Germany international Max Kruse has shown himself to be less of an ace in the hole and more an absolute joker after losing €75,000 in poker winnings and picking up a fine from his club, Wolfsburg, in the process.
The 27-year-old, who has scored four goals in 14 appearances for Die Mannschaft’s senior side, is facing a fine of up to €25,000 from his Bundesliga employers after his latest misdemeanour.
It follows an incident, dating back to the early hours of Sunday, October 18, when Kruse managed to mislay a considerable amount of money.
Having bagged a hat-trick for Wolfsburg in the previous day’s 4-2 win over Hoffenham, Kruse was evidently on a high and decided to indulge in a spot of late night poker.
Something of a known card sharp in his spare time, Kruse opted to take a 200-kilometre trip to the casinos of Berlin in a bid to indulge his desire for a spot of poker.
It had looked to be a lucrative move too, after the player walked away with €75,000 in poker winnings.
Maybe he was on a high from his big money win or maybe he was intoxicated by something altogether different but for whatever reason, Kruse somehow contrived to lose his winnings in a Berlin taxi on the way home.
Back in training with Wolfsburg just a few hours later, Kruse went as far as reporting the lost cash to Berlin police in the hope of recouping his poker prize.
However, in doing so, he ultimately ended up alerting Wolfsburg to his off-the-field endeavours and it is fair to say that they were not happy.
Following recent talks with manager Klaus Allofs announced that Kruse would be hit with a fine for his late night/early morning gambling misdemeanours as well as a sternly worded warning.
“We have explained to him what kind of behaviour we expect from our players. I can only hope that there is a lesson for him and that he slightly alter its conduct,” Allofs told Bild.
The cash, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen.
With Kruse now facing a fine of €25,000 and in danger of missing out on Euro 2016 should Joachim Loew opt against bringing Kruse to France, the striker will be on his best behaviour from here on out.
Signed from Borussia Monchengladbach last summer for a reported €12 million, Kruse had been linked with a move to Newcastle United prior to completing his Wolfsburg switch.
Given Tyneside’s plethora of late night drinking establishments and casinos, it is probably for the best that the move never came to fruition.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.