UK Supreme Court Confirms: Ivey Won’t Be Getting Paid by Crockfords Club

October 26th 2017 | Ivan Potocki

The UK Supreme Court confirmed decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, leaving Ivey with basically no hope of getting his hands on the £7.7 million win from 2012. (source: Las Vegas Review Journal)

Phil Ivey’s battle to recoup his baccarat winnings from London’s Crockfords Casino has come to an end, but with the result that the high-roller isn’t happy about. Namely, the UK Supreme Court has confirmed decisions by the lower instances, confirming Mr. Ivey won’t be getting any of his £7.7 million winnings from five years ago.

Carefully planned sting?

Ivey and his legal team have already been through several steps, the latest one being the appearance before the Court of Appeal. The court turned down Ivey’s claims, supporting the casino in their decision to refuse payment based on the fact that the high-roller and his partner, Cheung Yin Sun, used the technique known as edge sorting to gain the upper hand.

To remind you, back in 2012, Ivey and Sun visited Crockfords Casino for some high-stakes punto banco (baccarat) sessions. Over the course of these sessions, the duo won £7.7 million. However, the casino refused to pay any winnings, accusing Ivey of cheating. It later became known that Ivey did, indeed, used edge sorting to improve his odds.

However, the poker legend maintained what he did could not be classified as cheating.

The Supreme Court doesn’t seem to see thing Ivey’s way, however, as Lord Hughes, one of the justices, described what took place as a carefully planned and executed sting.

An Honest Cheat?

One of the biggest points Ivey’s team was making about the case was the question how it was possible to have an “honest cheat?” This question related to an earlier court decision, where the judge deemed Ivey to be a truthful witness and concluded that his actions were grounds for the refusal to pay, but not cheating as such.

The Supreme Court also clarified their position that Ivey’s actions were clearly cheating, something which wasn’t defined by previous court decisions

The Supreme Court cleared this up, confirming that Ivey’s behavior was, in fact, dishonest. Justices maintained that punto banco, as such, is a purely random game, and it is necessary to keep it as such to keep things fair. What Ivey did changed the premise of randomness.

Genting Group Happy

Genting Group, the owner of Crockfords Club, were happy that the Supreme Court confirmed previous decisions. Furthermore, they expressed the satisfaction with the fact that justices cleared up the air on the whole “what constitutes cheating” issue.

Genting’s President Paul Willcock explained that this decision will have an important impact on the overall gambling industry. Of course, he was pleased that the court didn’t find anything wrong with Crockfords’ decision not to pay Mr. Ivey and decided that whether Ivey believed his actions to be honest or not had no bearing on the case.

With the UK court being basically over, Ivey now has another legal battle to fight in the US, where Borgata is asking for $10.1 million in winnings to be returned

Things not looking bright for Ivey

For Ivey, this was the last legal resource in the UK, so it is now clear that he won’t be getting any of that £7.7 million win. At the same time, he is on the line for $10.1 million in a similar case against Borgata casino. In this instance, the casino is requesting Ivey to return his baccarat winnings that had already been paid out. The high-roller has already lost his first legal battle, so things aren’t looking particularly rosy at the moment.

Ivan Potocki on EmailIvan Potocki on Twitter
Ivan Potocki
Ivan Potocki
Assistant Editor and Columnist at Beat The Fish
Ivan first started playing poker in 2006 and played professionally from 2010-2013. He holds a BA in English language and literature. Since joining the Beat The Fish team in 2016 Ivan has made an immediate impact, leading the news section and contributing numerous feature articles. You can reach Ivan directly at ivanpotocki@gmail.com

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