Phil Ivey, 39, was denied his winnings of almost £8 million in August 2012 after playing a card game called punto banco at a casino in London. The owners of the Mayfair gaming club Crockfords declared that Mr. Ivey had been cheating and had broken the rules, thereby his win is not considered valid. Denying this, Mr. Ivey claimed that he utilized a completely legitimate technique called "edge sorting".
What exactly is edge sorting? Mr. Ivey put to good use the tiny flaws in the cards' design - uneven or asymmetrical differences in the patterns seen at the back edges which are created during the cards' manufacturing process.
Here's Mr. Ivey's thoughts on edge sorting: "When you are a professional gambler you are always looking for ways to gain an advantage over the casino. It's their job to prevent me from having any advantage. Sometimes I come out on top, sometimes they do."
The owner of Crockfords, Genting Casinos UK, emphasized that edge sorting was not a legitimate strategy in poker and thus represents an act of cheating. They said that their croupier was deceived into helping the poker pro after he pretended that he was superstitious. He made the staff to allow him to play again and again with the same pack of "lucky" cards that bears a pattern allowing him to implement the edge sorting technique.
After playing 2 nights at the casino, he was informed that his winnings will then be wired to him. However, that happy feeling of getting your winnings turned to disappointment when the money did not turn up, and he had never spoken about the case until now.
Even if he brought a High Court action into the picture due to the fact that his winnings were not paid out, it failed and so the case was closed last year.
However, Mr. Ivey's hope on the matter was once again renewed now that he has been given the go-signal to appeal right after a judge ruled that his case raises a crucial question of law and he has a "real prospect of success".
The latest update regarding this long-running dispute is set to be on December 10, 2015 at the Appeal Court. The lawyers of Mr. Ivey shall reiterate that cheating involves dishonest actions, yet the judge found that their client was not dishonest.
Phil Ivey is an American professional poker player who currently lives in Las Vegas and under his belt he has won 1 World Poker Tour title, appeared at 9 World Poker Tour final tablets, and he has won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets! He has been considered by many to be the best all-round player in the world.
When asked what he thinks about the entire ordeal, Mr. Ivey remarked, ‘It is not in my nature to cheat, which is why I was so bitterly disappointed by the judge's decision a year ago, even though he said I was a truthful witness. This is really great news. I am getting a second shot and I'm hoping we will win this time around."
He also remarked, "When you're accused of cheating it's a very big deal in gambling. I'm not allowed in certain casinos because of what happened. But my colleagues have been tremendously supportive - they know what is cheating and what is not".