Rafa Takes on Entire Country of Spain at Poker

Rafael Nadal with Daniel Negreanu

Days after the Australian Open tennis tournament, Rafael Nadal has turned his sights towards a different type of competition. This time, the name of the game is poker and rather than a single opponent, Nadal has decided to challenge his entire native country of Spain. Taking place tonight at 5pm GMT, it will certainly be a sight to behold.

The idea of the competition is that Rafa is going to join a microstakes heads-up Zoom table that is only open to PokerStars players located in Spain. From Porto Cristo, his hometown, Rafa will play for a time period of exactly one hour. His performance during that single hour will determine the winner of the challenge. If his net total is positive after the bell rings, then he will be declared the winner and €3,000 will be donated to a charitable cause from PokerStars. On the other hand, if his fellow Spaniards get the better of him, anyone seated at the table will automatically be entered into a freeroll with a prize pool of €3,000.

The competition may be closed to those outside Spain, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t follow the action as it unfolds. A live dual broadcast will take place on both Facebook and the PokerStars.tv website. Rafa will also be answering questions from fans via Twitter and with the hashtag of #askrafa. It is expected that the star will be online for the duration of his session and possibly afterward as well.

The microstakes Zoom platform is an excellent way for Rafa to meet as many Spanish opponents as possible. Unlike a standard poker table, a player at a Zoom table starts a new hand instantly against a new opponent as soon as the previous one finishes, meaning that Rafa will likely see more than 100 challengers in the single hour of the competition.

While some may see this as a chance for easy money, the truth is that Rafa is no stranger to poker and has been honing his skills since joining Team PokerStars in 2012. Those that have followed his progress say that the tennis pro is learning rapidly and quickly becoming a formidable contender. This Zoom poker challenge will be one of the first times Rafa puts his skills to the test and the world will see whether he is getting as good at poker as he is at tennis.