Phil Ivey, Genting, Crockfords, Baccarat and Their Lovers

Posted on May 16th, 2013

Did Phil Ivey rip off Crockford´s Casino in London last summer? That is the $12 million question.

Here’s an update on that Phil Ivey Baccarat story we covered back in October 2012. Crockfords in London is now alleging that Phil Ivey, one of the planet’s best poker players and high roller gamblers was cheating when he played baccarat in London last summer.

And they’re refusing to pay out his $12 million in winnings.

So it’s the new kid on the block versus the old skool in a legal battle that will fascinate many.

The baccarat game we are all interested in took place on August 20-21 at Crockfords, one of London’s finest, longest established casinos, and the proverbial just the fan this week. Phil Ivey filed a legal claim against the Genting Group in London’s High Court, stating that the casino group (Malaysia based) refused to pay the $11.9 million he says he won fair and square playing the high roller´s favoutite game: baccarat at Crockfords, (part of the Genting Group).

The casino replied in court Tuesday by accusing the poker player of foul play, saying his big win was invalid because they were “based upon illegal acts.”

Then on Wednesday, Ivey issued a statement denying any misconduct. The plot thickens

The 37-year-old said, “Any allegations of wrongdoing by Crockfords are denied by me in the very strongest of terms.”

Genting claimed in the court papers that Ivey’s “illegal acts” invalidated his winnings. They claim Ivey knew the strength of the cards being dealt to him in the baccarat game, enabling him to increase his odds.

Ivey was playing Punto Banco, a variant of Baccarat that is played with 6 or 8 decks of cards dealt out of a dealing shoe.

The aim of the game for each hand, (2 or 3 cards), is to get a hand as close as possible to nine – so the best first cards are a 7, 8 or 9 since a 10 or a J, Q or K count as 0.

You can bet on you winning, or the bank winning, or a tie.

Genting claim that Ivey and his accomplice, after testing, found a shoe that had decks of cards with a design that was not symmetrical. The cards in play that night, were apparently miscut when they were made, with an asymmetrical pattern, where the diamonds on one edge were cut in half.

They then convinced the dealer, after he had revealed the cards, to turn the card either sideways or end over end if it was a 7,8 or 9. So , because there were only half diamonds on one side, Ivey could tell which cards were 7,8 or 9.

This was done by Ivey´s sidekick, a woman who claimed she liked to change the way the cards lay for luck.

Ivey then locked in the advantage by asking that the cards be shuffled automatically by a machine, locking in the card ID, so that they were the same way around all through the session.

Whenever an 8 or 9 (and maybe even a 6 or 7) came up, they knew.

The two were also able to get the casino to “hold the shoe,” or keep  the same decks of cards for when they came back the second day. (Normally, the casino destroys the cards at the end of the night). So, hey presto, when Ivey sat down for his second day, the rotated cards were still in the show and he still had his advantage.

Click Me to get a Larger Image

Do you understand this? No? Well, we only just get it. If it´s true, isn´t the onus on the casino to check its equipment? Let´s see if the court understands. Just cough up the $12 million, Genting! This sounds like a bad PR exercise to me.

Check out neat infographic above from The Daily Mail explaining Genting´s theory. You can click it to get s bigger size if you need glasses.



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