | No Comments »

ivey pokerCourt documents in the £7.8 million lawsuit against Mayfair Club Crockfords Casino brought by poker superstar Phil Ivey have come to light over the weekend with the DailyMail.co.uk reporting to have seen Ivey’s court submission.

According to the Daily Mail Ivey makes no bones about being an “advantage gambler” and admits to “edge-sorting” during his £7.8 million winning sessions. In the claim Ivey asserts that the casino is to blame for not performing its due diligence. Here are some of the pertinent excerpts from Ivey’s court submission in the case as reported by the Daily Mail:

“During the second session on August 20 [Mr Ivey] made various requests for decks of cards to be changed at the end of hands with which [Crockfords] chose to comply.

“This continued until Kelly identified a deck or decks of cards where the pattern on the reverse side of the cards was asymmetrical (in that one “long’’ side was different from the opposite side).

“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 and the dealer complied with the request.”

Amazingly Crockfords allowed this behavior to continue and never investigated possible reasons for the strange requests (which according to previous reports, Ivey and “Kelly” played off as superstition).

Ivey is adamant that he did not cheat during the sessions, and was using a legitimate technique to gain an advantage over the casino (similar to a card-counter in blackjack), but the casino claims he “acted to defeat the essential premise of the game” and was only willing to return his initial stake money from the sessions, withholding the £7.8 million in winnings.

This is an interesting case as a similar lawsuit involving the same woman was thrown out of court in Las Vegas, and historically the courts have sided with the casinos. Also working against Ivey will be the reports that “Kelly” is barred from several casinos around the world.

But in this case we have some extreme incompetence on the part of casino staff, as they should be well-versed in all of the methods employed by “advantage” gamblers. How they would not be aware of “edge-sorting” and how they would allow the deck to remain untouched and carried over to another session the following day is beyond me.


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