UK Casino Holding $11.7 Million from Phil IveyFriday, October 12th, 2012 by Ryan
I think it’s safe to say that if you are a fan of poker, whether it is online or live poker, you’ve probably heard the name Phil Ivey, and know him well. Ivey is known for playing multiple high stakes cash games online, and being up in the big games in the live casinos as well. As far as the poker tournaments go, he plays in the biggest and best tournaments out there, and is an all-around incredible poker player. He’s made more money throughout his young career than most poker players (or anyone with a job aside from poker) has made. Ivey is known at poker rooms all over the world, and one of the poker rooms in London apparently has a bit of an issue with something relating to the popular poker player.
According to a few reports, the casino in London has decided to hold a whopping $11.7 million from the massive poker stud. If your jaw probably dropped and you were stunned, that’s about how I felt, but apparently Ivey and his mother weren’t quite as concerned. When asked about the situation of the $11.7 million being held, Ivey’s mother simply stated that Ivey had “never mentioned it”, and that it “can’t have been very important to him, or I think he’d have mentioned it.” Just $11.7 million right? No big deal apparently, and that stands true for Ivey himself. When Ivey was asked about it, he simply stated that he was “concentrating on his tournament”, and to “please don’t talk to me.”
Obviously $11.7 million is probably on Ivey’s mind, but the time that we are talking about when he was asked came when he was playing in the massive World Series of Poker Europe’s Main Event this year. It may have been during the event or on a break, but regardless it’s an interesting situation, and a response that drew some intrigue from the poker world as well.
The story started back when Ivey was playing in a high stakes game at the casino Crockfords. He was playing high stakes punto banco, and started things off with £1 million and worked it up to £7.3 million before long. The £7.3 million transfers to $11.7 million in USD, and when he ended up deciding that he was going to go ahead and cash out, he asked that the house send the money to his bank account instead of anything else. The casino told Ivey that they were going to have to wait to make the transfer because of the fact that it was a banking holiday. They told Ivey that his transfer would be finished on the 28th of August, which was a Tuesday, and when Ivey left the casino opened up an investigation on him. The investigation focused around the fact that he could potentially have cheated and they have still decided not to pay out Ivey on his winnings to this day.
The problem now that we’re having with this whole confusing situation, is that there is really no evidence of the fact that Ivey cheated or did anything to cause an issue in the casino. The owner of the casino, Genting, decided to send out an investigator to look into the situation to talk with everyone who was involved and working over the time that Ivey was there. They also checked into the footage on the security and check out the cards that the players played with, but there were no markings on the cards and they also got reports from the players that Ivey had no contact with the cards either.
Ivey started off the action by betting £50,000 per hand, and was allowed to bump up his bet to £150,000. Ivey started off by losing about half of his initial buy-in, and by the end of his first night at the tables he finished up with £2.3 million. The second night was when he had the best of the run as he was able to pull in another £5 million on top of his initial winnings. For those who don’t know, the game punto banco is a type of baccarat, where the casino is the bank all times through the hand. Two heads get dealt per round, and one is the players hand while the other is the bankers hand, but players are actually able to bet on either of the two hands or bet on a tie.