Poker Star Cheating? Phil Ivey Formally Accused Of Cheating By Genting Group

Raimundo Ortiz
By Raimundo Ortiz @AroundtheMundo
on May 16, 2013 09:14 AM EDT
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American poker superstar Phil Ivey has been trying to collect $12 million he won by playing Punta Banco, a version of baccarat, at Crockfords casino. Crockfords has not paid out the winnings to Ivey, and now the reason why has been made clear; they think Ivey cheated.

Punta Banco is a game that is based purely on luck, according to experts, so when Ivey fell into an $800,000 hole, then rebounded to make $12 million over the next two days.

Crockfords is claiming that Ivey voided his winnings by gaining a "significant edge" illegally. According to CBS, Punta Banco is played with six or eight decks in a "shoe." Each hand consists of two or three cards, and the objective is to have a hand as close to nine as possible, making the best starting cards seven, eight or nine.

The casino is alleging that Ivey and a female accomplice found a shoe with an "asymmetrical design," and that Ivey's accomplice was able to get friendly with the dealers by speaking Cantonese. She then convinced the dealers to either "turn the cards sideways or end over end," pretending that it was part of a superstition, when in reality she was helping Ivey glean which card was which, and then bet accordingly.

Once Ivey was able to tell which were the seven, eight and nine cards, he's accused of requesting that the cards be shuffled by a machine, thus ensuring that the cards' arrangement never changed.

Ivey, though, is strongly denying these allegations and said in a statement, "The fact that I have issued a lawsuit in the face of what they are alleging says everything about how comfortable I am with my conduct and the validity of my win. Any allegations of wrongdoing by Crockfords are denied by me in the very strongest of terms."

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