Phil Ivey's recent return to tournament poker has excited poker fans the world over, but it has also gotten the attention of the Borgata, which is eager to collect on the $10.1 million the courts deemed Ivey owed the casino back in December 2016.
Ivey was involved in two court battles over winnings derived from edge sorting in baccarat at Borgata in Atlantic City and in punto banco at Crockfords Club in the U.K. in 2012. The courts ruled in favor of the casinos in both cases, deeming the actions of Ivey and his partner, Cheung Yin Sun, to fall under the category of cheating due to the unfair advantage gained by edge sorting. Through a series of appeals, Ivey was unable to make headway on getting either ruling reversed.
In the Crockfords case, the casino withheld the winnings Ivey racked up, and the court decided they were justified in doing so. In the Borgata case, however, Ivey and Sun walked with the reportedly $9.6 million in Baccarat winnings, and in turn added to the winnings playing craps. It was these combined winnings that the court ordered Ivey and Sun return.
Ivey's legal team has been successful in postponing the $10.1 million judgment, but recent attempts by Ivey's lawyers to continue delaying payment have been met with opposition from Borgata. They are essentially requesting that the court order a stay of execution on the grounds that payment of the $10.1 million would cause irreparable harm to the defendants.
Borgata's lawyers argued against the court granting Ivey a stay, pending appeal, on the grounds that the payment would not cause irreparable harm and Ivey should be able to come up with the money, based on some recent facts.
Borgata listed Ivey's return to the WSOP as further proof that he "has no problem coming up with" large buy-ins for poker tournaments, claiming he can always get into a poker game. They also mentioned his more than $2 million in tournament winnings from May through July as indication that he should have the money to spare.