Phil Ivey’s role in the edge-sorting controversy may be confined to casinos in London and Atlantic City, at least for now. But that doesn’t mean that one of his cohorts hasn’t tried to use the same alleged trick to win millions at other casinos in the United States.
Cheng Yin Sun is among three plaintiffs who are suing Foxwoods Resort Casino in an attempt to recover their funds and winnings from an edge-sorting advantage play they pulled at a baccarat table in 2011. Sun is best-known as being the associate of Phil Ivey in the Borgata edge-sorting case, in which Ivey won $9.6 million from the casino over a series of visits.
Gamblers Sue to Recover Winnings
In that case, the Borgata is suing Ivey in an attempt to reclaim money they paid to him at the time of his gambling. In the Foxwoods case, the roles are reversed, as the plaintiffs want to recover money they say they rightfully won but which was withheld by the casino.
According to the lawsuit, the three gamblers deposited $1.6 million at Foxwoods before a gambling trip that took place in December 2011. The group then admits to using edge-sorting techniques at a mini-baccarat table. Over the two days of their visit, the group won $1,148,000.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs wish to recover the full sum of this money. In addition, they are asking for $100,000 each for alleged civil rights violations, as well as $50,000 in fees and costs incurred during appearances before the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Gaming Commission. In total, the plaintiffs are seeking damages of more than $3 million.
The tribe that operates Foxwoods has already conducted its own investigation. In February 2012, the director of the Mashantucket Gaming Commission’s Inspection Division ruled that the gamblers had violated the gaming regulations used at Foxwoods. The commission itself would later uphold that ruling. The three individuals involved were warned that they could face arrest by Connecticut State Police should they return to the casino in the future.
Edge-Sorting Takes Advantage of Badly Cut Decks
Edge-sorting relies on the use of decks of cards that have been imperfectly cut. This results in card backs that are not perfectly symmetrical on all edges. Gamblers who are aware of this may ask dealers to rotate cards: for instance, Ivey asked the Borgata to do so in his case for what he said were superstitious reasons. With a well-produced deck of cards, this would make no difference; with imperfections, this allows gamblers to know if high or low cards are coming, allowing them to change their bets and gain an edge over the house.
The plaintiffs, represented by attorney Sebastian DeSantis, also say that Foxwoods may have engaged in fraud if they knew the gamblers were using an edge-sorting technique and let them play, planning to withhold the winnings should they end up being successful.
Foxwoods and the executives named in the lawsuit have yet to file any response to the charges.
Along with the Borgata case, Ivey is also involved in another edge-sorting controversy at Crockfords Casino in London. That case is similar to the Foxwoods situation, with Ivey hoping to reclaim £7.8 million ($13.1 million) in winnings that have been withheld by the casino.