May 26, 2013
Seven times French Open winner
challenged 100 of his fans to play against him at a
tennis club five minutes away from the famous clay courts of the Roland Garros tournament.
However the challenge was not at tennis, but rather an online poker tournament which was free to enter and played using mobile phones and tablets on the PokerStars mobile app.
Known globally for his fierce competitive spirit, the 26-year-old Spanish superstar has been learning and playing poker on PokerStars over the past 12 months and finds it a good way to keep mentally alert and remain in the competitive mind set during his down time between tennis tournaments.
"It's no secret that I love the competition, and that's what I like about the game of poker. It's a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out think your opponents and in that way it is very similar to tennis." Nadal said. "As I'm in
for the Roland Garros tournament, I wanted to be able to have some fun with my fans, and a poker tournament seemed like a great way to do that."
Nadal has been improving his game with the help of his poker coach
who said: "Rafa's competitive nature means that he needs new challenges and wants to learn new skills, all the time. Taking on his fans in a friendly poker tournament such as this allows him to put into practice the key lessons I have been giving him based on mathematics, discipline and psychology."