Phil Ivey refused winnings
Phil Ivey

Poker star Phil Ivey’s $11.5 million is withheld until London casino finishes fraud investigation.

London casino Crockfords said it is withholding the $11.5 million payout to poker star Phil Ivey because of alleged cheating during card game.

Ivey played Punto Banco, a variation of baccarat, at the Mayfair Casino in August for two nights with an original bankroll of 1 million euro ($1.3 million). After playing seven hours he asked for his winnings to be transferred to his bank account. The casino has funded only his original stake back to him, claiming it is investigating the poker star’s suspicious card game play.

The casino realized that Ivey was accompanied by a female who had previously been suspended from another Mayfair casino. Investigators are also questioning several casino employees who worked during Ivey’s play and watching hours of film from security cameras. The involved cards from the deck and the shoe they were dealt from are being examined too.

However, it is not certain what exactly Ivey has been accused of. The police have not been alerted about the case, but London and Kuala Lumpur casino fraud specialists from the owning Malaysia-based Genting Group have been contacted for a thorough investigation.

American professional poker Phillip Dennis “Phil” Ivey Jr. has won one World Poker Tour title and eight World Series of Poker bracelets, appearing at nine World Poker Tour final tables.

High roller is an underestimation for Ivey: the poker star has made more than $5.8 million in the World Series of Poker, and gathered at least twice the amount in tournament poker. Ivey was also tied to Full Tilt Poker, the website causing much of the scandals in the gambling news today.