In breaking news from the world of poker training, StoxPoker, which has been hit with a swarm of controversy surrounding its coaching staff, will merge with CardRunners on May 1st.
The same management already owns the two poker training sites, but the May 1st merge may mark the end of the StoxPoker brand. A representative from CardRunners told Poker News Daily, “StoxPoker is merging its video library into CardRunners’ and many of the coaches from StoxPoker will be retained and become CardRunners coaches.” A post that appeared on Stox Poker cited “recent events” as the reason for the dramatic shift in brand focus.
In recent days, StoxPoker founder Nick “Stoxtrader” Grudzien admitted to multi-accounting online and resigned from his post at the poker training site that bears his name. Concurrently, instructors like Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt and Matt Bolt departed for Drag the Bar, an up-and-coming educational site. Meanwhile, controversy surrounding poker coach Jason Ho led to StoxPoker barring him from the site.
In response to the disarray, a variety of farewell blogs from StoxPoker instructors have popped up this week, including one from Kyle “cottonseed” Hendon, who commented, “Several different events over the past year and how the community as a whole has handled and reacted to them has left me feeling a bit jaded. To say otherwise would be a lie. It is like I have slowly been gaining weight without really noticing it and today I look in the mirror disgustingly realizing I am fat as shit.” Hendon gave no indication as to his future at CardRunners.
Alex Huang, StoxPoker’s Brand Manager, revealed that all StoxPoker memberships would be transferred over to CardRunners. Members fired off questions, with customers raising concerns over membership fees, message board setups, video production schedules, training concentrations, and existing downloads. Huang conceded that the future of the merged site’s content was still up in the air: “The exact schedule and volume of content that we will be releasing on the new CR is still not 100% determined.”
In terms of the forum layout, Huang explained that VBulletin would be employed on the merged site. While the StoxPoker forums, in some members’ eyes, are tight-knit, CardRunners officials feel that the atmosphere can be resurrected on the new site. Huang remarked, “I certainly agree that the level of intimacy in the SP forums was very unique. I don’t see any reason why we can’t recreate that in the CR forums though. All it takes is some dedicated and respected posters to set a precedent for our new members and to illustrate how a poker forum should be.”
In January 2009, CardRunners and StoxPoker introduced TrulyFreePokerTraining.com, which allowed players to rack up free subscriptions to either site by generating Full Tilt Points (FTPs). One year prior, several instructors at CardRunners became members of Team Full Tilt. The fleet currently includes Taylor “Green Plastic” Caby, David “Raptor” Benefield, Andrew “muttywater” Wiggins, Isaac “westmenloAA” Baron, and 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champion Ryan Daut.
Despite the recent hiccups at StoxPoker, Huang and company are looking forward to providing a top-level product at CardRunners. Huang commented in his announcement, “We look forward to CardRunners fielding the most diverse and talented roster to produce instructional videos for our members. The combination of both websites will provide a tremendous depth and breadth of knowledge and this expertise will be exhibited throughout all the content that we will produce going forward.”
StoxPoker boasts a library of 1,388 videos, with a dozen added over the past week. Recent additions include a mid-stakes session with Collin Moshman, Omaha Eight or Better basics with Dan Deppen, and “LAG Patrol” with Brian Aleksa.
Stay tuned to Poker News Daily for the latest developments on the StoxPoker merger with CardRunners.