For the second time that Rafa Nadal has issued a big poker challenge, he has come out a winner. The first time was against the country of Spain and the legendary tennis pro ended his session with a profit, which was the initial goal.
In this second round of big-time challenges, Nadal took on the opponents from all over the world in a play money event with a point-based system to keep score, something that Nadal is very familiar with. In the end, it was a close race, but Nadal’s 20 points were good enough to edge out the 18 of his collective group of adversaries.
Because Nadal and his opponents were seated at play money tables, it made sense that the total chip count would not be the best way to decide who won. Instead, organisers adopted a point system where Rafa received 2 points for every hand he won and the rest of the world received one point for every time they bested the Spaniard. PokerStars had announced that it would donate $100 to a charity for every hand that Nadal won, but ended up sweetening the deal with a total $5,000 donation to Care International.
All the action took place across 6-Max Zoom poker tables on the PokerStars network. In addition, there were several ways for fans to watch and interact. For the single hour of play, all of Rafa’s hands were broadcast in several places, including YouTube, PokerStars.tv, and the PokerStars application on Facebook. Fans also had the chance to ask Rafa questions using Twitter and the pro managed to balance his playing time and answering fan queries extremely well. For the broadcast, Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu was on hand to provide the play by play commentary and had the following to say about the tennis star:
“A lot of times you will have someone who is number one in the world, and they develop an ego. He’s just very humble despite his success.”
Rafa may not be planning on hanging up his tennis shoes anytime soon, but many agree that he may have what it takes to be a successful poker player as well. Negreanu commented that serious athletes like Nadal have competition in their blood and are easily capable of letting their winning instinct shine through. However, Nadal as a future professional poker player may need to take a backseat for now as he has the more serious business of winning the Sony Tennis Open in the next few days.