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Gordon Vayo Forged Documents In Online Poker Lawsuit, PokerStars Claims

Poker Player Was Attempting To Recover $600,000 In Winnings, PokerStars Now Countersuing For $280,000


It appears 2016 World Series of Poker main event runner up Gordon Vayo was attempting to run a bluff on PokerStars parent company Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited (REEL) and got caught.

Vayo, who sued REEL in May 2018, alleged that the site illegally prevented him from cashing out $692,000 in winnings from a high-stakes poker tournament in May 2017.

Vayo’s suit, in which he claimed REEL engaged in a “pattern of fraudulent and unlawful conduct,” was recently dropped by Vayo after PokerStars’ lawyers presented forged bank statements and internet service provider bills that Vayo submitted to argue his case.

In these new court documents filed Nov. 12, REEL is hitting back at Vayo with a $280,000 countersuit.

“Plaintiff Gordon Vayo’s (“Vayo”) bad faith conduct in manufacturing and relying on fraudulent, forged evidence in an attempt to deceive the Court and REEL rises to the level of sanctionable misconduct sufficient for this Court to exercise its inherent authority to grant attorneys’ fees,” the filing states.

Vayo has since dropped his suit against REEL and his original lawyer has resigned from the case.

“As soon as REEL discovered the forgery and confronted Vayo about it, Vayo voluntarily and unconditionally dismissed this action, and his counsel withdrew,” the filing states.

Vayo filed his original lawsuit back in May alleging that PokerStars froze his winnings from a Spring Championship of Online Poker tournament in which Vayo was to pocket $692,460.93. According to the original lawsuit, REEL claimed Vayo was unlawfully playing from his residence in California, while Vayo said he was in Ottawa, Canada. REEL claimed that Vayo connected to the internet via a mobile device from Los Angeles, California more than 50 times between Mar. 24, 2017 and July 31, 2017, that Vayo “used a Canadian mobile internet provider to spoof a Canadian IP address,” and requested that he prove he was physically present in Canada at the time of the event to receive his tournament winnings.

In December 2017, Vayo sent REEL his internet service provider bills (Bell Canada) and bank account statements (First Republic Bank) to prove he was entitled to the winnings.

“REEL later learned that these documents were forgeries that Vayo had created to defraud REEL,” the Nov. 12 filing states.

REEL said it received a “tip” from a third party that Vayo’s bank and internet records were altered by a document forger Vayo hired to create the impression that Vayo was in Canada during the SCOOP tournament.

“Perhaps the most telling sign of forgery: The average daily balance in the original May 2017 bank statement received from the third party is $26,995.21,” the Nov. 12 filing states. “In Vayo’s version of the statement, however, the average daily balance is $29,995.21 – identical to the penny, except that Vayo’s version flips a 6 to a 9. A change like this—especially when paired with the fact that the amounts in Vayo’s Account Summary do not sync with the amounts in his transaction log—is a clear sign of forgery.”

PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, is not legally allowed to offer online poker to people located in California. In the United States, the site has made a return to the New Jersey online poker market and can serve customers located in that state.

The Nov. 12 countersuit calls for Vayo to pay at REEL at least $280,000, stating “REEL is thus the prevailing party in Vayo’s frivolous lawsuit, and it is entitled to recover its fees and costs pursuant to (1) the Court’s inherent authority to sanction bad-faith conduct; (2) the terms of the contract on which Vayo sued, which require Vayo pay REEL’s fees in these circumstances; and (3) Isle of Man law, which governs this dispute and as a general rule awards fees to the prevailing party. REEL’s motion should be granted, and it should be awarded $279,347.40 (plus whatever it spends related to this motion), the reasonable amount of its attorneys’ fees; as well as $8,641.08, the nontaxable costs REEL has incurred to date (REEL seeks taxable costs in a separate application).”



over 2 years ago



over 2 years ago

Gee, I wonder why poker will never have positive reputable in the eyes of the general public. It's because of people like HIM!

Poker will ALWAYS be seen as a place of shills, crooks, and hustlers!

And no one else is bothered by this but me. Our game will NEVER be taken seriously like other games of skill like chess or profession bridge.



over 2 years ago

You think chess and bridge are taken seriously? You better reevaluate that fallacy. Who cares if poker is taken seriously? The more people diminish the skill factor the better it is for all of us poker players that can still make a nice yearly return from constant games against recreational players. Do you think top level chess players can play 40-50 games a day for $100 a game vs. terrible players? No.Poker players still can,although it's getting harder and harder. Worst thing that could ever happen to poker is that the recreational pool feels so over matched that they'll do something else to recreationly gamble besides play a bunch of math whiz's, computer bots, and game theory experts. As usual, the vanity of the poker player's over exaggerated view of his own self importance hurts himself and every other poker player, especially those smart enough to let everyone pretend it's mostly a luck game.


over 2 years ago

There's either something missing in this story or I'm missing something. Why would Vayo forge his avg.daily balance,his withdrawals, and his ending balance? What is gained by this? By omitting $3,073.87 from his actual withdrawals at his US bank statement, is he hiding ATM withdrawals that he made in the US when he was "supposedly in Canada"? Or is there another reason?

Don't misinterpret my questions, I'm glad Vayo got caught and I'm not trying to doubt the veracity of his fraud, I'm just curious exactly where he got caught and what story of his this statement forgery was supposed to solidify. On a side note, it's pretty bizarre that a 3rd party "tip" was sent to Poker Stars, which means either someone Vayo confided in to tell the details can't stand him and ratted him out, or that Vayo was dumb enough to vocalize his actions in front of others. Either way, he's going to learn the hard way that forging bank statements in a legal case is a criminal act with severe penalties (including possible prison time), and that Poker Stars has some of the top legal firms in the World representing them, and will make this kid wish he never started this in the first place.