James Bond’s game of choice has always been baccarat.
A version of this popular card game is call Punto Blanco, where the player is to draw two or three cards with a sum total closer to nine than the dealer. Enter Ivy…Phil Ivey, arguably the best card player on the planet. Last August (2012) at Crockfords’ casino in Mayfair, London, Ivy went on an unprecedented run, and turned $144,000 into $11.9 million over the course of three nights. Ivy apparently raised his bet from $77,000 a hand to $230,000 a hand (this with the casinos blessing), and at one point was $770,000 in the red…but, still ended up walking out with his pockets full…and the casino crying foul.
Here’s the casino’s take: Ivey spotted tiny imperfections in the cards’ designs, and used that knowledge to help identify when certain cards would be on the table, even when face-down.
Whether there were imperfections on the cards or not, a person has to notice them, keep a keen eye on the game, and do the math in their heads (similar to counting cards). Not to mention this was a three-day period and there were ten “house” cameras on him. The cards were suppose to be switched out each day, but Ivey and his “female partner” allegedly asked to have the cards kept in play, day after day, and the casino obliged.
So, who’s really to blame here? Ivey who has a stellar past with no black marks against him, or the casino which got caught with their pants down? I feel the money is Iveys. The casino is basically embarrassed for, and just trying to save face. If Ivey did indeed catch the glich, so what…”to the winner go the spoils,” the casino shouldn’t have been so “star stuck” that they forget how to be a casino…and SWITCH OUT THE CARDS!