Phil Ivey is back in London to appeal the 2014 High Court ruling in £7.8m Crockfords case
Phil Ivey isn’t used to losing, so it’s no surprise to see that he’s contesting the 2014 High Court decision that ruled in favour of Genting Casinos, who are withholding his £7.8m baccarat winnings. The judge in the original case ruled that his actions in an infamous edge sorting episode at Crockfords Casino were ‘cheating for the purpose of civil law.’ Ivey has always maintained that edge sorting – a technique to take advantage of defects in playing cards – is not cheating.
The Court of Appeal judge, Lord Justice Lewison, when granting Ivey permission to appeal, stated that his grounds of appeal ‘raise an important question of law and have a real prospect of success.’ The appeal is scheduled to be heard this Wednesday.
Phil Ivey was quoted as saying: ‘As I said at the time of the London verdict in October 2014, it is not in my nature to cheat which is why I was so bitterly disappointed by the judge’s decision, even though he said that I was a truthful witness and that he was sure that I didn’t believe that what I was doing was cheating. This wording from the Court of Appeal, that the grounds of our appeal raise an important question of law and have real prospects of success is quite simply the best news I’ve had since I won the £7.8m at Crockfords three and a half years ago in August 2012.’
Ivey might be used to playing the nosebleeds but it’s fair to say this could prove to be one of his biggest battles. As well as the Crockfords case, Ivey is embroiled in a similar lawsuit in the US where the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City is attempting to reclaim almost $10m in winnings that they have already paid out. They allege that Ivey was using a similar edge sorting technique when he won the money back in 2012.
The legal timeline
April – October: Ivey wins $9.6m playing Baccarat at Borgata Casino, New Jersey, USA.
August: Ivey wins £7.8m playing Baccarat at Crockfords Club, London. Casino refuses to pay out.
May: Ivey issues proceedings at London’s High Court against the owners of Crockfords Club (Genting Casinos UK Ltd) for non-payment of his £7.8m August 2012 winnings.
April: Borgata Casino files US lawsuit against Ivey seeking reimbursement of his $9.6m April-October 2012 winnings.
October: Ivey loses High Court claim against owners of Crockfords Club for non-payment of his August 2012 winnings.
January: Ivey granted permission to appeal the London High Court decision in claim against the owners of Crockfords Club.
July: Ivey counter sues Borgata Casino over 2102 Baccarat winnings.
Appeal of High Court decision in claim against owners of Crockfords Club due to be heard in Court of Appeal, London.