PokerStars Countersues Vayo Following Falsified Document Evidence

Gordon Vayo

There’s been a major twist in the civil lawsuit brought against PokerStars by US poker pro Gordon Vayo. Not only has Vayo now withdrawn his initial $700,000 civil grievance against the brand, but PokerStars has subsequently retaliated by filing a countersuit of its own seeking damages worth $280,000.

According to allegations made by PokerStars parent Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited (REEL), Vayo had intentional falsified evidence in order to support his claim that he played a 2017 Stars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) event from Canada. As is noted in the filing’s opening statement:

“As soon as REEL discovered the forgery and confronted Vayo about it, Vayo voluntarily and unconditionally dismissed this action, and his counsel withdrew.. REEL is thus the prevailing party in Vayo’s frivolous lawsuit, and it is entitled to recover its fees and costs.”

Vayo’s Lawsuit Against PokerStars

In 2017, Gordon Vayo won SCOOP Event #1-High $1,050 No Limit Hold’em for $692,460. Nevertheless, PokerStars refused to pay Vayo his winnings as they believed he had used a VPN to play from within the United States, contrary to their Terms of Service. Nevertheless, Vayo vehemently contested the claim, stating that he had ‘uncontroverted’ evidence that he was in Canada for the whole event.

Soon after, Vayo filed a public lawsuit against the company, stating that he was doing so in order to protect his rights. He also accused PokerStars of employing “unwarranted bullying tactics” during his ordeal, and “engaging in a pattern and practice of conduct intended to defraud users”.

Vayo Doctored His Evidence

Last month, Vayo subsequently voluntarily dismissed all his claims against REEL. Two weeks later, Vayo’s counsel, Gregory A. Fayer of Fayer Gibson LLP, then resigned to be replaced by William A. Bowen from Bowen & Nguyen LLP.

Vayo apparently withdrew his lawsuit after REEL confronted him on October 14th, and accused him of using a forger to doctor evidence. According to REEL, Vayo had falsely tried to demonstrate that he was in Canada during the SCOOP tournament, and to that end had forged financial documents, including ATM transactions, exchange rates, and surcharge amounts.

REEL Files Motion

REEL has since tried to contact Vayo’s new counsel, but his representation has not responded. On November 12, REEL then filed a motion seeking $280,000 in legal costs from the embattled poker pro.

Apparently, Vayo’s case was blown sky high after a third party contacted REEL and told them that Vayo had used a forger to create the false impression that he was in Canada during the incident. The third party claims that the forger had set up a VPN to allow Vayo to take part in the SCOOP tournament while in California. The forger further stated that Vayo provided him with documents from Bell Canada and First Republic Bank, which he then falsified to make it seem like Vayo was playing from Canada. This included altering a number of digits.

REEL has since presented Vayo with both the original and altered documents. At present, however, Vayo has chosen not to respond to the fraud allegations.

Poker Community Response

Needless to say, the poker community have not held back in sharing their views on the developing story. On the TwoPlusTwo forum, Michael Josem, a former Pokerstars security team expert, said that the revelations provide  “compelling vindication” concerning the world’s biggest poker site. Turning his attention to Vayo, he accused the player’s actions as being “deliberately malicious” and “morally wrong”.

Meanwhile, Michael Gentile, co-founder of PokerFuse, tweeted the following response:

“Wow! If Vayo did use forged documents in this lawsuit against @PokerStars (and it appears he did), what big balls this guy has. BTW it’s likely that the size of his balls are inversely related to the size of his brain.”