Let’s count the ways casino operators hate Phil Ivey… no, can’t do it, there’s just too many of them!

Embedded in 60minutes of waffle about meathead American Foozball players, there’s an extended biographical interview with Ivey where he is very candid about the edge sorting “scandal” with two major casino brands.

At the time of writing this, it would seem that Ivey has lost his case against Crockfords, and the case with the Borgata is still rumbling on. Chances are, he’s going to lose there too.

Although Ivey is obviously one of the best poker players in the world, and it’s impossible not to respect him, I’ve never found him to be a particularly likeable character. There’s something about his forthright attitude in this interview that endears him to me, and the backstory of how he came to be a poker player is truly heartwarming.

I’ve started the video at the right spot, once the Ivey bit’s over, it’ll get really boring unless you like American sports!

Geeky Considerations: What do you think? Assuming Ivey is being 100% honest here, which, for some reason, I really believe he is, do you think what he did counts as cheating?
Personally, I do not.
They gave him everything he asked for because he’s rich and they thought they could take a nice chunk of his cash. They underestimated him very seriously, it cost them a butt-load of monies and now they are crying their eyes out.

I’m horrified that a court has ruled against Ivey. That ruling says that casinos can do whatever they want and keep the cash if they win, and then not pay out if they lose.
Could I go into a casino, lose my money on the agreed terms of play, and then claim that their ‘reasons’ for suggesting those terms of play were not what were ‘implied’, so now I want my £20 back? Try it- percentage chance of success =0%.

For the sums of money involved, why didn’t those casinos have an experienced inspector, or a games security officer, watching the table? If you knew what edge sorting was, you’d spot a player doing it over the length of time Ivey was playing, then you could politely ask him to fuck off and you can’t lose to him anymore.
It would seem those casinos were blinded by dollar signs and that’s why they couldn’t see what Ivey was doing. Even with a 6% edge, he could still have lost; maybe they did see it and were waiting, hoping it would turn around for them, knowing that if it didn’t, they could run crying to the courts with the word “cheat” on their tongues and feel sure it would go in their favour, because not everybody can do what Ivey can do, so the court, knowing nothing about the technicalities of gaming, will almost certainly think “it’s not fair”.

I call bullshit, and it’s not very often I feel sorry for multi-millionaires, but I think Ivey has been wronged here, and it’s cost him more than just money.

Quote of the video: “No, race has never been an issue. In poker, they only see one colour, and that’s green.” – Phil Ivey, Poker Master.


For another example of a casino not owning their mistakes please read this.