Allen Cunningham is the professional poker player who most people remember for the uphill battle he waged against an unstoppable Jamie Gold at the 2006 WSOP Main Event’s final table.
Cunningham had already been regarded as part of the cream of the professional poker world then, and he is still counted among the best today, despite having lost the above mentioned confrontation.
Born in 1977, Allen Cunningham attended UCLA with the goal of earning a degree in Civil Engineering, but all that went out the window when he decided he should take up poker as a means of making a living. He had been playing on and off since the age of 18 and the decision to quit school was by no means one made in a hurry or with little foresight.
You be the judge whether or not he made the right decision, but nowadays his achievements pretty much do all the talking. He won his first WSOP bracelet in 2001, in the $5,000 7-Card Stud event, which netted him about $200k.
His second bracelet came in 2002, in the $5,000 Deuce to 7 Draw event in which he won $160k to compliment his shiny jewelry.
The third bracelet came in 2005, in the $1,500 NL Holdem event, followed by another bracelet in 2006. The bracelet he won in 2007, in the $5,000 PL Holdem event made him a member of a select club of players who have won at least a WSOP bracelet for three years in a row.
All-in-all, Allen Cunningham has walked away with the goods from 39 WSOP events, won 5 bracelets, and reached 4th place in the Big Dance in 2006. That final table finish was his biggest single tournament cash too, having netted him $3,628,513.
He’s also had 2 WPT final tables, and finished in the money in 11 WPT events. Other poker achievements of his include a win in Poker after Dark’s “Mega Match” in 2007, a win in the National Poker League Vegas Open Championship Main Event in December 2007, and a WSOP-C win in May, 2008, in Las Vegas.
The 2008 WSOP Main Event saw Cunningham once again on fire, making a deep cash run, although he eventually ran out of steam and finished 117th, taking home $14,816.
Cunningham’s tournament winnings are estimated to exceed $10.2 million.