1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Phil Ivey case..Should casinos pay players who exploit legit weaknesses.

Discussion in 'Casino Gaming' started by Funkhouser, Jul 28, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,107
    Location:
    Cincinnatti, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    45
    The Phil Ivey case is back in the news, as he counter sues the Borgata. Which brings up an interesting question.
    If a player finds a legit vulnerability, what they believe is a legal exploit in the Casino's game. Should the Casino be obligated to pay the player their winnings? or Did the player change the conditions / rules of the game?

    Phil Ivey store in LV Sun

    http://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/jul/27/professional-poker-player-sues-casino-claims-he-ch/?utm_source=mostpopular&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=mostRead

    Video Poker hack that allowed changing the win amount thru a series of button pushes.

    http://www.wired.com/2014/10/cheating-video-poker/
     
  2. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    Phil Ivey: His win is legitimate. Sorting his discard card-backs in any order he wishes is not a rule violation. The fact that he knew there were differences in the card-backs - so long as he never marked them, is simply taking advantage of the conditions of the dealt game. The casino could have easily defeated this tactic through proper, effective hand-shuffling. If the casino chooses to use an auto-shuffler, thereby keeping the card-backs in the same orientation as they were discarded was their choice. I see this as no different than card-counting in blackjack.

    The VP hack? No. That was specific information, passed along to people who took advantage of a defect in the programming of the machine. As with any other machine in a casino, "machine malfunction voids all plays".
    This was not some random guy pushing random buttons who stumbled upon it. (If it were, then I'd be ok with it.) No - this was an intentional exploitation of a "machine malfuntion".
    I don't think they should be prosecuted necessarily, but the casino is entitled to be re-paid any over-payments as a result of the machine malfunction.

    Just my opinion...I know there are plenty of folks here who may disagree with me... and that's ok.
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  3. TrewBrew

    TrewBrew Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    I believe that Ivey is a legitimate win he did nothing but notice a flaw. The casino had the same ability to notice it, if anything their issue should be with the card manufacturer.

    There was another one out of Atlantic City where a group of people noticed that the cards be played at a baccarat table were coming out in the same order. The details are kind of sketch and I don't play the game but as I recall. The casino purchased pre shuffled cards and would put them into play right out of the box. The decks as it turned out were the same every time they were opened. The table made a killing I want to say it was 10 million at least. The casino sued and won the money back from the players, the kicker is they also sued the card manufacturer and won that as well.
    I believe that this was within the past year that the case was settled.
     
  4. zoobrew

    zoobrew Tourist

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    82
    What is the difference between a machine malfunction and a card malfunction(mismarked card backs) voiding all plays? I guess the courts will make the determination.
     
  5. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    zoo - the difference is in the disclaimer found on every machine in a casino.
    Now, if bacc, blackjack, 3-card & UTH tables had some sort of disclaimer posted at the tables which said something along the lines of: "Lack of uniform card-backs for any deck in play voids all wins associated with the dealing of that deck", then they would be the same.

    A better way to think about this would be a bias in a roulette wheel or defective dice at a crap table.
    So long as no player had anything to do with introducing the defective material, the players would simply be taking advantage of the conditions of the game.

    Same thing with catching a hole-card when playing blackjack or 3-card. Unless you're leaning in behind the table, if the dealer flashes their hole card, and you play according to what you've learned, that is also not "cheating" - it is simply taking advantage of the conditions.
    The dealer would (rightly) be disciplined or fired... or, if a pit-critter noticed the flash himself & voided the hand before any player decisions, then there's no harm-no-foul.
    I've played at blackjack tables where the dealer made numerous errors... and the pit eventually pulled him & asked us to please continue to play against the new dealer they brought in... one pit-critter actually called upon our sense of 'fairness' when this happened, saying, "C'mon, guys - you gotta give us a fair chance after those last 10 minutes."
    This actually worked, as we laughed and continued to play for another hour or so.
    He ended up comping us a dinner after that hour, and thanked us for sticking around... (this was at the Stardust).

    If a casino had attempted to take my chips following a dealer error after the next hand was dealt, I would raise hell.
    When a dealer mis-pays me, I always leave my original bet & any pay-outs on the table for several moments to give him a chance to correct his mistake. If he then motions for me to place a proper bet for the next hand, then I collect my chips and place another bet.

    Cards get dealt? Sorry, but that past hand is now history.
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  6. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    One more note about 'machine malfunctions' - these do happen at table-games with auto-shufflers. And they do result in voided hands. I've lost out on more than one straight-flush in 3-card poker because of this.
    And that's ok...it's part of the conditions/rules of the game.
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  7. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,107
    Location:
    Cincinnatti, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    45
    Here is the article about the unshuffled cards.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/unshuffled-cards-costly-headache-atlantic-city-casinos-article-1.1141274
     
  8. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    That was another one where the players simply paid attention and took advantage of the conditions.
    100% of the liability should have been on the card vendor who promised 'pre-shuffling'.

    The players' lawyer says this... and it is spot-on: "The Golden Nugget appealed to gamblers to come in and play games licensed and sanctioned by the state of New Jersey," he said. "My clients did exactly that, and then were denied their winnings. There is absolutely no law in New Jersey that would permit the Golden Nugget to declare the game illegal because it failed to provide shuffled cards."

    Once again - the best way to look at these kinds of events is to consider a roulette wheel with a detectable bias.
    The wheel is operating 'properly' but because it may no longer be completely level, or perfectly balanced, a grouping of numbers comes up more often than they statistically should.
    It is not the players' responsibility to ensure the wheel has no bias - it is the casino's.
    If a player notices the bias (or even what they only think is a bias), and bets accordingly, those are perfectly legal bets made under the conditions the casino has created and/or permitted.
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  9. Gargamel

    Gargamel Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    150
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    This was interesting:


    "The Borgata lawsuit claims that Ivey and his companion instructed a dealer to flip cards in particular ways, depending on whether it was a desirable card in baccarat. The numbers six, seven, eight and nine are considered good cards. Bad cards would be flipped in different directions, so that after several hands of cards, the good ones were arranged in a certain manner — with the irregular side of the card facing in a specific direction — that Ivey could spot when they came out of the dealer chute"

    Why didn't this immediately set of every fire alarm in New Jersey when he first giving the dealer instructions?
    Phil's only a world renowned card shark!
     
  10. DickTater

    DickTater Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2015
    Messages:
    116
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Or, the casino could have simply said, "No".
     
  11. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    ...or, they could have hand-shuffled (properly) which includes turning the split-stacks of cards several times during the shuffle.
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  12. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,172
    The "mismarked card backs" are not actually "mismarked". Some casinos, one of my locals included, use cards where the pattern on the back extends all the way to the edge. The cut through the pattern is usually different between the opposing sides. It's just how they are and is not a flaw.
     
  13. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,096
    Location:
    At the tables
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    What the courts are letting the casino get away with is bullshit.

    But they have huge lobbies and they are in business to make money after all.

    There should never be any confusion that the casinos are just about putting a fair game out there for gamblers and if you beat them you beat them.

    They are about winning plain and simple and will do whatever it takes to ensure the house always wins.
     
  14. Bazzito52

    Bazzito52 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Lakeland, FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    60
    Regardless of whether or not Ivey was actively cheating or merely exploiting a weakness, as I see it, Borgata's suit should be dismissed.

    The article states that Borgata sued him and then destroyed the cards. They call this "despoilage of evidence" and should result in the judge finding in Ivey's favor.

    It would take a real lawyer to say if he would even have grounds for a countersuit at that point.
     
    NFL Divisional Playoffs!!
  15. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,907
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    This is why I think Ivey is guilty (also scum for the whole Full Tilt fiasco, but I digress). He told the dealer to arrange the cards. I'm not much for law interpreting but I want to say their actions may violate New Jersey's "swindling" law. But is edge sorting a "trick" or "fraudulent scheme"? I hate reading/interpreting laws. NJ laws on slots are horribly written as well.

    http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=290284&depth=2&expandheadings=off&headingswithhits=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&softpage=TOC_Frame_Pg42

    5:12-113 Swindling and cheating; penalties.

    113. Swindling and Cheating; Penalties.

    a.A person is guilty of swindling and cheating if the person purposely or knowingly by any trick or sleight of hand performance or by a fraud or fraudulent scheme, cards, dice or device, for himself or herself or for another, wins or attempts to win money or property or a representative of either or reduces a losing wager or attempts to reduce a losing wager in connection to casino gaming.

    But unfortunately if Borgata destroyed the cards because evidence really should be shown that they were edge sortable, Phil may get away with this. Of course, the truth is they were edge sortable because these two did this same BS in London. The casino there won that lawsuit (Yay!). I guess Borgata didn't think he was cheating right away so they destroyed the cards, SOP I guess? Or they were stupid. Both of these events happened around the same time.
     
  16. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    667
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    The difference between the Ivey case and the Video Poker case is that the house has full control over shuffling, reshuffling, calling a "no deal," and other various methods of changing the potential advantage. The house had no way of knowing or observing that there was anything wrong with the machine(s) until observing the same person collecting an abnormal amount of jackpots.

    This court rules in favor of Ivey. It may be unethical, but I don't find that he did anything illegal. If I were him, I would absolutely sue Borgata for defamation of character -- and to get my money.

    The casino is at fault for not having better procedures in place. If someone is betting that much money -- and winning -- and they've been asking for cards to be set or dealt a certain way, don't you think anyone worth their salt would be pulling out new cards, reshuffling, and instructing the dealer not to rearrange or set the cards any more? Shit, I've seen pit bosses sweat a "hot" $15 blackjack table and a "hot" $10 craps table. I'm pretty sure Ivey wasn't playing with green chips.
     
  17. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,199
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    It is tough to have sympathy for Ivey or for the Borgata.

    Ivey was trying to play for an edge he knew wasn't inherent to the game. The borgata had control over the cards and dealer and rules, and destroyed the evidence. I don't much care what the outcome is.

    When you count cards you are exploiting information that is public to the game by design. When you edge sort because you have noticed a card flaw that the casino has not, so you can effectively play with marked cards. It requires not only noticing the difference, but then having it manipulated.

    The house has full control of taking a machine out of service or asking a person not to play VP too.

    The house had 'no way' of knowing of a bug in the machine, nor of a flaw in the card backs. The way they find out if by monitoring and noticing that someone appears to be winning too much. In both cases, it is retroactive.


    But the Borgata are playing a dangerous game fighting for that money back. Whatever the law says they are entitled to, it makes them look like sore losers rigging games (see Shifter's comment), while also exposing that their quality control and dealing procedures are far from bulletproof.
     
  18. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3,172
    No flaw in the cards...it's just the way they are. Borgata is just using that term as an excuse. Many casinos still use cards with patterns that extend to the edges. It is very easy for casinos to continue using these cards and still maintain the integrity of the game. For us, as players, to accept a casino's claim that the cards are "flawed", puts all of us at risk of being denied a hot streak win or carnival game jackpot, by having the casino all of a sudden claim their cards are flawed as well. Sure, Ivey took advantage of the cards, but the integrity of the game lies on the dealer and the house. Ivey is a whale, and the house makes special concessions for whales. In this case, borgata failed to see how detrimental their concessions ended up costing them, until it was too late.
     
Tags:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.