Many believe that once the court has legally declared you divorced, you can go on with your life. However, for poker superstar Phil Ivey, that just wasn't the case. In 2009, his marriage with Luciaetta Ivey was dissolved by Nevada judge Bill Gonzalez. However, Luciaetta would later find out that Ivey had given Gonzalez a $5,000 campaign contribution three months after the divorce was made final.
In a process that would take 18 months to resolve, the former Mrs. Ivey filed a petition that stated the divorce settlement she received should be overturned because this connection between them resulted in an unfair trial. She also claimed that Ivey stopped paying alimony in April 2011, which is coincidentally when his sponsor, Full Tilt Poker, stopped operating in the U.S. thanks to an online gambling crackdown by the federal government. However, even with circumstantial evidence against him, Phil Ivey was able to escape further divorce hearings thanks to Nevada Supreme Court justices Mark Gibbons and Michael Cherry who found Luciaetta's case lacking.
"Without more, the campaign contributions are insufficient to demonstrate that actual or implied bias existed on the part of Judge Gonzalez," wrote Justices Gibbons and Cherry, according to documents obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Campaign contributions made within statutory limits cannot constitute grounds for disqualification of a judge under Nevada law."
Nevada Court Rules Against Phil Ivey's Ex-Wife in Divorce Case Petition [Pokernews.com]