Phil Ivey's Appeal and Small Measures
According to an article in the Daily Mail, Phil Ivey is soon going to get a chance to appeal the 2014 ruling that allowed Crockfords Casino in Mayfair to keep the $12 million Ivey won playing baccarat in 2012. In winning his millions, Ivey used a method of advantage play called "edge sorting," where he exploited asymmetries in the backs of the cards used by Crockfords to gain more than a 6% edge over the house.
While the fine points of the legal issues surrounding Ivey's appeal are way above my pay grade, as Ivey's expert in the 2014 case, I certainly have strong opinions on the matter. The UK cheating statute that was used to measure whether Ivey cheated in a criminal sense or not, reads, in part,
"cheating at gambling may, in particular, consist of actual or attempted deception or interference with the process by which gambling is conducted."
In my "IANAL" (i.e., I am not a lawyer) opinion, this statute is essentially worthless in settling the question of whether edge sorting is cheating. Judge Mitting affirmed this in his final ruling, when he stated:
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