The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., is filed a suit Tuesday against a big-time gambler, claiming he won $9.6 million while cheating at baccarat card games.
The casino filed the federal suit on Tuesday against Phillip Ivey, Jr., who has won nine World Series Poker bracelets, and has a reputation as one of the best poker players in the world.
The lawsuit alleges that Ivey and an associate used to their advantage a defect in cards made by Kansas City manufacturer Gemaco Inc. that enabled them to sort and arrange good cards in baccarat.
The technique, called edge sorting, violates New Jersey casino gambling regulations, the casino said in the lawsuit.
Ivey used edge sorting to beat the casino on four occasions between April and October 2012, the Borgata claimed.
The casino also claimed in the lawsuit that Ivey and his companion asked a dealer to flip cards in specific ways, depending on whether the card was a desirable one or not in baccarat.
The pattern on the back of the cards was not uniform and were half- and quarter-diamonds instead of whole diamonds, and the cards were therefore defective, the lawsuit claimed.
The lawsuit claims that Ivey and his companion asked a dealer to flip cards in specific directions, depending on whether the card was desirable in baccarat. The numbers 6, 7, 8, and 9 are considered good cards in baccarat. Bad cards would be flipped in different directions, so that after several hands of cards, the good cards were arranged in a certain manner — with the irregular side of the card facing in a specific direction. Ivey could see when the good cards came out of the dealer chute, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit also claims that Ivey wanted the cards shuffled by an automatic shuffling machine, which would not change the way each card was aligned.
The Genting Group, a major casino operator based in Malaysia, filed a lawsuit in Britain's High Court also claiming that Ivey and an accomplice won $12 million while cheating at baccarat. Ivey denied he cheated in that case.
Neither Ivy nor representatives from the Borgata have made comments regarding the suit at this time.
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