Posts Tagged ‘Rafael Nadal poker’

Rafael Nadal no longer with PokerStars?

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

rafael-nadalBack in June 2012, PokerStars inked a historical poker sponsorship deal with Rafael Nadal. The tennis legend was at the top of his game and quickly brought more mainstream recognition to poker. But now, a little over three years later, it appears that this union is over because Nadal isn’t on the Team Sportstar page any longer.

Interestingly enough, there’s been no news about this omission from the Sportstar page; however, whenever somebody disappears from PokerStars’ website, it never turns out to be a bonehead move by an IT person.

Perhaps it’s the fact that the world’s largest poker site is fronting millions for Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and (retired) Ronaldo to represent them, coupled with the fact that Nadal’s contract is over. Maybe it’s also a little of the tennis champ never plunking down in any live EPT events. Whatever the case may be, the 29-year-old Spaniard will be missed in the poker world.

There were never any expectations of Nadal to be a regular on the poker circuit. Instead, this was more of an athlete’s journey from poker novice to, well, somebody who just learned their starting hand requirements. But he certainly provided some memorable moments, such as the video below where he learned bluffing tips, or when he found out that you can play online poker through tablets.

Now that Nadal is gone, the trio of aforementioned football legends will carry the banner while Dutch field hockey star Fatima Moreira De Melo, (recently signed) snowboarder Zoe Gillings-Brier and Swedish skier Marcus Hellner will also be represent the brand. Obviously signing these big sports stars must be paying off for the site because they keep recruiting new ones. And it will be interesting to see who else PokerStars brings aboard in the future.

Sports Illustrated Pokes Fun at Rafael Nadal’s “Horrible Poker Face”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Rafael Nadal recently faced off against Vanessa Selbst in a heads-up poker game at Casino de Monte Carlo. This was quite an interesting pairing, given that Nadal started playing poker less than two years ago while Selbst is commonly called the world’s best female player, with nearly $10 million in tournament winnings.

If there were a betting line on this heads-up match, Selbst probably would’ve been a 10:1 favorite or better. So nobody should be surprised to hear that Selbst did beat the tennis star in this PokerStars promotion.

Even with the predictable outcome, it should be noted that PokerStars donated 5,000 euros to charity, and both Selbst and Nadal enjoyed the experience. Here’s a look at both of their comments:

SelbstRafa played a great game, but the format and the cards were in my favor. I was able to win by using aggression in good spots and I also made a number of strong hands. I had an excellent time with Rafa and I’m looking forward to the re-match!

NadalIt was a great honor to play against a strong competitor and although I lost, I had a lot of fun.

Speaking of fun, that’s exactly what Sports Illustrated had when poking fun at Nadal’s terrible poker face. As they discussed, Rafa is known for how fired up he gets on the tennis courts. But when he gets fired up on the poker felt, it can look fairly comical. Moreover, it doesn’t exactly help him conceal poker tells very well. That said, take a look at if you’d be able to judge what Rafa had based on his poker faces. Hum, sports betting might be a better match for him.