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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Gambling Spot » » Poker player loses court battle over £7.7m winnings from London casino (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Cagliostro
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Quote:
On Oct 27, 2017, Claudio wrote:

It so happens that in UK contract law, contracts can't have unfair terms:

Unfair terms in English contract law are regulated under three major pieces of legislation, compliance with which is enforced by the Office of Fair Trading. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 is the first main Act, which covers all contracts that have exclusion clauses. The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 lays on top further requirements for consumer contracts. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 concerns certain sales practices.


Thank you, Claudio. I did not read it all but if a contract is "unreasonable" it is not enforceable. It really is that simple.

I doubt that anyone posting here is a lawyer. We all have our opinions and can make all types of arguments pro or con, which are essentially non-legal and uninformed, and that includes me. However, I would think that any reasonable intelligent person, even without a law degree, would defend an agreement if the purpose was to defraud, victimize, or cheat the opposing party.

That is exactly what Ivey's intent was - to cheat, victimize, defraud and trick Crockfords out of a significant amount of money. In my opinion, no sane person, with any semblance of fairness, can support something like that regardless of how involved or contorted their argument in favor may be.

Keep in mind there was no financial loss on the play to Crockfords. You can't be charged with theft (which is what this was), if the victim still has the money. However, you can be charged with attempted theft. What Ivey did was attempted theft through guile, deceit and trickery.

Crockfords still had the money so they did not pursue the situation further. They could have. In that sense, Ivy was lucky as it was not worth Crockfords' time and money to pursue the case. I'm pretty sure they could have made Ivey's life very miserable had he walked with the money and maybe even have gotten a financial judgement against him.

However, have no doubt that a conscious attempt to plan and then subsequently implement said plan to defraud, victimize, trick and/or cheat someone out of their money is a crime regardless of how contrived the scheme is. Doesn't matter how clever the plan is, how appealing the "David Beat Goliath" story, one just cannot defraud another with impunity in a civilized society. If someone doesn't see that, well...he or she doesn't see it.

However, those that argue in Ivey's favor, put yourself in Crockfords' position. What would you have done if you were the victim in this instance? What if Ivey attempted to steal a significance amount of your money using this "play," and you could show he used deceit, trickery and fraud to do so... Hmmmmm.
AMcD
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At least, Cag, we now look like to agree. Again, I don't understand those judges and I don't understand their verdict!

But hey, it's a nice ending for Ivey.
Cagliostro
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On Oct 27, 2017, AMcD wrote:
At least, Cag, we now look like to agree. Again, I don't understand those judges and I don't understand their verdict!


Arnold, my disagreement with you is I don't believe this is cheating in the strictest dictionary sense of the word. I know to you it is a simple black and white situation, and that is okay with me. I have no problem with your opinion on this, I simply disagree with it.

The reason being is I suggest it is more complicated than straight cheating would be, i.e., it is not like popping in a cooler or having marked cards shipped from the distributor to Rockfords' casino. (I know, cheating is cheating, is cheating, is cheating, I know.)

However, I suggest that in the business world, in the legal word, and in life in general, often things are not so simple as they may initially seem. There are grey area, there are nuances, there are extenuating circumstances that come into play. There are also legal ramifications for a big organization like Rockfords if they take the wrong course of action, i.e., counter lawsuits, character defamation suits and so on. Rockfords is a wealthy and very exclusive casino enterprise and therefore a prime target for lawsuits it they are not careful.

Because the cards used were Crockfords' standard cards, because the casino personnel agreed to some bizarre conditions of play (even though they should not have), even though they allowed Ivey and his cohort to direct the rules of play to a certain extent, Rockfords was indirectly and inadvertently complicit in allowing this scam to take place. It could not have taken place if it were not for Rockfords' participation - so it is not straight cheating. Rockfords did not have to agree to any of these conditions and could have just dealt a straight game.

Yes, Rockfords was tricked; yes they were duped; yes they were foolish and perhaps stupid, and so on. Yes, the game was a fraud. Yes, it was a scam perpetrated under the guise of being a card game. But if it wasn't for Rockfords' participation it could not have occurred.

Under those conditions, was it actually cheating...or was it the perpetration of a dishonest and devious scam.

Pretty grey area here.
Mr. Bones
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Or is it just ongoing proof that casinos will essentially look for any angle or any accusation they can make towards a player, such that they don't have to pay him out his winnings?

Maybe, deep down, it's nothing more involved than corporate greed on the part of the casino?
Mr. Bones
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AMcD
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Hmmm, Mr. Bones hits a home run here.

Yes, personally I really believe that "casinos will essentially look for any angle or any accusation they can make towards a player, such that they don't have to pay him out his winnings". Not for a few grands, of course. But when 7 millions bucks are concerned...
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Cag,

Would you feel the same way if Ivey had negotiated a bad contract for himself accidentally and then insisted he didn't have to pay? How come it only works in one direction?

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
Cagliostro
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On Oct 27, 2017, JasonEngland wrote:
Cag,

Would you feel the same way if Ivey had negotiated a bad contract for himself accidentally and then insisted he didn't have to pay? How come it only works in one direction?

Jason


Jason, I think Ivey is too smart when it comes to gambling plays to negotiate a bad contract for himself.

However, here is how I look at all contracts regardless of who is involved. If it works against me it is by definition a bad contract, even after the fact. I hold that as generally accepted truism and maintain the right to nullify all contracts that don't ultimately favor me, regardless of when that determination is made.

As you can see, I like to keep things simple.
Dannydoyle
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On Oct 26, 2017, JasonEngland wrote:
Arnold,

EVERY dice setter is trying to alter the outcome of the game. None of them can do it, but THEY don't know that. Should they all be arrested and charged with "attempted cheating?"

Jason


Most are procecuted for successful cheating.
Danny Doyle
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chappy
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I would think that no one has ever been prosecuted for SUCCESSFUL cheating! Perhaps my definition of successful differs from others. Smile
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tommy
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Lobo is a lawyer and his professional view of this case would be interesting.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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JasonEngland
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Quote:
On Oct 27, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 26, 2017, JasonEngland wrote:
Arnold,

EVERY dice setter is trying to alter the outcome of the game. None of them can do it, but THEY don't know that. Should they all be arrested and charged with "attempted cheating?"

Jason


Most are procecuted for successful cheating.




Huh? Can you please cite a case where a dice setter was arrested, much less prosecuted? I know of no such cases.

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
Dannydoyle
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My point is casinos do not worry about people doing things that give them an edge that do not mathematically work. Dice setting is an example of such a thing.

They are not going to prosecute superstition.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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It seems to me, the dishonesty in that which Phil did lies in him telling Crockfords that he had a superstition and that is why he wanted the cards turned: Crockfords agreed to do so, based on that “trick” if you will. That is what rendered the agreement void - perhaps.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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AMcD
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A couple of month old, but still interesting:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/......ing-case
JasonEngland
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Tommy,

If I "dishonestly" say that I can't count cards when I'm really an excellent counter can the casino use that as a justification for not paying if I beat them out of a barrel full of money?

Jason
Eternal damnation awaits anyone who questions God's unconditional love. --Bill Hicks
Dannydoyle
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Jason I believe they can show you the door and bar further play but would have to pay the bet. Since it is not against the law, but just discouraged I think they have to pay. Then they bar you if they find out.

Mind you this is only an opinion, and not a legal one at that. So it might be closer to a guess lol.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
AMcD
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Not living in Las Vegas, I find that question interesting and I'd like to know the answer: would they give Jason his money?

I hope they would need some serious evidence in order not to pay him, otherwise, I don't understand how customers could go playing in casinos!
Cagliostro
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On Nov 17, 2017, JasonEngland wrote:

If I "dishonestly" say that I can't count cards when I'm really an excellent counter can the casino use that as a justification for not paying if I beat them out of a barrel full of money?
Jason


First of all, if you are comparing this "speculative" situation with the Ivey "contract" with Rockford's, I believe it is not like for like or even close.

Regarding the Ivey situation, an "unfair" contract is not enforceable under English law. Five upper court judges and a couple of lower court judges apparently all came to the same conclusion in the Ivey case. Evidently these unknowing and foolish judges thought that reading the cards from their backs, (in effect using marked cards in play), in some inexplicable way made the game and the contract "unfair." It doesn't matter what non-legal minds think, and that includes my opinion, although I do agree with the judges in this case. Ivey lost on appeal to the high court and the case is over. He is a card playing hustler, "took a shot" and did not get it on.

You can make any statement you like when playing 21, shooting dice or playing roulette. You can say you are Lucifer and if you don't win the ceiling will fall on everyone. It is irrelevant. What difference does it make what you say as long as it is not offensive, abusive, and if you are not unruly or disruptive of the game.

If they determine you are a card counter in Nevada, through observation or otherwise, rightly or wrongly, and regardless of what you do or do not say, they can and probably will bar you from play. They can't and probably won't take your money if you were ONLY card counting because they know they would lose a lawsuit for damages as it is not illegal in Nevada to count cards. If you combined card counting with a cheating ploy, that is a different situation and they probably could and not would not pay you your winnings.

For example, if you were playing in a BJ game in which the players could hold the cards in their hands, and you and five other cohorts were physically turning the cards to determine high cards from low cards with an edge sort deck, even the casino's edge sort deck, you would most likely not get paid your money. Additionally you most likely would get hassled and quite possibly get arrested for cheating. Whether the casino operators could make the cheating charge stick in another story, depending on other factors, but it would be unlikely you would get paid your winnings in a court ruling.

They can also bar from playing any game and from the casino itself, for any reason or for no reason at all in Nevada, regardless of what you do or don't say. That is all irrelevant. The casinos are deemed "private clubs" in the State. I know that is absurd but that is the law and the casino operators are a powerful group. If they oust you from the casino and read you the Trespass Act, if you thereafter return to the casino, they can and will probably have you arrested.
Cagliostro
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I don't think my post above was long enough, so I will give you another one.

When I was a young man, I think I was 23 at the time, I had just been promoted to the floorman position at the "old" Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. At that time, it was a mob joint and they dealt to serious "high roller" action, with player junkets coming in from the east coast all the time. Caesar's Palace and the Flamingo were the only two high roller joints at that time. The reasons as to why, at such a young age, I was put in that floorman position is another story.

In any event, I was standing in the pit, the main show was was going full blast in the showroom and it was somewhat quiet in the casino. An old timer called "Tex," was standing on a "dead" (unoccupied) game and called me over. (You guys will have to figure out why he was called "Tex" on your own). In any event, Tex said to me, "I think you should change this deck and take a look at these cards? There is a guy at the bar that has been eyeing my game and the pit for some time, and make sure you take a look at the ends of the cards." That is all he said.

Keep in mind in those days all the joints used standard Bee playing cards without any casino logos on the backs. You could purchase the same cards in any drugstore at the time.

I changed the deck and checked for sort edge work right away (I had a 4 ways sort edge deck at home that I purchased from KC Card Company), riffled tested the deck looking for block out and line work, looked for shade, looked for scratch and so on and could not see anything wrong. Of course, I was watching the games at the time so my concentration was somewhat limited.

When Tex got off the table, I handed him the deck and he said to me, "This is a turn-about deck. It was either put in from the inside or someone switched it in from the outside. The guy at the bar was casing the pit from the outside, saw a young guy on the floor, figured this young guy did not know much and was getting ready to make a play when another dealer took me off the game.This guy left when you changed the cards."

I did not know what a turn-about deck was until he showed me. The diamonds on the ends of all the cards were half diamonds on one end and full diamonds other but when the cards were shuffled, the edge design was mixed or random looking. I was looking for a regular sort edge deck which no matter how you turn it, you can still read the 4-way combination.

He explained to me that in the 50s, (before my time), decks that came from the Bee Card Company all had half diamonds on one end and full diamonds on the other. Evidently there were hustling teams, consisting of 4 or 5 players (male and female) which would land on a game, fill all the spots and do nothing but play turn-about in BJ games throughout the State. (Just to clarify: What most magicians, hobbyist and demonstrators call "the turn," and "edge sort," back then the hustlers called it turn-about. Reason being "the turn" or "to turn" meant to distract or "turn" someone so they used different terminology to avoid confusion.) The deck I pulled from the game that day evidently was specially made up for the play and put in on the game, or a saved hold-over deck from the 50.

Thinking about this I find it somewhat amusing. Here I was 23 years old, knew more about card table chicanery and cheating moves with cards and dice than most people on the floor at that time, had been practicing moves in front of three-way mirror since I was 13 years of age; seconds, bottoms, riffle and overhand stacks, hops, pull throughs, dice switches and control shots, had read all the books by Scarne, MacDougall, Erdnase, Maskelyne, Buckley, Ireland, Marlo...you name it, I read it. I was very, very good manipulative wise with card and dice moves at that time and I really though I knew a thing or two...and I did. But, it was all academic and essentially magician based knowledge, knowledge based upon the work and books written by magicians. Except for some small easy to beat amateur games, I had never really "been there" and certainly was not conversant at that time with all the ploys you could use on casino games.

Looking back over the years, after having been on both sides of the table in casinos and in big private games, having know some incredibly capable casino card and dice hustlers (not magicians) and seen some serious plays laid down, I can say that at the time in question, I was little more than what I would call a "think your know it all," wise-ass, academically knowledgeable half-smart chump.

Would I have nailed this turn-about play had it materialized at that time, after the other games filled up with players, when there was big action all around, when the music was blaring, when players were asking me for markers or paying off markers, making show reservations, dealing with table commotions and problems and so on...I honestly don't know. Sure a few years later I probably would have. But still, when all the action hits and with all the things happening in the pit...it could be somewhat problematic.

One of the most capable hustlers I have ever known - hand mucker, juice reader, cold-decker, dice mechanic...all under fire in casinos...got a floor job when he retired from scamming people. He said to me one day, "How am I supposed catch anything here? I am watching six full 21 games, players are taking up my time, there is action on all sides, and if I walk over to watch a game and something is happening, the hustlers will just pull-up the play until I get tired of watching and walk away...And this man was super capable under fire.

So, what you guys see on video demo expose tapes, played over and over again, is not necessarily what you will see under fire, that is, if you see anything at all.

And if you think you will catch a gaff you know, or think you know, regardless of the conditions or when you might be hit with it, well maybe...
Mr. Bones
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Great eye-opening post Cag.

Things happening in and around a casino pit aren't always like folks (including myself) expect they might be.

I know I need constant reminding that there are no absolutes in gambling.
Mr. Bones
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