Phil Ivey won £7.8m by 'reading' the back of cards: How tiny flaw in deck design could have given poker star the upper hand
Phil Ivey is accused of 'reading' the cards in a game based purely on luck
Mr Ivey’s winnings were withheld by Mayfair casino Crockfords
He insists he did nothing illegal in a game of punto banco
-Ivey visits Crockfords with Asian female companion to play high stakes Punto Banco
-Lady asks dealer to rotate cards 180 degrees when they are dealt because Phil is superstitious and thinks it is luckier.
-Ivey and his companion never touch the cards.
-At one point during the first night, he is down 500,000 quid
-Ivey increases bets from 50,000 to 150,000 quid per hand
-That night he recovers and wins 2.3M quid
-Ivey asks the casino to preserve the cards from this session (considering them lucky, I suppose) and they agree
-Ivey and companion return the next day and win 5.5M more
-Casino claims cards were marked due to manufacturing error
-Ivey could recognize this by having the cards turned 180 degrees, hence why he wanted the cards preserved for the next day (when they are usually destroyed after each session)
-Casino claims Ivey's companion helped him "read" the cards (she has been banned from a couple casinos in the US)
-Thus, Ivey's winnings are not legitimate
End Cliff Notes.
In my opinion, the only thing they have on Ivey is the bit about preserving the cards. All the other things are things that gamblers do all the time. But since they (Crockfords) agreed to preserve the cards, I'm not sure why this whole thing is an issue. I don't get why Casinos suddenly don't have to pay out if the cards are marked due to no fault or action of the player. Like one commenter on the article said: they sure as heck would expect the player to PAY if they lost with marked cards! So why don't they have to? These casinos are always in the business of taking huge sums, but when they have to pay it's a different story. I'm calling BS on this hypocrisy. Crockfords should pay. You were happy to take Ivey's money when he loses, but then you are slow to pay when he wins! Ban Ivey if you want to, but pay him what you owe him! - SirCameron