Awkwafina will star in a new film titled 'Baccarat Machine', which is based on a Michael Kaplan article about the Phil Ivey edge sorting case and his accomplice, Kelly Sun (real name Cheung Yin Sun). Awkwafina will play Kelly Sun, the mysterious Chinese woman who accompanied Ivey during highstakes baccarat adventures in Australia, Asia, Monte Carlo, and the United Kingdom. The two bilked casinos for millions by Sun manipulating edge sorting techniques in their favor. The two were eventually busted.
If it's in Variety, it must be true. The Hollywood rags today are reporting on the next big project for Awkwafina will be playing the role of Kelly Sun in 'Baccarat Machine'. This is a huge announcement that is coming off of the huge success of her latest film Farewell during awards season, Awkwafina won best actress in a comedy or musical at the Golden Globes for her role in 'The Farewell'.
Awkwafina, a Chinese-American hip hop artist and comedian from New York City, is most known for her role in "Rich Crazy Asians". She recently launched her own half-hour show on Comedy Central titled "Nora from Queens".
The new film will be based on an article about Kelly Sun that appeared in Cigar Aficionado magazine. Michael Kaplan titled the piece 'Baccarat Machine', which is based on her nickname and Hollywood loved it so much that they're keeping it. I'm sure they'll completely change around the story but you should check out Kaplan's article on Sun to hear her version of events before Hollywood obscures everything.
Sun grew up in China but went to schools in Hong Kong and Paris. She developed a knack for gambling at a young age, especially baccarat. She developed a method in which she could detect the slightest flaws in the designs on the back of playing cards. The process is known in the gambling world as edge sorting. Kelly Sun was the Phil Ivey of edge sorting.
Sun did not get overly emotional at the tables. Like true professionals, she had an icey steel about her, almost robotic with her ability to focus on the task at hand with millions of dollars on the line plus the added stress that they were testing the elasticity of the rules.
"I'm very happy to beat the casinos, but not excited," she told Michael Kaplan. "I feel satisfaction but not necessarily joy. This is work and I am a professional. It's what I have trained myself to do. I do not feel bad if I lose and I do not feel emotions if I win."
According to Michael Kaplan's article, Sun had small successes in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Foxwoods in 2011. A friend introduced Sun to Phil Ivey shortly after he shipped the 2012 Aussie Millions for a $6 million score. The two became a team while trying to hustle the Crown Casino in Melbourne. Kelly would detect low cards as the spotter, while Ivey bet. Casinos saw Ivey as a whale at anything aside from poker, whether its craps or baccarat, which Ivey had taken a shining too in recent years.
After smoothing out their hustle in Australia, Ivey and Sun flew to gambling spots all over the world... with Ivey as the perceived whale and Sun as his good luck charm and companion.
In 2012, the dynamic and inseparable duo crushed baccarat games in Singapore, Montreal, Monte Carlo, and Atlantic City. During a 24-hour marathon session at the Borgata, Ivey dubbed her the 'Baccarat Machine' and the nickname stuck.
Ivey funneled his winnings to whatever things Ivey does like sports betting, craps, and prop betting. Sun used her winnings to fund a first-class opulent lifestyle and she purchased designer clothing, watches, and jewelry.
Like all good scams, greed got the best of them. Plus, it's never easy to hustle a casino because they'll find every excuse NOT to pay you. It's all part of the neo-wave of greedhead corporate bottom lines and insatiable quarterly profits and the reason why MGM charges a redonkulous amount of money for parking. Gamblers like Ivey and Sun were modern day Robin Hood types who wanted to take down the corporate run casinos for fleecing the public.
Ivey eventually ran into legal trouble with both the Borgata in Atlantic City and Crockfords Casino in London when Sun and Ivey hustled the casinos for insane scores in 2012. Ivey and Sun bilked Crockfords casino for £7.8 million, or over $11 million in USD. The two hit and run at the Borgata for another $9.6 million.
Crockfords withheld the money and the courts in the UK backed up the casino. The Borgata sued Ivey and he's on the hook for over $15 million in damages. That's why the IRS is garnishing his WSOP winnings.
Well, at least Kelly Sun is getting a movie deal out of it. And she has one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood and the world playing her.