Sunday, September 15, 2013

UK Daily Mail: Phil Ivey Admits Edge Sorting in Casino Flap

The UK's Daily Mail reported on Saturday that court documents and statements in the lawsuit filed against Crockfords Casino by Phil Ivey confirm that Ivey and a companion did indeed an old method of identifying key cards by subtle variations visible on the cards' backs.

Ivey's lawsuit against Crockfords, which remains in preliminary stages in the British court system, came after Crockfords refused to pay out a massive £7.8 million payout won at punto banco, a form of baccarat.  Ivey, with the assistance of a woman of Asian origin known only as "Kelly" in the court documents, began winning consistently after he and his companion found a way to identify the key punto banco cards, sevens through nines, and used that info to decide whether or not to take the next card off the deck during game play.

Crockfords refused to pay out Ivey's massive win after allegedly examining security tapes, though while the casino has accused Ivey of unfair play (being careful not to use the word "cheating" specifically), they have not addressed their only security lapses, which include using a ridiculous full-bleed card design in a high-stakes game, allowing the cards to be rotated and closely examined by Ivey and his companion (who still were not allowed to actually touch the cards), and most amazingly, to not rotate out the deck with which Ivey was going on his multi-million-pound heater.

Collectively, that behavior suggests some level of culpability on the part of Crockfords management, which may have been more aware of what was going on then they're admitting in court documents.  They may have simply decided to let Ivey have his fun, and if he won, then not pay out the winnings.

The Daily Mail report asserts that Ivey has admitted to the edge sorting, in which subtle cutting variations on some of the cards in a given deck make them stand out from the others, especially when rotated 180 degrees.  Crockfords' use of decks with no borders (called "full bleed" in the card business) is especially shameful, since it's been a known security problem with playing cards since approximately the 16th century.

Despite Ivey's admission, nothing else seems to have changed.  The two sides seems as adamant as ever that the other side is at fault.  Crockfords alleges that Ivey used a non-allowed method to gain an unfair advantage, while Ivey in responses has asserted that the security flaw he exploited was widely known (that much is true), and that Crockfords bears the responsibility of its own lax security measures.  Barring some sort of settlement, this is likely to go to trial, with the final outcome unclear.


guerrilla gamblers said...

Here are some info on how edge sorting work and some technicalissue to the case.

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