Back in 2012, poker superstar Phil Ivey ventured into the Borgata Casino Resort in New Jersey to play Baccarat. After making some unusual requests, often granted to high rollers, Ivey proceeded to win more than $10,000,000 during his trip. All seemed above board until he took down similar winnings from another casino in Great Britain. After a British court convicted him of cheating the British casino with a process called edge-sorting (noting imperfections in decks of cards around the edges), he was called upon to pay back winnings taken from the British casino. The winnings had already been frozen by the casino pending investigation.
The legal action was duly noted by security officials at the Borgata, who subsequently filed a suit against Ivey in a New Jersey court. The Borgata won its case and Ivey was ordered to make full restitution to the casino. The ruling came down in 2016 and since then, it’s been a game of cat and mouse while the Borgata attempts to collect on its judgement. Issues like this don’t occur online. By the way, you can find out which mobile casinos are the best at Mobile Casino Kings.
Ivey’s 2019 WSOP Earnings Seized
Working in conjunction with Caesar’s Entertainment, Marina District Development Co, LLC (the ownership group behind the Borgata) was able to secure permission to garnish any poker winning Ivey might claim from any tournaments run by properties that operate under the Caesar’s name.
In an unusual move, attorneys for Borgata had a “writ of execution” delivered to WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel. In that writ, the Borgata attorneys requested on behalf of the New Jersey court that “any assets due Mr. Ivey from…Event #58 (and WSOP bracelet if he is the winner)” be subsequently seized by federal agents to help offset the outstanding previous judgment against Ivey.
During the tournament, he made a solid run, entering day three of the tournaments as chip leader. While things got a little tougher over the rest of the event, Ivey was able to finish sixth to lay claim to prize money in the amount of just over $124,000. While that amount would have ordinarily been awarded to Ivey upon completion of the tournament, the funds were frozen.
In an effort to fulfill its obligation under the order from the New Jersey court, the frozen earnings were eventually turned over in the form of a check issued by Caesar’s International to the U. S. Marshals Service. Having fulfilled the company’s obligation under this particular court order, Caesar’s asked for and was granted release from any further liability.
US Poker Playing Future for Ivey
Having received confirmation future pokers earnings made in the US would likely fall under a similar fate, there’s a good chance Ivey’s poker playing days in America could well be over. With just under $10,000,000 outstanding under the current judgement, it simply doesn’t make sense for him to continue playing in jurisdictions that will seize his prize monies. Regardless of the current state of his financial affairs, he is still a poker professional who makes a living claiming prize money.