The legal representative of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in New Jersey has sought over $15 million from professional poker player Phil Ivey and Cheung Yin Sun. According to the hotel casino, the duo was involved in edge sorting at the high-stakes Mini Baccarat games at the Borgata.
In its filing, which Noel J. Hillman, the US District Court judge, had requested at his ruling of last week, the Borgata made a case for why the poker player should be considered liable for much more than the $9.262 million he had won while playing high-stakes Mini Baccarat.
In brief, the hotel casino has outlined three areas where the poker pro owes the hotel casino a lot of money. First, Ivey won a huge amount playing craps during one of his four visits to the hotel casino in 2012. Second, he collected a quarter of a million complimentary points in 2012. Third, Borgata demanded expectation damages worth $5.4 million, a value reached on the basis of the house advantage of its Mini Baccarat games. In all, the Borgata wants Ivey and his female companion to pay $15,548,311.40, an amount that does not include legal fees and interest penalties.
Let us now examine the above-mentioned three areas in some detail. Ivey made four visits to the Borgata in 2012 and during each of his visits, he played some high-stakes craps. During his first three visits, he lost at craps. But he won $504,000 during his 5-day visit to the Borgata in July. The casino claims that Ivey placed more than his original bankroll amount on craps games, adding that he used his Mini Baccarat winnings to place bets on craps.
Borgata, along with all other casinos, reward their players with comp points and expect them to lose huge amounts of cash while playing games. The casino now wants Ivey to return his comps because it offered these comps in the belief that the Mini Baccarat games Ivey played were set at the traditional house advantage, not the house edge that Ivey had obtained through his edge sorting activities.
Ivey and his companion had enjoyed comps worth $249,199.83 during his visits to the casino, spending them on expensive restaurants, air fare, butler service, spa privileges, and many other luxuries. The casino also wants “expectation damages,” which are the profits it could have earned if Ivey had played Mini Baccarat on the traditional house advantage.