Tennis Champ Nadal Wins Charity Poker Tournament
Rafael Nadal probably didn’t really need another title. After all, he is the number one tennis player in the world, has an Olympic gold medal, and has won thirteen Grand Slam singles titles, just to name a few of his accomplishments.
In any event, Nadal added another achievement to his pile this week, taking home a win at an event at the European Poker Tour, the Charity Challenge held in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Many sports figures assembled for the event
Nadal began playing the game of poker about a year and a half ago. At the event, the tennis ace bested poker pro Daniel Negreanu and also beat out major names from the world of sports, including soccer star Ronaldo and Italian skier Alberto Tomba.
Nadal said that this was his first poker tournament he has played in since learning the game.
“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,” Nadal was quoted in a press release put out by online poker giant PokerStars, a host of EPT events.
Remarking on Nadal’s skill, Negreanu 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.”
According to the press release, Nadal will be donating €50,000 to an organization called The Good Hand Project, a group that assists unemployed young people. A video of EPT events can be found here.
PokerStars New Jersey
This week saw PokerStars hosting the Charity Challenge on one side of the Atlantic Ocean, while on the other it was making very different headlines, after it was announced this week that New Jersey gaming regulators placed the company’s application for an iGaming license on hold.
PokerStars is by no means barred from operating in the Garden State’s nascent online wagering market. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said that PokerStars’ application can be revisited at any time during the next twenty-four months if the company makes significant changes and addresses issues specified by gaming officials.
The DGE is raising concerns firstly with founder Isai Scheinberg, who is under federal indictment. New Jersey regulators have also cited unnamed executives as contributing to the Division’s hesitation to give the company licensing approval.
Scheinberg, who is not a U.S. citizen and has not appeared in the United States to answer to charges levied against him in New York federal court, has been rumored to be working on a deal with the United States Justice Department to settle the charges, which relate to Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) violations, in addition to violations of other federal anti-gambling statutes.
PokerStars has a partnership agreement with the land-based Atlantic City casino Resorts. Resorts has been cleared to operate a real money betting site in New Jersey; it remains unknown whether the property will be looking to team up with a new gaming partner in light of recent events.