The world’s number one tennis player and PokerStars ambassador, Rafa Nadal has lost out to the world’s best female poker player, Vanessa Selbst in a heads-up poker game. Nadal finished with slightly fewer chips than Selbst in a special charity poker game held at Casino de Monte Carlo.

Nadal was hoping to build on his poker tournament victory in Prague last December, when he beat the likes of Brazilian football legend Ronaldo and the world’s number one poker player Daniel Negreanu. Speaking about his first ever live heads-up poker experience, Nadal said: “It was a great honour to play against a strong competitor and although I lost, I had a lot of fun.”

Selbst added: “Rafa played a great game, but the format and the cards were in my favour. I was able to win by using aggression in good spots and I also made a number of strong hands.  I had an excellent time with Rafa and I’m looking forward to the re-match!”

Alfonso Cardalda, Nadal’s poker coach said: “Playing against Vanessa was a very important part of Rafa’s poker journey. After winning in Prague, this was his next big step and he played very well against one of the best poker players in the world.”

Both Nadal and Selbst are well known for being extremely focused and determined competitors, who possess the strategic and technical abilities to succeed. Their coming together was a great battle of minds.

Nadal faces a different type of opponent next week when he’ll be competing in the first round of the ATP Monte Carlo Masters, in search of a record ninth title. Yale law graduate Selbst will next participate in the PokerStars European Poker Tour event in Sanremo, where she hopes to add to her impressive $9.6 million in poker tournament winnings.

Five thousand Euros will be donated to Care International as part of this charity event.