Liliya Novikova, 26, dubbed Russia’s “most beautiful poker player” has been found dead from a suspected massive electric shock in her bathroom.
Liliya had been alone at home and her body was discovered on the floor of her bathroom in Moscow. A mathematics whizz-kid with a first-class degree in engineering from a top Russian university, she shunned offers to work at leading industrial companies and instead became a professional poker star with a lucrative career.
She was famous both as an online and real-life player, and featured in her own poker web channels. She is reported to have had a contract with PokerStars online card room, and ran her own web masterclasses and workshops for beginners.
Russia’s Channel 5 mourned the death of the country’s “sexiest poker player”. Novikova’s parents became worried when she did not answer her phone in her flat on prestigious Kutuzovsky Prospekt.
They asked a neighbour to check the apartment, and her body was found on the bathroom floor. The Russian Investigative Committee said: “During the first checks of young woman’s dead body, signs of electric shock trauma were registered.”
She is believed to have been blow drying her hair in the bathroom when an accident occurred although it is also thought she could have been using her mobile at the time.
Some reports say the device was “faulty”. Others say she banged her head as a result of the electrical incident. She died four days before her 27th birthday and had planned to mark it by playing poker with friends. A post-mortem examination is yet to be held. Videos showed her teaching poker and congratulating Russian military men on the Day of the Motherland Defender in February. Novikova was also a keen cyclist, snowboarder, rower and boxer.
She also ran her own online shop for poker-themed clothing. One of Liliya’s fans Sergey Beloglasov said: “I wish Lilia appeared online and said that she is alive. I cannot believe that such a good and bright person is gone. I will remember her smile always. Her death is a heavy loss for me.” The administrator of her official group on Vkontakte social media posted: “I do not know how to present such news, I have been thinking for a while and it is very hard for me to write this. (Liliya) is dead. Yesterday, an accident. She is not here anymore. She has left us.”
Photo Credit: Getty