- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - An Atlantic City casino locked in a legal battle with poker pro Phil Ivey over an alleged card cheating scam is seeking to have the famous gambler’s lawsuit dismissed.

The Borgata filed a motion in federal court Wednesday seeking to have Ivey’s counterclaims dismissed.

A judge will hear the request Nov. 2.

The Borgata claims Ivey and an associate, Cheng Yin Sun exploited a defect in cards that enabled them to sort and arrange good cards. The casino says the technique, called edge sorting, violates New Jersey casino gambling regulations.

But Ivey asserts his $9.6 million in winnings were simply the result of skill and good observation.

“The facts of this case are undisputed that Mr. Ivey and Ms. Sun set out to deceive Borgata with their sophisticated scheme and they were successful in doing so,” the casino wrote in its filing Wednesday.

In a court filing in August, Ivey turned on its head the Borgata’s assertion that he Sun sought an unfair advantage at the card tables. Ivey said the Borgata does the same thing by “plying him with free alcohol served by only the most curvaceous and voluptuous females in the industry.”

The court filing quotes from a deposition in which Ivey recounted the attention Borgata employees lavished on him while he was betting $50,000 to $100,000 a hand.

“It distracts you from your playing,” Ivey said at the time. “I mean, anything they can do to give themselves an advantage. Everyone knows that alcohol impairs your judgment, and they offer that, and they have the pretty cocktail waitresses and they’re all very flirty. They’re talking to you, you know. I got quite a few numbers.”

In its response Wednesday, the Borgata said Ivey’s counterclaims amount to “gimcrackery”, or cheap, showy, useless trifles.

“When the dust kicked up by defendants’ repeated attempts to vilify the casino industry settles, we will have come full circle to the beginning of this case,” the casino wrote. “This issue is, and has always been a simple one: is edge sorting, as specifically admitted to and practiced by Mr. Ivey and Ms. Sun, cheating or unfair play? The individual playing cards do not change the answer. Complimentary drinks do not change the answer. Cocktail servers do not change the answer. There is no defense that changes the underlying nature of defendants’ edge sorting scheme. It is either permitted or not, lawful or unlawful, and that is the question before this court.”

Ivey has won nine World Series of Poker bracelets.


Wayne Parry can be reached at https://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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