PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst Takes on Rafa Nadal in Monaco

Top earning female poker player and PokerStars Team Pro Vanessa Selbst will go heads up against PokerStars sporting ambassador Rafa Nadal in Monaco.

Top earning female poker player and PokerStars Team Pro Vanessa Selbst will go heads up against PokerStars sporting ambassador Rafa Nadal in Monaco.

The smart money will be on Vanessa, as the match will be heads up poker, not clay court tennis. The “King of Clay” managed to win his first €100,000 charity poker tournament at the EPT Prague, with Daniel Negreanu as one of his opponents, so the smart money may not be quite so confident this time.

Even though his tennis tournament schedule is notoriously brutal, Nadal has found time to indulge his enthusiasm for poker and perform his ambassadorial duties for PokerStars.

On March 19 he played an hour of play money poker on PokerStars’ Facebook app. The Zoom poker session meant that any and all comers were welcome and given an equal chance of playing against the sporting superstar. For every hand Rafa won, PokerStars donated $100 to Care International.

Spanish players got a similar opportunity, for real money, at the end of January, as Rafa played 60 minutes of $2NL Zoom on the Spanish regulated PokerStars site. PokerStars put up €3,000 as a prize, with the money going to a Rafa nominated charity if he ended up on the session. Again he defied predictions, and his chosen charity pocketed the €3,000.

The match against Vanessa Selbst has been organized for April 11 to take advantage of Rafa’s presence at the ATP Monte Carlo Masters where he is hoping for his ninth victory. “It’s a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out-think your opponents… and now I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing against Vanessa,” commented Rafa.

Selbst is currently looking for backing to play in the WSOP Big One for One Drop which has a $1m buy in.

She is in third position in the Global Poker Index (GPI) rankings, after managing third in two of the High Roller events during January’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). A staking deal looks inevitable.

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