Long-time gamblers will tell you that there is one inevitable truth in gambling, and that truth is that the house always wins. This truth was borne out once again as the High Court in London just denied Phil Ivey’s court case to recover the £7.7 million in casino winnings that were not paid after he won at London’s Crockford Club in August 2012.
Ivey won the money playing baccarat at the Crockford Club. He had to leave suddenly to go back home to the United States for a funeral, and he left without being paid his winnings by the casino. According to Ivey, the casino promised to wire the money he won to his bank account, but they failed to fulfil their promise. They did return the £1million that Ivey had put down as his original stake money at the Crockford Club.
The casino’s side of the story is that Ivey cheated to win the £7.7 million. They say he used an old card players’ trick known as edge sorting. Edge sorting is a tool in which a card player can determine what a card is from subtle marks that are on the backs of the cards. These marks easily occur as the cards are handled over time, but some players will deliberately mark the cards to increase their advantage in the game.
While neither Ivey nor the casino claim that he deliberately marked the cards, both admit he did use edge sorting to gain an advantage. The difference is how they view the practice. Ivey and most professional gamblers do not consider it cheating unless the player deliberately marks the cards, but the judge and the casino disagreed.
The court denied Ivey’s lawyers the chance to appeal the ruling. However, they can submit an application directly to the Court of Appeals to try to get the ruling overturned.