Professional poker player Phil Ivey has begun his Supreme Court battle today in the hopes of recovering the £7.7m he is accused of cheating from London’s Crockfords Club.
Ivey is challenging a 2016 majority decision whereby the Court of Appeal dismissed his case against Genting Casinos UK, the owner of the London casino.
In 2014, Phil Ivey lost his High Court case against the owners the casino, who claimed the ten-time winner of the World Series of Poker tournament had cheated them out of £7.7m in a version of baccarat known as Punto Banco in August 2012. Subsequently, his winnings were withheld.
In the 2014 trial, Genting Casinos – owners of the Mayfair Casino –claimed that Ivey had used a technique known as ''edge-sorting'', which aims to provide the player with a degree of ''first card advantage''. The company claimed this was an illegitimate strategy and they had no legal responsibility to hand over the £7.7m Ivey allegedly won.
The High Court ultimately found him guilty of cheating: “He gave himself an advantage which the game precludes,” Judge John Mitting stated upon the verdict, “This is in my view cheating.”
However, Ivey appealed the High Court’s decision at the Court of Appeal, asking the court to consider the definition of cheating, and questioning oxymoronic nature of the High Court’s findings that “Mr. Ivey was honest; but that looking at the matter objectively, he had cheated.”
Back in November last year, Ivey said: "This decision makes no sense to me. The trial judge said that I was not dishonest and the three appeal judges agreed but somehow the decision has gone against me. Can someone tell me how you can have honest cheating?
“I'd like to add that I am very grateful to Lady Justice Sharp who decided that the trial judge was "wrong" to decide that I had cheated. The public should read her judgement. It makes perfect sense.”
Before the one-day hearing in London, Mr Ivey stated: “I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will reverse the decision against me and that I will finally receive my winnings which I consider to be the just and proper outcome to this dispute.”
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