Poker Pro Gordon Vayo Sues PokerStars over Denied $700,000 SCOOP Payout

作者/来源:   发表时间:2018-05-31 21:56:18

US poker pro Gordon Vayo, best known for his runner-up finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, is suing PokerStars for refusing to pay him nearly $700,000 after he topped the field of as SCOOP event last spring.

The online poker operator has said that it cannot pay Vayo his prize as it had reason to believe the player was playing the tournament he won or at least part of it from within the US. Online gaming is prohibited in the US with the exception of four states. However, PokerStars does not hold a license for the operation of online poker in any of the four.

Vayo has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Central District of California and includes counts of fraud and deceit, breach of contract, and false advertising. The poker professional has also argued that he has provided evidence that he played the whole tournament from within Canada where PokerStars had previously authorized play within that country’s borders. However, the operator has pointed out that despite the evidence, it was “not inconceivable” that the player was in the US at some stage of the tournament.

The poker operator has maintained that Vayo played at least part of the tournament from within the US and his funds could not be released for that reason.

False Advertising

Vayo took part and won the 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker Event #1-H $1,050 No-Limit Hold’em. The online poker festival is annually organized by PokerStars. The player won $692,460.92 after besting a field of 5,821 fellow entries, the amount he now seeks to be paid out by the poker operator.

As mentioned above, Vayo has also been active on the live poker scene over the past several years. The player boasts a live poker bankroll of over $6.2 million. He finished runner-up to Qui Nguyen in the 2016 edition of the WSOP Main Event, collecting over $4.6 million for his deep run.

In his lawsuit against PokerStars, he also accused the operator of false advertising. Vayo claimed that PokerStars has been approving US citizens to play on its global website and has allowed them to do so for years. The poker professional went on to say that when a player won a large amount of money, PokerStars launched a “sham investigation” into that player’s activities and the location they have accessed its site from. The operator thus forced the player to “retroactively prove” it was “inconceivable” that they could have played from within the US. As a result, PokerStars denied them their winnings as it was never content with the evidence provided, the player further claims in his lawsuit.

PokerStars is yet to comment on the matter.

News about the 2017 SCOOP payment failure emerged as this year’s edition of the festival has just kicked off. It will be running through May 21 and PokerStars has promised to award more than $110 million in prize money as the SCOOP brand is celebrating its tenth anniversary.