Phil Ivey Sues London Crocksford Casino Over $11.9 Million Win
Back in May, Phil Ivey filed a lawsuit against the Crockfords Casino in London, England regarding a massive amount of cash that Ivey allegedly won, but the casino refuses to pay out. According to the lawsuit, Ivey won $11.9 million in August of 2012 playing the casino’s high-stakes baccarat tables, but the operator maintains that Ivey cheated, thus they don’t have to pay up.
Apparently Phil went on a massively rewarding hot streak at the London casino’s Punto Banco baccarat tables; a hot streak that lasted two days. During that time he won a massive $11.9 million from the casino. When he was finished playing, Ivey made his way to the casino’s cashier cage to cash out his chips and was told the winnings would be wired into his bank account. Ivey left, assuming that all was well, but the funds never arrived in his account.
At that time, Crockford’s would not comment on why it didn’t release the funds to Ivey, but an article in the LA Times revealed that the property had their investigators study Ivey’s play at the tables. The investigation allegedly turned up nothing, but still Crockfords Casino, which is owned by the Genting Group, refused to pay up.
Ivey commented on the lawsuit in a statement, “Crockfords has left me no alternative but to proceed with legal action, following its decision to withhold my winnings.” Matthew Down, Phil’s attorney, said that his client “regretted” having to take legal action to claim his rightful winnings.
One week after the lawsuit was filed, an article appeared in the Daily Mail in which Crockfords asserted it knew just how Ivey had cheated at the Punto Banco tables. The article alleged that the deck of cards in use had imperfections, feasibly a printing error during production, that Ivey was able to recognize; thus he was able to take advantage by studying the cards and predicting future outcomes. The report went on to state that Ivey frequently requested that the dealer rotate the deck of cards, presumably in an effort to read the defects and determine the pattern.
Phil Ivey, universally recognized as the best poker player in the world, both in live tournaments and online games, staunchly maintains that he did nothing illegal and that he is wholly worthy of the enormous amount of cash that he won. Fellow poker pro, Barry Greenstein, agreed with Ivey’s assertion in a recent interview at the 2013 WSOP.
“This kind of thing doesn’t happen every day,” replied Greenstein when was asked his opinion on the situation. “Phil didn’t mark any cards or do anything wrong from his point of view. He’s had big wins and he’s had big losses. This is kind of annoying for him because you can [lose] a few million then go off for a big score and they don’t want to pay you.”
Barry summed up the situation rather candidly, saying that Crockfords is only hurting its own reputation by refusing to pay Phil Ivey the millions owed to him. “I guess their new motto has to be ‘Play here, but if you win we may not pay you’”.