Max Kruse has proven he can score on and off the soccer pitch after ending his decade-long pursuit for WSOP gold. The German Soccer Player and 2020 Olympian triumphed in Event #7: €1,650 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed at the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) for €134,152, which also marks his biggest ever tournament cash.
He was the final player remaining from the 413-entry field and took the biggest slice of the €588,525 prize pool after defeating the formidable Dorian Melchers in heads-up play. The feat looks even more impressive after seeing that he outlasted the likes of Farid Jattin, Leonid Yanovski, Orhan Sen and Nacho Barbero at the final table.
Kruse, who plays as a striker for VfL Wolfsburg, is crazy about poker and has been spotted at several stops of various poker tours as well as battling it out on the virtual felt. His previous best finish under the WSOP banner came in 2014, where he took third place in the No-Limit 2–7 Draw Lowball event.
While Kruse will not be heading to the upcoming FIFA World Cup later this month, he represented the German National Team on 14 occasions. His first goal for his Country came against the United States before finding the back of the net three more times in other matches.
Kruse’s place in the German side however was cut short due to a poker-related faux-pas. It was reported that he had lost €75,000 worth of poker winnings in the back of a taxi in 2016. That incident saw him dropped from the national team and he also received a €25,000 fine from his club side.