Previously known only for his supreme skills on the tennis court, Rafael Nadal has claimed the PokerStars European Poker Tour Charity Challenge in his Live Tournament debut.
Included as part of the EPT Charity Challenge, a total of €100,000 was up for the taking to donate to a charity of choice, with the minimum set at €5,000 and the highest at a cool €50,000.
Competing with Nadal in the memorable and fun event were Brazilian World Cup winning footballer Ronaldo, Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko, Legendary striker Alberto Tomba and Dutch field hockey gold medalist Fatima Moreira de Melo, as well as professional Daniel Negreanu.
As expected, Negreanu jumped out to the lead early and quickly compiled a healthy big stack. It did not take long for the game to be turned on its head however, as several competitors managed to double up.
Tomba was the event’s first casualty, as pocket sixes proved no match for a pair of Jacks held by Negreanu, leaving the game with £5,000 for his chosen charity.
Surprisingly, Negreanu was the next player to fall, when Nadal managed to luck out with a pair of Queens against Negreanu’s Ace-Nine hand, also delivering the Spanish Tennis whiz the chip lead.
From there on in, nothing seemed to slow the tirade of Nadal, with Shevchenko quickly feeling a similar pressure to so many of Rafa’s Grand Slam final opponents before busting in third for €10,000, leaving Nadal and de Melo to battle it out in heads-up play.
After some back-and-forth play, Nadal continued to build on his chip lead before finally claiming the title with a hand of Ace-Ten over de Melo’s Ten-six on suit.
Adding his first poker crown to an already extensive trophy cabinet, Nadal secured €50,000 for his charity of choice in impressive fashion and is already weighing up his options for another assault on the felt.
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