In 2006, Max and Danny were still playing low-stakes SnGs when they left Fairfield and moved back to their birthplace, Washington, D.C. to start school at American University. There they met Cylus Watson–a poker player who went on to get 22nd at the World Series of Poker 2012 Main Event–and Ben Sulsky–best known as Sauce123, one of the best poker players in the world. Then, Max switched to online cash games, and at the end of two years he had moved all the way up to $1000 NLHE .
By the summer of 2008, Max and Danny had moved their money into separate accounts and had enough to start playing in live tournaments. They both entered the first Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) event ever, in San Jose, Costa Rica. Danny busted early with AK versus AA, but Max beat out 396 players in the $2700 buy-in tourney to grab 2nd place and $144,773, an amazing amount of money for a 19 year old whose rent was $300 a month.
After the tournament success, Max decided to leave college. He realized he went to college to get educated in a field that he felt passionate about, but he loved poker more than anything. He committed to studying and playing poker as his fulltime job. He moved back to Fairfield and focused on online cash games. With his larger bankroll, Max took a shot at higher stakes games and moved up quickly. He also shifted his focus to heads-up and 6-max and really started to find his stride. He became a regular in the $5,000 NLHE games on Stars and FullTilt, often playing as high as $40,000 NLHE. For the next couple years, Max made his money playing online, as he was still too young to play in most live tournaments.