PokerStars and Rafael Nadal part ways
Online gambling operators have always tried to associate their image to the one of prominent athletes and poker rooms make no exception. PokerStars and Rafael Nadal have enjoyed a long and mutually lucrative partnership, with the tennis star getting fully immersed in the game.
Recently he lost interest or time was of the essence and he was unable to participate in as many competitions, but even so he drew a lot of attention to this popular game.
Having said this, the poker giant and the tennis player have decided to go separate ways after three years of partnership. They will stay in touch and it is not far-fetched to see them work together on various projects in the future. Meanwhile, PokerStars has already found a couple of worthy replacements and it is constantly expanding its roster with new celebrities. Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr are two of those and since football remains the most popular game in the world, their choice makes perfect sense.
Both of them have shown their interest in the game of poker and are going to bring in many new customers, so both sides should have a lot to gain from this partnership. At the same time, Nadal did a fine job at enhancing the popularity of poker and together with Vanessa Selbst, he hosted some great tournament. In 2014, the European Poker Tour Grand final was made far more exciting by their charity game, which was eventually won by the poker professionals.
Hippodrome Casino was the venue where a famous dual between the tennis player and Ronaldo took place and there are many more tournaments worth mentioning. Nadal was and is still very busy with tennis, so he played poker only when he has spare time, but this has been enough for him to win some accolades.
EPT Prague and his performance there is fondly remembered by poker fans and Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr has some big boots to fill.
PokerStars now has a brand-new strategy and it involves working with the two football players, a decision that was taken earlier this year. By August it was almost certain that this is going to be the direction pursued by the poker group.
Only time will tell whether Rafael Nadal will forsake poker forever or if he will continue to get involved in projects revolving around this game, with or without the poker giant.