Despite his best defense to the contrary, Phil Ivey was denied £7.7m in winnings from a 2012 edge sorting session in Crockfords Casino by a London judge today.
Calling Ivey a "truthful witness," the judge still declared the tactic of edge sorting as "cheating" under the terms of British civil law.
“He gave himself an advantage which the game precludes,” Judge John Mitting said in his verdict. “This is, in my view, cheating.”
BBC Reporter Angus Crawford tweeted out the decision a short time ago:
Professional gambler Phil Ivey cheated when he won £7.7m at a London casino, High Court judge decides.— Angus Crawford (@AngusCrawfordR4) October 8, 2014
High Court rules that professional gambler Phil Ivey is not entitled to £7.7m winnings from London casino, but called truthful witness.— Angus Crawford (@AngusCrawfordR4) October 8, 2014
High Court decides tactic of "edge sorting" amounts to cheating in civil law. Ivey "disappointed", but technique a "legitimate strategy"— Angus Crawford (@AngusCrawfordR4) October 8, 2014
Ivey: My Reputation Is Everything
Much of Ivey's defense in court over the past few days has filtered out to the public through the British press.
Ivey's primary defense: As a professional gambler, he's entitled to use any "lawful strategy" he can to gain an advantage over the house.
In his opinion that applies to edge sorting, the technique he used to win roughly $12.3m USD at Crockfords over a couple of lengthy sessions of Punto Banco in 2012.
Due to a defect in a particular set of playing cards and some precise directions to the dealer he said were based on "superstitions," Ivey and his companion were able to determine the cards to come from the shoe, allowing him to place bigger bets when he knew advantage cards were coming.
Ivey freely admitted to using the tactic although is adamant it falls within the realm of legal use.
"Some people believe that it was cheating," Ivey said in an interview that aired on CBS 60 Minutes Sports last night. "I know it wasn't.
"The professional gamblers know it's not. I wouldn't do anything close to cheating. I mean, my reputation is everything in gambling."
According to the BBC Ivey's lawyers were "refused permission to appeal, although they can renew their application to the Court of Appeal directly."
Ivey also has a pending lawsuit with the Borgata in Atlantic City over a similar amount of winnings. More updates to come as the story progresses.