Born in Riverside California on March 28, 1977, Allen Cunningham is the real deal when it comes to professional poker play, having finished first place about 20 times, captured 5 WSOP gold bracelets, and won over $10 million through tournament play. Allen Cunningham burst into the poker scene in 1998 along with the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Layne Flack. The talent and ambition of these then-young guns came to revolutionize the game of poker.
Allen also goes by the nickname “Clever Piggy.” Among his astounding accomplishments are the 5 World Series of Poker gold bracelets and being named the ESPN/Toyota Player of the Year for 2005. He is such a feared player at the poker tables that ESPN commentator Norman Chad was frequently heard saying at the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event, “What are they thinking of? This is Allen Cunningham!”
Allen Cunningham was 18 years old when he began playing poker. He was studying civil engineering at UCLA when he began playing in the nearby Indian casinos. He had his big break in 1999, which is when he dropped out of college and started playing poker for a living.
In 1999, he achieved six final table finishes for major tournaments including Bicycle Casino’s prestigious Legends of Poker. He was voted “Best All Around Player”.
In 2001, Allen Cunningham won his first WSOP bracelet in the $5,000 Seven-Card Stud Event. His second bracelet came a year later in 2002, when he won the $5,000 Deuce-to-Seven Lowball tournament. He won the $1,500 No Limit Holdem event in 2005 for his third bracelet, and picked up his fourth in 2006 playing in the $1,000 No Limit Holdem event. His fifth bracelet came through the 2007 Pot Limit Hold’em event.
In addition to his WSOP victories, Allen Cunningham has had victories in several other major tournaments such as the Ultimate Poker Challenge and the Bellagio Five Star World Poker Classic. He says the greatest honor he has received so far is having his peers name him “The best all around player under 35.”
One more victory would seal Allen Cunningham’s place as today’s greatest poker player.