Phil Ivey Won $12 Million Playing Punto Banco And The Casino Refused To Pay Up

Senior Writer
05.15.13 9 Comments

World-renowned poker star Phil Ivey spent a few nights at the Mayfair casino Crockfords in London last October, and normally that wouldn’t be news, because he’s a pro poker player and all, but the 37-year old caused quite the buzz when he won about $12 million playing the baccarat game Punto Banco. Now, I don’t understand any card games that aren’t called war or assh*le, so forgive me if I gloss over the rules to this specific game* and get right to the bangers and mash – the casino bosses refused to pay out because they accused Ivey of cheating. Naturally, he’s suing them.

So how on Earth do you cheat at a game that involves nothing but pure luck? Easy. You use the exclusive, illegal knowledge that the decks of cards had been improperly cut and you examine each card’s back from a distance to determine the card’s value and wager accordingly. I know, right? How the hell haven’t we all been doing this for years?

The casino group said in the court papers that Ivey’s claim is “based upon illegal acts” that void his claimed winnings. It said he was able to have a “significant advantage” over the casino by using improper means to determine whether the first card being dealt in the baccarat hands would be a powerful or weak card, allowing him to place his bets accordingly.

The papers claim that Ivey was able to increase the size of his bets “substantially” once the scam had started to work. (Via Fox News)

This lawsuit is considered to be one of if not the largest lawsuit ever filed against a casino over withheld winnings, so Ivey must feel pretty confident that he can prove that he and his female companion weren’t cheating. Alas, his companion might be his downfall, as the unidentified Chinese woman has apparently been previously banned from two other casinos. Why? No clue.

But how f*cking cool would it be to travel the world as a full-time gambler with a sexy Chinese woman who helps you win millions? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being Stephen Dorff scratching his cheek while smoking Blu eCigs and 10 being Jay-Z responding to politicians who complained about him visiting Cuba with a rap song, Phil Ivey is like a 7 right now.

*The Daily Mail provided this handy breakdown of how Ivey allegedly cheated in case you’re familiar with Punto Banco and want to try for yourself.

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