Ivey struck a “remarkable winning streak” while playing Punto Banco – a skill free game of chance variation of baccarat. Ivey was playing at Crockfords, the oldest casino in Britain founded in 1828, which is currently owned by Malaysia-based Genting.
Ivey was accompanied by a beautiful Oriental woman and played over two nights during the Bank Holiday long weekend of August 25 to 27 for approximately seven hours. Apparently, his companion’s membership at another casino in the area had at one time been suspended and this may have raised the casino’s concerns.
A female croupier and Crockfords staff have been interviewed after the casino allegedly feared Ivey was in collusion with the casino’s workers.
Ivey was watched by a manager and had 10 surveillance cameras on him as he played.
The casino has initially agreed to transfer the winnings to Ivey’s bank account but so far has returned only his original bankroll.
Police are not reported to be involved but the matter is in the hands of the lawyers now.
Ivey is one of the most famous poker players in the world and winner of eight WSOP bracelets.
How to Play Punto Banco
Punto Banco is usually played by groups of up to eight players who wager that either the player (“Punto”) or banker (“Banco”) will win the hand, placing their bets on the appropriate area of the gaming table accordingly. Its appeal rests on pure luck as each new card is drawn by the croupier from a shoe containing four, six, or eight decks of cards. Each card drawn can radically alter the dynamics of the game, as in blackjack. The aim is to hold cards with a count of nine or closest to nine. Unlike its sister games chemin de fer and baccarat, as played by James Bond, there is no element of choice or skill.