The name Phil Ivey rings true to anyone who is even remotely interested in the game of Texas Hold ’em, but very few know that he is an equally accomplished punto banco player. He is the sixth on the list when it comes to amounts won in such tournaments, with punto banco being essentially a game of baccarat played against the bank.
Ivey claims that the last time he visited the Crockfords casino in London, he won a total amount of £7.3m which would translate into over $12 million, but the casino failed to pay the winnings. The event occurred in August 2012 and over the course of two days, Phil won the impressive amount and waited ever since for Crockfords to honour their commitments. This is the oldest casino in Great Britain and one of the oldest in the world, but it is now operated by a Malaysian gaming corporation.
After Ivey won £7.3m back in August, casino representatives and investigators flew in from Kuala Lumpur and the inquiry began. Its purpose is to determine whether the lucky winner was actually lucky and skilled, or if he used illegal and unfair methods for beating the odds. Local media suggested that the casino owners were worried about the possibility of collusion between the player and a female croupier.
As the investigation is still pending, the poker player lost his patience and said that Crockfords left him with no choice but to seek justice in a courthouse. Taking legal action was regarded by Ivey as a solution of last resort, given the fact that over the years he won and lost sizable amounts at the aforementioned casino. The Malaysian corporation that owes Crawford goes by the name of Genting and they have only made brief comments about this awkward situation and left many questions unanswered.
While there is no consensus among experts, many claim that punto banco is very similar to roulette in terms of the role luck plays in determining the outcome. Through his lawyer, Matthew Dowd of Archerfield Partners, Ivey said that he regrets that he had to take matters to court in order to claim what is rightfully his. On the other hand, a spokesman for Genting told the media that the corporation’s position is supported by solid advice and it was made crystal clear to the famous poker player. They also intend to file their defense soon, so those following the details of the scandal will be fed fresh information.