Poker legend Phil Ivey was just ordered to return roughly $10 MILLION in baccarat winnings he pulled from an Atlantic City casino in 2012 … after a judge ruled the way he played broke the law.
Ivey’s alleged strategy is actually quite genius — it’s called “edge-sorting” and it’s kind of like card counting in blackjack … in the sense that it gives the player an advantage over the house.
Here’s how it works … the backs of baccarat cards have patterns on them that are SUPPOSED to be perfectly symmetrical, but they’re not. The Borgata casino claims Ivey brought a female guest to the table who was a master at identifying the value of a card based on the pattern and she would tip him off so he could adjust his betting accordingly.
The hotel claims Ivey won more than $9.6 million in 4 visits to the hotel between April and October of 2012 using this technique.
The Borgata took him to court claiming Ivey broke the rules and they wanted their money back.
A judge has now weighed in and claimed Ivey didn’t violate game rules — but DID violate a New Jersey gambling law that’s supposed to block players from using strategies like “edge-sorting” to swing the odds in their favor.
Ivey’s lawyer told the AP, “What this ruling says is a player is prohibited from combining his skill and intellect and visual acuity to beat the casino at its own game.”
Ivey will appeal the ruling.