Rafael Nadal, the best tennis player today, came out on top of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Charity Challenge on Thursday, beating other sports celebrities, including poker’s world number one Daniel Negreanu.
Known more for his relentless play on clay, Nadal turned up the heat on the felt to win the top prize of €50,000, just part of the total prize pool of €100,000, all of which are going to different charities as well.
Negreanu, considered the top player in poker, was joined in the bust-out list by other runners who were also once upon a time tops in their respective sports; Ronaldo (football) and Andriy Shevchenko (football), Alberto Tomba (skiing) and Fatima Moreira de Melo (field hockey).
"I played for the first time in a live poker tournament and it was a big honour to play against a lot of stars around me, some in sports and other ones in poker. I had fun and I enjoyed it, and I felt a little bit lucky that I finally won," said Nadal in the official press release from the organisers.
"Nadal played a solid game and he didn't make any mistakes. He knew when to make adjustments, to play more aggressively and he did. It was good fun, and the bottom line is that everybody wins, because all the prize money is going to good causes," shared Negreanu of the performance of Nadal, who just took up the game of poker roughly 18 months ago.
The Spaniard will donate the champion’s purse to The Good Hand Project, a charity which helps young people get back into work.