Last night, two of the world’s biggest sporting legends collided at London’s Hippodrome Casino, for the ultimate grudge match. The 14-time Grand Slam winner, Rafa Nadal, served football’s ‘il fenomeno’, Ronaldo, a losing hand in a charity poker game, hosted by PokerStars.
The sporting giants had 20 minutes to put their poker skills to the test, and after some intense action, it was Rafa Nadal who racked up the most amount of chips to take away $50,000 for The Rafa Nadal Foundation
A triumphant Nadal said: “It was close for most of the match and I’m delighted to have won. I called all-in at the final hand, which proved to be a good move! Ronaldo is a football great and it’s amazing for me to have the opportunity to face him at the poker table. I’m happy for a rematch if Ronaldo is up to the challenge.”
Ronaldo challenged Nadal to the duel in September following a clash between the pair back in December at the European Poker Tour Prague Charity Challenge. In their previous PokerStars tournament, Nadal was victorious, and even beat Daniel Negreanu – the highest-earning live tournament poker player of all time.
Both of the PokerStars ‘SportStars’ have been in training since Ronaldo laid down the gauntlet for a rematch. Tonight the pair battled it out for the $50,000 charity donation – and of course, all-important bragging rights.
Rafa Nadal is used to the precision and power needed for the tennis court, and it appears this translates just as well to the poker table. Ronaldo had clearly prepared for the challenge, but with an impressive performance by Nadal, he will have to wait to even the score.
Ronaldo said: “Rafa played well, I made a mistake going all-in at the end with a bluff, but ultimately Rafa had the best hand. Sometimes you have to be bold in poker, and even though it didn’t work out this time, I had fun.”
Nadal added: “In poker, you need self-control, the ability to analyse your opponent and read the game to know when to go for it, a strategy that is not too dissimilar to tennis.”
Source: Press Release by PokerStars