Thursday, 23 October 2014

Phil Ivey (Part 2.)

Current standings 21.30 BST October 23rd 2014: 

The Safe Method  -1.17 pt. (This includes 1 pt Man Utd. @ 11-2 & 0.1 pt @ 8-1 to win the Premier League as lost money)

The Dangerous Method +2.92 pts (This includes 2 pts Man Utd. @ 11-2 & 0.1 pt @ 8-1 to win the Premier League as lost money.)

TheBaseballTipper 2014  +2.29  (Minimum profit. This will be greater if San Francisco Giants win the World Series.  It has increased because San Francisco won the National League Pennant.)

Outstanding bets for TheBaseballTipper 2014:  1 pt San Francisco @ 5-1.  0.1 pt each, Kansas City @ 50-1 and San Francisco @ 18-1 to win the World Series.  

TUB  -439.84 pts The loss figure has reduced because San Francisco won the National League Pennant.

Another winning night on the football on Tuesday.  End of trumpet blowing.

If, as I suggested, you read Victoria Coren Mitchell's article on Phil Ivey's gambling experience at Crockfords in last Sunday's Observer, I hope you agree that Phil Ivey was hard done by on two counts. 

Count One.  Crockfords refused to pay him the £7,700,000 that he won from them.

Count Two.  The British legal system refused to make Crockfords pay the £7,700,000 that he won from them.

On the first count Crockfords have proved themselves guilty of the gambler's cardinal sin of welching.  They are fundamentally wrong.  If you're not prepared to pay up when you lose, then don't have a bet.  If the guy you are having the bet with knows more than you do and takes you to the cleaners, you simply must take it on the chin and put it down to experience.  Vicky gives plenty of examples where this is the case.  I shall add one, which may be apocryphal and it may not, but it is relevant.  In a Punto Banco (The poor mans Baccarat) game in a provincial casino, the cards, at the start of the game weren't shuffled.  Six decks of cards were in a shoe, suited and booted, waiting for an observant punter to spot the fact.  It didn't take long.  £200,000 and a table full of very happy Chinese players later the game was stopped.  Now this particular casino was run by people who understand that not paying winners who have capitalised on a mistake made by the house is a false economy, because eventually those players gave it all back plus a mountain more.  Try telling a gambler that lightening doesn't strike twice...

On the second, the British legal system has proved itself incapable of making a proper judgement in a case that illustrates perfectly that Crockfords, as a gaming establishment are not fit and proper persons to hold a gaming licence in that they were quite happy to take Ivey's money as long as he was losing, but they hadn't got the professional nous to cope with him when he was winning.  What kind of message does that send out to the wider world?  Britain used to have the highest standards of gaming competence in the World.  British gaming professionals went all over the planet showing people how to open and operate casinos.  Now we can't even run them properly in our own back-yard.

If I were a serious punter and Crockfords was my casino of choice before this judgement, it certainly wouldn't be so now and I'd be taking all my gambling cronies away with me to one of the other exclusive Mayfair casinos.

The best thing that could happen as far as British gaming is concerned would be for Crockfords to close down due to lack of interest.

When a casino spokesman can come out of court and say... "It is our policy not to discuss our clients’ affairs in public and we very much regret that proceedings were brought against us. We attach the greatest importance to our exemplary reputation for fair, honest and professional conduct and today’s ruling vindicates the steps we have taken in this matter.”

After the first sentence in that statement does he/she say anything that bears any resemblance to the truth?  

I'd definitely want trial by jury if I was the accused, in court with the judge, who said in conclusion, “This is, in my view, cheating for the purpose of civil law.”

Dismissing the case, with costs, he said it was immaterial that the casino could have protected itself by simple measures.  
In purple is a glaring contradiction.  No, it is not immaterial, it is fundamental to the case.
As a final insult, 'Lawyers for Ivey were refused permission to appeal although they can renew their application to the court of appeal directly.'
I think they should and my advice for what it's worth would be to ask John Kelsey-Fry QC if he'd represent Mr. Ivey.  I know he's a defence counsel, but he is to English law what Phil Ivey is to poker!

I am reminded of Mr. Bumble, who squeezed his hat emphatically in both hands and said,

'The Law Is An Ass, A Idiot!'

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