Posts Tagged ‘Phil’

Victoria Coren-Mitchell Compares Phil Ivey to Roger Federer as He Preps for Return to Tournament Poker

 Victoria Coren Mitchell Compares Phil Ivey to Roger Federer as He Preps for Return to Tournament Poker

In an article she wrote for The Guardian in the United Kingdom, British poker semi-professional Victoria Coren-Mitchell compared 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Ivey to one of the living legends of tennis, Roger Federer. Interestingly enough, Ivey is currently prepping for a return to the tournament poker world in 2018 that he is hoping will return him to his once lofty perch in the game.

Coren-Mitchell, the only two-time Main Event champion on the now-defunct European Poker Tour, was writing about Ivey’s recent legal situation with a casino in London and regaled readers with her first meeting against arguably one of the best players in the game. “The first time I played poker against him, I think he found me a little unsettling. People do, the first time,” Coren-Mitchell wrote. “In Phil’s case, I don’t think it’s just that I was female – which is what throws most people – but that I was female and making jokes.”

She continued, “As I chattered and quipped, Phil stared coolly across the baize. ‘What is all this high-pitched noise?’ I could hear him thinking. ‘Is she ill? Is she mad? Is this some sort of complicated bluff?’ And then…gradually…‘Oh! I think she means to be funny.’

Coren-Mitchell then makes what is obviously an apt comparison in saying, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good poker player. But I’m a sort of Tim Henman to Phil Ivey’s Roger Federer. He’s a magical player, a sparkling player. He makes performance art out of the equation between maths and psychology. It’s like he can see your cards.” Returning to her story, she lays out the eventual outcome, “It took Phil about half an hour. Then he laughed, relaxed and – although he continued to regard me throughout the match the way you might an oddly spotted woodpecker – I didn’t win another hand off him for the rest of the day.”

The reason for Coren-Mitchell’s admiring article was the contention of some that Ivey was a cheater because a U. K. court found that he deceived Crockfords in London by utilizing advantage play against them while playing punto banco (to the tune of £7.7 million). “What is cheating?” Coren-Mitchell asks. “Phil and his partner noticed that Crockfords was using cards with an asymmetrical pattern on the back. Persuading the croupier to turn some of them upside down “for luck” – which was eagerly agreed, as the house anticipated fat losses from this pair of visiting rubes – he could basically tell what was coming off the deck.”

“No touching, smuggling or bribing; he acted openly,” Coren-Mitchell concluded. “Any clever person could see the situation. It just so happened that the cleverest person in the room was Phil Ivey. As usual.”

The Crockfords case has kept Ivey away from the tournament poker tables, but that could be changing. According to veteran poker writer Marty Derbyshire, Ivey is set to make his return to the tournament felt in the upcoming year. Derbyshire reports that Ivey will play “more live events” in 2018, although he was vague as to which ones. Previously Ivey enjoyed trips to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions (in fact, his last major score was at the 2015 Aussie Millions $ 250,000 (Australian) LK Boutique Challenge for $ 1.7 million), but he’s also shown up on the World Poker Tour circuit (where he has a record 10 final tables and one WPT championship) and the WSOP (where he is tied for second in all-time bracelets with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan and trails only Phil Hellmuth), so any are likely candidates for Ivey to make a big splash.

If he is to return to the tournament grind in the coming year, he’ll be well-inspired by what has passed since his last big win in Australia. Ivey has won almost $ 24 million in his tournament poker career, but he has seen players like newcomers Fedor Holz (#5) and Dan Colman (#3) pass him on the all-time money list. Then there’s his old contemporaries such as Daniel Negreanu (#1), Erik Seidel (#2) and Antonio Esfandiari (#4) who sit above him on the rankings.

No doubt about it, the tournament poker world is more interesting when Phil Ivey is a part of it. Now it’s just a case of whether the player that many consider the “best ever” will follow through on his statements.

The post Victoria Coren-Mitchell Compares Phil Ivey to Roger Federer as He Preps for Return to Tournament Poker appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Phil Ivey Loses Edge Sorting Case Appeal in British Supreme Court

 Phil Ivey Loses Edge Sorting Case Appeal in British Supreme Court

Newly inducted Poker Hall of Famer, the legendary Phil Ivey, will not be receiving his winnings from five years ago from London’s Crockfords Club casino. On Wednesday, the British Supreme Court ruled against Ivey in his appeal of his “edge sorting” case against the casino, meaning that he will never see the £7.7 million he won in a lengthy punto banco session back in 2012.

For those unfamiliar, Ivey and his playing partner “Kelly” Cheung Yin Sun discovered that the cards used by Crockfords were slightly miscut, resulting in the pattern on the card backs being asymmetrical. The difference was very subtle, essentially unnoticeable to most people, but Ivey and Sun saw it.

In a similar scheme to one they engaged in at the Borgata, Ivey and Sun asked the dealer to rotate specific key cards 180 degrees after they were revealed before putting them back into the shoe. Because the automatic shuffler did not change the orientation of the cards, all rotated cards remained as such when they were dealt again. And because the card backs were asymmetrical, Ivey and Sun could see which ones were rotated and therefore important cards to the hand. They would know the approximate value of the top card in the shoe before the hand started and therefore could adjust their bets to take advantage of this information.

Ivey also requested to have the same deck used the next day (so that the rotated cards stayed that way) and since he was wagering millions of dollars, the casino complied.

After Ivey and Sun won the £7.7 million, the casino refused to pay up, as it had finally caught on to what they were doing (it helped that there was a payment delay because of a bank holiday). And thus the legal battle began.

The Supreme Court in ruling on the appeal said that Ivey’s “carefully planned and executed sting” violated the integrity of the punto banco game. Though he never touched the cards he convinced the casino and dealer to essentially “fix the deck” for him. By doing this, Supreme Court Judge Anthony Hughes said he was cheating.

In a statement, Ivey said, “At the time I played at Crockfords, I believed that edge-sorting was a legitimate advantage-play technique and I believe that more passionately than ever today. As a professional gambler, my integrity is everything to me.”

In response to the unanimous ruling, Genting Casinos UK President Paul Willcock said, “We are delighted that the High Court, the Court of Appeal and now the Supreme Court have all found in Genting’s favor, confirming that we acted fairly and properly at all times and that Mr. Ivey’s conduct did indeed amount to cheating.”

Though Ivey has been denied his £7.7 million in winnings from the punto banco games, Crockfords did refund him the money he wagered.

The post Phil Ivey Loses Edge Sorting Case Appeal in British Supreme Court appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Phil Ivey, David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame

 Phil Ivey, David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame

During the broadcast of Friday night’s action at the 2017 World Series of Poker Championship Event final table, the two latest inductees for the Poker Hall of Fame were announced. With congratulations, one of them was a first-ballot inductee in Phil Ivey and the other was a well-deserved and beloved choice in David ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott.

“I want to thank the living members of the Poker Hall of Fame as well as the media who voted for me to be part of the Poker Hall of Fame,” said Ivey. “It’s an honor to be inducted alongside legends like Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson. I love the game of poker and the game has done a lot for me.  I am one of the lucky people who has been able to make a living playing a game which was always my passion. Thankfully, I’m just as passionate about the game today as when I first stepped into Binion’s Horseshoe to play my first-ever WSOP. Thank you to my family, my friends, and all the poker fans across the world that supported me on this journey.”

Ivey was considered a shoo-in for nomination for the resume he has built over the last 20-odd years. From the days he played in the New Jersey poker rooms using a friend’s identification – which brought him the nickname “No Home Jerome” for the amount of time he spent playing on the Boardwalk – and over the next two decades, it is arguable there isn’t a more feared player in the game. His first tournament cash dates to 1998, when he won a Customer Appreciation event for $ 1000, and he certainly has gone on to greater things in the years that followed.

In Ivey’s first serious foray into a tournament schedule in 2000, he would final table four events at the First Annual Jack Binion World Poker Open in Tunica, MS, before moving on to Las Vegas for the WSOP. In the span of 10 days that year, Ivey cashed three times and made two final tables, including winning his first WSOP bracelet in Pot Limit Omaha. Phil Ivey was now known to the world and he took full advantage of it.

He holds the record for most final tables on the World Poker Tour with 10, winning one of those opportunities in 2008 at the L. A. Poker Classic. Ivey has also cashed 59 times at the WSOP, with 10 bracelet victories that put him in second place all-time (only behind Phil Hellmuth and tied with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan). More impressive than his tournament record, however, is his cash game statistics.

It is conceivable that Ivey has made twice as much playing cash games around the world than his $ 23 million-plus that he’s won on the tournament circuit. In fact, over the past few years, those cash games have infringed on his play at the WSOP, slowing down his pursuit of Hellmuth. Still, one of the qualifications for induction into the Poker Hall of Fame is to have “played for high stakes,” and Ivey has played for the highest possible.

The Ulliott family commented to WSOP officials regarding the induction of their loved one. “As a family, we would like to thank the general public, media and current Poker Hall of Fame members that voted David into the Poker Hall of Fame.  We know he will be up there strumming on his guitar and probably asking what took so long! How he might say it – I think you all know!”

“There isn’t a day that goes past when we don’t think of him and miss him but today we are so proud and delighted that he takes his rightful place in poker history – the legend of the Devilfish lives on!  One thing we know he would be happy about is the progress of John Hesp in the Main Event, a regular at Napoleon’s in Hull, David’s home city in the UK.  John represents what poker is all about – a true game of the people.”

“There are too many people to individually thank but we would particularly like to thank Rob Yong and Simon Trumper of Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham for their support and also we would like to thank Leon from Kings Casino in advance for offering to commemorate David’s induction into the Poker Hall of Fame at the WSOP Europe in October.  Just remember, as the Devilfish would say – ‘Life is a blast. It doesn’t last. Live it long and live it fast’.”

Ulliott, who passed away in 2015, was a popular sentimental choice that year but had the qualifications to be there previous to his passing. Once a safecracker who served time for his offenses, Ulliott changed his life as he poured himself into his passion, poker. He became such a feared competitor in his hometown of Hull that he found it nearly impossible to find a cash game to play, which sent him into the casinos of the United Kingdom. His first tournament cash was in a Seven Card Stud event at the Grosvenor Spring Classic in London in 1993, where he won £200 for his sixth-place finish.

There would be much more for Ulliott in the world of poker after that. In 1997, legend has it his nickname of ‘Devilfish’ came into being after defeating Men ‘The Master’ Nguyen in Pot Limit Omaha at the Four Queens Poker Classic. Reports with the headline “Devilfish Devours The Master” circulated following that win and Ulliott would embrace it head-on, including having a set of ‘knuckle dusters’ (a form of brass knuckles) with ‘Devil’ on the right hand and ‘Fish’ on the left made for him personally.

1997 was also the year of Ulliott’s one and only WSOP victory, in the $ 2000 Pot Limit Hold’em competition. He would come close on several occasions after that, but would never taste of WSOP gold again. ‘Devilfish’ would also win on the WPT, taking the championship of the 2003 Jack Binion World Poker Open Main Event during the tour’s inaugural season.

Once again, while the tournament record is outstanding (227 cashes for over $ 6.1 million in earnings), it is the cash game arena where Ulliott made his mark. He also was one of the biggest characters in poker, taking such poker programming as Late Night Poker to unprecedented heights with his roguish personality. When he passed in 2015, not only the British poker community but the international poker world mourned the passing of a truly one of a kind character.

Congratulations to Ivey and the Ulliott Family for their inductions into the Poker Hall of Fame.

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Phil Ivey Loses Case with the Borgata, Owes $10.1 Million

 Phil Ivey Loses Case with the Borgata, Owes $10.1 Million

After a drawn out civil trial that saw both sides reveal the dirty underbelly of the gambling world, poker professional Phil Ivey has lost his civil suit against the Borgata in Atlantic City, per the New Jersey Law Journal and writer Charles Toutant.

In a decision released on Thursday, Ivey and his playing partner Cheng Yin Sun were ordered by U. S. District Judge Noel Hillman to pay the Borgata damages totaling $ 10.1 million. The judge could have ordered more damages as the Borgata wanted (the casino issued their statement saying they would have won more from Ivey if he had been losing), but Hillman rejected that notion as “too speculative” for the case. After hearing all the evidence in the case, it came down to a simple fact, according to Hillman.

Noting that Ivey and Sun admitted to using “edge sorting” – picking out slight cutting errors in a deck of cards and having them “adjusted” so they would know it when seen again – Hillman said that their actions was a violation of a ban on marked cards. Ivey and Sun believed they were playing an “advantage” (the ability to use information to shift the odds in the player’s favor), but Hillman didn’t buy the story. In fact, he went so far as to give the Borgata more than what Ivey won ($ 9 million) in those four baccarat stops because some of the money won was used in other games.

The entirety of the case was a demonstration of what the casinos will do to bring in a “high roller” like Ivey and what he will do – the “edge sorting” – to garner an edge against the casinos.

A main contention of Ivey’s case was that he never touched any card to “mark” them in any way. Ivey asked the casino to provide him a private playing area, a dealer that spoke Mandarin Chinese, a specific type of cards and an automatic shuffler (the automatic shuffler wouldn’t change the positioning of the cards). During play, Sun would indicate to the dealer that an advantageous card would be turned 180 degrees, allegedly as a “superstition” of Ivey’s but in reality so that they could identify the card when it came up during another deal. This, in Ivey and Sun’s eyes, meant they weren’t “manipulating” the cards and that the casino was acquiescing yet again to another of their demands for play.

During those four periods of play in 2012, Ivey racked up winnings of $ 9.6 million and walked away with the money. Then the Borgata staff learned of Ivey’s lawsuit with a London casino, Crockfords, where he allegedly took the same actions and beat them for $ 12.4 million. In the Crockfords case, they denied payment of the winnings almost immediately and instead fought it out in court, thus Ivey never received the money. That case is currently under appeal after the British courts ruled against Ivey.

The future of the New Jersey case is unknown at this time. Ivey does have the option of appealing to a higher court, but it is rare that a civil judgment such as this would be overruled on appeal. Ivey and the Borgata could also negotiate a settlement in the case but, with the decision in their pocket, it is unlikely that the Borgata will settle for less than what the judge has stipulated.

Poker News Daily will continue to monitor this decision and report as necessary.

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Phil Ivey Loses Appeal in Crockfords Edge Sorting Case

 Phil Ivey Loses Appeal in Crockfords Edge Sorting Case

In 2012, poker pro Phil Ivey and his friend, Cheung Yin Sun, won £7.7 million playing punto banco at London’s Crockfords Casino. After a delay because of a bank holiday, though, the casino refused to pay them, claiming that they cheated. In 2014, a High Court ruled in the casino’s favor and now, a three-judge Court of Appeal of England and Wales panel has upheld that decision.

Ivey and Sun used a method of keeping track of cards called “edge sorting.” They had discovered that the cards the casino used had been miscut, making the pattern on the back of the cards uneven. To take advantage of this, they asked the dealer in the punto banco game to rotate certain key cards (after they were seen) 180 degrees. To the untrained eye, this seemed to make no difference, but Sun could see the slight differences in the card backs, so this rotation gave away the value of the cards. Ivey and Sun also requested that the casino “hold the shoe,” meaning that they wanted to have the same deck used when they came back the next day, claiming superstition.

After the appellate ruling, Ivey released a statement, saying:

This decision makes no sense to me. 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? I’d like to add that I am very grateful to Lady Justice Sharp who decided that the trial judge was “wrong” to decide that I had cheated.

Lady Justice Mary Arden, in writing the majority opinion, used a sports betting example to help explain cheating without dishonesty:

It is possible to think of actions which are neither deception nor interference with the process of the game, which may in some circumstances constitute cheating. For example, someone who has material information (for example, as to whether a star player will play in a particular game) which is not in the public domain may place a bet on the result of the game on the basis of that information. That person may be guilty of cheating because he has used his unequal access to confidential information to make a profit. In this type of situation, Parliament may well have taken the view that it was enough that covert use of confidential information was intrinsically wrong and that it could amount to cheating without any requirement for subjective dishonesty.

In her conclusion, she further explained how the edge sorting was cheating (several paragraphed snipped for space):

The crucial factor in this case is that Punto Banco is a game of pure chance. What Mr Ivey caused Crockfords’ staff to do was to take steps which would alter the chance of his winning materially by some 8% in his favour. In my judgment, because of his plan to play using the knowledge obtained from the reorienting of the cards under his direction, those matters amounted to interference with the process by which the game was conventionally played. It was quite different from card-counting which involves memorising where particular cards are.

…..

The question whether a reasonable person would say this is cheating turns on whether there was a dramatic effect on the odds in the game. Punto Banco, as I have already said, is a game of pure chance, and not a game of mixed skill or chance. The casino is highly regulated. It does not try to win every game but the house edge means that it should win over time. Edge-sorting materially altered the odds in the game of Punto Banco offered by Crockfords.

In the circumstances of this case, the fact that Mr Ivey was an advantage player did not mean that his actions were simply part of a cat and mouse game between him and the casino, and not cheating. Moreover, on the judge’s findings [case citation], Mr Ivey took steps not explicitly mentioned in his description of what he said an advantage player would be entitled to do.

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