Allen Cunningham – Poker Player Profile



poker player

Some young poker stars enjoy the limelight and make the most of their new celebrity status appearing in TV shows, computer games and modeling stints. None of that for young Allen Cunningham, who has quietly and unassumingly collected 5 WSOP bracelets and over $10,100,000 in tournament winnings while still managing to keep a low profile on the streets and casinos of the world.

Born in California, Cunningham learned the basics of poker at the kitchen table, and he has said that even then he outplayed his family members and yearned to match his wits against tougher opponents. This would take some time to happen, due to his young age, and in the meantime he cut his teeth in local tribal casinos playing low-stakes tables and freerolls.

Cunningham went into UCLA to study Civil Engineering, but life got in the way: after realizing he was cashing consistently he decided to drop out of college to pursue poker full-time. During this time he hung out with a group of young poker players including Phil Ivey, John Juanda and Daniel Negreanu. These “young guns” played and learned together on their way to becoming today’s top pros and most of them are now members of Team Full Tilt.

Cunningham won his first WSOP bracelet in 2001, and he has kept on collecting them since: at the moment he is one of only 17 players who have 5 bracelets or more, and one of even fewer who have won bracelets in three consecutive years. His analytic playing style and discipline make him a fearsome player, yet he was awarded with the dubious title of “Most Underrated Player” in the 2006 Player of the Year gala – an amazing title if one considers that he is the fourth biggest tournament money winner in the world. Other accolades include winning a spanking new truck for being the 2005 ESPN/Toyota Player of the Year, and his personal favorite was being voted “Best All-Around Player Under 35” by his fellow poker professionals.

Cunningham’s game analysis (by Barry Greenstein):

  • Aggressiveness: 6
  • Looseness: 5
  • Short-handed: 6
  • Limit: 7
  • No-limit: 7
  • Tournaments: 8
  • Side games: 7
  • Steam control: 7
  • Against weak players: 7
  • Against strong players: 7