Sergio Garcia may be renowned for his golf exploits but almost every year he storms into the Bahamas for one of the richest poker tournaments in the world.
The eight-time PGA winner has been playing the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for years now and in 2012 he finally broke through with a 51st-place finish that paid him $35,000.
Part of the reason Garcia keeps taking shots at poker tournaments is that he believes some skills from golf transfer to the game.
“As a golfer patience is very important,” he said.
“You can have a ball bounce on you or hit the pin and go off the green. It’s also very, very important in poker. You can win with bad hands and lose with good ones. It’s just a matter of making sure that it affects you as little as possible.”
It’s something that Garcia has struggled with in golf. At the 2013 Players Championship Garcia was tied for the lead but then hit three balls into the water on the 17th and 18th holes and finished in eighth place.
Sergio Garcia on 2014 Masters: "Anyone Could Win It"
Despite that underwhelming finish at the Players Championship Garcia went on to have a good year and is optimistic about 2014.
“I feel good,” he said. “I had a good year last year and hopefully I can keep going in the same direction. It’s just a matter of believing and making sure things go right.”
Garcia was particularly excited about the upcoming Ryder Cup. He’s taken part in six Ryder Cups including the last one in 2012.
Beyond that Garcia is looking forward to the 2014 Masters.
“Anyone that goes there could win,” he said.
“I think they are all that good right now. I think Adam Scott has been playing very well. He definitely has a shot at it. Luke Donald, who is a good friend of mine, is also a good player. There are just so many good golfers right now.”
In the last year another famous Spaniard starting making appearances at the poker table. Tennis icon Rafael Nadal, who is a close friend of Garcia, signed with PokerStars and actually won an event in Prague.
Garcia wasn’t intimidated, however. When asked if he would beat Nadal at the poker table, Garcia thought it was indeed possible.
“In poker?” asked Garcia. “You never know. I have played longer than him.”
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