As part of my duties as expert witness for Phil Ivey, I had to write an "expert report." This report was centered around answering three questions, one of which was, "Is edge sorting well-known to the casino industry?" In order to answer this, I scoured books, magazines, websites, newsletters, message boards, training manuals, card manufacturer sites and every other source I could find that mentioned edge sorting or asymmetric cards, no matter how minor the mention. I also searched out evidence that implied indirectly that edge sorting, or more generally first-card knowledge, is commonly addressed in game protection. For example, smart shoes, the Harrigan brush and plastic face plates. I wanted to build an overwhelming body of evidence to establish that edge sorting is well-known. I believe I succeeded.

In this post, I want to share some of what I found. I have quite a bit more. In what follows, I list some of the book, magazine and newsletter references I presented in my report.  Where possible, I have included a pdf file including the relevant part. Here is the list:

  1. “Advanced Tactics in Casino Advantage Play”, by Abram Alexander, ASIN: B005J5CSYZ, Kindle book, 2011 (various pages) ES_Reference_001
  2. “Casino Game Protection: A Comprehensive Guide,” by Steven L. Forte, ISBN-13: 978-0975986400, Publisher: SLF Publishing LLC, 2004 (pages 171 – 174)
  3. “Casino Management,” by Bill Friedman, ISBN-13: 978-0818403118, Publisher: Lyle Stuart, Rev Sub edition, 1982 (page 44)
  4. How to Detect Crooked Gambling, Marked Cards and Loaded Dice,” by Frank Garcia, ISBN 0-668-04043-2 , Publisher: Arco Publishing Company, Inc., 2nd edition, 1977 (pages 101 – 103) ES_Reference_004
  5. “Magic with Cards,” by Frank Garcia and George Schindle, ISBN: 0-7607-1010-4. Publisher: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1993 (page 110). ES_Reference_005 [The "One Way" card trick is as old as your grandfather!]
  6. “Beyond Counting,” by James Grosjean, ISBN-13: 978-0910575171, Publisher: RGE Publishing, 2000 (page 161).
  7. “Baccarat Fair and Foul, by Professor Hoffman,” published in London in 1891 by George Routledge and Sons, Limited (SBN 091-1996-78-8), ISBN-13: 978-0870190025 ES_Reference_007 [The point of this reference is to show how long that game protection for baccarat has been discussed in the U.K.]
  8. “Contemporary Casino Table Game Design” by Eliot Jacobson, ISBN-13: 978-1-883423-17-9, Publisher: Blue Point Books, 2010 (pages 94 – 117). ES_Reference_008
  9. “Dealing with Cheats: Illustrated Methods of Cardsharps, Dice Hustlers, and Other Gambling Swindlers,” by A.D. Livingston, ISBN-13: 978-0397009862, Publisher: Lippincott; 1st edition, 1973 (pages 40 – 43). ES_Reference_009
  10. “Blackjack Ace Prediction,” by David McDowell, ISBN-13: 978-1879712102, Publisher: Spur of the Moment Pub. (2004) (pages 103, 104).
  11. “Casino Playing Card Guide, Book 5, Caribbean, Foreign, Racetracks, Australia, Canada, Canadian Riverboats,” by Sandi Steffner and Janice O’Neal, Publisher: Eagle Creek Gaming, 2008 ES_Reference_011 [notice the Genting cards]
  12. Blackjack Secrets” by Stanford Wong, ISBN-13:978093592620, Publisher: Pi Yee Press , 1993 (pp. 137 – 138) ES_Reference_012
  13. “Advantage Play for the Casino Executive,” by Bill Zender, 2006 (pages 81-85)
  14. “Casino-Ology2,” by Bill Zender, ISBN-13: 978-1-935396-43-7, Publisher: Huntington Press, 2011 (pages 165 - 169). ES_Reference_014
  15. “Stanford Wong’s Blackjack Newsletters,” Stanford Wong, Volute 5, 1983, page 45.
  16. “Marked Cards” by Steve Forte in the “The Intelligent Gambler” newsletter from Conjelco, Number 23, Spring/Summer 2005.  ES_Reference_016
  17. “One Step Ahead – Sophisticated Gamblers Use Legal Techniques to Gain Small Advantages at Casino Games,” by Michael Konik, Spring 1995 issue of Cigar Aficionado Magazine.  ES_Reference_017

In the end, none of this mattered to his Lordship, Judge Mitting. He did not consider the answer to the question relevant in his decision-making. The only question the judge had to answer was, "Did Ivey cheat?"

About the Author
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received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1983. Eliot has been a Professor of both Mathematics and Computer Science. Eliot retired from academia in 2009. Eliot Jacobson