Thursday, 9 October 2014

Phil Ivey - Court Judgement

In a judgement that surprised me, the Judge John Mitting found in favour of the casino :

In his ruling, the judge said that the case turned on whether there was cheating: "If Mr Ivey cheated, he is not entitled to recover his winnings. If he did not, he is."

What Mr Ivey and Ms Sun did was to persuade the croupier to turn some of the cards in the dealing shoe to permit them to know that they were or were very likely to be sevens, eights or nines, and in circumstances where she did not realise she had done so - and, if she had, would have immediately stopped play.

The fact that Mr Ivey was genuinely convinced that he did not cheat and that the practice commanded considerable support from others was not determinative of the question of whether it amounted to cheating.

Mr Ivey had gained himself an advantage and did so by using a croupier as his innocent agent or tool.

It was not simply taking advantage of error on her part or an anomaly practised by the casino for which he was not responsible.

He was doing it in circumstances where he knew that she and her superiors did not know the consequences of what she had done at his instigation.

He concluded: "This is, in my view, cheating for the purpose of civil law."

This will be an expensive time for Mr Ivey. He has to pay all his costs, which probably run to £200k, and (maybe) all or a good portion of Crockfords costs.

There is also doubt now, whether he can get high level sponsorships (should he need them),as, his value as a top-class poker player/representative, may, arguably, be tainted.

I am not sure,the UK Gambling Commission would look to sue him as a cheat .. so, the case will probably just lie on the books - but, apart from the money, it now issues a whole can of worms, as to what 'contract' a pro-gambler enters in-to, when he manufactures an edge.

The case seemed to revolve around the way, Mr Ivey entered the contract to play :

"The club argues the use of edge-sorting is not a legitimate strategy.

Genting Casinos UK, which owns Crockfords, says Mr Ivey's conduct defeated the premise of the game, meaning there was no gaming contract"

In British law, the statutes are written differently to those in the US .. and it will be interesting to see what happens, to a similar case, being brought by a US casino (The Borgata).

The full detail of the judgement has yet to be released, but, it may mean, pro-gambers in the UK, now have a judicial precedent to beat, if they resort to law.

It appears My Ivey bet small, when his edge was low, as the cards were being set-up (and his edge was low), but by betting big, when he had a v big edge, that amounted to cheating.

Casinos, now have another edge to beat customers.. and I for one, would be reluctant to give them a shot at my money. 

Other edge-sorters, or Advantage Players,may now be comprimised, due to the sheer public nature of the case.

Some interesting reading :

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