Gordon Vayo is a 27-year-old poker superstar: he was making a living as a player before he graduated high school; he took home the top-prize last week at The River Poker Series Main Event; and he will go into the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table third in chip count, an impressive feat for such a young player.
“The summer leading up to the main event was kind of frustrating … but obviously I saved all of my good run for this tournament which is kind of incredible,” Vayo said after qualifying for the November Nine.
Vayo is an Illinois native but now calls San Francisco home. The card-playing prodigy took up poker as a full-time career right after high school and, prior to his River win this September, his largest cash was a runner-up at a WSOP no-limit hold’em six-man event for $314,535 back in 2014. He has spent much of his time as a professional playing pot-limit Omaha cash games, but has still raked in almost $1 million in hold’em tournament earnings and plays extensively online as “holla@yoboy.”
While some choose to spend time before the big table resting up and de-stressing, Vayo plans to approach the two months before play begins a different way.
“I have a lot of phenomenal poker-player friends and I definitely want to seek some of them out, do some simulations, find some people,” Vayo said. “There’s a couple people at this table I haven’t played with at all … I’m definitely going to do a lot of simulations, play a lot and study up.”
His biggest concern? Going up against Vojtech Ruzicka. Vayo has a slight chip advantage over the Czech wonder, but isn’t counting any eggs before they hatch.
“I haven’t played with Vojtech at all and I just keep hearing about how good he is,” he said. “Everyone keeps saying ‘This Czech kid is so good.’”
Vayo will be in the seventh seat, between Michael Ruane and Kenny Hallaert of Belgium, when play begins on Oct. 30.
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Featured photo credit: Gordon Vayo, Facebook.
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