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Go behind the scenes with Rafa as he prepares for his first ever live poker tournament in Prague, where he’ll face a table of legendary competitors including Ronaldo, Shevchenko and Negreanu.

Rafael Nadal is one of the members of Team PokerStars Sport. In this series, Rafa is learning how to play poker from the world’s best and members of Team PokerStars. You can join him on his journey as he enters his first ever live poker tournament, in the beautiful Prague.

In this episode, Rafa mentions that poker and tennis are similar in many ways. He is a fan of mental games, and as any poker player would know, there are many mental aspects of the game. As a very amateur tennis player myself, I’ve been in spots where I drop to 0-40 in a game and need to psyche myself back up. If I fall into the pits of despair and think “Well, I guess I lost this one,” I’m doomed to fail. Poker is similar, where if I drop a buy-in or two early in my session, I may be too focused on getting back to even, which would lead me to make some bad plays or gamble in spots when I shouldn’t. In poker, and tennis, or pretty much any competitive sport, you need to keep your mind clean and make the best decision at every moment.

Rafa is the world’s best tennis player, so it will be interesting to see if he can transition his mental toughness into poker. Stay tuned for future episodes!