Rafael Nadal is a 14 Grand Slam winner and arguably the best tennis player on the circuit today. When he is not playing tennis, Nadal players poker and like any top professional athlete hates to lose. Nadal has invested both time and money in studying the game and hiring experts to coach him. Brazil’s football legend Ronaldo was once the best player in the world and helped him country win the world cup. Now retired, Ronaldo plays poker as a past time and decided to take on Nadal in a Charity Poker game.
PokerStars who Nadal is a ambassador for them hosted this celebrity charity event at London’s Hippodrome Casino.
The event was schedule at the same time the World Poker Tour was taking place in Nottingham but the Hippodrome’s venue in Leicester square draws thousands of visitors daily and they were quick to gather to witness Nadal vs. Ronaldo in a poker showdown. The rules of the game required both players to compete and test their poker skills for 20 minutes. The celebrity who demonstrated more professional poker skills will receive $50,000 for their charity and the title of being the official winner.
In the end it was Nadal who won the match and received $50,000 which will go to the Rafa Nadal Foundation. The foundation was started by Nadal to look after teenagers and children who are discriminated and shunned by society. In the last couple of years, Nadal has entered a number of celebrity poker tournaments and has done incredibly well in all of these tournaments.
In a statement, Nadal said
In poker, you need self control, the ability to analyze your opponent and read the game to know when to go for it, a strategy that is not too dissimilar to tennis. It was close for most of the match and I’m delighted to have won. I called all in on the final hand, which proved to be a good move.
This is not the first time Nadal and Ronaldo are having a poker celebrity match. Back in December 2013, they met for the first time during the European Poker Tour Prague Charity Challenge along with Fatima Moreira de Melo and Daniel Negreanu. The tournament was won by Nadal and showed poker fans from across the globe that he does take his poker games very seriously.
Nadal later went on to say that he was happy to give Ronaldo another chance to play him, should Ronaldo ever want a rematch.