An American professional gambler lost out on $10 million in winnings when a U.K. court ruled Wednesday the card recognition technique he was using qualified as cheating.
Phil Ivey, 40, was playing a version of baccarat at Crockfords Club, a casino in London, the Guardian reported. He was using a technique called “edge-sorting,” which allows a player to predict what cards are coming next by recognizing differences in the pattern printed on the back of the deck.
The casino refused to pay him his $10.2 million winnings from the 2012 games because they said he had not won fairly. Ivey told the Financial Times that it wasn’t his fault the casino didn’t appropriately protect itself from the techniques employed by a professional gambler.
“It is very frustrating that the UK judges have no experience or understanding of casinos . . . or the ongoing battle between casinos and professional gamblers attempting to level the playing field,” Ivey said, according to the Financial Times.
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Ivey has won the World Series of Poker 10 times, according to Bloomberg.
Five justices of the U.K. Supreme Court upheld an earlier court of appeals ruling that dubbed Ivey’s tactics cheating, the Guardian reported. Ivey originally sued to get his money in 2014, according to Bloomberg.
The court was deciding whether Ivey could be considered dishonest for employing the technique, and if dishonesty must be present for the court to rule that he had cheated. According to the Financial Times, judge Lord Hughes called Ivey’s technique a “carefully planned and well-executed sting.”
Ivey underwent similar legal proceedings in the U.S. over his use of edge-sorting. According to NJ.com, Ivey also used the tactic in a game of baccarat at an Atlantic City casino in 2012. He was ordered to repay the Borgata $10 million when a U.S. district court judge found in 2016 that Ivey breached his contract with the casino by failing to follow the New Jersey Casino Controls Act, which does not allow players to count cards.