EPT9 Barcelona: Liya Gerasimova's crazy short-stacked ride
Women's tournaments tend to be good humoured affairs, but this one in Barcelona is particularly pleasant, with the players chatting like friends as they play. I've just witnessed a cheery few hands that made the three remaining players giggle. Liya Gerasimova laughed the most - her happiness tinged with relief.
She was down to the proverbial "chip and a chair" with less than one big blind remaining. She had found herself in this predicament after losing with king-queen to Darya Hulyk's with ace-six. Next hand she had only one move to make.
Liya was forced to go all-in blind, so Hulyk and Lucia Martinez called to check the hand down. As the last card was dealt Liya finally turned over her cards. She found aces.
As the players laughed, Paul, the tournament director, was the only one to keep a straight face. He said wryly: "Standard." A tournament director has seen it all before.
Or has he? After Liya gathered her chips, barely enough to play with, she was forced all in again. This time Lucia called and it was her turn to smile. She was chip leader and would have called with anything, but had actually found pocket kings. Liya showed ten-seven offsuit - not much ammunition to fight with.
But then the first two cards dealt were tens. Lucia's kings were beaten.
Liya tried once again, hoping for a third slice of fortune. This time she pushed with Q♠2♠. Lucia called with ace-nine.
"Spades!" Liya demanded just as the dealer turned over three of them to flop Liya the flush.
For the fourth hand in a row Liya moved all in. Now no one called. I'm guessing Liya had enough chips to put the others off. But maybe they were freaked by this crazy roll of luck?
Liya is still fighting, and the table is still chuckling.
Three-handed chip counts:
Darya Hulyk 150,000 (Ukraine)
Liya Geresimova 60,000 (Russia)
Lucia Martinez Ibanez 305,000 (Spain)