Spanish tennis ace and Andy Murray nemesis Rafael Nadal has switched balls for chips and his sturdy tennis racket for a solid hand in the EPT Charity Challenge. The tournament marked the tennis champ’s first ever competitive game, but this did not faze the Spaniard as he blitzed through his opponents to win €50,000 for his charity, The Good Hand Project. The endeavour was set up by Rafa and his brother Tomeu, and seeks to mobilise the poker community and raise money through social media interaction.
Keen poker player Nadal was up against some big names, including Brazilian footballing legend Ronaldo, former Ukrainian Centre Forward and politician Andriy Shevchenko, Italian skier Alberto Tomba and Dutch Olympic hockey winner Fatima Moreira de Melo. The group of sports superstars were also joined by professional poker player Daniel Negreanu.
It was the professional nicknamed Kid Poker who led the table initially with a large chip lead, almost taking out Nadal early on, but the others soon flipped the table on him. However, it was Tomba who fell at the first hurdle, busting out against Negreanu's pair of Jacks. Nadal then entered the fray, silencing Negreanu and eliminating footballers Ronaldo and Shevchenko. This left the Spaniard facing off against Dutch player de Melo, but after a series of stalemates, Nadal managed to gain the upper hand, rescuing his chip lead and eventually winning the title and trophy, presented by world ranked number one Negreanu.
"I had fun. I had a great experience here playing with friends, playing for a good cause, for charity. And the next thing I know is that tomorrow morning I will be on court at 9am practising tennis," Nadal said shortly after the game.
So if you think you could outplay Nadal on the poker table, why not take a seat online at Winner Poker?