Seven times French Open winner Rafa Nadal challenged 100 of his fans to play against him at a Paris tennis club five minutes away from the famous clay courts of the Roland Garros tournament.
However the challenge was not at tennis, but rather an online poker tournament which was free to enter and played using mobile phones and tablets on the PokerStars mobile app. It was announced Sunday, May 26.
Known globally for his fierce competitive spirit, the 26-year-old Spanish superstar has been learning and playing poker on PokerStars over the past 12 months and finds it a good way to keep mentally alert and remain in the competitive mind set during his down time between tennis tournaments, according to PokerStars.
“It’s no secret that I love the competition, and that’s what I like about the game of poker. It’s a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out think your opponents and in that way it is very similar to tennis.” Nadal said.
“As I’m in Paris for the Roland Garros tournament, I wanted to be able to have some fun with my fans, and a poker tournament seemed like a great way to do that.”
PokerStars.com and PokerStars.eu operate globally under licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta governments, respectively. PokerStars also holds separate government licenses in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, says the company.
In the picture above: Rafa Nadal and fans playing online poker in Paris