A couple of weeks ago, reports surfaced that Phil Ivey’s eighth-place cash of $124,410 in the 2019 WSOP was confiscated by US Marshals as payment towards the more than $10 million he owes an Atlantic City casino.
The 10-time WSOP bracelet winner, along with his partner ‘Kelly’ Cheng Yin Sun, beat Borgata out of $9.6 million in a high-stakes baccarat session in 2012. Two years later, the casino realized that the duo was using a technique called ‘edge sorting,’ where they would be able to spot defects on the back of cards.
Ironically, the manufacturer of the spotty cards was only liable to pay $27, while a judge ordered Ivey to pay $10.1 million back to the casino, a number that includes a $500,000 win at the craps table.
Now, two poker players are saying that they are entitled to their portion of Ivey’s winnings.
Dan Cates, better known to viral music video fans as Jungleman, and fellow high-stakes poker pro Illya Trincher, reportedly put up Ivey’s $50,000 buy-in in the Poker Players Championship event, agreeing to split the profits.
After recouping their investment, the final-table finish earned the trio $74,410 in profit, half of which should have gone to Cates and Trincher for a total of $87,205. Instead, it went to Borgata.
The two poker pros have now filed a legal objection to the garnishment, citing Nevada law that allows backing deals. Of course, it was all the way back in February that a federal judge in New Jersey gave Borgata authorization to go after Ivey’s assets elsewhere, including Nevada. Simply put, it may be difficult for them to get paid.
Of course for Ivey, the latest development in the saga effectively ends the chances that the poker world will see him play a tournament in the United States any time soon. His U.S. tournament schedule was already sparse. Before his legal battle with Borgata, he was rarely playing any U.S. tournaments outside of the WSOP. The last time he cashed in a domestic tournament that wasn’t the WSOP was his ninth-place finish in the 2013 National Heads-Up Poker Championship.
Despite not being very active on the felt, it’s been a busy year for Ivey otherwise. The high-stakes edge-sorting baccarat sessions may be the subject of an upcoming movie. At the Aria, Ivey’s name was removed from the high-stakes cash game room, and this summer, he folded the winning hand on television for the second time in his career.