Professional poker player Phil Ivey was convicted of cheating an Atlantic City casino out of $10 million. The 9-time World Series of Poker winner was ordered to return $10.1 million he won with defective playing cards.
US District Court Judge Noel Hillman agreed with attorneys for the Borgata Resort & Casino who say Ivey and companion player Chen Yin Sun failed to follow gambling regulations on four occasions in 2012.
The casino accused the 2 men of having a dealer at the Borgata arrange Baccarat cards with "edge irregularities" that gave them an unfair advantage.
Ivey and Sun allegedly used a technique called "edge sorting" to guess which cards would be coming next.
The casino also alleges that the cards used in the games were defective and that the patterns on top of the cards were not uniform.
But Ivey countered that he simply noticed things that any player could have observed if they knew where to look.
In his ruling, Judge Hillman suggested Ivey's card skills had more to do with cheating than just luck.
"Lady Luck is like nectar to gamblers, because no one would otherwise play a game he knows he will always lose."
Judge Hillman ordered the men to return the $10.1 million they won playing Baccarat and craps on four occasions at the casino.
But Ivey's attorney, Ed Jacobs, said the judge affirmed that Ivey had followed every rule of Baccarat and did not commit 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."
Jacobs said Ivey plans to appeal the ruling.