Where is Phil Ivey? WSOP 2017
Update 25 October 2017: Case Dismissed | Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords
As many know, I have a “slight” obsession with baccarat (and Chemin de Fer) so following the Ivey cases has been of extreme interest. There are currently cases pending with Borgata Atlantic City and Crockfords Club Mayfair (Genting Casinos) in the UK. Tomorrow, the Supreme Court in the UK will hear the case : Ivey (Appellant) v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords (Respondents). By coincidence, the cases involve venues in London, UK and Atlantic City, New Jersey, two locales that have much personal interest. The absence of Ivey from WSOP (World Series of Poker) while unusual, it not really that surprising considering the circumstances.
The deadline came and went and there was no Ivey, unfortunately. Longtime friend Daniel Negreanu, also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame, said Ivey has too much on his plate right now to compete. Making the final table requires about 12 hours of play each day for a week.
Crockfords is claiming that Ivey had cheated, but the fact that the case has proceeded to the Supreme Court of the UK most definitely leads us to believe there is still quite a bit of uncertainty with regard to whether this claim is valid. In a decision by The UK Court of Appeals in 2016, it certainly seems as if some of the statements could be construed as a distinction without a difference. Such as : “The judge plainly concluded that Mr. Ivey was honest; but that looking at the matter objectively, he had cheated.” It will be interesting to find out the final outcome of this case. Ivey was able to successfully implement the technique called edge sorting which allowed for an edge against the casino. Whether this edge (advantage) could have been known by Crockfords, and even if unknown it could be considered cheating is still something that needs to be determined.
I am of the belief that edge sorting, especially when used to gain an edge at a baccarat (punto-banco) game where only the dealer handles the cards is clearly just an “advantage play,” and not cheating. Hopefully, the Supreme Court of the UK will also agree.