Rafael Nadal is taking some time away from the court ... and heading to a casino in Prague ... where the tennis god will compete in his very first live poker tournament.
The 27-year-old tennis champ has signed up for a live charity poker tournament in the Czech Republic on December 12 as part of the European Poker Tour.
Rafa has been training with a poker coach and is taking the "sport" very seriously ... saying, "It's no secret that I love the competition and that's what I like about poker."
He added, "It's a game of skill that requires mental strength and the ability to out-think your opponents and in that way there are similarities to tennis. I have been playing poker online for almost 18 months and now I'm looking forward to the challenge of playing my first live tournament.."
Screw Tennis ...
I'M GONNA DOMINATE POKER
11/26/2013 8:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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