The on-going lawsuit between the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City and Phil Ivey continues to be played out in the public arena. The edge sorting case in which Ivey and playing partner Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun dates back to 2012 when the two of them resorted to ‘card counting’ or edge sorting to win over $10.1 million playing baccarat.
Borgata filed a case to reclaim the funds paid out on the basis that Ivey and his partner cheated the casino by using an illegal card counting technique. Ivey refuted all of those allegations and claimed that edge sorting was a highly specialized skill and also emphasized in his defense that the Borgata encouraged both players to keep playing as they were confident that the house would win.
After a long back and forth battle between the two parties over the years, Judge Noel Hillman from the U.S. District Court ruled in favour of the Borgata and asked Ivey to repay them a sum of $10.1 million.
Ivey Asks For Delay In Repayment
The ruling wasn’t good news for Ivey and his legal team. Ivey faced a similar charge of edge sorting at London’s Crockfords Casino to the tune of $9.6 million and the UK Court also ruled against Ivey. The poker pro appealed that ruling and took the case to the Supreme Court where he lost his appeal.
Although Ivey was ordered to repay the $10.1 million to the Borgata, he wasn’t about to given in and filed an appeal asking for a delay in posting bond for the amount that was to be repaid. His legal representatives claimed that the Borgata would not be negatively impacted if there was a delay in enforcing the payment.
Borgata Counters    
The legal team for the Borgata went hard at Ivey and Sun stating that Phil Ivey who has over $26.6 million in career prize money had the cash to make the repayment. The team also pointed out that Ivey recently took part in the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP) and was continuing to play poker without any negative impact to his career. Ivey has won over $2.3 million in prize money this year.
Court Orders Ivey To Pay Up
Judge Noel Hillman listened to both sides and ruled in favour of the Borgata once again.
In a statement, Judge Hillman said ““Defendants Ivey and Sun have provided no proof to show how the ‘purely economic injury, compensable in money’ would ‘threaten the existence of’ their business. Defendants simply say that returning the $10,130,000 [Borgata] paid them to them in the first instance would have a ‘devastating impact’ on them. Without any evidence to support their claim that they will be irreparably harmed if the Court does not stay the judgment pending appeal, Defendants have not met their burden…to warrant a stay of the judgment pending their appeal.”
Ivey’s Team Could Once Again Appeal
Given the fact that Ivey fought all the way up to the UK Supreme Court in his $9.6 million lawsuit against the Crockfords Casino, one can assume that he is not going to take this ruling lying down and will most likely file an appeal. His legal team has 30 days from the date of ruling to file an appeal.
Ivey will fight tooth and nail because there’s not only $10.1 million at stake but also his reputation as he claims. Ivey has not spoken much about his lawsuits in the press but on the brief occasions when he has opened up, he has claimed that he values his reputation in the industry immensely and wants to do everything within his power to clear his name.
Should Ivey go on to lose this case and repay the Borgata the $10.1 million, it will not only be a slap in his face in terms of a financial penalty but will also be a black mark on his reputation and career as a top poker pro.
The Borgata legal defense team are not worried about Ivey filing an appeal as they believe the odds are in their favour. They stated that stats from 2011 to 2015 show that less than 15 percent of such cases had a successful result in their appeal.

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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