Nadal adds to trophy haul by winning poker event

Canadian professional poker player Daniel Negreanu (L-R), former Ukrainian soccer player Andriy...

Canadian professional poker player Daniel Negreanu (L-R), former Ukrainian soccer player Andriy Schevchenko, former Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, former Italian skier Alberto Tomba and former Dutch field hockey player Fatima Moreiro de Melo pose for a picture before a celebrity poker tournament, the European Poker Tour Charity Challenge, in Prague December 12, 2013. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:01 PM ET

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal quietly added to his trophy haul over the weekend in Prague, Czech Rep.

An indoor event was the site of the tennis pro’s first title since winning the U.S. Open earlier this year.

Only there were no rackets involved. No nets, either.

Nadal, 27, won a European Poker Tour event, collecting more than $70,000 that he’ll donate to the Good Hand Project, which helps young people find work.

He was joined at the final table by Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo and former A.C. Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko.

Also sitting at the with the world’s top tennis pro was the world’s top-ranked poker player, Canadian Daniel Negreanu.

“I really enjoy playing tournaments because you can use strategy and you need to wait for your moment,” Nadal told Sports Illustrated. “I don’t know if there are similarities (between poker and tennis), but there is a tour, there are a lot of people that play, that practice, that get ready for these big events.

“And the people who don’t understand about this game only think that it’s about luck. I thought that a few years ago, but now I know it’s more about knowing how to play.”

Nadal signed an endorsement deal with PokerStars in June 2012.

He took up playing poker after a knee injury forced him away from the court last year.

 


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