Professional poker player Gordon Vayo is suing online poker room PokerStars for refusing to pay prize money totaling almost $700,000.
When a gambler competes in an online poker event, they expect to be paid when finishing in the money. If an online poker room wants to stay in business, they of course, pay up. Most online poker rooms operating today will pay instantly when it comes to tournament wins, allowing players to cash out their newfound wealth with ease. Apparently, one online poker room is refusing to pay a huge cash sum that a poker pro says he is rightfully owed.
Gordon Vayo Suing PokerStars
Gordon Vayo is a poker pro from the United States who is best known for his first place finish during the 2016 World Series of Poker main event. The pro is not a household name as of yet but has been able to amass a large amount of tournament winnings. This week, it came to light that Vayo was suing PokerStars because the online poker room apparently did not pay him winnings from a 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker event.
PokerStars is refusing Vayo payment as they feel he was playing the tournament, at least in part, on US soil. Online gaming is not allowed in the United States, as a whole, with only four states currently having legalized online poker.
Vayo filed a lawsuit within the state of California against the brand, citing fraud, deceit, breach of contract and false advertising. The poker pro claims that he competed in the event while in Canada and won while in the country, an area where PokerStars was once authorized to offer services.
The poker room believes that Vayo took part in the event at some point from within US borders. Because of their beliefs, they are not paying up the first-place prize money.
A Little Back Story
The 2017 SCOOP took place last year with Vayo competing in Event #1, a $1,050 No Limit Hold’em tournament played online. The SCOOP is a series organized and offered by PokerStars every year, that is extremely popular among players. Vayo was able to win the event, defeating a huge field of 5,821 players, and won just over $692,000 in the process, of which he has not been paid.
Vayo is not new to the poker world and has managed to win over $6.2 million within this career in live poker gaming. In his lawsuit with PokerStars, Vayo claims that the operator is using false advertising as they claim to approve US citizens to play from their site and has allowed players to take part for years. The poker player is accusing PokerStars of keeping money from US residents, by starting sham investigations into the activities of the player and location where the site was accessed.
The pro says that PokerStars would then require the player to be able to prove they were not in the US, and then would eventually deny the winnings. According to Vayo, the brand was not content with the evidence he provided to then pay the funds owed.
PokerStars has yet to comment on the matter but it would not be surprising if a statement is made in the coming days. The brand is not likely to take this suit lightly and will want to explain their side. It will be interesting to see what they have to say once a comment is made on the matter.