Liya "Liay5" Novikova was a young successful poker player from Russia who died in 2019.
Previously, the girl was known as a professional player of DotA (Defense of the Ancients) and other computer games. In the Russian-speaking poker community, she became famous thanks to her blog «Gamer’s Diary», which Liya started to run in 2012.
Novikova became world-famous in March 2015, when she signed a contract with the well-known poker room and became PokerStars Team Pro Online. In 2017, she lost her Stars patches and sponsorship, but continued to run her personal group on VKontakte, stream and promote poker to the masses through other means.
The girl preferred online poker, where she achieved considerable success. Liya's main discipline was hyper turbo. In 2015, she also often played Spin & Go. After signing the contract with PokerStars, Novikova became a frequent guest of offline series. The girl’s most substantive result was the first place in the NLH Deepstack Big Ante tournament for €1 100 at the EPT Prague in 2015 (she got €49 440 or $54 070 in prize money). At that event, Liya won her first significant poker trophy – the PokerStars Spade.
Liliya was pretty popular on the net. Liya Novikova’s streams, records and photos were gaining many views in a matter of minutes. But popularity has a flip side. The girl was often criticized for her words or actions. Novikova's personal life was actively discussed as well. Nevertheless, Liya continued to show good results in poker and sought to develop herself as a professional player.
On June 11, 2019, Liya Novikova died as a result of an accident. She was a few days shy of her 27th birthday.
The unexpected death of the famous poker player from Russia was a tragedy for the poker community. The news of what happened appeared in the girl’s group on Vkontakte. At first, this information was taken as a joke, until it was confirmed by Liliya’s close friends and her boyfriend – Arthur. Later, the media reported that it was a faulty electrical appliance (most likely a hairdryer) in the bathroom that caused her death.