It would be one thing if Rafael Nadal won a charity poker tournament full of athletes and other non-poker players.
That wasn't the case in Prague, where Nadal participated in the EPT Charity Challenge, his first live poker tournament. Nadal, the world's top-ranked male tennis player, did have to beat out a host of other world class athletes but he also was up against the top-ranked poker player in the world, Daniel Negreanu.
"(Nadal) came in really solid and he didn't make any mistakes," Negreanu said. "And then he knew when to make the adjustment, to play more aggressively, and he did."
Nadal, who started playing poker online as he recovered from chronic knee problems in 2012, was joined in the Texas Hold'em event by Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo, Ukrainian soccer star Andriy Shevchenko, three-time Olympic gold medalist Alberto Tomba and Dutch field hockey gold medalist Fatima Moreira de Melo.
Even after his impressive performance in the 100,000-euro ($137,000) tournament, Nadal has no plans to switch sports.
"I had fun. I had a great experience here playing with friends, playing for a good cause, for charity," Nadal said after the game. "The next thing I know is that tomorrow morning I will be on court at 9 a.m. practicing tennis."
If you're interested in the actual card-playing details, here is a breakdown of how the tournament unfolded.
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