TIME magazine is one of the worlds most well known publications that has many millions of readers all across the globe, so for PokerStars Team SportStar Rafael Nadal and PokerStars Team Pro Vanessa Selbst to mentioned in an article has to be a real good deal for the poker industry.
The magazine centres on Nadal and his amazing comeback from a serious injury to get back to winning ways on the tennis courts, yet he claims that poker played a large part of that recovery as it allowed him to keep his competitive nature ticking along whilst out.
Sean Gregory who wrote the article for Times magazine explained in his piece “For Nadal, the card games were therapeutic. The slow tedium of rehab often left him frustrated. “They are tough moments, because when you are working every day, I didn’t really see a result,” he says. “That” – he pauses, uncomfortable with the memory – “is hard. Does it make sense to keep working when you are not seeing one positive result during the work?” He needed the battle, if not on the court, then at least the table. “Poker gave me that competition that I really need,” he says. “It really helped me a lot when I was injured.”
As you all will know, Rafael Nadal spent a lot of time playing poker whilst injured. He won a charity event that included Daniel Negreanu as one of his opponents and took part in a number of promotions and challenges all aimed at improving his poker playing skills.
There really is no doubt that the game allowed him to keep his mind off of his tennis injury and allow him to stay competitive, though at a different game completely.
Where Vanessa Selbst comes in is that she played poker against Rafael Nadal in a specially arranged heads-up challenge just before the EPT Monte Carlo. This was mentioned in the article and is only going to bring attention to the game from people that may not have had any prior knowledge or interest.
If you are a subscriber to Time Magazine, you can read the full superb article by going here, if not, take in that heads up challenge with Vanessa Selbst just one last time.