Cheung Yin Sun Sues in Foxwoods Edge Sorting Case
Cheung Yin Sun, the mysterious partner of Phil Ivey who participated in Ivey’s mini-baccarat excursions to two different casinos that have resulted in eight-figure lawsuits, has become involved in a third major lawsuit against a casino. Sun and two co-plaintiffs have sued Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise, the parent company of Connecticut’s Foxwoods, for $3 million plus punitive damages in another edge-sorting case.
Sun’s co-defendants are Long Mei Fang and Zong Yang Li. The two men, like Sun, are Chinese nationals who hold permanent resident green-card status. Sun lives in Las Vegas, while her two co-defendants live in California.
The lawsuit includes numerous revelations about the edge-sorting activities at the heart of the case and Sun’s own expertise at the gambit. In the complaint, brought by Connecticut attorney Sebastian O. DeSantis, Sun is identified as being well-known in the informal “advantage play” community as the “Queen of Sorts,” referring to her exceptional visual acuity in identifying subtle printing asymmetries on card backs that can be used to help identify certain cards’ values on later deals.
When combined with special accommodations often afforded to high-stakes gamblers under the guise of “superstition,” certain valuable cards in baccarat — primarily 6 through 9 — end up rotated 180 degrees and are subtly identifiable to Sun and other skilled edge-sorters. The practice mandates the use of a mechanical card shuffler and exact handling of the card decks in play, conditions which were agreed to by Foxwoods and other casinos involved in these edge-sorting lawsuits.
This action includes a number of related documents and correspondence that appear to have relevance to the two suits involving edge-sorting where Sun assisted Ivey. Ivey has sued New Jersey’s Borgata Hotel Casino for $9.8 million in withheld winnings achieved through the same sort of advantage play used in the Foxwoods episode. London’s Crockfords Casino, in the first of these cases involving Sun to receive major public attention, has sued Ivey in an attempt to recover approximately $12 million in winnings it claims Ivey and Sun procured through fraudulent and illegal means.
Both of those cases remain active, with this Foxwoods edge sorting episode sure to shine additional light on the advantage-play practice.
This latest Sun case is exceptional in that it centers on high-stakes mini-baccarat play occurring in late 2011, meaning that it predates her partnerships with Ivey at Crockfords and the Borgata. Included here as exhibits are correspondence items alleging that Foxwoods knew about edge-sorting activities, and was in fact freerolling Sun and her co-defendants.
Similar freerolling arguments have been brought by attorneys for Ivey and Sun in the Borgata and Crockfords cases, and they appear to be strengthened by the documentation here, and by earlier revelations that information about Sun’s edge-sorting activities as the “Queen of Sorts” was freely exchanged among many casinos.
In the Crockfords case, for instance, Sun was initially not named but referred to as Ivey’s Asian companion, who according to information supplied by Crockfords, had been excluded from other casinos. This lawsuit confirms that Sun was indeed excluded from Foxwoods early in 2012 following a notable series of events related to this latest case. Sun’s name is alternately spelled as Cheng Yin Sun, and she is identified by that spelling in other cases.
The lawsuit contains an amazing amount of background information, including that Sun and unnamed partners won at least two million using similar edge-sorting tactics at at least two Las Vegas casinos. A second attorney for plaintiffs, Mississippi lawyer Marvin Vining, has also filed a pro hac vice motion to be allowed to join the Connecticut-based lawsuit. It is unknown at this point whether Sun and any advantage-play partners also employed similar tactics at any Mississippi casinos.
The lawsuit also contains allegations of civil-rights violations and false imprisonment, as Foxwoods officials allegedly demanded Sun and her co-plaintiffs remain on the property while the casino tried to make a cheating case against the trio. The lawsuit names numerous Foxwoods officials and others as individual co-defendants, including Connecticut Department of Public Safety officer Michael Robinson.
Robinson appears to have been on state-assigned patrol duty at the Foxwoods complex as the initial complaint unfolded, and as the casino refused to honor $1.148 in actual winnings at the mini-baccarat tables. The lawsuit alleges that Robinson actively assisted the casino in attempting to find some charge under which to hold Sun and her companions, despite allegedly stating to Sun after reviewing security footage that they were not cheating.
According to the complaint, Robinson and casino officials attempted to convince state and federal authorities to bring charges against the trio, including to the Department of Homeland Security.
The lawsuit also accuses Foxwoods of unjustly holding $1.6 million in front money pending a tribal hearing on the matter, which was held in early February 2012 and which, as presumed, favored the casino. The lawsuit calls the tribal hearing a “sham” and attempts to create a framework for challenging Foxwoods’ expected claims of tribal sovereignty, a part of why several individual parties are named (including the Connecticut state trooper) and civil-rights violations are asserted.
FlushDraw will return to this story in the near future with excerpts from the case filings.