Phil Ivey’s legal team recently requested that a federal court make a final judgment in his ongoing case with Borgata Hotel and Casino.
The Atlantic City resort has responded that it is fine with a final judgment. But now Borgata wants him to post bond on the $10.1 million a judge ruled he owed the casino after two extremely profitable sessions of baccarat using a technique called “edge-sorting“.
Why does Ivey want a final judgment?
In Ivey’s argument for a final stay, his lawyers proposed a stay on paying funds. Borgata has a pending case with Gemaco, the makers of the cards involved in Ivey’s game manipulation. Ivey and his companion, Cheng Yin Sun, used imperfections on the card backs in the deck to give themselves an edge.
Until courts rule on Gemaco’s culpability, Ivey wants to refrain from paying the sum ordered by the courts.
Why then does Ivey want to rush the court to a final judgment? So he can appeal the case to the Third Circuit.
Borgata agrees with the motion to make a final judgment. They argue that if it is final though, then it is time for Ivey to pay up.
The US District Court in New Jersey came to a sum of $10.1 million, which comprises $9.5 million in baccarat winnings and another $500,000 Ivey won at the craps tables using profits from his baccarat session. Borgata’s legal team attempted to get more money in the form of compensation for comps, but the court denied them.
Borgata agrees to judgment, but wants Ivey to pay up
In a recent court filing Borgata suggests the Gemaco case is completely extricable from the Ivey case. With that in mind, there is no reason in Borgata’s mind why the final judgment and posting of bond for the sum of the judgment needs to wait.
Borgata’s lawyers also contend the payment does not meet the considerations of causing irreparable harm to Ivey. Given his wealth and career, the casino believes he can easily continue his career as a professional poker player and gambler with $10 million less in his bank account.
Part of Borgata’s argument cites the internet lore surrounding Ivey and his speculated net worth. It also references Ivey’s personal web site, which suggests he should just assume he is going to win the World Series of Poker Main Event in the future:
“First, a number of internet sources estimate Ivey’s net worth at $100 million… the entrance fee for the world’s richest poker tournament, the World Series of Poker Main Event, is only $10,000. Ivey’s own website captions him as “one of the greatest [poker] players alive and states ‘many feel that it is just a matter of time before [Ivey] takes down poker’s grandest prize.’ ”
What comes next for Ivey?
Technically Borgata is asking the court to rule against Ivey’s request for a stay on payment without bond. In other words, the money would not go to Borgata just yet. It would be held in trust by the court and an appeal would only be granted after the bond is posted.
Borgata’s argument pretty effectively picks apart the reasons a stay of bond are typically granted. If the casino’s request is granted, it is up to Ivey to front the money or give up appealing the ongoing case.