Phil Ivey 2019 WSOP Winnings Seized by Borgata, Atlantic City Casino Still Short Millions
Posted on: August 26, 2019, 12:37h.
Last updated on: August 26, 2019, 01:01h.
Phil Ivey, unbeknownst to him, was playing for the Borgata casino in Atlantic City when he competed in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) $50,000 Poker Players Championship in June.
A strong run by the poker legend led to a finish in eighth place out of 74 total entries at the Las Vegas Rio. Ivey won $124,410 for his efforts.
However, it’s now being reported that Ivey never saw the money. Instead, lawyers acting on behalf of the MGM Resorts casino notified WSOP officials that they had the legal authority to seize Ivey assets in the state of Nevada. The money was directed to the US Marshals Service and later to the Borgata.
Flush Draw broke the news regarding the redirection of Ivey’s WSOP winnings. The poker-focused media outlet obtained a copy of the check from Rio Properties Inc. made out to Philip D Ivey Jr. C/O United States Marshals Service.
The legal case stems from 2012, when the Borgata claims Ivey appeared at the casino with accomplice Kelly Cheung Yin Sun and won nearly $10 million over a four-day span playing baccarat.
The casino sued Ivey two years later after learning he was likely using a strategy called “edge sorting.” The scheme involves skilled players detecting a slight flaw in the pattern of the playing cards that he uses to his advantage, or purposely altering their appearance during regular gameplay.
Ivey has admitted to edge sorting at other casinos, including Crockfords in London. He’s been unapologetic for utilizing the method, saying only the casino should be blamed for using faulty cards.
US courts didn’t agree. In February, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled that Ivey and Sun must repay the Borgata $9.6 million in winnings, plus an additional $504,000 the pair won playing craps with their baccarat haul.
“By using cards they caused to be maneuvered in order to identify their value only to them, Ivey and Sun adjusted the odds of baccarat in their favor,” US District Judge Noel Hillman said in his ruling. “This is in complete contravention of the fundamental purpose of legalized gambling.”
Ivey has told the Borgata he doesn’t have the money, and the Borgata said it’s been able to locate only one bank account in his name in the US, and it’s empty.
Ivey has been one of the most successful poker players in recent history. He is currently 14th on the all-time money list, with The Hendon Mob putting his live cash earnings at more than $26.3 million.
He’s the richest poker player originally from New Jersey, but it’s presumed that much of his fortune is located in banks not in the US.
The Hendon Mob lists Ivey as the No. 2 player in all-time popularity rankings. The list is compiled from the number of unique player profile hits each person has on the poker website.
He’s currently the face of Virtue Poker, an internet poker network that “uses the unique features of blockchain technology in conjunction with P2P networking to provide a safe, honest environment to play online poker.”