Phil Ivey just won’t give up without a fight. As his legal battle against the Borgata continues, lawyers representing the American poker pro have appealed a Nevada ruling which ordered the freezing of his 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) winnings.
Ivey went home empty-handed despite his deep run in the $50K Poker Players Championship at the 2019 WSOP after Borgata lawyer Jeremy Klausner notified the WSOP brass that they successfully obtained a Writ of Execution against Ivey, and therefore the player should not receive any of his winnings. Ivey finished seventh in the $50K high roller event for $124,410, but the prize money was immediately confiscated and sent to the US Marshal in accordance with the writ.
Now, Ivey’s side is contesting that the freezing of funds was unlawful as Klausner is not duly licensed in Nevada. Furthermore, he broke the protocol by failing to partner with a locally licensed counsel in serving the writ. Ivey’s lawyers are now pushing for a reversal of the ruling to recoup the players winnings, most of which already belong to Ivey’s backers, Dan Cates and Illya Trincher, as part of an existing staking agreement during his run at the 2019 WSOP.
NJ Proceedings Resume
In New Jersey, attorneys representing both Ivey and Borgata appeared in court last week for the start of the appeals process. The case was put before a panel of three Third Circuit Court judges, with both sides throwing their opening salvos. No details have been disclosed just yet, but reports point to two gaming agencies in the state which were criticized by the presiding Judge Marjorie Rendell for passing the buck and failing to rule on the matter.
The Casino Control Commission (CCC) and the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) did not file any action on the case and instead left it up to the courts, saying the question of whether or not Ivey and his partner Sun cheated the Borgata Casino was beyond their scope and should be determined by a jury.
Judge Rendell apparently expressed frustration at the agencies’ lack of action, and appeared to sympathize with Ivey and Sun, saying Borgata knew everything from the very start and had agreed to the terms of play even before the game began. But Borgata’s counsel Jonathan Massey was quick to fire back, saying both Ivey and Sun may have adopted a clever strategy in their favor, but what they practiced was a form of cheating that gave them an unfair advantage.
Ivey is among the world’s most recognizable poker pros with 10 World Series of Poker bracelets under his name. His total live tournament winnings currently sit at more than $25 million. He is also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame since 2017.
Case History
The edge-sorting case between Phil Ivey and the Borgata in Atlantic City goes back a number of years as both parties have continued to fight it out in the courts going back and forth over the years.
A 2016 ruling stemming from a baccarat session at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City tainted Ivey’s career, prompting him to take a break from the poker tables. He was sued by the casino for more than $10 million – the amount of money he won in a three-day baccarat session at Borgata with his partner Kelly Sun. Both practiced what is called “edge-sorting” which enabled them to spot flaws in patterns on the back of cards. The pair admitted they used the technique but never apologized.
The Borgata has since been chasing Ivey’s assets, with the poker pro allegedly transferring his funds to a bank account in Mexico to prevent the casino from seizing his money. Ivey has stayed away from the live tournament poker scene in America for a number of years and has preferred to play high stakes poker in other parts of the world.
The 2019 WSOP marked his return to the US poke scene and although his performance at the poker table wasn’t up to the standard he would have expected, he still won over 6 figures. Ivey will avoid playing in the US till the case with the Borgata is settled.

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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