REEL accuse Gordon Vayo of ‘forgery’ in SCOOP lawsuit; Vayo withdraws claim

REEL accuse Gordon Vayo of 'forgery' in SCOOP lawsuit; Vayo withdraws claim

Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited has turned the tables on the Gordon Vayo $600,000 Spring Championship of Online Poker lawsuit, after Vayo dropped the case in the face of allegations that he forged ATM documents.

REEL accuse Gordon Vayo of 'forgery' in SCOOP lawsuit; Vayo withdraws claimMy mate, Paul Evans screamed at me: “It was a simple mistake!”

It wasn’t.

Using ‘there’ instead of ‘their’, now that’s a simple mistake. Choosing the wrong setting on a tumble dryer, now that’s a simple mistake. Hitting the toilet seat at 4 am, now that’s a simple mistake.

The day we played hooky.

The day I needed him to be my father for less than five minutes.

The day he told my head teacher in his most manly voice that his name was Pat, when my mother is called Pat, and my Dad is called Alan.

That was not a simple mistake.

In the aftermath, my mother sat me down and said, “What was you thinking? Did you really think you was going to get away with it?”

I did.


I bet Gordon Vayo did.

In May 2017, Gordon “holl@yoboy” Vayo was one of a host of professional poker players whose heart was trying to leap from his chest like rockets from the flames. It was time for the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) on PokerStars.

If you’re a top pro like Vayo, you know that a successful SCOOP can make you feel like a million bucks, while a disastrous SCOOP can make you feel like someone has removed all of your molars with a melon scoop.

A good start is essential.

Vayo got it.

The American won the first event, $1,050 No-Limit Hold’em for $692,460.93 after a five-way chop.

Another rocket hit his ribcage.

Then the sparks went out.

Vayo never saw the vast majority of that money, because PokerStars kept it.

Vayo is American.

Americans can’t play on PokerStars on native soil.

Most vanish to parts unknown to compete in SCOOP.

Vayo is saying he did that.

PokerStars believes Vayo is telling porkies, and has seized close to $600,000 of that prize money.

Vayo sued.

Here we are.

Vayo Drops The Case; Forgery Claims; Stars Suing For Damages

On Monday November 12, PokerStars’ parent company Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited (REEL) submitted a document to the District Court for the Central District of California, which, according to Flushdraw, contained a ‘stunning’ revelation.

PokerStars is alleging that Vayo hired a forger to change ATM documents to show that he withdrew cash from machines based in Ottawa, Canada, at the time PokerStars are saying Vayo was in the States winning Event #1, while using a virtual private network (VPN).

You may think that’s quite a bold claim.

Not, if you’ve made contact with a third party who claims to know that Vayo hired a forger.

From the court documents:

After the Motion to Dismiss was fully briefed, but before it was heard, REEL received a “tip” from a third party that Vayo’s bank and internet records were altered by a document forger Vayo hired (the “Forger”), specifically in order to create the false impression that Vayo was in Canada during the SCOOP Tournament so he could fraudulently demand payment from REEL. Stern []]. As described below, REEL’s further investigation confirmed this to be the case, and REEL immediately confronted Vayo about it, on a Friday evening. [] Vayo’s counsel claimed that he was not aware of any forgery (i.e., he had just passed along the documents Vayo had provided to him), that he would ask Vayo about them, and that he was concerned about speaking further because—if the documents were in fact forgeries—the crime-fraud exception could apply. [] About 48 hours later, on Sunday evening, Vayo filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of all of his claims (Dkt. 31), and his counsel subsequently withdrew (Dkt. 35). REEL made repeated efforts to meet and confer with Vayo’s new counsel to avoid the need for this motion, including by sending a detailed letter explaining Vayo’s forgery. [document reference]. Vayo ignored these meet and confer requests, and never denied the forgery.


The third party who informed REEL of Vayo’s forgery said that he (the third party) had spoken to the Forger. Stern Decl. ¶ 25. The Forger told the third party that Vayo contacted the Forger for assistance creating a virtual private network (“VPN”) for Vayo to use while he was playing on REEL’s site in California to create the false appearance that he was in Canada. [] The Forger also provided the third party with the original statements from First Republic Bank and Bell Canada that Vayo had sent to the Forger to doctor so that they would demonstrate (falsely) that Vayo was in Canada during the SCOOP tournament. Id. Importantly, the third party knew and volunteered that Vayo’s forged documents purported to be from Bell Canada and First Republic Bank, information that was not public at the time or provided to the third party by REEL.

And Vayo is not refuting the allegations.

As soon as REEL discovered the forgery and confronted Vayo about it, Vayo voluntarily and unconditionally dismissed this action, and his counsel withdrew. (Vayo’s new counsel has ignored REEL’s repeated requests to meet and confer, and has never denied the forgery, necessitating this motion.) REEL is thus the prevailing party in Vayo’s frivolous lawsuit, and it is entitled to recover its fees and costs…

What’s next?

It seems the tables have turned.

Instead of being $600,000 in the black, Vayo could be $600,000 out of pocket, as PokerStars has told the court that in light of the forgery claims, and Vayo’s decision to drop the case, they will be seeking damages in what they are calling a frivolous lawsuit.

REEL will be seeking damages and court fees from Gordon Vayo that could approach the $600,000 or so Vayo claimed had been illegally frozen on PokerStars. The specified damages already asked for approach $300,000 and further, unspecified damages will also be sought:

The year before winning the controversial SCOOP title that never was, he finished second in the $10,000 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event for $4,661.228, and two months later took down The River Series Main Event in the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville for $587,120.

Let’s hope he had most of his action.

A hearing in front of federal Judge Frederick Mumm is slated for Dec. 18.