Gambling King Phil Ivey Got Himself in Hot Water with Baccarat

Phil IveyIn a strange twist that seems like something right out of a Hollywood movie, 2014 actually brought baccarat into the limelight when a poker legend, Phil Ivey, crossed the line. He is under fire with two lawsuits from the Borgata casino in Las Vegas and the Crockford’s casino in London. The basis for the claims: using the baccarat tactic known as edge-sorting. With his sidekick, Cheng Yin Sun, in cahoots, the two players allegedly cheated the Borgata out of approximately $10 million dollars and another $12 million form Crockford’s.

Edge-sorting is the Name of the Game
In a move that was considered a hustle in the midst of incompetence on the part of two casinos across the globe, Ivy became headline news. While his skill in the game of poker is undeniable, he took the gambling world by surprise by allegedly cheating. With the help of his accomplice, they managed to read the backs of Gemaco playing cards that were flawed in design. In turn, the players could single out high and low cards, giving themselves a five percent advantage over the casino. The game was no longer simply a matter of chance.

The Tables Have Turned
Ivey and Sun may have raked in the winnings as a dynamic duo, but Ivey suffered the consequences. He faced the music with two court dates and even admitted his guilt in using baccarat’s edge-cutting during his winning sweep at the two casinos in question. However, in his defense, Ivey claimed that edge-cutting is a technique that can be considered a skill, therefore fair play. In the end,Ivey was required to pay up the full amount of Crockford’s losses. The outcome with the Borgata remains to be seen, but suggests Ivey should leave Baccarat out of the equation when he sits down at the poker table.