After news broke of Gordon Vayo filing a lawsuit against PokerStars, the online poker brand has now responded to the allegations.
Yesterday we reported on a new lawsuit filed against PokerStars by poker pro Gordon Vayo. In the suit, Vayo claims that PokerStars owes him money from a tournament win during last years Spring Championship of Online Poker. Vayo claims he competed in the event while in Canada while PokerStars believes he may have been in the US during some of his game play. Because they feel he was in the US, then he was not paid the prize, an amount of which almost reaches $700,000. PokerStars has now responded to the pros lawsuit claim.
Protecting the Integrity of the Game
PokerStars decided to comment on the lawsuit, which was expected. The brand never backs down from a challenge and is quite open when it comes to discussing issues. PokerStars provided a statement on the matter to Online Poker Report, revealing that they cannot comment on pending litigation and that they are still investigating the issue.
However, they did say that as the operator of ‘the most regulated poker site in the world’, the company believes they have a duty to protect the integrity of the game, while ensuring that a safe and fair environment is provided to players by enforcing the terms of service. The statement read further that PokerStars has paid over half a billion dollars to players who competed in tournaments already this year and they will continue to follow rigorous security procedures to ensure player protections.
So, based on what PokerStars says, we can assume that they have some type of evidence that supports their claim that Vayo was in the US during his tournament gaming. PokerStars reportedly believes that Vayo was able to access the dot-com site of their brand by using a VPN. The poker pro claims he has provided evidence that he was located in Canada during his game play in SCOOP.
Where Would the Money Go?
So, if Vayo loses the case and never receives his $690,000+ in poker earnings, where does the money go? Many would think that PokerStars would profit, but that is not the case. According to Online Poker Report, the money would be redistributed or used as a donation to a charity. In the past, PokerStars employees have commented on how funds such as these are distributed.
In an instance where a player breaks the rules during an event or cash game, the money would most likely be returned to the players affected. Additional money may be provided by PokerStars as compensation for the incident. If no harm is caused to others, then the situation would most likely see the funds donated to charity.
It really is just speculation and we won’t know where the money goes until the case involving Vayo is completed. Will PokerStars be able to provide enough evidence to support their claims or will Vayo be the one to prove his point better?
Geolocation technology has vastly improved over the years, so PokerStars may have enough ammunition to fire back at Vayo and show that he was truly in the United States instead of Canada when he took part in the SCOOP. For the most part, PokerStars is considered ‘for the players’ so it seems odd that they would refuse to pay a winner for absolutely no reason at all. It will be interesting to watch as this plays out and see just who wins out in this argument involving player location and tournament participation.