London Casino Denies Phil Ivey’s Winnings
Phil Ivey, the winner of eight World Series of Poker bracelets won $11,5 at a London Casino where he played Punto Bunco.
The casino said that they suspected Ivey of foul play and approached authorities to investigate the matter since the pro poker player experienced an unusual winning streak playing Punto Banco. The game is a variant of baccarat and quite similar to Chemin de Fer. Editor in chief of the poker magazine Bluff, Lance Bradley said the game is based purely on luck and no skill is involved whatsoever.
In August Ivey and a female companion entered Crockfords in London’s up market Mayfair district, the casino is hailed by many as the city’s most prestigious and oldest gambling club.
Ivey and his companion managed to win back their losses plus an amazing $11,5 in winnings. Crockford’s casino management assured the poker star that the funds would be wired to his account immediately. However, the Las Vegas Journal reported that Ivey only received $1.3 million.
Lance Bradley had the following to say about Ivey, “There’s nothing in his past that would hint at his being a cheater or unethical in any way,” says Bradley. “People say he’s arguably the best poker player in the world. He’s known both for his skill and for his love of high-stakes games. He loves anything where there’s some sexiness at stake.”
The Daily Mail said that Crockford’s casino management became suspicious when they discovered that Ivey’s female companion’s membership had been suspended at another Mayfair casino.
The parent company of Crockford’s, Genting said that it hired investigators to inspect every aspect of Ivey’s play. The Daily Mail said that all the cards were inspected and casino management interviewed the croupier. Video footage from the 10 overhead cameras have been scrutinized and no foul play is found so far.
Bradley said that the English press insinuates that Ivey cheated which is absolutely ludicrous. Bradley continued in the same vein, “What possible explanation could there be for Crockfords’ failure to pay? “I’m not sure,” says Bradley. “They’re earning themselves a ton of publicity—but it’s not the kind of publicity you want. It’s like a run on a bank: When you withhold payment, people stop trusting you; they stop playing. Maybe it’s because with nearly $12 million involved they just want to make sure every ‘I’ has been dotted and every ‘t’ crossed. Phil’s going to get his money; they’re just making him wait.”
“Casinos love high-rollers. But not high-rollers who win. Maybe they think that if they make it less enjoyable for Phil, maybe he won’t come back. Essentially, they’re firing their customer.”
Ivey refused to comment, hopefully we will know more within the next week as the story unfolds.[addtoany]