The UK Supreme Court granted professional poker player Phil Ivey’s attempt to appeal a decision made by the Court of Appeals. The case relates to £7.8 million Ivey won while playing a version of baccarat known as Punto Banco at Crockford Club in London.
“Last November’s Court of Appeal ruling made no sense to me,” Ivey said in a press release. “The original trial judge ruled that I was not dishonest and none of the three Appeal Court judges disagreed, and yet the decision went against me by a majority of 2 to 1.”
Ivey is ecstatic that he will get a chance to have his case heard by the UK Supreme Court. “I am so pleased that the Supreme Court has granted me permission to fight for what I genuinely believe is the right thing to do in my circumstances, and for the entire gaming industry,” he said. “I look forward to the Supreme Court reversing the decision against me.”
Crockfords refused to pay him the winnings in August 2012. Ivey filed suit against Crockfords in May 2013 to recover the winnings. Ivey lost the lawsuit in the High Court in October 2014 and the Court of Appeals in April 2016.
Ivey was accused of using a technique known as edge sorting to help determine what the top card in the deck was before each hand. The cards in the decks used in the Punto Banco games were believed to have been cut poorly. Ivey convinced the house to sort the cards in numerical order before turning them sideways for a shuffle. This revealed the defective design so that it would be easier to determine if the next card was a low or high one, according to the casino’s complaint.
Ivey had a similar situation occur at Borgata in Atlantic City. Ivey lost his court case in New Jersey. Ivey was ordered to return $10.1 million he was already paid by the casino.