World tennis number one Rafa Nadal emerged as winner of the EPT Charity Challenge on December 12th, beating Brazilian football legend Ronaldo and world number one poker player Daniel Negreanu.
The tournament, played as part of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague poker festival has been dubbed the greatest gathering of sporting professionals at a poker table. Nadal, Ronaldo and Negreanu joined former Ukrainian footballer Andriy Shevchenko, Italian skier Alberto Tomba and Dutch Olympic field hockey gold medallist Fatima Moreira de Melo –competing for their share of a €100,000 charity prize pool.

This was Rafa’s first live poker tournament since taking up the game 18 months ago, and the win adds to a spectacular list of 2013 on-court triumphs. "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 Rafa.

The turning point for Nadal was knocking out the world’s number one poker player Daniel Negreanu. Daniel said: "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."

Rafa will be donating the €50,000 first prize to The Good Hand Project, a cause he has been supporting with other Spanish celebrities and the poker community to help young people back into work.

A great gesture by a truly inspirational and great sportsman!

Raiser