Friday, December 23, 2016
Washington Post - "Famed poker pro with ‘remarkable’ $9.6 million scheme has to pay it back, judge rules"
"Huge sums could change hands over a game of baccarat. The Las Vegas Sun reported that, in 1990, Japanese high roller Akio Kashiwagi waged an “epic baccarat battle” with Donald Trump at one Atlantic City table. The gambler risked $12 million in a bid to double it. During the course of the games, Kashiwagi managed to get halfway to his goal before the Trump casino won $9 million from him."
"Given the opportunity to make massive amounts of money, casinos can be unusually accommodating to wealthy baccarat players. Ivey was able to use this to his advantage. In each of his visits to the Borgata, the casino accepted the same five requests. Ivey asked: that he play in a private area; that the dealer speak Mandarin Chinese; that he play with eight decks of purple Gemaco Borgata playing cards shuffled together; that the decks be shuffled with an automatic shuffler; and that Ivey would be allowed one guest at the table, a woman named Cheng Yin Sun."
"Ivey’s attorney Ed Jacobs emphasized that Hillman did not describe the poker player’s actions as fraud. “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,” the lawyer said, according to the Associated Press. “The casino agreed to every single accommodation requested by Phil Ivey in his four visits because they were eager to try to win his money.” The gambler was only using observation, the defense went, and rotating the cards was within the rules of the game. Jacobs added Ivey will appeal the ruling."