Phil Ivey is one of the best poker players in the game, but his skills are so much that the Gentin-owned Crockfords in Mayfair, London are refusing to pay him out £7.8 million that he won from them after he turned a £500,000 deficit around.

The decision has caused Ivey to take legal action. “I am deeply saddened that Crockfords has left me no alternative but to proceed with legal action, following its decision to withhold my winnings” he said in a statement, reported by the Daily Mirror. “I have much respect for Genting, which has made this a very difficult decision for me. Over the years I have won and lost substantial sums at Crockfords and I have always honoured my commitments. At the time, I was given a receipt for my winnings but Crockfords subsequently withheld payment. I, therefore, feel I have no alternative but to take legal action.”

Ivey isn’t exactly an unknown, having earned over $17.6 million in live tournaments and $19.2 million in online cash game profits. At the casino in London, he found himself £500,000 down. Crockfords allowed him to increase his betting limits from £50,000 per hand to £150,000, and that’s where it went wrong for them. In two separate sessions lasting just seven hours, he managed to turn it round. However he was given a receipt but not given the funds.

A spokesman for Genting told the Independent, “In this rare instance we are able to confirm that our position, which is supported by strong legal advice, has been made very clear to Mr Ivey’s solicitors from the start. We shall be filing our defense shortly.”