A Twin Cities native is the runner-up in the World Series of Poker, which wrapped up play early this morning in Las Vegas.
27-year old Gordon Vayo, a former U-High student and son of IWU music professor David Vayo, fell to Qui Nguyen after a record-setting eight hours and 181 hands. After qualifying for the tournament last August, Vayo noted that, like a sporting event, high stakes poker tournaments take their toll on players. “It's very intense. Your body feels it, your mind feels it, and you're right in the thick of things where if you make one mistake, that could be it."
Vayo was philosophical going into the tournament. In an interview with GLT in August, Vayo said he planned to temper his expectations through the tournament, because actually making it to the final round of the World Series of Poker was something of a pipe dream.
"It's almost like a coping mechanism for me. It's like, 'don't think about it because you raise your expectations and then you get everything out of whack', and your body starts to get emotional about things and then you start to veer away from what got you there in the first place."
While he just missed out on the eight million dollar top prize, Vayo won't go home empty handed. His own winnings are 4.6 million dollars.