PokerNews has learned that Phil Ivey is suing a British-based casino for withholding his £7.8 million ($12.1 million) winnings.
Nine-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Ivey won £7.8 million playing Punto Banco at Crockfords casino in August 2012, but the Genting-owned casino refused to pay Ivey his winnings. After months of negotiations failed to bring a resolution, Ivey decided to file suit at the High Court in London today, May 7.
Commenting on the suit, Ivey said:
“I am deeply saddened that Crockfords has left me no alternative but to proceed with legal action, following its decision to withhold my winnings. I have much respect for Gentings, which has made this a very difficult decision for me.
“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.”
Ivey’s huge win was first reported in the English newspaper the Daily Mail, where it was claimed Ivey was playing Punto Banco for £50,000 per hand. Ivey, accompanied by a “beautiful Oriental woman,” was stuck £500,000 at one stage, but after gaining permission to increase the stakes to £150,000 per hand, went on an extraordinary winning streak that saw Ivey claw back his initial losses and finish £2.3 million in profit.
Ivey is then thought to have returned to Crockfords — the oldest active casino in the U.K. — the following night where he ran up another astronomical win that took his total winnings to £7.8 million.
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. The matter is now in the hands of the Court.”
Ivey is represented by Archerfield Partners and Richard Spearman QC.
PokerNews will bring you more on this story as we receive more details.