Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trouble For Phil.

It seems pro poker players just can't avoid trouble.  The latest facing problems is Phil Ivey.  The Borgata Casino and Spa in Atlantic City is suing Ivey for cheating them out of 9.6 million dollars.  But not for cheating at poker, rather for cheating at baccarat.   The lawsuit claims Ivey and a companion used a flaw in cards to arrange them so they could tell which card was being dealt, and hence enhance their chances of winning.  The company that made the cards, New Jersey based Gemaco Inc, is being sued by the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, who claim card problems led to gamblers defrauding them of 1.5 million dollars.  And on top of that Ivey is being sued by Malaysia's Genting Group in the UK for cheating at baccarat, alleging he and an accomplice cheated them out of 12 million dollars.

If Ivey did cheat both of these casinos for the amounts they alleged that's a hell of a lot of money.  You'd think someone running that lucky at baccarat would have been spotted fairly quickly, given that baccarat, like most casino games, is supposed to favour the house quite heavily. (It seems that in the UK case the staff at Crockford's Club casino did spot something odd, as they refused to pay out Ivey's winnings.) You also have to wonder why someone like Ivey would engage in such extensive cheating given the damage it would do to his reputation if discovered.  On the other hand we've seen multiple examples in the past of how the big sums of money involved in gambling seem to cloud the judgement of the pros, the most notorious example probably being the goings on at Full Tilt Poker before the US crackdown on online poker. 

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