Crockfords Casino Refuses to Pay Ivey’s Baccarat Winnings

Poker Players | estimated reading time
2012. October 08. |
The Crockfords Casino of London accuses poker legend Phil Ivey of collusion and withholds his £7.3 million baccarat winnings.
One of the most prestigious establishments in the United Kingdom, the 184 years old Crockfords Casino has recently welcomed Phil Ivey as its guest. In the company of a beautiful Asian lady, Ivey spent 7 hours in two nights at the baccarat tables, playing the Punto Banco version of the game.

Initially, Ivey bet £50,000 per hand but later, he was granted the option to play on the £150,000 per hand stakes. Going £500,000 minus after that, he eventually came back and finished the first night up £2,300,000. The next day, his lucky streak followed, closing the session with a total of £7,300,000 in winnings.

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey

As usual in the cases of winnings of this magnitude, the Crockfords was to transfer the amount to Ivey’s bank account. However, the player only received back his buy-in of about $1 million and the notification of being the subject of an investigation, due to suspicion of collusion.

The Crockfords is currently in Malaysian ownership, therefore investigators from Kuala Lumpur have arrived to London as well. It has not yet been published, what had caused suspicion, except the fact that the lady in Ivey’s company had previously been blacklisted in several casinos on similar charges.

During the investigation, the full video material of Ivey’s play has been checked and the dealers questioned but no hard proof of cheating has been found as yet. For certain, the cards used in their game had not been marked.

In the Punto Banco version of the game, cheating is extremely difficult, therefore rare. While a group of Asian players were discovered of using hidden cameras to recognise cards 12 years ago, it is highly unlikely that Ivey used any method like this.
Since baccarat is a game of dealt cards, card-counting is possible; similarly to blackjack, the dealt cards modify the odds of what can come up next. Still, in blackjack this has a larger relevance, as the player has a control on the game and it is played with only 1 to 8 decks of cards.

Ivey’s lawyers and those of the casino are currently in negotiations. The 8-time WSOP champion has so far refused to comment the case.

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