23 Year Old Russian Beauty Wins $330k WPT TournamentFebruary 17, 2011 8:18 am
A 23-year-old Russian beauty by the name of Natalia Nikitina has just won the WPT National Series Paris, having bested a field of 188 players on her way to collecting the €243,830 ($330,500) first place prize.
Nikitina’s win represents the first time a woman has won a WPT National Series tournament, which although not an official World Poker Tour event, is still a much respected lower buy-in spin off which carries the WPT brand name.
As the €5,000 main event played down to its final table of eight, Natalia Nikitina lay finely poised sitting on a middle sized stack.
It then took four and a half hours before the table lost its first player in 8th place (€26,120) after Nicolo Calia’s A-J failed to improve to his opponent’s A-K.
As the floodgates then opened up, UK prodigy Sam Trickett found himself consigned to the rails in 6th spot (€43,545) when his short-stacked push with pocket fives ran into Jean-Louis Tepper’s pocket nines.
Eventually, with three players remaining, Tepper continued to be the chief aggressor at the table until a move holding 7h-5h was looked up by Natalia Nikitina, who managed a double up in an all-in showdown holding Ks-9s.
A few hand later and Tepper was gone heralding in the heads-up phase of the competition between Nikitina and Alexandre Brivot.
Fairly even in chips, Nikitina’s stack depleted to just 850k before her big break eventually came. After winning an all-in holding A-10 to Brivot’s pocket fives, her A-2 then beat her opponent’s A-Q, before finally finishing him off when he pushed his short-stack holding K-J to her A-3.
Alexandre Brivot may have rued his lack of luck during the heads-up phase but nevertheless collected an impressive €174,170 to ease his disappointment. In the meantime, Natalia Nikitina was crowned the WPT National Series Paris Euro Finals Of Poker Diamond Championship winner, and later commenting on her famous victory said:
“That was a long and hard contest. Three hours before the end I was actually finding it hard to stay awake and keep concentrating on my game but I am delighted to win. I am going to celebrate by buying a BMW 6 Series.”