Sam Trickett fizzles in Aussie $100K tournament; Rafael Nadal wins first poker tournament

rafael-nadal-wins-first-poker-tournamentEvery professional poker player, no matter how good they are, will have their fair share of bad days. It happens to the best of ’em so Sam Trickett shouldn’t feel too bad about blowing $100,000 at the Aussie Millions $100K Challenge in less than eight hours of play. It’s highly uncharacteristic for a man of Trickett’s decorated skill in the felt, but hey, you get on some hot runs and you get on some cold ones. And for Trickett, it was about as cold as it could get.

The reigning British poker player of the year and the runner-up at the 2012 Big One for One Drop needed just seven levels to blow away his six-figure entry fee. We’re confident that Trickett will bounce back from this subpar showing in no time. After all, you don’t earn a reputation for being one of the best in the game for nothing. You’ll have your dry spells, but seeing as the man has already amassed well over $17 million in live tournament earnings, those instances come few and far in between for Trickett.

Speaking of Australia, the recently-concluded Australian Open saw Novak Djokovic become the first man in the open era to win three straight Australian Open titles. While there’s no doubt that Djokovic had his work cut out for him throughout the tournament, the absence of one man might have made the field a little bit easier. 11-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament because of nagging injury issues. Without question, his absence was one of the big stories throughout the tournament. But despite not being able to play in the grand slam tournament, Rafa was still in full blown competition mode, albeit one of the online poker variety. Though he’s not as adept at playing cards the way he is at smashing balls, Nadal proved just how much of a winner he is no matter the competition, winning his very first PokerStars tournament. The stakes of the tournament may sound like peanuts for a man of Nadal’s stature – a €10 freeze-out tourney on that netted him €152.40 in first prize money – but the achievement is no less remarkable considering that he only signed up as a PokerStars ambassador in July with very little poker experience under his belt.

But thanks to the tutelage of some of the finest poker players in the world, Rafa’s skills on the felt has exponentially improved, culminating in him beating out 47 other players to claim his maiden online poker tournament win. As a competitor of the highest order, we know Rafa’s itching at the bit to return to his normal day job as one of the best tennis players in the world. But until that time comes, it’s certainly looking like his enjoying his time channeling his competitive juices in poker. Who knows, given a few more years of playing the game, Rafa could very well end up dominating this court in the future.