A few weeks before the World Cup 2014 began, Max Kruse was credited with a good chance to play for the German national team in Brazil. Eventually, Kruse was left off the team’s roster but he didn’t give in to despair and instead traveled to a very different type of Rio. The World Series of Poker is once again hosted by Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino and Max traded the football pitch for the poker felt.
The German talked to PokerNews about his poker… career. It was rather fortunate that Kruse is a friend of both Ismael Bojang and George Danzer, who happen to be some of the best poker professionals. George was kind enough to give him a crash course to No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball and armed with this newfound knowledge, Max bought in Event 36. Nobody gave him much of a chance at the beginning of the tournament, but as his stack grew, it was obvious for everyone that Max was not to be underestimated.
He made the final table and played some aggressive poker, without being intimidated by his more experienced counterparts. Kruse finished 3rd and scooped $36,494, an amount that didn’t sweep the successful footballer off his feet, but still greatly exceeded his expectations. Max said he plays poker for a hobby, but his competitive nature compelled him to do everything in his power to hone his skills and make a deep run.
Kruse started playing No Limit 2-7 Draw in Hamburg even though his teammates at Borussia M’gladbach are not big on poker. Ismael Bojang provided him with the impetus to give this type of poker a chance, after he watched the poker pro compete for serious cash. Hadn’t it been for George Danzer and his lessons, Max would’ve probably suffered an untimely elimination from Event 36. His buddy told him the rules and explained which cards are worth playing and Max followed his advice at the WSOP.
When asked about his intentions of pursuing a career in poker, Kruse said that he intends to stay focused on football and that he will return to his team on July 1st as action resumes fast and furious. There will be very little time for poker, but this will remain a pleasant past-time activity for the German. While in Vegas, Max could participate in other World Series of Poker events, as he is well versed in the art of playing Texas Hold’em, as well as Omaha.