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Having Rafael Nadal as your tennis doubles partner instills supreme confidence — having him as your helicopter pilot engenders the exact opposite. In a contrived poker-bluffing lesson, Nadal was tasked with feigning to be a novice pilot for vacationing couples on the picturesque island of Mallorca.

Remarkably, all the couples stayed buckled in even after Rafa asked for the helicopter manual to be passed to him. It was only when the whirlybird began to smoke that nerve-wracked passengers ran for safety.


In an earlier challenge, also with the premise of honing his bluffing skills, Nadal worked behind the counter at a golf course. While he stuck to the script of being Tony the receptionist (not Rafael Nadal the tennis legend) almost no one was fooled by his Clark-Kent-school-of-disguise eyeglasses.


It remains to be seen if Nadal’s odd training regimen will elevate his poker game to the point where he can be competitive with the likes of Vanessa Selbst. He lost to the then top-ranked poker pro earlier in the year.