Borgata Casino Claims Funds from Poker Pro Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is a top-rated poker pro with several World Series of Poker bracelets, a ton of other tournament wins and cashes. If you follow poker at all, then you have heard of Ivey. For the past few years, the Borgata Casino has been trying to secure $10 million from the poker pro after winning a cash involving a night of baccarat in 2012. The casino has been able to obtain some of the money, thanks to Ivey competing and winning in the 2019 WSOP.

A Little Back Story

To understand the current situation, it is best to go back a bit. In 2012, Ivey was visiting the New Jersey casino with his partner Cheng Yin Sun when they decided to play baccarat. The two were very successful that night, earning $9.6 million from high stakes gaming. However, it was soon discovered by the casino that the duo had used an edge sorting technique to earn the wins.

According to the casino, defects on the playing cards were seen by Ivey and Sun and then used to gain a small edge during gameplay. While playing Ivey had asked for a private room and a specific brand and color of playing cards. He also requested a dealer who spoke Mandarin. Ivey was winning and upped the ante, asking play $100k per hand. The casino agreed and then ended up losing a ton of cash.

After a lengthy court battle, Ivey was ruled against and was to pay back the $10.1 million won. The casino was unable to obtain any funds due to Ivey not having any assets in New Jersey. The casino then sought help from the court again and won.

The casino was given approval to seek restitution outside of the state, so they looked to Nevada. As the WSOP was taking place, the officials of the Borgata were approved for a writ of execution from the state of Nevada. The writ was served by the United States Marshalls office involving the winnings from the WSOP by Ivey.

While Ivey was competing and winning, the Borgata was getting paid. After the series was over, Ivey was able to earn just over $133,000. He even had an 8th place finish in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship where the bulk of his earnings came from.

The Borgata being able to obtain the funds just came to light, although the WSOP ended many weeks ago. It is interesting to note that Ivey was not aware of the confiscation of the funds as he was playing, so he continued to enter event after event. It would have been devastating to have finished well in the Main Event for millions of dollars, only to have the money taken away due to the lawsuit.

Ivey has contended over the years that he did nothing wrong during his time playing baccarat the Borgata. He will most likely not participate in any events within the US for some time, if ever, as he will be at risk of any earnings being confiscated by the government on the behalf of the Borgata Casino.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.