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The Incredible Story of Max Kruse

Publication date: 11/09/2023

Max Kruse, aged 35, enjoyed a 31-year football career with clubs such as Borussia Mönchengladbach and Werder Bremen. Besides football, he's a passionate poker player, notably winning a WSOPE bracelet in 2019, becoming the first pro footballer to do so. Kruse's poker success extends to online play, but he also faced setbacks like losing 75,000 EUR in a taxi in 2016. Today, he continues to explore opportunities both in and out of sports.

Max Kruse is 35 years old today, and he has spent 31 of those years on the football field. Max began his professional football career at the age of 18, and the peak of his career came during his time with Borussia Mönchengladbach from 2013 to 2015, where he scored 23 goals in 66 matches. He also played for Werder Bremen, where he spent 3 seasons (2016-2019) and scored 32 goals in 83 matches.

Max's career with the national team did not go as smoothly. While he was regularly called up to the youth national teams (from U19 to U21), his appearances with the senior German national team were limited to 14 matches from 2013 to 2015. Nevertheless, he managed to score 4 goals during his time with the senior team.

Today, the 35-year-old forward is finishing his career at VfL Wolfsburg and exploring opportunities outside of the football field.

Since 2014, Max Kruse has been actively playing poker and is a passionate fan of the game. He hasn't missed the World Series of Poker (WSOP) since 2014. Every summer, he heads to Las Vegas, where he meets other well-known poker enthusiasts, including Neymar, Ronaldo, Gerard Piqué, and Francesco Totti.

Unlike some of his more successful colleagues, Kruse has achieved success at the poker table. Max became the first professional football player to win a WSOPE (World Series of Poker Europe) bracelet, which is awarded in the European series held annually in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. His victory in the tournament with a buy-in of 1,650 EUR earned Kruse 134,152 EUR and the coveted gold champion's bracelet—a prize that is attractive even to a professional footballer.

It's worth noting that this isn't Kruse's first success in poker. Back in 2014, he finished in 3rd place in a WSOP tournament featuring the rare poker variant "No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball." These events typically don't attract a large number of players but have a very high level of play.

Kruse has also showcased his poker skills in online games. According to Pokeroff, Max finished in 5th place in a WSOP Online tournament hosted on the GGPoker platform in 2021.

 However, Kruse's passion for poker has also brought him some troubles. In 2016, he left a bag containing 75,000 EUR, which he had won in poker, in a taxi. This incident not only led to a loss of money but also resulted in a 25,000 EUR fine from VfL Wolfsburg for damaging the team's reputation.