A renowned professional card player from the United States is currently embroiled in a strange lawsuit that involves allegations of cheating at baccarat and using sexy casino staff to distract gamblers.
The plaintiff in the case is the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa of Atlantic City in New Jersey. The defendant is Phil Ivey, a 39-year old card player who is well-known in the World Series of Poker as well as in the European Poker Tour. Mr. Ivey has played in Barcelona, London and Sidney, and he has won one World Poker Tour title.
In 2012, Mr. Ivey played quite a few rounds of baccarat in Atlantic City. He ended up winning more than $9 million at the Borgata Casino, which later accused Mr. Ivey of cheating.
The Edge Sorting Accusation
In its lawsuit against Mr. Ivey, the Borgata Casino seeks to get back $9.6 million based on an edge sorting accusation. In baccarat and other casino card games, edge sorting is a technique that aims to tell cards apart by spotting subtle differences such as creases on their backs.
The case against Mr. Ivey has been playing out in court since 2014, and it has taken on a colorful turn. Mr. Ivey’s filings in response to the Borgata allegations claim that the casino applied a clever ruse to distract him as he played baccarat.
Mr. Ivey claims that whenever he would wager $100,000 on a baccarat hand, casino management would deploy an army of sexy waitresses wearing short skirts and tight tops to offer free drinks.
The actual court filing makes note of the skimpy outfits worn by the hostesses at the Borgata, and in a deposition Mr. Ivey stated that the waitresses were actively flirting with him and that he has telephone numbers to prove it. The case is currently awaiting a response from the casino.