Tennis legend Rafa Nadal joined PokerStars back in June 2012, and almost half a year on the Spaniard has now taken down his very first tournament on PokerStars. Recently, Nadal entered a €10 freeze-out tourney on PokerStars.es. and managed to defeat a 47 player field over two hours to eventually walk away with the €152.40 first place prize.
Ok, it may not have been the biggest score for the 26 year old compared to his $50 million winning tennis career, but no one can fault Nadal’s competitive streak and dedication to his new found hobby. As Nadal explained after joining PokerStars last summer:
“It’s no secret that I love to compete and try my very best in everything, whether that’s tennis, golf or video games. When I discovered the game of poker, I chose to join PokerStars because they understand what it takes to be the best and associate themselves with the qualities of champions. I’m very happy to be working with them.”
At the time, however, Rafael Nadal was a relative novice to poker, but over the past few months has evidently begun to sharpen his skills as he continues to receive training in the nuances of the game from the top pros.
Rafael Nadal’s joining PokerStars as member of Team SportStars coincided with his temporary withdrawal from professional tennis on account of tendinitis in his knee. During his recovery, Nadal has been practicing his poker game, and even had a promising run at the Spanish Championship of Online Poker (ESCOOP) €200 main event until his A-K got out flopped by his opponent’s pocket jacks.
Now with a first tournament victory under his belt, Nadal’s poker training seems to headed nicely in the right direction and the confidence he gains from taking down the mini-tournament can only spur him on to greater poker success in the future.