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Rafa Nadal Plays an Ace with 100 Fans in Paris
May 26, 2013 (04:05 AM EDT)
PARIS, May 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
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.
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.
"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."
Nadal has been improving his game with the help of his poker coach Alfonso Cardalda who said: "Rafa's competitive nature means that he needs new challenges and wants to learn new skills, all the time. Taking on his fans in a friendly poker tournament such as this allows him to put into practice the key lessons I have been giving him based on mathematics, discipline and psychology."
PokerStars operates the world's most popular online poker sites, serving a global poker community of more than 50 million registered members. Since it launched in 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of the world's top players, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else and with the best security online. More than 95 billion hands have been dealt on PokerStars.com, which is more than any other site.
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.