Poker’s Tiger Woods Phil Ivey sues British casino for £7.3m in winnings

 

A global gambling star known as the “Tiger Woods of poker” is suing Britain’s oldest casino for refusing to pay him £7.3m in winnings.

Phil Ivey is taking action against  Crockfords, an exclusive gambling club in Mayfair, London, for allegedly withholding money he accrued during a private game of punto banco last August. The American is thought to be the world’s sixth-highest earner from punto banco tournaments, amassing winnings of $14.6m (£9m). The card game is a type of baccarat.

Today, he said he was “deeply saddened” to file a writ at the High Court but he had been left with no alternative. He added: “Over the years, I have won and lost substantial sums at Crockfords and I have always honoured my commitments.

“At the time, I was given a receipt for my winnings but Crockfords subsequently withheld payment. I therefore feel I have no alternative but to take legal action.”

Mr Ivey, 35, was with a female companion last August when he started to enjoy a winning streak at the game, in which players aim to hold cards with a combined value of nine or  closest to nine. Over two days of gaming, Mr Ivey is thought to have ended his first night £2.3m ahead, rising to £7.3m by the end of the second night. But proprietors from the casino’s holding company, Genting, allegedly withheld his winnings and opened an investigation.

The Independent understands that investigators have flown to London from Kuala Lumpur to interview staff – including a croupier working on the nights Mr Ivey played – and to review surveillance video footage and examine the cards used.

But the case raises wider questions because punto banco, which Mr Ivey chose to play, is largely a skill-free game in which the gambler plays only against the banker. Experts say that, as with roulette, it is almost impossible for a player to “fix” the outcome.

Mr Ivey’s lawyer, Matthew Dowd of Archerfield Partners, said: “It is with great regret that Phil has been forced to issue court proceedings against Crockfords to secure payment of his winnings.” 

Crockfords was founded in 1828 and is the oldest casino in Britain, but is now owned by the Malaysian gaming corporation Genting. Tonight, a spokesman for Genting said it did not comment on matters involving individual members but added: “In this rare instance we are able to confirm that our position, which is supported by strong legal advice, has been made very clear to Mr Ivey’s solicitors from the start. We shall be filing our defence shortly.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Automotive Service Advisor - Franchised Main Dealer

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...

Ashdown Group: Account Payable Assistant - SW London

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Payable Assistant - SW Londo...

Recruitment Genius: Bathroom Showroom Customer Service / Sales Assistant

£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...

Recruitment Genius: Finance Manager

£44000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Marketing company based in cent...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence