Born in 1977 in Riverside, California, Allen Cunningham is considered to be one of the best poker players in the world with total live tournament winnings exceeding 10 million dollars as of 2009, 41 WSOP cashes and five bracelets. He was introduced to poker by playing around the kitchen table with family members. He began playing real poker at Indian casinos when he was 18 and eventually dropped out of college while studying civil engineering at UCLA to play poker professionally. He now lives in Las Vegas with his girlfriend and fellow poker player Melissa Hayden. Cunningham plays online poker at Full Tilt Poker where he became a member of Team Full Tilt in October 2006.
Allen burst onto the poker scene back in the late 90's along with many of the day's younger superstars like Ivey, Negreanu, Juanda, and others. In 1999, he got his first taste of success as a professional player by placing 1st in the $300 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo tournament at the Legends of Poker Main Event at the Bicycle Casino, winning $22,000.
Next year, at the 2000 WSOP, Allen cashed in five events and made it to the final table in the $5,000 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo tournament where he finished in 2nd place with $113,850 in winnings.
Next year, at the 2001 WSOP, Allen cashed in four more events and made it to three more final tables, including a 1st place finish in the $5,000 Limit 7-Card Stud event, winning his first World Series of Poker bracelet and $201,760 in earnings.
After making consistent cashes in various WSOP events during 2002-2004 and a second bracelet and $160,200 in winnings in the 2002 $5,000 Deuce-to-Seven Lowball tournament, Cunningham reached new heights over the next few years and solidified his reputation as one of the best in the world.
At the 2005 WSOP he reached 4 final tables, earned his third bracelet and $725,405 in earnings for beating 2,305 entrants in his first place finish in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold-Em event, and became the first player to win more than a million dollars at the WSOP before the Main Event began. He also won the 2005 WSOP Player of the Year.
In 2006 he won his 4th bracelet at the $1,000 No-Limit Hold 'em tournament earning $625,830, made 3 final tables, and placed 4th in the main event for a $3,628,513 prize.
Then in 2007 he earned his 3rd bracelet at the $5,000 Pot-Limit Hold-Em event earning $487,287.
One of Cunningham's defining traits is his consistency. After winning his fifth bracelet in 2007, Cunningham joined a short list of players who have won a WSOP Bracelet in three consecutive years. Others to accomplish this include Johnny Moss, Bill Boyd, Doyle Brunson, Gary Berland and Erik Seidel.
Even though his lifetime tournament winnings exceed 8 figures, he is still one of the relatively lesser-known world-class poker players. This is partly due to his quiet and analytical approach to poker that is similar to other "thinking players" like Erik Seidel.
The thing that is most impressive about his poker accomplishments is that - like Dan Harrington - much of his success has come after the poker boom got underway and the fields had gotten much larger. You see many poker veterans like Seidel and Chan who racked up many bracelets in the older days but seemed to have stalled as soon as the games got much bigger.
DonkeySlayer on October 2, 2008
headlessman1964 on December 31, 2006
bad_dog76 on December 20, 2006
DonkeySlayer on November 14, 2006
????? on November 10, 2006
DonkeySlayer on November 9, 2006
????? on November 8, 2006
DonkeySlayer on November 7, 2006
????? on October 9, 2006
DonkeySlayer on August 12, 2006
DonkeySlayer on August 9, 2006
????? on February 9, 2006
Unregistered on August 7, 2005
Unregistered on August 6, 2005
Unregistered on July 30, 2005
To 99 on July 21, 2005
Allen CUNingham on July 10, 2005
99. on July 10, 2005
someguy on June 5, 2005
tommyz on April 5, 2005
ACHam on March 29, 2005
rufus on February 10, 2005
frank skinner on December 29, 2004
virgil on December 8, 2004
Unregistered on August 25, 2004
Unregistered on July 30, 2004
Radiance on July 23, 2004
Big D on July 9, 2004
Gman on June 24, 2004
Unregistered on June 22, 2004
Unregistered on June 10, 2004
JimmyDean on June 6, 2004