PokerGuru 3-Bet: Phil Ivey Contests Borgata Claims on Earnings; Randy Lew Joins Team Liquid & US Casinos Get a Boost

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  • PG News December 5, 2016
  • 8 mins Read

From a legal case, to a brand tie-up and reports of better prospects for casino gaming in the United States; these are our three stories in this edition of PokerGuru 3-Bet.

The first involves Phil Ivey and the Borgata cheating case, the second is about pro Randy Lew signing on for eSports with Team Liquid and the third is about casinos in Nevada and New York.




Phil Ivey Contests Borgata Claim to His Baccarat Winnings

Phil Ivey is in no mood to let the Borgata Casino pocket his 2012 baccarat winnings and has decided to contest the casino’s claims.  The long-drawn out case began when the Borgata filed a $9.6 million suit against the pro alleging that he won the money by using fraudulent means of ‘edge-sorting’.

The casino accused Ivey of using manufacturing defects in the card markings and also named his partner Cheng Yin Sun and card manufacturer Gemaco Inc. in the case. Additionally, Borgata referenced the Golden Nuggets 2015 case, where gamblers had to return their $1.5 million winnings. The case had shown that a pre-shuffling error allowed players to recognize card patterns and thus, the ‘hands’ were deemed unauthorized.

In late October this year, a federal court judge ruled that Ivey had not violated any rules and the pro is now contending that this statement does not mean that the casino can claim his earnings.

According to, Ivey has claimed that, “Defendants can prove that the edge-sorting technique provides information for betting purposes only, and does not change the percentage of the winning hands to any extent.”

He further added “The Court's finding on liability does not dictate an automatic damage award.”

In 2012, Ivey won 864 hands, lost 822 hands and tied 184 hands at the Borgata and the casino has alleged that his winning odds were “reasonably certain” and that he had an advantage due to the edge-sorting.


PokerStars’ Randy Lew Joins Team Liquid in New eSports Deal

The latest poker star to latch on to the eSports bandwagon is Randy Lew, who has joined Team Liquid, which already has PokerStars pro, Bertrand Grospellier on its roster.

                                                Randy Lew

Lew goes by the moniker “nanonoko” due to his ability to multi-table a dozen games at a time. Like Grospellier, he too represents PokerStars and now will also promote Hearthstone tournaments across the globe, as part of his Team Liquid deal.

An avid computer-gaming enthusiast, Lew believes there are several parallels between poker and eSports and told fans, “Hearthstone has many similarities to poker in that it’s a turn based card game where you are trying to figure out your opponent’s moves so you can optimize your turn. I think my experience in poker will allow me to learn quickly and fulfill my desire to be one of the best in Hearthstone.”

The pro has been a national level Marvel vs. Capcom 2 video game player, besides having a formidable reputation in poker. Online, he passed the $1 million mark in 2009 and since has claimed Supernova Elite status at PokerStars several times.

In live cashes, Lew has made $1.1 million, which includes a win in an APPT Macau Main Event. He also has a huge fan following due to his live streaming on Twitch TV and YouTube.


Casinos Flourish In Nevada; First Opens In New York

Overall, the Nevada gaming industry showed a rise in profits, after a long dry stretch, with casinos registering a rise of 11% in income, even as New York State got the first of its four commercial casinos at Tioga Downs.

Nevada casinos registered a profit of $986.2 million for October, as per figures released by the Silver State gaming regulators. Last year, the earnings stood at $887.5 million, which showed an increase of 11%.

The state saw 27.7% increase in its year-over-year revenues for sports books which registered $30 million income and contributed up to $60 million in statewide taxes.

Below is the breakup of revenues – :

Slots: $631.6 million
Blackjack: $100.9 million
Baccarat: $87.2 million
Sports Betting: $42.3 million
Poker: $8.7 million (includes internet poker)

Statewide, there were 144,900 slot machines, 2,640 blackjack tables, 336 baccarat tables, 192 sports books and 610 poker tables.

Meanwhile New York State which had approved four commercial casino licenses, got ready for the first to open its doors at Tioga Downs. The venue was earlier a racino and had been converted into a Las Vegas-styled casino, replete with a 12-table poker room and 33 gaming tables.

The casino was expanded to install 1000 new modernized slot machines and in all $120 million was spent on the new additions.

In February, the state will receive its second gambling center with the $500 million Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady. Totally, the four casinos will come at a cost of $1.4 billion.

The four physical casinos will also benefit online players, as the state legislation is planning on a law to allow them to offer virtual products, once all are opened.

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