Reading the cards, Borgata goes after cardmaker in Phil Ivey incident.

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Continuing to evolve is an incident and plotline that could be part of an Ocean´s Eleven movies.  In 2012, Phil Ivey used an Asian spotter, badly manufactured cards and a whole lot of observation to walk away with over $10 million dollars from the Borgata Casino in New Jersey by beating the house at Baccarat.  Ivey´s friend at the table was able to detect slight imperfections in the edges of the cards which effectively marked them for the players.  Using the slight imperfections, Ivey was able to eliminate the house advantage and paced himself to the $10 million dollar payday over the course of a marathon session at the casino.

In a preliminary ruling, a judge ruled that Ivey had cheated by marking the cards.  Using a broad and unusual definition of marking cards, the judge ruled that because Phil Ivey purposefully asked for cards to be used that he knew were flawed, and then asked the dealer to turn the cards a certain way so that players could easily see the flaws, that this amounted to ´marking´ the cards.  It did not help Ivey´s case that he also asked for a Chinese dealer and then had his friend make these requests in Chinese.

Phil Ivey is, of course, appealing the ruling, and the Borgata is taking no chances with a second outcome, and thus filed a lawsuit against card-maker Gemaco citing negligence on the part of the card-maker should Ivey prevail in his appeals case.

The Phil Ivey case brings up a lot of issues with gambling and even online gambling where players should have every right to increase their odds of winning and that if winning can be so easily overcome by a lawsuit, what is the point of playing casino games.  Where is the line between being intelligent and observant players going to cause you to sacrifice your winnings?   This has always been an issue with games such as blackjack where even primitive forms of card counting can help you overcome any house advantage.