Quoted in the Daily Mail Phil Ivey Story

For those of you currently following the Phil Ivey/Crockfords' Casino story you may have noticed I get quoted in today's feature by the Daily Mail. I got a call yesterday from them while I was having Sunday lunch and they wanted an 'expert' to help them understand how Ivey could have possibly cheated at Punto Banco. It was a mix of vanity and boredom that led me to allow them to quote me and answer their questions. 

After I did the interview I started to wish I hadn't, just because you hear horror stories of being misquoted, especially from the Daily Mail. It's not my favourite paper by any stretch of the imagination. For the recorded, they didn't misquote me at all, some of the words are out here and there, but the crux of what I said is there. 
But even though they didn't misquote me, I have this weird inclination to back up what I said and didn't say. This is partially because I've had a couple of other mainstream media outlets asking me to speak about this story and I can see the potential for it to spiral a bit.

I started the interview by making sure they knew I knew very little about the game Punto Banco. My comments about probability, skill, edge etc were entirely in the context of house games vs poker, not specifically Punto Banco. Initially they rang me to see if Ivey could have in any way influenced the odds of a house game, which I told them he could not, based on what they reported about no evidence of tampering. I think initially they may have wanted to explore the possibility of him cheating more, but I quickly scuppered that.  

The article did the usual thing of misinterpreting Ivey's results, as all mainstream media do with poker players, claiming he won £10 million in one tournament. Clearly I didn't say that as I know the Hendon Mob database very well. 

I'd love to know where they got their information about Ivey taking the casino to court, because I didn't mention anything and at the time of the interview they seemed under the impression that he didn't have any legal recourse. I did, however, inform them about the 2005 gambling act which now states that gambling winnings are now enforceable. Makes me wonder if they received some information about Ivey pursuing this in court, or if they just made that bit up (Cynical ain't I?).

I must say as much as I am not a fan of the Daily Mail, it was nice for them to actually defend a poker player. Most mainstream poker stories tend to paint poker in a negative light, but this time around it seems the casino was painted as the thing villain. 

Later on today I got a few other requests to do interviews, including one with CNN, I turned them down. I can talk all day about poker and would have happily done it if it were more poker related, but as it really was a discussion about bricks and mortar casinos and the 2005 gambling act, I decided I was on a hiding to nothing if I did them. I know plenty about both subjects, but nowhere near the same level as I do poker. 

I also didn't want to get overly linked with Phil Ivey, considering I don't even know him. I was worried I would come across as an Ivey fanboy, which I'm not (As this recent column I did on him shows), I just don't think he cheated. 
Oh well, I think I got away with not looking like a berk, and I got a book plug in there too.


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