After taking over the tennis world and becoming ATP’s top player, Rafael Nadal has set his sights on a new game quite similar to tennis.
The Spaniard will play his first-ever official live poker tournament in Prague. The tourney is scheduled to start on December 12, 2013 and will be part of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague festival. “It’s no secret that I love the competition and that’s what I like about poker. It’s a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out-think your opponent and in that way, there are similarities to tennis. I have been playing poker online for almost 18 months and now I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing my first live tournament,” Nadal said.
ATP’s best has been coached by tournament specialist Alfonso “el_rage” Cardalda since taking up poker. Cardalda is currently a PokerStars coach who has had his share of success in the online world, including winning the Sunday Warm-up tournament and cashing in $120,000. “The Prague charity tournament is a big milestone for Rafa as a poker player and I’m hoping that his success on the tennis court this year will translate into success at the poker table in December,” el_rage told the PokerStars Blog.
EPT Prague will run between December 8 and 18, 2013 and everyone expects it to be a big hit. A record of 171 tournament staff will be working at the poker festival – 143 dealers plus 16 floor people, dealer coordinators and chip controllers – twice as many compared to last season’s numbers. Cash tables will be running 24 hours a day with blinds ranging from €2/€4 up to €100/€200. The logistics are also quite impressive: 90 poker tables, 200,000 poker chips, 10,000 playing cards and 500 meters of electrical cabling,
“I was lucky enough to work Season 1 of the EPT and it’s amazing to see how much it’s grown. In those days, we had around 300 players for the main event and maybe just one side event a day. Now just a ‘normal’ EPT Festival has at least 40 events and EPT Prague will have 47 – on some days, there will be up to ten events running at the same time – so we’re going to be very, very busy,” tournament director Teresa Nousiainen said.