EPT9 Sanremo: Svetlana Orlik wins the women's event, bags €5,850
After a hard fought final table in the women's event, Svetlana Orlik has won an EPT trophy and €5,850 beating the ferocious Olga Iermolcheva heads up. It was the final pairing that always looked likely with the question being whether the irresistible force of Iermolcheva would be able to batter down the immovable Orlik. The final answer was no, but it may not be the last time we see the Ukrainian.
Tournament info, Event #13
Prize pool: €16,296
1, Svetlana Orlik, Russia, €5,850
2, Olga Iermolcheva, Ukraine, €3,750
3, Kami Hudson, USA, €2,280
4, Mariela Blanco, Bolivia, €1,630
5, Gaelle Jaudon, France, €1,150
6, Elena Banas, Russian Federation, €900
7, Bernadette Martino, Monaco, €736
While we'd prefer to shy away from any twee observations about Orlik's doting husband Dmitry on the rail, it's pretty hard to ignore him. Not only did we need to use him as a translator but, shortly after Orlik won, he bellowed across the tournament room, "I'm so happy. She's my student and my wife!"
Orlik (Mr), who himself has cashed in the WSOP main event, told us that Orlik (Mrs) is a poker dealer and that both play for fun. It's a tried and tested route for success at the tables.
"She knows position, her stack, her cards and her opponents," said Orlik (Mr).
She certainly proved that she did, using her position to slow Iermolcheva down and picking spots against the remaining short stacks. Orlik looked calm in seat one. Whatever she did, it seemed to work.
Any events with a €330 buy-in, let alone those coined as ladies events, aren't usually used as scouting ground for 'one's to watch' yet Olga Iermolcheva leapt out. Not just to us but at her opponents, daggers flying from the eyeballs and chips firing into the pot. She was relentless. When the bubble burst and seven players remained she was dominant, a huge stack in front of her. When four players remained she was short again but sheer Ukrainian chip violence saw her pull back into contention and with just three players left at the final break of the day the chips were Orlik: 245,000, Iermolcheva: 75,000 and Kami Hudson: 45,000.
"No, I don't think that I play aggressively. All girls play aggressive. I just play tight aggressive," she told the PokerStars Blog.
Who are we to disagree? Because mostly she stared people down like this (picture below) and just kept bet, bet, betting.
"I had three times more the average stack all the tournament and I was chip leader almost all the time but at the final table I wasn't so lucky. I didn't have good starters and I lost approximately half my stack. Actually, I'm not glad with my game at the final table I made too many mistakes and it was a short heads up. I thought I could win but I wasn't lucky at all," said Iermolcheva.
Orlik claims the trophy this time. Wait for the rematch in Prague.
Click through to find the full schedule of EPT Sanremo tournaments or the live reporting, news and interviews of the main event here.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.