The Literal Edge Disputed In £7.8 Million Windfall

Phil Ivey in £7.8 Million WindfallOver a year ago, Phil Ivey visited Crockfords in London. A venerable institution among European casinos, Crockfords spreads high stake action to gamblers world wide. The game in question is Punto Banco. At stake is a disputed £7.8 million windfall.

Winnings not Awarded

This is where the problems began. The casino is refusing to honor the payout citing that they are victims in a scam. Mr. Ivey took the recourse of filing suit in hopes of being awarded these winnings. Court cases can wind on for months. Disclosure is often an necessity in these cases. Mr. Ivey tells the court and the world how he won.

Inherent Factory Defects

The manufacturing process of mass producing playing cards is susceptible to miniature flaws. The patterns on the cards are not uniformly consistent no matter what quality controls are used in their making. By paying attention to the corners of the cards, an attentive player can gain an edge over the house by knowing what key cards are in play.

The Edge Now Goes to the Player

During his two day stay, Phil Ivey would ask for deck changes whenever possible. The house complied with his request. At one point, the most valuable card whose value is nine became apparent to him through these inconsistencies in card making. The deck change requests stopped. Mr Ivey asked for his betting limit to be increased from £50,000 to £150,000. The house agreed to the increase.

Knowing on those hands that he was going to be dealt a nine, Ivey maximizes his bet. He did so because the most common card to follow has a value of zero. This combination would give him the winning hand almost every time. He could not lose if he hit this hand.

The edge that the casinos had built themselves on had now been transferred to the player. Armed with enough funds, Ivey was able to parlay his stay into the windfall being withheld. The casino is crying foul saying that Mr. Ivey and a female in his company circumvented the spirit of the game by this form of cheating. Phil indicates that an observant player should not be penalized by noticing details that the casino was remiss in detecting. However the case ends up, casino players everywhere will be on pins and needles awaiting the conclusion to this compelling case.

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