Phil Ivey and Cheng Yin Sun, professional pokers, have nothing to smile about after a U.S. Judge ruled that the two return $10.1 million they illegally acquired when they played cards at Borgata casino.
According to Noel Hillman, the judge who presided over the case, the two, fixed the game. He argued that both players made prior arrangements with an accomplice in the casino back in 2012.
“They did not adhere to online casino gambling rules. That is why they had to put someone in advance at the resort to make sure that the Baccarat cards are arranged before they could play. That way, they were able to tell which card would come next,” said Judge Hillman.
Mr. Ivey and his poker pro friend had smiled for winning the $10.1 million that seemingly was a huge prize without using their poker prowess or sweat. Last week, Mr. Hillman ordered the two to return all the money they had accrued, which includes money made from playing craps.
When deciding the case, Judge Hillman did not take into account of Borgata’s request, which if granted, would make Borgata $15.5 million richer.
According to Judge Hillman, basing the decision on edge-sorting, (how much Borgata would collect had Chen and Ivey not conspired), would not be justice to both sides. The jury sees the formula as speculative.
Phil Ivey And The Borgata
Borgata claims that the resort would have made real money casino gambling, if the pair did not mark the cards in advance, an act, which enabled them arrange and sort good cards thus getting the prize.
On what can be seen as a defense, Ivey claimed that all he did was to apply skill which many poker players lack. Because he is a professional, Ivey said his win was legitimate.
“My win was as a result of many years of experience, skill and definitely good observation during the game,” said Ivey.
Borgata casino management claims that cards, which were used when Ivey and his friend played, did not contain a uniform pattern on the back, making them defective.
However, Ivey maintains that he did not see anything unusual, normal things that any poker player in his position would have seen thus betting according to what they observe.
Judge Hillman observed that the pair liaised with a gaming dealer at Borgata, who arranged playing cards in a manner that is allowed under game rules. However, the Judge said that those acts were in contravention with Atlantic City’s Casino Control Act, which anybody playing within the city must follow.
Hillman saved Sun and Ivey from paying back $250, 000, which the Borgata management claimed to be money for the good and services extended to the pair.