Rafael Nadal, the 13-time Grand Slam champion, is preparing to play his first live poker event next month when he will participate in a charity poke tournament on the side-lines of the European Poker Tour Prague festival.Nadal started playing the game in 2012 when he was suffering from tendinitis in his knee and had to withdraw from tennis for several months. Not long afterwards Nadal was signed by PokerStars as an ambassador and he has since been receiving poker tuition from Alfonso Cardalda.
While Nadal has successfully returned to the tennis circuit, he has not stopped playing poker. Cardalda has said that his appearance at the Prague charity tournament will be a big milestone in Nadal’s poker career and he is hoping that Nadal’s success on the tennis court will translate to the poker tables.
Nadal said that he is looking forward to the competition, “It’s no secret that I love the competition and that’s what I like about poker. It’s a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out-think your opponents and in that way there are similarities to tennis. I have been playing poker online for almost 18 months and now I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing my first live tournament.”