Posts Tagged ‘Rafael Nadal’

Daniel Negreanu pissed that Rafael Nadal won

Friday, December 20th, 2013

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.

Rafael Nadal wins EPT Prague Celebrity Tournament

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Rafael Nadal might want to consider playing more live poker tournaments in the future. After all, the world’s number one tennis player won the EPT Prague celebrity event, which is just his first ever live tourney. Rafa now gets to donate €50,000 to the charity of his choice.

Despite that fact that Nadal only had five other players to contend with in this tournament, it was a tough path to victory. First off, he had to deal with 6-time WSOP champion Daniel Negreanu, who is one of the best poker players of all-time.

Rafa needed some luck to get by KidPoker, though, as he doubled up through Negreanu twice. The first time, Nadal had Q3 vs. Negreanu’s A9, but managed to win the pot anyways. The second time he paired one of his overcards with Q9 to beat KidPoker’s pocket 3’s.

Another tough player was Dutch field hockey legend Fatima Moreira de Melo, whom Nadal met heads-up. Fatima is actually a very experienced player since she has $336,575 in live tournament winnings. But she still couldn’t stop Nadal en route to his victory.

Afterward, the 13-time Grand Slam winner said that he was really nervous playing in his first live tournament. But he also added that he wanted to do well and remain competitive. Nadal actually went beyond just being competitive by winning the EPT Prague celebrity event.

Other players who competed in this tournament include Italian skier Alberto Tomba, Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko, and retired Brazilian football legend Ronaldo. Here’s a look at how everybody fared in the tourney and how much money they won for charity:

1st. Rafael Nadal – €50,000
2nd. Fatima Moreira de Melo – €25,000
3rd. Andriy Shevchenko – €10,000
4th. Daniel Negreanu – €5,000
5th. Ronaldo – €5,000
6th. Alberto Tomba – €5,000

Rafael Nadal practicing with Coach for EPT Prague

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Ever since he signed with PokerStars last year, Rafael Nadal has been slowly improving his poker game. The tennis star has participated in both online cash games and tournaments, even winning a sizable tourney back in January. Now Rafa is preparing to play in his first ever live event at EPT Prague, which runs from December 8th-18th.

It’s not entirely clear what event Nadal will play at EPT Prague, whether it be a side tourney or the Main Event. But PokerStars is pretty confident that their most famous sponsored player will sit down to the felt somewhere.

The eight-time French Open champion is taking this venture pretty seriously too because he’s working with a poker coach named Alfonso Cardalda. PokerStars filmed a segment about Nadal’s training as he sat down to play an SNG with Cardala and his friends.

One by one, Rafa’s buddies fell by the wayside while he remained in the small tourney. This eventually led to a heads-up showdown with his mentor. After putting up a decent fight, Nadal was eliminated by Cardalda, showing that he still has some work ahead of him in the poker world.

But even though he didn’t win the tourney, it seems like the world’s number two-ranked tennis player is getting better by the day. Whether he’s good enough to experience success at EPT remains to be seen. But perhaps Rafa could be capable of cashing if he continues working on his game.

Assuming you’d like to see the PokerStars segment, which gives a nice look into how Nadal is progressing, check it out below. And after watching, you might even consider getting a poker coach yourself too!

Brazilian Football Legend Ronaldo signs with PokerStars

Friday, April 5th, 2013

PokerStars has signed another big-name sports legend after inking a deal with Ronaldo Nazario. The former Brazilian footballer now joins tennis star Rafael Nadal, Olympic hockey medalist Fatima Moreira and tennis player Boris Becker on Team PokerStars SportsStars.

Ronaldo retired in 2011, at the age of 34, after citing injuries and hypothyroidism. Despite the fairly early retirement, the Brazilian striker managed to score a World Cup record 15 goals. Overall, he scored 62 goals in 98 international matches for Brazil. Other accolades for Ronaldo include being a three-time FIFA Player of the Year and two-time World Cup champion.

Many people may think that Ronaldo merely signed this deal for the money, while knowing nothing about poker. However, the truth is that the 36-year-old has been playing the game for quite some time. He discussed this with the following statement:

Whenever I try to deliver my best in everything, in football and in life. Poker is another challenge that excites me: read the game and opponents and choose the best way to win. For some time I have been discovering the game of poker and PokerStars chosen because they meet a community passionate about the sport. Moreover, it has a great team of players.

Those who are interested in competing against Nazario can find him playing under his namesake PokerStars ID “Ronaldo.” He’s also expected to play in plenty of live tournaments in Brazil too – especially the Brazilian Series of Poker.

This differs quite a bit from another Team PokerStars SportsStars in Rafael Nadal; Rafa is rarely found online – let alone in live tourneys. Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that Nadal is still a top-ranked professional tennis player, which cuts down on his availability. Ronaldo, on the other hand, is retired and has a bit more free time.

Rafael Nadal enters Poker World

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Rafael Nadal and PokerStars ended weeks of rumors and speculation by officially announcing the tennis star’s signing. At just 26 years old, Nadal is already considered the greatest clay court player in history, has won 11 Grand Slam titles, and has captured an Olympic Gold medal (2008). That said, many believe that Nadal is the biggest online poker signing ever.

The Spaniard talked about his deal by saying, “It’s no secret that I love to compete and try my very best in everything, whether that’s tennis, golf or video games.” He went on to say, “When I discovered the game of poker, I chose to join PokerStars because they understand what it takes to be the best and associate themselves with the qualities of champions. I’m very happy to be working with them.”

Now don’t expect Nadal to immediately start grinding away since he’ll be putting most of his focus on tennis this summer – especially with Wimbledon coming up. However, we should gradually see him in online poker games, charity tournaments, and live events over the next several months.

As for his poker skill level, the “King of Clay” is not exactly the king of the felt since PokerStars already has a campaign going where people can visit a special page and offer him tips. This is quite an interesting deal because the person who helps Nadal better his game the most will get an EPT Barcelona package.

Looking at things from a broad perspective, it’s definitely nice to see a celebrity of Nadal’s caliber involved with poker. He’s arguably the most famous person in Spain, and this should go a long way towards boosting online poker popularity throughout their nation. On a side note, Stars figures to benefit quite a bit from this deal as well, which is no doubt why they sought out the tennis star.