He's 26 years old. He's one of the best tennis players in the world. He's been called everything from El Nino, to the King of Clay, to Spain's Raging Bull. As of today, Rafa Nadal has a new title. He is the newest member of Team PokerStars SportStars.
It's only been a few weeks since Nadal's victory at the French Open, his 11th Grand Slam title. Today, PokerStars announced it had teamed up with Nadal, a move that puts one of the world's greatest tennis champions together with the world's largest poker site.
"It's no secret that I love to compete and try my very best in everything, whether that's tennis, golf or video games," Nadal said. "When I discovered the game of poker, I chose to join PokerStars because they understand what it takes to be the best and associate themselves with the qualities of champions. I'm very happy to be working with them."
Nadal will play poker in spare moments this summer while he concentrates on some big tennis action, beginning with Wimbledon from this coming Monday. After the summer, he will spend more time developing his poker skills and representing PokerStars in online tournaments, advertising campaigns and charity events. Further details will be announced in the coming months.
While Nadal may be among the most celebrated tennis players in history, he is the first to admit he is still new to the game of poker. When you go pro in tennis by age 15, there's not a lot of time to learn another game. That understood, Nadal does nothing halfway. If he is going to translate the passion he has on court into success on the felt, he will need some of the best trainers in the game.
That's where you come in.
You have the chance to help out a sporting legend as he begins his poker journey. It's called Help Rafa, and by giving him your best bit of advice, you could win an all-expenses-paid package to play at EPT Barcelona in August. Visit our special Rafa Nadal page to find out more. There's even a video message to you from the man himself.
Meanwhile, by the time you read these words, there will already be a lot of people talking about Nadal's new poker journey. Before the end of the day, it's going to be a big story. To join in the conversation, check out the #NadalPoker hashtag on Twitter.
It's likely you know all about Nadal, but in case you're not up to speed with your tennis, here's one of the best sporting resumes you will find:
Nadal has 11 Grand Slam singles titles. Included in those are a record-setting seven French Open singles championships. Nadal is also an Olympic gold medalist (2008) and only the second man in tennis history to have a Career Golden Slam (an Olympic gold and four Grand Slams). He is huge on the ATP World Tour, with numerous singles titles. He is the pride of Spain, one of the best players in the world and considered by many to be the best clay-court player ever.
You can find out more about his career on the PokerStars Rafa Nadal bio page.
Welcome to the team, Rafa!