Gifted with eyesight? Cheng Yin Sun, Ivey’s edge-sorting baccarat partner, is suing Foxwoods for millions. (Image: Neil Stoddart/PokerStars)
Phil Ivey edge-sorting pal Cheng Yin Sun is one of three gamblers suing Foxwoods Casino Resort for over $3 million in withheld winnings. Although Ivey is circuitously involved in the Foxwoods case, Sun and Ivey are both currently the subject of a court case brought by the Borgata in Atlantic City, which is trying to recover $9.6 million it paid out to the pair carrying out a stint at the mini-baccarat tables in 2012.
Both situations involve making use of edge-sorting, plus the debate over its legality, or absence thereof; a presssing issue that is fifty shades of grey, as far as regulations is concerned. The Borgata states the practice is cheating and is illegal under state gaming law; Sun and Ivey say it isn’t.
Edge-sorting is a technique when the gambler is able to look for the value of the card by observing subtle manufacturing flaws and asymmetries into the pattern on the back, and the skilled edge-sorter can turn the chances in his or her benefit to the tune of six or seven percent.
Can it be cheating? Well, there is the rub, and now we’re likely to find out soon, since the theories of both parties are tested in courts on both sides of the Atlantic. The gamblers claim that they truly are utilizing pure skill to caress chances in their favor (and edge-sorting is no mean feat, requiring freakish abilities of observance), while the casinos are claiming it’s fraud, pure and simple.
$1.6 Million in Stakes Held Right Back
Since well whilst the Foxwoods and Borgata cases, Ivey can be suing London’s Crockford’s Casino, that has withheld $12.1 million following Ivey and Sun’s visit here, additionally in 2012. The latest case makes no mention of Ivey, however, and is brought by Sun and two associates, Long Mei Fan and Zong Yang Li. The trio claims that the bad debts to them by Foxwoods comprises $1.1 million in winnings and their $1.6 million in stakes.
‘Basically, edge-sorting is possible because some brands of handmade cards aren’t cut symmetrically across their backs plus some players are gifted with eyesight keen sufficient to share with the difference,’ says the suit. ‘If Foxwoods and Foxwoods management knew that plaintiffs were edge-sorting and let them exercise their kind of advantage play anyhow, intending to help keep their losses when they lost yet not honor their winnings if they won, this might be intentional fraud.’
The instances are fascinating as they are completely without precedent, as expert in gaming law Maurice VerStandig underlined recently.
‘Edge sorting falls someplace between card counting and weighted eyes that are snake and regulations is yet to figure out just where,’ he stated. ‘There is not any real precedent for cases like this, and when the judicial system cannot find precedent, it goes in search of analogy, something that does not much help here, either, because edge sorting is perhaps not undoubtedly analogous to anything…’
A lawyer representing the Foxwoods plaintiffs, has confirmed they are one and the same while Sun’s name differs on the court documents from the Foxwoods case to those of the Borgata, here spelled Cheung Yin Sun instead of Cheng Yin Sun, Marvin Vining.
‘I am able to confirm that Cheung Yin Sun was also Phil Ivey’s playing partner in mini-baccarat sessions that gave rise to the Borgata lawsuit in nj-new jersey therefore the Crockfords lawsuit in London,’ said Vining. ‘She used different partners that are playing Foxwoods, and the circumstances of all of the three lawsuits are slightly different. But the Foxwoods plaintiffs did employ essentially the type that is same of strategy as involved with the other two lawsuits.’