In this age of the side hustle, Minnesota United defender Brent Kallman has found his at the poker table.
Infatuated with the card game since he was 13, Kallman placed eighth at a World Poker Tour tournament completed Wednesday in Florida and won more than $62,000 in four days of play — not far from the $85,000 salary he earned last season in MLS.
Just last week, Kallman, 28, signed a contract extension that will keep him with the Loons through 2020. Despite his latest poker success that pushes his tournament earnings near $200,000 these last five years, he’s not contemplating a career change.
“Nobody has to worry about me; I’ll be back to business and back to training soon here,” he said Wednesday. “That’s always a weird deal when you win that much money in four days, but nothing’s going to change for me.”
On Tuesday, he finished two spots from the final table at the WPT’s Seminole Rock ‘N Roll Open. He and nearly 900 others paid a $3,500 entry fee, and Kallman earned his biggest moonlighting payday.
“I just won whatever it was, and I should be incredibly happy, but I was so disappointed the rest of the day,” Kallman said by phone from Florida about how he felt after he was eliminated.
He knows this: He can compete with the game’s best pros, and he’s easily the best poker player among his card-playing United teammates.
“I know for a fact none of them will play me in poker anymore,” he said.