California-based Gordon Vayo has dropped his lawsuit against the world’s largest online poker site with allegations surfacing that the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up had been using forged documents to prove his case.
Vayo filed suit against PokerStars in California’s Western Division of the US District Court back in May. He claimed the site kept close to $700,000 he earned winning a 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker event while he was in Canada.
Vayo and the VPN
PokerStars had accused Vayo of breaching the site’s terms of service by playing from the United States and using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to disguise his location.
Vayo has admitted to using a VPN at the time but only to access video streaming services while in Canada.
A few weeks after the win, when Vayo tried to withdraw the money, he was notified his account was frozen and he was under investigation of suspicious activity. The lawsuit called the investigation a sham and claims it amounted to little more than harassment.
PokerStars demanded proof he was in Canada, and Vayo claims to have provided it. However, PokerStars still refused to release the funds.
Vayo’s lawsuit accuses PokerStars of a practice of approving US citizens and residents for play on the site, taking their money when they lose, and denying payment when they win. In a public statement, Vayo said the legal action was necessary to protect his rights as well as those of other PokerStars players.
However, Vayo suddenly filed paperwork asking the judge to dismiss the case earlier this month. He did this after PokerStars alleged he used forged documents to help his cause.
PokerStars specifically alleges Vayo fabricated Bell Canada internet bills in an attempt to make it appear he had been living in Canada. It provided the court with several examples showing alterations and inconsistencies with the bills.
Court filings note that when PokerStars discovered the forgery and confronted Vayo, his lawyers attempted to get the suit dismissed.
PokerStars is now asking the court for expenses and legal costs totaling over $280,000. Vayo has reportedly retained a new lawyer to defend himself against the latest allegations.
PokerStars and the Isle of Man
PokerStars had earlier asked US District Court Central District of California Western Division Judge Frederick Mumm to throw out the lawsuit. It claimed California is not the right venue as the company’s online gaming license comes from the Isle of Man, UK.
However, Vayo’s legal team claimed moving the case there would prevent him from securing competent lawyers. Plus, they claimed Vayo was unlikely to get a fair shake in a jurisdiction dependant on online gambling revenue.
The judge originally scheduled a hearing on the motion to dismiss Vayo’s suit for Nov. 6. However, these new allegations superseded the hearing.
The judge has set the next hearing for the case for Dec. 18.