Phil Ivey Loses Punto Banco Case

Phil Ivey and co-litigant  Cheung Yin Sun

Phil Ivey and co-litigant Cheung Yin Sun

Phil Ivey and co-litigant Cheung Yin Sun lost their claim to £7.7 million in winnings from Genting Casino yesyerday. The two had nrought a cae to court in which they claimed the casino group owed them the money that they won legitimately in two session of Punto Banco – a form of Baccarat. 

Gensing said they cheated to win the money, because they used a technique called “edge-sorting” in which they got to know the value of a card by what was on the back of the card. therefore they cheated. Phil Ivey said that the technique was open to anyone and since it was the casino who provided the card he could not have cheated!

The judge argued that in civil law Phil Ivey had cheated because he had information that  the croupiers and their bosses did not know that the cards had information on the back of the card, and, Phil Ivey and Cheung Yin Sun exploited that knowledge. It was not criminal but a civil manner. The judge did however state that the litigators did not believe they were cheating because the strategy of edge-sorting is a legitimate tactic between card players.

I have never heard of edge-sorting before, and it does remind of a film in which a card player deliberately marks playing cards by breaking into the manufacturer and physically marking the cards. He then uses infa-red glasses to see the mark he done. This case is opposite to the film as it seems it is the casino that marked the cards and forgot or didn’t realise it had done so. Therefore I do agree with Phil Ivey and the judge in that he was not cheating. 

Why do casinos always want things their way? If a clever pontoon player count the cards he is breaking a law and will be thrown out of the casino, why?

Counting cards is no more wrong than reading the form in a horse race. The gambler is making informed decision by using data that he/she created by studying the form or the number of high cards left in the pack.

Anyway puno did no wrong and should be proud of themselves that they pursued their moral duty to fleece the house. The house would do the same to you if they had the choice as was seen by Nora Al-Daher when she sued The Ritz for encouraging her to lose $3.5 million by pandering to her every needs. Do you think that if Nora Al-Daher was winning with only a small initial bank they would be fawning all over her? Exactly!

So in the end the two litigants were unlucky to find a judge who didn’t know the mind of a gambler and the nature of gambling. They should appeal!