As 2009 comes to a close, the online poker tournament fields around the Web continue to become tougher with Truly Free Poker Training from CardRunners and StoxPoker. The program was launched earlier this year in conjunction with Full Tilt Poker.

After players enroll in Truly Free Poker Training, their Full Tilt Points (FTPs) will be tallied at the end of every month. A total of 5,500 FTPs are required for a one-month membership to CardRunners and 3,000 are needed to receive a one-month subscription to StoxPoker. For 8,500 FTPs, Full Tilt Poker customers can receive one month of poker training on each site. FTPs aren’t deducted from a player’s account; they are merely a way to ensure that customers keep coming back to the world’s second largest online poker site.

Free poker training from CardRunners and StoxPoker is actually doled out in weekly increments, with 750 FTPs required for one week of StoxPoker and 1,375 needed for a week of CardRunners. The latter’s Director of Marketing, Lana Maier, told Poker News Daily, “There are no diplomas in poker and you might as well light a bonfire with your money if you stop improving. Members of CardRunners and StoxPoker understand this and thousands of them enjoy complimentary poker training simply by playing at Full Tilt Poker. It costs no points and takes two minutes to sign up. There is no easier or more cost-effective way to stay on top of the games running today.”

Truly Free Poker Training does not affect rakeback on Full Tilt in any way and players can begin receiving their education the month after they’ve earned the requisite number of points. The total number of points a player has is displayed when customers of the site log into CardRunners or StoxPoker. Full Tilt Poker happily accepts players from the United States.

A dozen CardRunners instructors are members of Team Full Tilt, including Taylor “Green Plastic” Caby, Brian Hastings, and Brian Townsend. Hastings was the recent winner of more than $4 million at the expense of Swedish online poker player Isildur1. All told, according to Poker Table Ratings, Hastings has amassed $3.8 million from the mystery Swede in just 8,400 hands, an average of $450 per pot. Hastings has quickly emerged as one of the top high-stakes pros after his domination of Isildur1. In addition to Hastings, CardRunners instructors Townsend, Cole “CTS” South, and Haseeb “INTERNETPOKERS” Qureshi have all battled against the Swede on Full Tilt.

Other CardRunners instructors include Isaac “westmenloAA” Baron and Ryan “Daut44” Daut. Baron has taken down the Full Tilt $750,000 Guaranteed and PokerStars $100 rebuy during his poker career. In April, he emerged victorious from the field in a $55 rebuy held during the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) for $97,000. Daut won the 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $1.5 million, defeating Isaac Haxton heads-up. He also final tabled that year’s Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, a stop on the World Poker Tour (WPT).

In September of 2008, CardRunners and StoxPoker merged, creating one of the largest poker training conglomerates in the industry. Six months earlier, CardRunners instructors officially joined Team Full Tilt. In January of this year, Truly Free Poker Training was launched, with a CardRunners representative telling Poker News Daily at the time, “We’re always looking to give something back to our community. Our relationship with Full Tilt Poker made this possible. We approached Full Tilt Poker and said we should try to structure an arrangement whereby if a player is high-volume, then we can give them something for free like a CardRunners membership.”

Full Tilt Poker is the second largest site in the world, boasting a seven-day running average of 19,200 real money ring game players, according to PokerScout.com. During its peak hours, around 30,000 cash game players call the site home, giving Truly Free Poker Training customers ample ways to accrue FTPs.

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