A little over a week ago, Rafael Nadal won his first live poker tournament at the EPT Prague celebrity event. Not only did Nadal generate €50,000 for charity with this victory, but he also gained a little respect from the poker community…that is, unless you’re talking about Daniel Negreanu.
According to TMZ, Negreanu merely thinks that the tennis star got lucky whenever they tangled horns on the felt. “He got two lucky hands,” Negreanu said, “that’s the only reason why he beat me.”
The two hands that Negreanu is referring to saw Nadal double up through the 6-time WSOP champion and add to his stack. On one occasion, Rafa was all-in with Q-3 against Daniel’s A-9, and still took this hand down. The other hand was more of a coinflip since Negreanu’s pocket 3’s were cracked by Nadal’s Q-9 combo.
When you look at these two hands, it really only appears that Rafa got lucky in one case. Nevertheless, ‘KidPoker’ is ready for a rematch and is pretty confident that he’d pull out the win. “I’m down and ready to go for a rematch! I’d win this time. Obviously. I’m suppose to win every time.”
We have to agree with Negreanu’s assessment on how another poker game between he and Nadal would go. After all, the Canadian has been playing in poker tournaments since 1997, and he’s earned $19,549,209 throughout his illustrious career. With his massive total in winnings, Negreanu ranks third all-time behind Antonio Esfandiari and Sam Trickett.
Nadal may not bring this same pedigree, but he has been working to improve his poker game. The 13-time Grand Slam tennis champion started playing online poker in July of 2012, and has continually worked to iron out leaks. But even with his recent dedication to poker, it’s unlikely that Nadal could keep out-performing Negreanu.