Five Questions With November Niner Gordon Vayo


Gordon Vayo sits third in chips at the final table of the 2016 WSOP Main Event (WSOP Photo/Joe Giron)

Before the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table PocketFives is providing extensive coverage of the 2016 November Nine including player features, interviews, previews, and statistics. In this edition of Five Questions we introduce you to Gordon Vayo.

Gordon Vayo was one of the most feared online tournament player on the planet pre-Black Friday. Known as “holla@yoboy” online, the Illinois native racked up over $1.4 million in online earnings before Black Friday forced him to the live arena.

After moving to San Francisco, Vayo began honing his skills playing more live tournaments. Including the $1 million he has taken home already for making the 2016 November Nine, Vayo amassed over $2.5 million live tournament earnings.

The 27-year-old poker pro infamously started playing online at the age of 16 and was one of the most successfully players on the internet before he was of age to play. He comes into the Main Event final table third in chips, behind Quy Nguyen and the man who has previously backed him online, Cliff Josephy.

PocketFives: You were paid $1,000,000 for finishing ninth back in July. If you were forced to bet that money on one player other than yourself to win the Main Event, who would you bet and why?

Gordon Vayo: I’d either take the obvious choice with Bax or take the price on Jerry Wong who I know will play with no fear and can easily run up his stack.

PocketFives: If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island for one year and could only bring three non-living things with you, what you bring and why?

Gordon Vayo: According to the movies, there’s going to be an evil ex-pat somewhere on the island who hunts humans for sport, so probably a gun. But also two jet skis just in case we become best friends.

PocketFives: If you win the Main Event and the $8 million, what is the first extravagant purchase you will make?

Gordon Vayo: The notion of winning the Main Event is still so surreal I can’t even imagine. But we’ll be in Vegas so probably not exactly something dignified.

PocketFives: If a major Hollywood movie studio were to make a movie about your life, who would you cast in the lead role?

Gordon Vayo: Definitely Matt Damon so I could pretend it was Rounders 2.

PocketFives: Everybody at the final table gets to choose a walk-out song. What song did you choose? What was your thought process and what were the final choices?

Gordon Vayo: Haven’t fully made up my mind yet, but probably something from Run The Jewels.


  1. Thanks for putting me off watching the WSOP ME final table for the first time since I started watching it back when Pius Heinz took out the Czech….So cringe-worthy to watch and really ruined it for the viewers with this pathetic carry on imo. Hate to say it but it is what it is.