The crux of Borgata Casino’s $10 million lawsuit against card deck manufacturer Gemaco is pretty simple. The New Jersey casino says the company knowingly manufactured and distributed decks with faulty card backs.

The imperfections in the card backs are what helped Phil Ivey and his partner, Kelly Sun, log winning Baccarat sessions for over $9 million.

Unfortunately for Borgata, Sun just blew a hole in that argument.

Sun says she can read the card backs of any deck of cards

To be clear, Borgata is not accusing Gemaco of purposefully creating defective cards. The name of the technique Sun and Ivey used is edge-sorting. The nature of how cards are manufactured means there are imperfections on the designs on the backs of cards. Advantage players learn to recognize which inconsistencies are on the more valuable cards, then play accordingly.

Lawyers deposed Sun as part of Borgata’s law suit against Ivey. In that statement, Sun claimed it did not matter who manufactured the cards. Why?

Because she can read the card backs of literally every brand of casino deck. NorthJersey.com reported on the incident, including a recent filing regarding Sun’s abilities:

“Sun confirmed that she can identify imperfections with any cards, regardless of who manufactures them. Sun further testified that the card manufacturer is irrelevant and that she is able to gain advantage with any card and can pick up imperfections in almost all instances.”

Does Gemaco have any culpability in the Ivey / Borgata case?

With that revelation, the entire law suit is now on shaky ground. New Jersey gaming regulations allow for some imperfections. Namely, there can be irregularities up to 1/32″ wide.

While that may not be enough to stop an advantage player like Sun, it is enough to put the manufacturer in camp with just about every other card company in the industry.

Here is why this is so important to the Gemaco case. There is a document stating the material facts of the suit. One of those facts states edge-sorting can only be done when there are major imperfections in the cards.

Gemaco’s legal teams filed a response to the document contesting the edge-sorting point. If Sun’s statements are true and the deck manufacturing plays such an insignificant role in her success, that is an ineffective definition of the concept.

No word yet on what the court thinks of the argument. What this does indicate is that this law suit will be a drawn-out process. That is not great news for Phil Ivey. He cannot appeal his case with Borgata until the Gemaco suit is resolved.

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Jessica Welman

About

Jessica Welman is a longtime member of the poker media and online gambling world. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. Welman has been involved for livestreams for the WSOP and WPT and worked as a consultant on many other poker productions. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.