Three poker stories from the land of the Stars and Stripes including a friendly opening event at the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open, a new job for the award-winning Donnie Peters, and an update on Gordon Vayo’s hair-pulling contest with PokerStars.
I can’t feel my heartbeat.
My hands on it, right now, and there is nothing.
I think I’m alive.
Last night, while whispering the A-Z of animals that live on Old McDonald’s Farm (I have a sore throat), I swear I saw the world glitch Matrix style, twice.
Am I in a simulation?
Maybe, like the Tin Man, I don’t have a heart.
Justin Leeds, Daniel Park, Jacob Naumann, and Donny Maloney all have hearts, and I bet they were jumping out of their chests Alien style during the World Poker Tour (WPT) Borgata Poker Open Kick-Off Event.
The $600 buy-in event attracted 3,106 entrants ensuring no egg custard on the faces of organisers who bet a $1.5m Guarantee that this thing would be as successful as bandages when people called Cleopatra were in charge of things.
The final table was a relatively inexperienced bunch of busters (unless they had recently deleted most of their Hendon Mob records), with Dustin Lee’s sixth-place finish in the 2015 Little One for One Drop, and Mike Lavenburg’s 100th place finish in the 2018 WSOP Main Event the only two entries worth casting your microscope over.
After Kevin Lutz hit the rail in fifth place, the rest of them were bored of playing poker. All chummy like, the money was split evenly, four-ways, and Dustin Lee was declared the champion. It was only the third time Lee had ever cashed in a live event, with his previous best score being $4,700.
Yes, his heart was beating alright.
Final Table Results
1. Justin Leeds – $170,535*
2. Daniel Park – $170,535*
3. Jacob Naumann – $170,535*
4. Donny Maloney – $170,535*
5. Kevin Lutz – $81,753
6. Dustin Lee – $64,263
7. Doug Shirk – $47,181
8. Mike Lavenburg – $31,725
9. Piere Deissler – $22,777
*Indicates a four-way deal
We can expect another humdinger of an event 12-15 Sep when the $450 buy-in $1m GTD No-Limit Hold’em Almighty kicks into gear. The $3,500 buy-in, $3m GTD WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event takes place 16-21 Sep.
Donnie Peters Joins PocketFives
Sticking with the WPT for a second, and they’re no longer sending Donnie Peters a paycheck.
The American Poker Award winner, joined Adam Pliska and the crew in August 2016 as a Marketing Manager, following a successful stint at PokerNews where Peters rose in rank to Editor-in-Chief.
There’s no need to set up a GoFundMe page.
Peters has landed on his feet.
BIG NEWS: Excited to announce that @Donnie_Peters has joined PocketFives as our new Managing Editor.
— PocketFives (@PocketFives) September 11, 2018
Gordon Vayo v PokerStars Update
If you enter the name Holla@yoboy into the PocketFives database, you learn that in May 2017, this player won the $1m GTD winning purse in the 566-entrant $1,050 No-Limit Hold’em, $5m GTD Phased Event during the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) on PokerStars.
Only Holla@yoboy didn’t see all of that money.
Holla@yoboy is none other than Gordon Vayo, the American who finished runner-up to Qui Nguyen in the 2016 WSOP Main Event banking $4,662,228 in prize money, and later won another half a million by topping a 1,054-entrant field in the $2,500 buy-in WinStar River Series Main Event in Thackerville.
It seems PokerStars confiscated $692,000 of Vayo’s funds after an internal investigation turned up geo-location evidence that Vayo was playing in California, and using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) showing him falsely based in Canada.
PokerStars doesn’t operate in California.
They believe Vayo broke their TOCs.
They aint giving him the rest of his money.
Vayo sued PokerStars, and a suitable beak should have listened to the pair argue their cases on Sep 25. However, CardPlayer magazine has alerted us to the fact that the court case has slid to Nov 6.
Court documents obtained by the poker news outlet states that PokerStars established that between March 24 to July 31 geolocation analysis showed that the former Nov Niner connected to the Internet via mobile from LA, California more than 50 times. Vayo is not disputing that he used a VPN, claiming he did so to access video streaming sites, while in Canada.
The pair is also fighting over the location of litigation. PokerStars want the fight to take place in the Isle of Man, and Vayo wants the bout to start and end in California.
It’s an important case for Stars given their interest in dominating the US market once more doors open at a state by state level.