Brazilian football legend, Ronaldo Nazario, was in Barcelona this week to take part in an invitational charity poker tournament as part of Spain’s biggest annual poker festival, the European Poker Tour (EPT). The tour, which is now in its tenth season runs from August 26 – September 7 in a luxurious annexe of Casino de Barcelona in the Hotel Arts Barcelona.
Ronaldo, who recently joined PokerStars as a brand ambassador, sat down to play in the €5,000 ‘Phenomenon Table’ freeroll (Mesa de “el Fenómeno”) against Spanish online competition winners Jose Luis Saez from Madrid, Vicente Delgado from Malaga and Manuel Correas from Cordoba. Also taking part were Team PokerStars Pros Vanessa Selbst, Leo Margets, Andre Akkari, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and 2010 world champion Jonathan Duhamel. Selbst won the event and will be donating her €5,000 prize to charity.
The man known simply as ‘Ronaldo’ is widely considered one of football’s all-time greats, earning numerous awards during his 19-year professional career. He joins an impressive group of sports stars who have become Team PokerStars representatives including Spanish tennis superstar Rafa Nadal, Dutch Olympic hockey player Fatima Moreira de Melo and Olympic gold medal winning Swedish skier Marcus Hellner. Highly competitive by nature, these players are passionate about the challenges and excitement that poker offers them.
“I always look to give my best in everything, in football and in life. Poker is another challenge that excites me,” said Ronaldo. “For me, there are a lot of similarities between football and poker – it takes a lot of mental discipline, practice and training.”
Almost 3,000 players from around the world have headed to the Catalan capital this week to take part in the 11-day Barcelona Poker Festival, competing for more than €14 million in prize money. Earlier this week, the Estrellas Main Event attracted a record-breaking field of 1,798 players, making it the largest €1,000 event ever to take place outside of Las Vegas.
PokerStars operates the world’s most popular online poker sites, serving a global poker community of more than 50 million registered members. Since it launched in 2001, PokerStars has become the first choice of the world’s top players, with more daily tournaments than anywhere else and with the best security online. More than 100 billion handshave been dealt on PokerStars.com, which is more than any other site.
PokerStars.com and PokerStars.eu operate globally under licenses from the Isle of Man and Malta governments, respectively. PokerStars also holds separate government licenses in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
PokerStars is a member of The Rational Group, which operates gaming-related businesses and brands, including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and the European Poker Tour