Ivey Accomplice Accused at Foxwoods; Focus on Your Game ; California Poker Dead Again



phil ivey 14++
Phil Ivey’s Alleged Accomplice In Borgata ‘Cheating’ Case Also ‘Edge-Sorted’ At Foxwoods

Cheng Yin Sun Sues Foxwoods After Casino Withheld Mini-Baccarat Winnings

by Brian Pempus
Cheng Yin Sun, who was accused of helping poker pro Phil Ivey “edge-sort” at Atlantic City’s Borgata casino in 2012, is now involved with another legal case, this time against Foxwoods Casino Resort in Connecticut.

Sun, along with two other gamblers, Long Mei Fan and Zong Yang Li, are suing Foxwoods for millions. They say that the casino owes them money that they won playing mini-baccarat.

The Day reported that Foxwoods has refused to pay because it believes the three cheated, according to the suit filed July 31 in U.S. District Court in New Haven.

They say they are owed more than $3 million, which includes their $1.1 million in winnings, along with $1.6 million in gambling front money and other damages.

The three gamblers admitted to edge-sorting, which is a technique that will give gamblers roughly a 6.765-percent edge over the house in mini-baccarat. It’s a complicated technique that involves trying to spot asymmetries in the ill-manufactured cards.

Basically, the gamblers argue that it isn’t cheating and they are owed the money.

“Edge-sorting is possible because some brands of playing cards are not cut symmetrically across their backs and some players are gifted with eyesight keen enough to tell the difference,” the multi-million dollar suit against Foxwoods claimed.

It’s the same technique that Ivey and Ms. Sun once used at the Borgata to take that joint for $9.6 million. Unlike Sun’s lawsuit against Foxwoods, Borgata is seeking to recover the millions it paid out to Ivey and Sun. Last month, Ivey’s legal team said that “each and every penny of [Ivey’s] winnings was the result of sheer skill.”

Edge-sorting doesn’t involve the gamblers touching the cards in any way, but the lawsuits hinge on figuring out how casino laws and regulations apply to the technique.

According to a court document in the Borgata case, Sun is a professional gambler who has been banned from several casinos around the world. She resides in Las Vegas.

Sun was also accused of assisting Ivey in an edge-sorting scandal at Crockfords casino in London in or around August 2012. That incident resulted in the casino refusing to pay Ivey and Sun $12.1 million in ill-gotten winnings. Ivey admitted to edge-sorting and has sued the casino for the money.

In the Foxwoods case’s court documents, Ms. Sun’s name was spelled “Cheung Yin Sun,” as opposed to “Cheng Yin Sun” in the Borgata case’s court documents. Card Player was told by an attorney for the Borgata that this is indeed the same person.



Focus on what you like when selecting your poker game August 12, 2014 3:00 AM
by George Epstein
Game and Table Selection

Today, we focus on the particular game of poker you choose to play plus the table at which you play that game. Recently, we added consideration of “when”– which day of the week and which hours – it is best to play.

Many games

Realize there are numerous poker games. New games and variations of these continue to be developed. Similar games at various stakes are, to a large extent, quite different in terms of how they are best played, and tournaments likewise require different strategies than cash games of the same types.

Our recommendation is to choose one particular poker game/variation. Preferably, you should select the game/variety you most enjoy playing. Get to know that game as best you can – “like the palm of your hand.”

You have many opportunities in that regard – poker books and magazines, classes, seminars, on-line discussion sites, and face-to-face discussions with poker buddies. You can always find self-designated “professionals” who are willing and ready to offer you private lessons. The same is true in many professions.

Wouldn’t you rather have a heart surgeon perform your cardiac surgery than a general practitioner? The same applies to the game of poker.

Game selection

That simple decision could transform you from an average (mediocre) poker player to a consistent winner. Who was it who first said, “It’s all about winning, and the more I win, the more fun it is?” (Answer: I believe it was my late wife. She was a great poker player. She played limit 7-card stud until switching over to Texas Hold’em.)

Every table is different

Perhaps your favorite casino is running several tables of your favorite game. But, in fact, each table is unique. The character of a table is determined by the players.

With a few aggressive players, you can expect lots of preflop betting and raising – especially if there is a “maniac” at that table. For low-limit recreational players like me and most of my poker students and other seniors who have discovered the magic of the game, a more sedate (relaxed) game is preferred.

Occasional raises before the flop are just fine. My reason: Most hands dealt out are not worthy of your investment. Most of the other hands require a multi-way pot (3 or more callers seeing the flop) plus no raises preflop. This is the basis for the Hold’em Caveat, described in the Hold’em or Fold’em Booklet.

Best times

For example, weekend play is bound to bring out more casual players – as distinct from regulars – at the casino. Undoubtedly, you can win more chips from those who play less frequently.

Late evening is likely to include many losers (perhaps even a few on tilt, who appear anxious to give away the rest of their chips), struggling to try to break even for this session. (They most often will eventually lose the rest of their chips.)

You may see a gentleman, wearing jacket and tie, sit down at your poker table early on a weekday evening. Likely, he is a businessman seeking a few hours of relaxation after a long, perhaps stressful, day in the office.

Regard him as a recreational player who is more prone to call – rather than fold – with a marginal drawing hand, even from an early position.

Next: The conclusion.

“The Engineer,” a noted author and teacher in Greater Los Angeles, is a member of the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame. Contact George at GeorgeEpstein@GamingToday.com.


death is just a rumor

Poker Bills Dead in California…Again
By Dan Katz – Aug 11th, 2014
Another year, another failed online poker bill in California. Frankly, this is getting boring. I didn’t really want to report on this, as it is just the same thing year in and year out, but I suppose people should know what’s going on.

Last week, California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer conceded that time as run out for State Assembly Bill AB 2291 for the 2013-2014 legislative session, which would have legalized and regulated poker in the Golden State. Similarly, State Senator Lou Correa, who has fought for poker the last several years, said that there is not enough time during this legislative session to move forward with his Senate Bill SB 1366.

As usual, there are too many stakeholders who not just want a piece of the action, but want it solely on their terms. For many, it is their way or the highway. Card rooms, racinos, Native American tribes, they all want it how they want it. This go-around, there seems to be two main problems upon which all the parties could not agree. The first is whether or not race tracks should be allowed to operate poker rooms, the second is the possibility of a “bad actor” clause. This bad actor clause would shut out any online poker operators which continue to offer online poker to Californians after 2006, the year the infamous Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed.

Many feel that the bad actor clause was a way to keep PokerStars out of the California market. As we all know, PokerStars is the giant of the online poker industry; if they were to be able to establish a new online poker room in a U.S. regulated market, it is expected that players would flock to it. Some of its potential competitors would no doubt love to keep the big dog out.

Not everyone wanted to bar PokerStars, though. While many tribes wanted the bad actor clause, the powerful Morongo tribe and California’s three largest card clubs agreed to partner with PokerStars to offer online poker. Rather than have a bad actor clause, they want each potential licensee to be evaluated by state regulators on its own merit.

Then there is the recent purchase of PokerStars’ parent company by Canada-based Amaya Gaming. Because Amaya Gaming did not operate in California after 2006, it is thought that it would be able to get the green light from regulators, thus paving the way for PokerStars’ entry. Thus, in PokerStars’ case, a bad actor clause would not matter. Were that the situation, it would clearly still matter for other possible operators.

PokerStars, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Commerce Club, the Bicycle Casino, and the Hawaiian Gardens Casino issued a joint statement to the media about the latest poker legislation failure. In the statement, Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said:

We have been working on this issue for five years now and while we were optimistic that a suitable bill would move forward in 2014, we’re in this for the long haul and we’d rather do it right than have a bad bill. Clearly the issues surrounding the latest bills that sought to unconstitutionally limit competition, place prohibitions on race tracks, and rewrite longstanding, successful state policy regarding California’s oversight of gaming proved insurmountable for this session. We will continue to work with our partners, legislators, state regulators and other California tribes on developing future iPoker legislation that meets constitutional tests and provides much needed consumer protections to California’s 2 million online poker players.

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