Poker Legend Phil Ivey Settles $10.1 Million Lawsuit With Borgata
The Phil Ivey-Borgata baccarat saga finally concluded last week after over a six-year legal conflict.
According to court records filed July 2 at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, both parties have arrived at an concession on the $10.1 million the 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner made the Atlantic City casino.
The filing said that following an oral debate on Sept. 17, 2019, the court referred the parties to the courtroom ‘s mediation program in which an concession was reached. Predictably, the specifics weren’t disclosed.
The conflict in the courtrooms originated from many epic high-stakes baccarat sessions in 2012. Ivey and his spouse, Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun, conquer the Borgata from $9.6 million. After it was disclosed that the duo was having a controversial strategy known as “edge sorting,” the casino filed lawsuit against Ivey and Sun.
The strategy enabled the pair to see production flaws on the cards and also gain an advantage over the casino. Ivey and Sun used the similarly strategy in the UK in London’s Crockfords casino also gained 7.8 million, but the casino wouldn’t pay out the money. Ivey sued the casino and lost.
Borgata, on the other hand, paid Ivey and Sun and were forced to use the legal system to try and obtain the money back.
Borgata sued for $15.6 million two years after Ivey’s massive win. The total which included hundreds of thousands of dollars in comps and the $5.4 million the casino’s legal team figured the casino would have beaten Ivey for if he had been playing straight up.
In 2016, the judge decided that Ivey would be forced to pay the casino $10.1 million, after factoring the $500,000 Ivey won playing craps after his baccarat session.
Unfortunately for Borgata, Ivey’s bank accounts in New Jersey were completely empty and Atlantic City’s highest-grossing casino was unable to seize the funds. A letter from Wells Fargo confirmed that Ivey had no money in his bank account. Borgata’s legal team claimed that the money was transferred to a Mexican bank account.
In 2018, Borgata sought approval from the courts to cross state lines and go after Ivey’s stocks in Nevada. The court ruled in favor of Borgata in February 2019.
A few months later, at the 2019 WSOP, Ivey cashed four times for a total of $133,398, including an eighth-place finish in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $124,410. Borgata seized it at the conclusion of the series.
With Borgata seizing Ivey’s winnings, it looked like the days of Ivey playing American poker tournaments were over after all he would basically be playing without any chance of being paid. But the conclusion of the saga gives him the option of playing all the major American events. Whenever they resume.