The Duel: What You Need To Know

Balls Team
By Balls Team
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When the likes of Ronaldo and Rafa Nadal land in London there are usually only a few select places they are heading. Wembley. Wimbledon. The O2 Arena. Stamford Bridge even. However, there’s nothing usual about the two sporting legends’ next trip to the British capital which will see them make a beeline for one place – the casino.

Going head-to-head to win $50,000 for charity in The Duel, the tennis supremo and former Real Madrid hitman, will lay their cards on the table in an epic poker match which has become one of the most hotly tipped events this autumn.

The duo have been poker enthusiasts for a number of years now, both representing PokerStars, and will see each other on the other side of the green velvet for the second time in just under a year when they meet up at the Hippodrome Casino.

Last time round in Prague, Nadal came out the winner, not only defeating Ronaldo but also Daniel Negreanu, a man who has almost $30million in live poker earnings, so will be full of confidence heading into The Duel.

Ronaldo however, will of course be dead-set on revenge, and as soon as he heard the 14-time Grand Slam winner was back in training for Rafa vs. The World, he challenged him to a rematch.

The Brazilian legend said, “I challenged Rafa to a rematch after finding out he was preparing for another live poker game. The last time we played together Rafa won the match and it was a lot of fun. This time it will be different, though, because I have been improving on my own poker strategy and will be more prepared.”


Both have been very active in the poker circles, with Ronaldo preparing by playing online and bluffing the public, whilst Nadal recently went up against three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Vanessa Selbst in his first heads up match.


He fell just short of beating Selbst, but it was valuable practice for Nadal as he aims to make it 2-0 over the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year.

But of course if there’s one thing we know about Ronaldo – it’s that he’s lethal in attack.

Throughout his career he made mincemeat of defenders, top-scoring in almost every league he played in, deceiving centre backs with his turn of pace and goalkeepers with the eyes on his way to over 350 career goals.


And he’ll certainly want to channel that art of bluffing when it comes to November. Earlier in the year he put that to the test against members of the Brazilian public, before getting double bluffed by fellow World Cup winner Bebeto, in an entertaining stunt that has received over a million hits on YouTube.

The match this time round is hotly anticipated. It’s grabbed a lot of attention from the world’s media as it draws closer and closer. Rafa has been stoking the fire claiming he’d have “no worries” and was “ready for action.”


It’ll be a welcome distraction for the 28-year-old in fact who is suffering from appendicitis and could miss out on playing at the ATP World Tour Finals a few days later – a tournament he’s still yet to win. He must get through a tournament in Basel before taking on both challenges first, and Ronaldo could be ready to pounce on a man who could be unusually like a wounded animal.

It’s all set to be an exciting battle between the two giants of sport on the poker table. Both will be pulling out all the moves to win their $50,000 prize, and with it being streamed online at PokerStars, you won’t miss any of the action either.

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