Poker player Phil Ivey loses £7.7m casino case – BBC News

One of the world’s top poker players, Phil Ivey, has lost a Supreme Court bid to reclaim £7.7m of winnings withheld by a London casino for five years.

The American was challenging a Court of Appeal judgement that Crockfords Club could refuse to pay up when Ivey won the cash playing card game punto banco.

The club said Mr Ivey had broken its rules by using an “edge-sorting” technique to spot advantageous cards.

Mr Ivey had consistently argued that he had merely used a legitimate advantage.

The 40-year-old, a former winner of the World Series of Poker, had arranged to play a private game of punto banco – a form of baccarat – at the casino in Mayfair, along with a fellow gambler, Cheung Yin Sun, during a visit to London in 2012.

Crockford’s owner, Genting Casinos UK, said the two players jointly used the technique of “edge-sorting”, which involves identifying minute differences in the patterns on the back of playing cards and exploiting that information to increase the chances of winning. Genting said this was not a legitimate strategy.

However, Mr Ivey contended that the technique was not a form of cheating because it did not involve dishonesty.

He said that he had merely exploited Crockfords’ failure to take proper steps to protect itself against a gambler of his ability – and he was therefore entitled to his full winnings, rather than just having his initial £1m stake returned to him.

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The five Supreme Court justices unanimously upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision on the case, with Lord Hughes saying it was essential that punto banco remained a game of pure chance with neither the casino nor the player being able to beat the randomness of the cards that were dealt.

He said: “What Mr Ivey did

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