It’s been a long seven months for Rafa Nadal, since back when he got injured and was unable to compete at his first love. He has been recovering from his injury and needed something else to fill his time whilst this recovery period was in motion.
If you remember correctly, he decided to take up an offer from PokerStars to become an ambassador for the site and sign up to be a PokerStars Team SportsStar. The tennis superstar admitted that whilst he had always loved to play poker in his spare time, he was hardly at the sort of level he would like to be within the game.
He was unable to train, so used the time to practice his poker, using his competitiveness and desire to win to up his skill level on the felt. His first major tournament showed that he had made some positive moves and that he certainly had potential, back in the Spanish ESCOOP a couple of months ago.
Well yesterday he showed he has improved further still by taking down his first ever tournament victory at the site. It may have only involved 47 players and was a €10 Freezeout, but he managed to overcome those 47 players and take down the €152.40 winnings.
Okay, so €152.40 is hardly life changing money for the superstar who has untold millions in the bank already, but it is more about his poker development. It would have given him a massive confidence boost and shown him that his very nature could be enough to push him on to become a good poker player in the future.
Once he got to the final table in this event, he not only won it but won it in style. He was responsible for eliminating each of the other five players.
Nadal is still in recovery and whilst he obviously cannot wait to get back on the tennis court and start challenging for the major tennis tournaments again, poker has certainly given him something else to concentrate on during that time.
He will be the first to admit that whilst it is a great feeling to win a small tournament, he still has a very long way to go before he can be widely accepted as a top poker player. However, it’s a very positive step and one which we all have had to make at some point during our poker education.
We wish him the best in both the recovery of his injury and of course with his poker education.