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Phil Ivey

The saga of Borgata Casino’s long-running court battle against poker pro Phil Ivey over a gambling session that took place in 2012 featured a dramatic new wrinkle this week.

Borgata, which is seeking a $10.1-million payment from Ivey, requested permission from a federal court to register the case in Nevada where the casino alleges that Ivey has “substantial assets” of roughly $100 million.

Ivey won the $10.1 million in question in a baccarat session that took place at Borgata in 2012. The poker pro, who was working with a partner, used a controversial edge-sorting technique to gain an advantage in the game.

The casino used a deck that had visible defects and Ivey and his partner were able to use those flaws to rake in millions in an elongated session.

Ivey used a similar technique against a casino in London where he managed to win £7.7 million but the casino never wired him the money and later successfully litigated against the poker pro to avoid making the huge payment.

Rampant Speculation over Ivey’s Finances

Phil Ivey has been widely regarded as one of the best poker players in the world since the early 2000s and one of the most profitable.

It’s purely speculation but Ivey’s finances have been forum fodder for poker fans over the years and the $100 million that Borgata estimates Ivey has in Nevada will certainly perk some interest in the poker world.

The reason that Ivey’s finances are so hotly debated is that he was a part of the original design team for Full Tilt Poker in the early 2000s.

Full Tilt Poker always operated as a private company so its financials were never disclosed but it was one of the most successful online poker operators during the poker boom of the mid-2000s. The company allegedly raked in millions.

Poker pros such as Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Ivey allegedly had pieces of the company and conceivably made huge dividends. Of course online poker giant PokerStars purchased the beleaguered FTP in 2014 and the original founders moved on from the company.

Ivey is also one of the most successful poker players of all time with $26 million in live tournament earnings and 10 WSOP gold bracelets. He took part in some of the biggest online games ever played and recorded close to $20 million in earnings on the original Full Tilt Poker.

All that said, there’s no telling where Ivey’s financials currently stand. He still plays in some of the biggest live cash games in the world and the results are never disclosed. It’s possible for someone of his ilk to be down millions on a regular basis. Ivey was also a notorious gambler during the poker boom of the mid-2000s and recorded some massive losing sessions.

Crockford’s Casino Won £7.7m Case Against Ivey

It’s unclear what’s next for Phil Ivey but he would no doubt like to move on from the litigation that’s been a constant thorn in his side for the last few years.

Earlier this year Ivey’s legal team requested more time from Borgata to access the funds, claiming that a lump-sum payment of $10.1 million would cause “irreparable harm” to Ivey’s ability to compete in professional poker.

That request was denied and Borgata was able to search Ivey’s bank accounts in New Jersey but found nothing.

Ivey played in several high-profile poker tournaments this summer, including the World Series of Poker and the Triton High Roller Series. He’s currently up to $2.4 million but, as with all tournament results, that does not take buy-ins into account.

This isn’t the only casino that has pressed litigation against Ivey. Crockford’s in the U.K. refused to pay Ivey £7.7 million that he won playing baccarat at the casino in 2012.

Crockford’s claimed that Ivey used the same edge-sorting technique that he utilized at Borgata and successfully won the court battle in the U.K.’s High Court in 2014.

Interestingly, Borgata sued Gemaco, the card company responsible for the flawed decks, in 2017 but was ultimately unsuccessful.

At any rate, it appears poker fans will get some idea of Ivey’s finances (or at least those in Nevada) if the court allows Borgata to target his assets there.

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