Rafael Nadal rumored to be Estrellas poker ambassador
Nearly every poker player knows that May 27 kicked of the 2012 World Series of Poker. It was also the first day of Tennis’ coveted Rolland Garros, better known as the French Open. But that may not be only common feature between tennis and poker this year.
The Spanish blog PokerGenio posted a rumor that PokerStars had signed the Spanish tennis star, Rafael Nadal to a two-year endorsement deal (thanks Google translate). In a 2+2 thread on the topic, Marty “LipoFund” Mathis chimed in that he had “heard about this at the stars meeting.”
Last year’s French Open final featured an epic showdown between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Nadal prevailed in the hard-fought battle. By signing Nadal, Pokerstars may be looking to prevail in the increasingly costly battle for Spain’s online poker market.
Spain plans to launch regulated online poker on June 1st. A number of poker sites, including Bodog and Titan, have folded their hand in Spain, rather than pay the new regulated tax rate of roughly 20 percent. But the remaining poker sites are going to have to dig even deeper if they want to operate in Spain.
token chief European Joe detailed, cash-strapped Spain recently upped the ante by shaking down online poker sites for back taxes. PokerStars’ back tax bill is estimated to be roughly $250 million. If the rumor about Nadal is true, it will say a lot about PokerStars’ intentions to pay for residence north of Gibraltar.