ATP world number one tennis player and PokerStars ambassador Rafael Nadal will head to Prague in the Czech Republic on December 12 for one of his final challenges of 2013 – a live charity poker tournament.

Rafa will play against some of the biggest names on the international professional poker circuit, along with other sporting legends, who will be announced over the coming weeks. The tournament will be part of the European Poker Tour Prague festival, which runs from December 8-18. It will be the first official live tournament that Rafa has played in since taking up the game in June 2012.

“It’s no secret that I love the competition and that’s what I like about poker,” said Rafa Nadal. “It’s a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out-think your opponents 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.”

Since taking up poker, Rafa has worked hard to hone his poker skills by playing online at PokerStars and working with his poker coach Alfonso Cardalda to help improve his game. “Rafa takes learning the game of poker very seriously, and understands the importance of practice to ensure he stays at the top of his game,” said Cardalda. “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.”

See how Rafa has been getting on with his training with this behind the scenes footage of him training with Alfonso here.

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