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Poker Great Phil Ivey Ordered To Return $10 Million In Winnings To Casino

Was it cheating or just smart play?
Phil Ivey, pictured in 2014, will appeal the decision ordering him and a friend to repay a casino $10 million, according to h
Phil Ivey, pictured in 2014, will appeal the decision ordering him and a friend to repay a casino $10 million, according to his lawyer.

Is this poker star getting a raw deal?

A federal judge ordered Phil Ivey and a friend to repay $10 million to a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, because they won the money while “edge-sorting,” NJ.com reported Monday.

While playing baccarat at the Borgata in 2012, Ivey and Cheng Yin Sun identified inconsistencies on the back of the cards that helped them determine their value. They won $9.6 million over four visits, plus an additional $504,000 when they bet some of the baccarat haul playing craps, NJ.com noted.

While it had already been determined that Ivey and his colleague did not mark the cards and did not commit fraud, the court ruled that they failed to abide by the Casino Controls Act because they asked various dealers to arrange the cards so Sun could get a better look at them, thereby creating an advantage.

Ivey, 39, had argued in a court filing that he never touched the cards. He called his attempt to gain an advantage akin to the house trying to distract him with “free alcohol served by only the most curvaceous and voluptuous females in the industry,” The Record reported.

Ivey’s attorney, Louis Barbone, said Monday that he would “look forward to our absolute right of appeal,” according to The Record.

In a similar case in London, a British court ordered Ivey to repay Crockfords Club casino millions that he had won while edge-sorting. He lost an appeal last month.

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