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may
9

Poker Pro Gordon Vayo Sues PokerStars for Unpaid $692,000 Win

Tags: Gordon Vayo, PokerStars.
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 by "T".

Canadian poker pro Gordon Vayo has sued the world's top site, PokerStars, for not paying out to him the prize money worth $692,460.92 that he apparently won during the 2017 SCOOP series via his online username "holla@yoboy", according to a Forbes SportsMoney article. The lawsuit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and it includes counts of fraud and deceit, false advertising, and breach of contract. The entire complaint can be viewed on a PDF by courthousenews.com.

Gordon Vayo, best known for his performance as a runner-up (2nd place) in the 2016 WSOP Main Event for $4.66 million, currently has $6.23 million in total live earnings, and he's pretty great at the online poker tables as well. Ironically, his SCOOP win last year wasn't disputed, because information about his win in SCOOP #1-H ($1,050 NLHE) is displayed for all to see on the blog site of PokerStars.

Unfortunately, his SCOOP prize money was never collected, because PokerStars launched an investigation into the said player's location while he played on the event. PokerStars speculated that Vayo may have played a few or all of the tournament while he was situated within the United States, which would make it clear he breached PokerStars rules.

Vayo denied this accusation and he provided PokerStars some evidence that he was in Canada the whole time he played at the tournament. However, PokerStars stood firm and said it was still ‘not inconceivable' that Vayo was in the United States at some point during the tournament.

According to Vayo, the poker site's allegation violates his rights as a player, refusing to pay him the money he won on grounds that bear no proof. He hopes his lawsuit against the company will raise awareness to similar situations experienced by other poker players.

Vayo said that PokerStars "Has engaged in a practice of approving U.S. citizens and residents for play on the PokerStars.com site, allowing and encouraging them to play on the site, happily taking their money - in many cases for years. Then, after a U.S. citizen or resident wins a significant amount of money on the PokerStars.com site, Defendant conducts a sham investigation into the user's activities and the location of the user's access of the site, placing the onus on the player to retroactively prove that it is 'inconceivable' that his or her play could have originated from within the United States, in order to gin up a pretext to deny payment."

On the other hand, PokerStars noted that Vayo utilized a Virtual Private Network (VPN), and according to the FAQ on the PokerStars website, the use of VPN / Proxy / IP randomizer is prohibited, as they can provide misleading information regarding one's location, or place of residence, "While Mr. Vayo did not understand what prompted Defendant's sudden inquiry, he surmised that the issue may have been related to a problem with the VPN he was using to access internet sites which he had encountered earlier that Spring, and which had persisted between March and May of 2017. He promptly responded to Defendant that same day, on August 5, 2017 - less than two hours after receiving Defendant's email - and informed Defendant of the VPN issue that he had encountered earlier that Spring."

The claim also says that Vayo proved he was in Canada for at least the first two days of the event, "60. Defendant made this assertion despite the fact that Defendant itself did not even allege that there were any out of jurisdiction logins to Mr. Vayo's account during the SCOOP tournament, and despite the fact that Mr. Vayo had submitted uncontroverted evidence - which Defendant did not contest - that he was in fact in Canada on the first two days of the SCOOP tournament, on May 20 and 21, and it would have been virtually impossible (not to mention inexplicable) for him to travel to the U.S. in the middle of an active, intensive, major tournament that required nearly around-the-clock play and focus, leaving time for only brief periods of rest and nourishment."

It was stated in the lawsuit that Vayo lives in Los Angeles and resides "part-time" in Ottawa, Canada so that he can play on PokerStars. The suit states he was allowed to play on the site even if he's not a permanent resident of the country. According to Vayo, everything was fine for many years but in May 2017 after he won first place in a PokerStars SCOOP tournament for $692,460, he did not cash it out immediately but kept it on the site and continued to play "regularly" for around two months. When he finally decided to cash out on July 25, 2017, the site froze his account and required him to show proof that he was in Canada the whole time when he played the tournament, and not in the United States, which has not been permitted since online poker's Black Friday incident. Vayo admitted to using a VPN for other various Internet activities at the time that he says he was in Canada playing the SCOOP tournament.

Last month, PokerStars told him that the investigation was over, and he's not going to be paid. That led to Vayo filing a legal action.

Even if he wasn't paid, Vayo states PokerStars still publicly promotes his win via their blog site. The suit says, "Ironically, to this day, Defendant continues to tout Mr. Gordon as the winner of the SCOOP tournament on the PokerStars.com site, and continue to profit off of its use of Mr. Gordon's name."

Vayo also claims that PokerStars threatened to file a countersuit against him about the issue.

He's seeking punitive damages and attorney's fees aside from trying to obtain his winnings.

What do you think?

Note: This is a developing story.

Source:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrenheitner/2018/05/08/poker-pro-who-has-won-over-6-million-in-live-earnings-sues-pokerstars-over-700000-prize/#56b565e01585
http://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/player.php?a=r&n=102284

 

 


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36 comments for "Poker Pro Gordon Vayo Sues PokerStars for Unpaid $692,000 Win"

 bowie19845/9/2018 3:32:32 PM GMT
I think this is not unusual to be honest, their terms of service grants them every right to do this. It is really unregulated territory what is going on right now for US players playing out of "Canada" since black friday, but still a bit interesting why he sued from California. Neither him nor the company resides there.
 CALICUL5/9/2018 4:46:17 PM GMT
This is really a very interesting news. I can not say who is right but this player was supposed to say this thing in 2017. It's been a year since that tournament and he had to do so publicly in 2017 not in 2018. The first chance to win this process in this moment has pokerstars but let's see if the player will prove that and he was in Canada at the time.
 StheP5/9/2018 5:31:34 PM GMT
so you wanna say that pokerstars took 700k$ of players money, that should be distributed as payouts that should be on vayos account and keep it for themselfs... interesting...if they took from vayo that money than they should compensate with winning players and split those money amoung them.... but take that aside... vayo won it fair and square.... even if he was in states, they should pay him off and after that if they had suspicion than ban him from pokerstars... thats just my opinion, and one more of endless steps that confirm how pokerstars is terrible place for player, and they dont care about players at all...
 bowie19845/9/2018 6:20:50 PM GMT
Their ToS clearly stating what are their rights in cases like this. Not saying it's fair nor right what they doing, but they have the upper hand here IMO.
 T3ddyKGB5/9/2018 8:39:03 PM GMT
Posted by bowie1984:
Their ToS clearly stating what are their rights in cases like this. Not saying it's fair nor right what they doing, but they have the upper hand here IMO.


agreed. its his own fault using VPN. he should have better know.. to avoid probs like this.
 pajalnick5/9/2018 8:48:59 PM GMT
another bad action on the part of PokerStars .... a site that used to be the standard of poker sites and where a lot of people play from all over the world it's getting worse and worse .... but if this prize was won not by a famous person but by an ordinary player from some a small country? .... awful
 godoy5/9/2018 11:58:02 PM GMT
earn an amount of this and simply maguinifico because with all this money to do what you want to do I would play many more tournaments and surround me with lots of woman and beautiful girls kkkk and would spend a black gram in casino and would be very crazy
 Tony_MON7ANA5/10/2018 2:15:19 AM GMT
Posted by bowie1984:
. . . but still a bit interesting why he sued from California. Neither him nor the company resides there.

“Plaintiff is a citizen of the State of California and Defendant is a citizen
of the Isle of Man.”
“Plaintiff Gordon Vayo is an individual residing in Los Angeles, California and is also a part-time resident of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Vayo is a world-renowned professional poker player.”

I'm not quite sure what “a part-time resident of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada” means. Maybe he's got a girlfriend or poker buddies living there. How long will it take to travel from Los Angeles to Ottawa, by the way?
 abiyeva5/10/2018 4:35:09 AM GMT
Lool so hot
 StheP5/10/2018 7:00:49 AM GMT
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
Posted by bowie1984:
Their ToS clearly stating what are their rights in cases like this. Not saying it's fair nor right what they doing, but they have the upper hand here IMO.


agreed. its his own fault using VPN. he should have better know.. to avoid probs like this.

They dont know if he ised vpn... only pokerstars asune he used it... vayo says he wasnt, and that he have proof that he was in canada for those 2 days that tournamet was running...
 CALICUL5/10/2018 4:47:09 PM GMT
I'm curious, all the Pokerstars ambassadors from what locations they play in tournaments when they are in Sua? I understand that: they can play from Las Vegas and New Jersey. This is true or i did not understand well? This player has the chances to win but if he does not prove it, will lose a large amount and his whole life will have a bitter taste when he will hear about the Pokerstars name or Amaya Group.
 crankmuppet5/10/2018 5:36:07 PM GMT
US Customs and Border Protection/Homeland Security know when the plaintiff last legally entered and exited the USA. Whether they will release this information to the plaintiff or defendant is another matter.

Defendant will be requesting financial and communications information to see what if any transactions were made in the US during the period in question. Plaintiff will probably be providing same information to prove he was in Canada.

There's always the possibility he covertly hiked across the world's longest unprotected border, or made some other illegal entry via coastline/tunnel/parachute drop/spaceship, but that seems a bit farfetched.

Wouldn't be surprised to hear of some undisclosed settlement in the future.
 Mober5/10/2018 7:29:56 PM GMT
If he has used vpn, since it is in their rules, they can deny him the money.
And i doubt any court could justify him.
And this is a very good reason why, to not use a vpn while playing.
If you get caught you can lose everything...
 Gerimantas5/11/2018 6:15:58 AM GMT
To me it is very strange situation because as player i want to play from where i want and it is very bad that some site can tell me that i cannot do this, of course sometimes it is government that is for reasons but i am nit happy ti this situation
 doubletop7775/11/2018 7:57:41 AM GMT
Imagine winning this amount of money and not being paid out?? I would be devastated if this happened to me and i look forward to seeing if he does get his money or the case is upheld
 dule-vu5/11/2018 9:49:34 AM GMT
If he really played from canada and he didnt done anything wrong,then poker stars should be shame that they must do things like this and when somebody win big amount,they want to take them that!on that way you can accuse every usa player that he play from usa territory!
 CALICUL5/11/2018 4:49:09 PM GMT
There is no player to be satisfied when the pokerstars and amaya group confiscate 692.000 dollars. There's a lot of money and even if you are a millionaire this is frustrating. Honestly i am on the side of this player and i want as he to received all the money back.
 godoy5/11/2018 9:52:03 PM GMT
what about a tournament of this size where high numbers are played and if you are lucky you can win something tagrande that will change your life forever very good it
 Tony_MON7ANA5/12/2018 3:14:26 AM GMT
I guess Gordon Vayo did play the tournament when he was located in Canada. However, if he has ever played real money games while in the United States using a virtual private network with or without the intent to evade detection of unauthorized access will be considered a violation of the PokerStars terms of services.
 dule-vu5/12/2018 10:34:18 AM GMT
well if he was stupid to play from USA territory,that this was his mistake and poker stars have every right to take his money,but if not that this is very bad move from them and they should be very shamed!if they think that they can just take money from players,they are wrong!
 Tony_MON7ANA5/12/2018 10:39:04 AM GMT
Posted by Tony_MON7ANA:
. . . terms of services.

*service
 T3ddyKGB5/15/2018 9:55:28 AM GMT
Posted by StheP:
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
Posted by bowie1984:
Their ToS clearly stating what are their rights in cases like this. Not saying it's fair nor right what they doing, but they have the upper hand here IMO.


agreed. its his own fault using VPN. he should have better know.. to avoid probs like this.

They dont know if he ised vpn... only pokerstars asune he used it... vayo says he wasnt, and that he have proof that he was in canada for those 2 days that tournamet was running...


they dont know? vayo self admitted he was using... you cant "just assume" someone did something, so PS surely has proofs to act the way they did.

once i installed a new harddrive on my pc and immediatly received a mail from PS asking if its me logged on pokerstars, untill i explained..
 StheP5/15/2018 11:06:45 AM GMT
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
Posted by StheP:
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
Posted by bowie1984:
Their ToS clearly stating what are their rights in cases like this. Not saying it's fair nor right what they doing, but they have the upper hand here IMO.


agreed. its his own fault using VPN. he should have better know.. to avoid probs like this.

They dont know if he ised vpn... only pokerstars asune he used it... vayo says he wasnt, and that he have proof that he was in canada for those 2 days that tournamet was running...


they dont know? vayo self admitted he was using... you cant "just assume" someone did something, so PS surely has proofs to act the way they did.

once i installed a new harddrive on my pc and immediatly received a mail from PS asking if its me logged on pokerstars, untill i explained..

he used vpn but not in poker services...
 T3ddyKGB5/15/2018 11:41:15 AM GMT


and you know that because you sit next to him? pokerstars claims he did! and i dont think their allegation based on a assumption but a proof. so far we can only speculate if he did or not. if thats the case then i have no pity with mr vago.
 StheP5/15/2018 12:05:12 PM GMT
Posted by T3ddyKGB:


and you know that because you sit next to him? pokerstars claims he did! and i dont think their allegation based on a assumption but a proof. so far we can only speculate if he did or not. if thats the case then i have no pity with mr vago.

you realise there is almoust no way that pokerstars know if he used vpn or not? thats why vpn's are created... dont know why you defend them...
 dule-vu5/15/2018 12:42:47 PM GMT
well we cant know anything till they give proof for this thing that they say!its easy to say that somebody is guilty and its all finished!I dont believe to any side,till they assure me who's fault is it!if they didnt investigate till end this,then poker stars is in problem!
 T3ddyKGB5/15/2018 2:22:52 PM GMT
Posted by StheP:
Posted by T3ddyKGB:


and you know that because you sit next to him? pokerstars claims he did! and i dont think their allegation based on a assumption but a proof. so far we can only speculate if he did or not. if thats the case then i have no pity with mr vago.

you realise there is almoust no way that pokerstars know if he used vpn or not? thats why vpn's are created... dont know why you defend them...


you see your mistake? in reverse it means they cant recognize his usual location = he used VPN.
btw, VPN and anonymity is a myth in my eyes. there is nothing untraceable on internet. least your VPN provider knows your IP. the rest is just domino.. but even without its still possible to recognize your location or if your using VPN.

oh, im not defending PS. just dont understand vago´s reckless goofiness to think to get through with somethign like that (in case he really did..). PS has competent programmers. its no streaming website for uploaded movies. thats why I think he did..


 CALICUL5/15/2018 4:55:42 PM GMT
I say it will be a good process for this player if he can prove he was in Canada at the time. I think pokerstars are trying to confiscate that money because they did not react immediately after which "holla@yoboy" has won that tournament. Amaya group behaves strange here.
 Mober5/20/2018 9:18:43 AM GMT
They are not the only ones at then end.
All sites, be it casino or poker are trying every time to see if a rule or term of them,
got violated, in order not to pay the money, some times rightfully, some times not.
The net is full with complaints.
 StheP5/20/2018 11:00:06 AM GMT
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
Posted by StheP:
Posted by T3ddyKGB:


and you know that because you sit next to him? pokerstars claims he did! and i dont think their allegation based on a assumption but a proof. so far we can only speculate if he did or not. if thats the case then i have no pity with mr vago.

you realise there is almoust no way that pokerstars know if he used vpn or not? thats why vpn's are created... dont know why you defend them...


you see your mistake? in reverse it means they cant recognize his usual location = he used VPN.
btw, VPN and anonymity is a myth in my eyes. there is nothing untraceable on internet. least your VPN provider knows your IP. the rest is just domino.. but even without its still possible to recognize your location or if your using VPN.

oh, im not defending PS. just dont understand vago's reckless goofiness to think to get through with somethign like that (in case he really did..). PS has competent programmers. its no streaming website for uploaded movies. thats why I think he did..



you obv dont know how vpn works... and I can tell you again that there is no way ps know if he used or not...
 dule-vu5/20/2018 2:29:51 PM GMT
we still dont have any new informations about this thing and this can be huge problem if players dont get any explanation from poker stars or player or whoever!its not normal situation and its big amount in game!would be nice to know truth!
 CALICUL5/20/2018 5:02:13 PM GMT
To use a vpn is quite interesting but i do not know for sure if you can be traced or not. My opinion is that you can be traced because he assures security but professionals can handle with these vpns. Anything can be broken even if he secures much things. It's hard to believe that you can not be traced by pokerstars because big corporations have better technologies and many things are not on the hands of normal people.
 T3ddyKGB5/20/2018 6:42:09 PM GMT
Posted by StheP:
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
[QUOTE]Posted by StheP:
[QUOTE]Posted by T3ddyKGB:





you obv dont know how vpn works... and I can tell you again that there is no way ps know if he used or not...


yea... well i guess Mr Vago was thinking the same LOL.

dont believe the false promises from your provider and get an in depth overview about vpn! Blink

 Tony_MON7ANA5/21/2018 5:40:28 AM GMT
This is definitely one of the most unique and interesting cases. I am not someone who has special technical or legal knowledge above that of the average person, so I cannot and will not choose sides in this dispute.
 StheP5/21/2018 11:11:18 AM GMT
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
Posted by StheP:
Posted by T3ddyKGB:
[QUOTE]Posted by StheP:
[QUOTE]Posted by T3ddyKGB:





you obv dont know how vpn works... and I can tell you again that there is no way ps know if he used or not...


yea... well i guess Mr Vago was thinking the same LOL.

dont believe the false promises from your provider and get an in depth overview about vpn! Blink


I dont belive in them just know how they work... and thats why I said its imposible for stars to know if he used it or not...
 Mober5/21/2018 1:36:28 PM GMT
A site like pokerstars and they dont know if someone is using vpn?
I really doubt about this.
Arent most vpn sites or services using the same ip addresses?
Some siteswhere you look up ip's even telling you that you are using vpn, with names of the
company etc.

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