Phil Ivey Loses UK Supreme Court Appeal In Edge Sorting Case

Phil Ivey lost his appeal to recover £7.7 million from London’s Crockfords Club which is owned by the Genting Group. Ivey and his partner Cheung Yin Sun won £7.7 million playing Punto Banco in 2012 but Crockfords refused to pay out their winnings after claiming that Ivey and Sun resorted to ‘edge sorting’ or card counting to gain an unfair advantage over the house.

Ivey filed a lawsuit against Crockfords to recover those winnings and the case has received much publicity during the last 5 years.

A London Court of Appeals ruled in favour of Crockfords in 2014 and Ivey immediately filed an appeal to overturn the decision. Ivey who has won 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets said at that time it was more important for him to clear his reputation than having the satisfaction of claiming a huge payout.

When Phil Ivey filed his appeal, he stated that he was puzzled by the ruling from the Court of Appeals who stated that while ‘edge sorting’ classified as cheating under the Gambling Act of 2005, Ivey did not purposely try to deceive Crockfords as he believed that edge sorting was an exceptional skill which exploited the defects in a set of cards. Ivey wanted to know how the judges ruled that he was not a dishonest gambler but at the same time classified it as cheating.

The Supreme Court shared the same view as the Appeals Court and announced on October 25 that it would uphold the earlier decision and Crockfords Club was not obligated to payout Ivey’s winnings as he had planned and carried out a sting to exploit the weaknesses he found at the casino which constituted as cheating.

In a statement, Paul Willcock, the COO and President of Genting UK said

This has been a landmark case in how the courts approach cheating in the modern day. This entirely vindicates Genting's decision not to pay Mr. Ivey, a decision that was not taken lightly

The 40 year old poker pro is also facing a similar lawsuit in the United States as Ivey and Sun have also been accused of using edge sorting to win $10.1 million from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. A U.S District Court has ordered the two players to return the money and Ivey has also appealed this decision.