Rafa Nadal proved that he is champion on the poker felt as well as on the tennis court. He won his debut live poker tournament at the PokerStars EPT Charity Challenge in Prague.
He was up against some of the world’s best sports stars as well as poker’s biggest star in Daniel Negreanu. Other top sports celebrities taking part in the tournament included football superstars Ronaldo and Andriy Shevchenko, three time Olympic gold medallist Alberto Tomba, and field hockey star Fatima Moreira de Melo.
The tournament awarded a total of €100,000, with the winner receiving €50,000 going to the winner’s charity of choice. Nadal chose to donate the money to The Good Hand Project, a poker based charity in which he is regularly involved.
To top it all off, this was Nadal’s first live poker outing in the spotlight.
The first player to be eliminated was the Italian skier Alberto Tomba. Following shortly afterwards was football star Ronaldo, who has played in professional poker tournaments before and has live experience. Nadal would then eliminate both Daniel Negreanu and Andriy Shevchenko in the same hand where they were all in during a three-way pot. In heads-up play, Nadal would come out ahead of Olympic Gold Medalist Fatima Moreira de Melo to win the championship, the trophy and €50,000 for his charity of choice.
Despite winning big on his poker debut and having a great time, Nadal said that he would be back to business as usual tomorrow, hitting the tennis court at 9 am practising tennis!
One can only wonder if the PokerStars EPT trophy will join the many other treasures that Rafa Nadal keeps in his trophy room.