Poker champion Phil Ivey loses 'cheating' case in court, but will appeal again

Natasha Clark
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Professional poker player Phil Ivey paus
He won the money in a London casino in 2012 (Source: Getty)

Professional poker player Phil Ivey has lost an appeal against a London casino over whether he cheated to win £7.7m.

The 39-year-old had challenged a decision from 2014 which said he had cheated in order to win the game, which then rendered his winnings invalid.

The ten-time winner of the World Series of Poker achieved his winnings through "manipulating" the odds in his favour, Judge Mary Arden said as the ruling was declared on Thursday. She added that there was an implied term in the contract not to cheat and he had interfered with the process of the game.

He originally won the money while playing Punto Banco at Crockfords casino in London in 2012. He has admitted using a technique called edge sorting which involved arranging cards to take advantage of design differences to give a player a better idea of the value of the card.

But Genting, which owns the casino, said it was not a legitimate strategy and the casino had no obligation to pay him.

Ivey says he will appeal the decision again in the Supreme Court.

"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?" he said.

Ivey's lawyer, Matthew Dowd, of Archerfield Partners LLP, said: "The Court of Appeal's decision leaves the law totally unclear as to what constitutes cheating at gambling.

"Four judges have looked at this issue now and none of them have been able to agree on the correct interpretation of Section 42 of the Gambling Act.

Genting UK President and COO Paul Willcock said at the news: ‘We are obviously very happy with the decision, which vindicates the steps that Crockfords has taken in this matter. The trial judge held that Mr Ivey’s behaviour amounted to cheating in October 2014 and the Court of Appeal has now reached the same conclusion.

"Crockfords has acted fairly and honestly at all times and we are therefore pleased that the Court of Appeal has held that the decision not to pay out to Mr Ivey was the correct one."

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