Stu Unger: Rise and Fall of a Poker Genius


 Stu Unger: Rise and Fall of a Poker Genius

Stu Unger (b. 1995, currently residing in the United States) is best known as the youngest professional poker player of all time, and for his scintillating ability to play games in which he’s in a massive chip lead. With more than $30 million in lifetime earnings on World Series of Poker Circuit ring game tables alone, Stu has been ranked #1 (2014), #2 (2015), and #5 (2016) as the highest-earning poker player according to data from two different sources.

Unger was born into a close-knit family in Kedeu, China. His father, Philip Unger, is an American mathematician who performs research at the University of Southern California while his mother, Bohua Chen Unger, is a businesswoman from Hong Kong. Unger possesses an older sister and two younger brothers. He was raised in Southern California and began playing poker at the age of 14 or 15 while he was still in high school.

Unger had his first taste of success at the online poker tables when he was 18 years old. After graduating from high school in the Spring of 2014, Unger moved to Las Vegas where he studied for one semester at the University of Nevada before dropping out to pursue a career playing poker full time.

Stu’s first taste of live tournament success was at the Fall PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2014. There, he won his first bracelet and $1,554,460 for first place in the $5,300 Pot Limit Omaha High-Low event. His first cash came in January 2015 when he finished 3rd in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open for $27,819. The following month, he finished second in the L.A. Poker Classic, winning $573,349. His next major tournament cash would come in April 2015 at the WPTDeepStacks in Los Angeles.

In June 2015, Unger won his second career WSOP Circuit ring game bracelet while winning $347,590 in the Event #22: $1,675 Pot Limit Omaha High-Low Split event at The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles. In July of that year he cashed for nearly $50k at the inaugural Aria Super High Roller Bowl where he finished 3rd place for just over $2 million. He followed that up with a third-place finish for over $2 million at the Super High Roller Bowl in July of 2016 as well. Unger made the final table of a $50K buy-in event in September 2015, finishing in 5th for over $600k and also had a deep run in the $100k Aria Super High Roller Bowl, making 3rd place for almost $1.3 million.

His biggest tournament cash of 2015 came at the WPTDeepStacks in Atlantic City where he finished 4th place for $1.2 million. He also finished 3rd at the WSOP Circuit Main Event, taking home more than $1 million.


Stu Unger is a poker prodigy who has already established himself as one of the best young players in the relatively short history of professional poker. His story is one that parallels that of the great Doyle Brunson, and he’ll be a player to watch for many years to come.

One thing is for certain: You won’t want to bet against him on the poker tables this weekend at the World Series of Poker! If you are going, be sure to look him up and introduce yourself.

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