PokerStars has filed a countersuit against poker pro Gordon Vayo seeking damages worth $280,000 after the online poker player dropped his lawsuit amid claims of forgery. This is the latest in a series of new twists in relation to Vayo’s initial lawsuit against PokerStars.
PokerStars’ parent company Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited (REEL) stated in its filing, that a third party gave them a tip on the alleged forger Vayo hired to make a fraudulent demand for payment.
Vayo’s Lawsuit vs. PokerStars
Vayo took part in the  $1,050 Stars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) event in 2017 which was sponsored by PokerStars.  and won, but the poker website withheld his prize money which was nearly $700,000 prize after declaring that the online player was in the United States and used a VPN when he played the event – a breach of the website’s Terms of Service. PokerStars does not allow players to play from the US except New Jersey which has a separate site.
In his complaint, Vayo claimed he could show ‘uncontroverted’ evidence that would prove he was in Canada for the whole duration of the event.
Vayo Forged His Evidence
However, REEL claimed a third party contacted them to reveal that Vayo actually hired a forger to doctor some of his evidence. The forger made some changes to Vayo’s ATM transactions to make it appear he was transacting with banks in Canada. Vayo also used the wrong USD-CAD exchange rates and surcharge amounts.
On October 14, REEL confronted Vayo about the discovery, afterwhich he filed a notice saying he was voluntarily dismissing all his claims against REEL. It was also revealed that Vayo’s counsel, Gregory A. Fayer of the Los Angeles law firm Fayer Gibson LLP, resigned two weeks later. He was then replaced by William A. Bowen, from a Californian law firm.
REEL said it tried to contact Vayo’s new representation for a number of inquiries but the new counsel did not respond. This prompted REEL to file a motion seeking legal costs.
REEL Files Motion
After a series of unanswered inquiries, REEL filed a motion on November 12 detailing the exact turn of events. The company is seeking damages amounting to $280,000 from Vayo.
The discovery was made when a third party got in touch with REEL to divulge that Vayo employed a forger to make the false impression that he was playing from Canada during the SCOOP event. This would enable him to fraudulently claim payment from REEL. The company investigated and eventually confirmed Vayo’s evidence was fake.
The third party said he had talked directly with the forger who confided that Vayo had indeed hired him to establish a VPN so Vayo could take part in the tournament using REEL’s website in California while making everyone believe that he was in Canada. The forger said Vayo sent him documents from Bell Canada and First Republic Bank which the forger doctored to make it appear like Vayo was in Canada when he played the tournament.
The original documents were provided by the forger to the third party who knew and confirmed that the statements were from First Republic Bank and Bell Canada. The forger used Vayo’s original bank statements showing a list of transactions made in California and then swapped them for Canada-based transactions. The forger also altered a number of digits.
REEL immediately confronted the poker player about the discovery on a Friday evening.  The lawyer representing Vayo claimed he had no particular knowledge that the documents were forged and that he would ask his client about them. The counsel refused to speak any further as the crime-fraud exception could apply if the documents were indeed doctored.
On Sunday evening, Vayo notified that he was dropping all his claims against REEL. His lawyer subsequently resigned. REEL made several attempts to meet and try to resolve the matter with Vayo’s new counsel, but all requests had been ignored. Vayo also did not say a thing about the forgery allegations.
In its filing, REEL presented both the original and the altered documents which clearly showed the forgery involved. As of this writing, Vayo has remained silent on the fraud allegations.

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