The Borgata may have been successful in winning their court dispute against poker pro Phil Ivey over the baccarat winnings he earned by using a technique called edge sorting at the casino, but another obstacle reared its head up, and this time it is when exactly the poker pro will be able to pay that money.
According to Card Player magazine, court documents reveal that the Borgata legal team is now asking a federal court to deny a motion from Ivey's attorneys that would delay the judgment and allow him to avoid posting a bond to cover the amount pending appeal.
Borgata emphasizes that Phil Ivey can pay the amount and still play poker.
Ivey's attorneys argued that forcing him to make a $10.1 million payment would ‘clearly be of devastating impact', and at the same time, the Borgata will not be financially hurt if the judgment is delayed for some time. However, the casino did not agree with the first claim, saying that Ivey's team has failed to prove that the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner would suffer ‘irreparable harm' when he makes the payment.
The Borgata is emphasizing that Ivey's poker career will not be seriously impacted if he pays that amount, and that he will still be able to have a reasonable bankroll even without the funds he won from them via his edge sorting scheme.
Borgata lawyers wrote in the documents, "Ivey's skill and success as a professional poker player are well documented. He is in the top 3 for poker winnings all time, and there is no suggestion that he cannot continue to be successful. Entrance fees for other tournaments are far less than $10,000 and one can play online poker with initial deposits of under $100. He is not in danger of being prevented from playing poker."
Lawyers also specified that Ivey had been participating in high-stakes poker tournaments quite recently, including the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in May where he earned more than $2 million in just two Short Deck tournaments.
Even Ivey's success in cash games and tourneys does not necessarily equate to him being able to just hand over $10 million to cover his 2016 judgment, but the Borgata legal team states that there's no reason to think that had not planned ahead of time for the possibility that he might lose the case. The lawyers wrote, "As early as October 2012 (immediately after the fourth trip to Borgata, Ivey knew that his edge sorting scheme was unmasked, with Crockford's publically withholding about $12 million in alleged winnings. There is no indication that Ivey did not prudently sock away Borgata's $10 million, figuring that was the next shoe to drop."
Ivey and his companion Cheung Yin Sun won tens of millions of dollars at the Crockford's casino in London and at the Borgata in Atlantic City via the use of their edge sorting technique that involved taking note of minor defects in the back printing of the playing cards. By asking dealers to turn high cards at a specific angle, Ivey and Sun were able to gain significant advantage with their bets and beat the casino.
Since then Ivey lost a number of court cases over his winnings in both the United States and UK. The Borgata also sought financial justice by suing Gemaco, the card company that manufactured the somewhat defective cards. However, a judge determined back in March that while Gemaco's cards were indeed faulty, they were only liable for just $27, which is the value of the cards themselves.