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Rafa Nadal wins first poker tournament

There are some people who simply have winning in their blood. Tennis legend Rafa Nadal is one of those people, and he proved it again today as he won his very first PokerStars tournament.

Nadal beat out 47 other players in a €10 freeze-out tourney on PokerStars.es. It took him just a little more than two hours to beat the field for a €152.40 first prize.

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Now, before you snicker at the idea of one of the world's richest sports stars pocketing €152, you have to consider what it implies: the money doesn't matter. It's about the game. It's about competition. It's about winning.

As you might recall, Nadal joined PokerStars as member of Team SportStars last summer. It coincided with when the legend fell victim to injury and had begin work on his recovery. His pain left him unable to compete on the clay, and hence, unable to do what he does best: win.

And so over the past seven months, Nadal has practiced his poker game, worked on bluffing, and even had a good showing in the Spanish ESCOOP festival.

He had done all that, but until today, he had no poker victory. He changed that when he made the final table and knocked out the final five players.

While Nadal's tennis career has been plagued by issues over the past several months, he's still planning to return to game for which he is best known. With that understood, it seems clear, Nadal is working hard on his poker pastime, too.

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Nadal on the court

Nadal's poker instruction still has a long way to go. There is a great deal of space between winning a €10 buy-in tournament and being recognized as one of the greats of the game. Nevertheless, this is a start, and one that shows Nadal can sit where he's most comfortable: the top.

Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging

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