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A poker-playing star who regularly streamed on Twitch to her nearly 25,000 followers died on Tuesday when she reportedly electrocuted herself while using a hair dryer in the bathroom.
According to Russian state media reports, via the Evening Standard, 26-year-old Liliya Novikova, aka Liay5 on Twitch, was discovered by a neighbor in her Moscow apartment after her parents couldn’t reach her by phone.
The Sun reported that a Russian federal investigative committee said Novikova had suffered from “electric shock trauma.”
“Relatives became agitated when the girl stopped responding to phone calls and asked her neighbor to check on her. She found the girl’s body,” a law enforcement source told Russia’s state media agency TASS, via CNN.
Novikova was a prolific poker player with about $100,000 worth of career earnings in live tournament play. She made her mark online, as well.
“She had such a good influence on the poker/twitch community through her hard work and efforts,” fellow poker player and Twitch streamer Lex Veldhuis wrote on Twitter. “I’ve always admired all the many different things she did. What a tragic loss, and so young.”
On her Instagram account, which had nearly 17,000 followers, Novikova would often post photos of herself with poker advice for her fans.
In her final Instagram post, written earlier this week, she wrote about the struggle of those poker players who engage in a variety of games at the same time and how that leads to “a mess in our head.”
Professional poker player Liv Boeree wrote on Twitter: “Utterly heartbreaking. She was such a sweet, beautiful, and talented girl who worked so hard to promote the game.”
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.