Poker legend Phil Ivey reaches settlement with Atlantic City casino

Posted on: July 9, 2020 10:00 PDT

A poker lawsuit that’s dragged on for years has finally been settled. Phil Ivey’s battle with Borgata is now officially over. According to a court filing, Phil Ivey and the casino have reached a settlement in the case that involved Ivey’s high-stakes baccarat sessions, which have been highly controversial to say the least.

The filing stated: “Following oral argument in this case on September 17, 2019, this matter was referred to the Third Circuit’s Appellate Mediation Program. The Parties participated in the mediation program, and they have now reached a settlement.”

The settlement went on to read: “The Parties’ settlement is conditioned on the District Court’s vacatur of certain orders and decisions that it entered in the lower court proceedings,” the filing stated. “If the District Court grants the vacatur, then the Parties’ settlement can proceed and the Parties would stipulate to a dismissal of this appeal. If the District Court fails to grant the vacatur, then the settlement may fail, and the Parties may seek this Court’s adjudication of this appeal. For the foregoing reasons, the Parties respectfully request the Court to stay these appellate proceedings and partially remand this matter to the District Court to consider and adjudicate Defendant-Appellant Ivey’s motion to vacate.”

The settlement means that the saga involving Ivey and his playing partner Cheung Yin “Lelly” Sun is now closed. Ivey was accused of exploiting subtle card manufacturing defects on the backs of playing cards at Borgata, Atlantic City’s biggest and most celebrated casino.

Known as “edge sorting”, the technique gave Ivey and Sun a 6.8% mathematical advantage against the casino. Usually, the casino has a 1% edge in the game. The casino let the pair bet up to $100,000 a hand, leading to Ivey winning $9.6 million.

In 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of Borgata, handing down a $10 million judgment against Ivey and Sun.