Phil Ivey v Crockfords Casino

For many months, the UK press has been reporting on the bitter legal battle ensuing between high stakes poker player Phil Ivey and London’s Crockfords Casino over £7.3M in unpaid winnings.



Crockfords have launched a counter-action, claiming that Ivey and his associates used sophisticated cheating methods to win this money – and do not intend to pay him.

In August 2012, Phil Ivey came to England and made a £1M deposit into Crockfords Casino, before arriving in person to play several nights of table casino games. His game of choice was Punto Banco – a favourite luck-based card game among high stakes gamblers. Betting £50,000 per hand, Ivey ran up total winnings of £7.3M over two nights of play at Crockfords. In spite of the enormous sum of money won by Ivey during this spree, such a total can easily arise from the violent swings which are typical in degenerate games of chance.

Although Crockfords have refunded Phil Ivey’s original £1M stake, they have refused to honour his winnings. An investigation team from Malaysia was called in by Genting – the casino conglomerate which owns Crockfords. No details about their findings have been released. Meanwhile, Ivey has taken his battle to the High Court and is rumoured to be optimistic about securing a favourable result. Given the tight security in place during Ivey’s gambling and the pure luck-based nature of Punto Banco, it is difficult to imagine how a cheating operation could have been put in place. Nevertheless, we await the court verdict and the case is ongoing.

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