Launched in September 2005, CardRunners.com is a poker training website founded by Taylor "Green Plastic" Caby and Andrew "muddywater" Wiggins. The collection of over 275 videos and almost 17,000 minutes of footage provide real online poker combined with real time commentary by top pros. Videos are organized by instructor, game type, and stake level. There is also a robust search tool to assist in finding the right video to work on a particular part of your game.
CardRunners currently offers two levels of subscription. The first level has a fee of $9.99 per month. This level offers members access to private poker forums, instructional articles, 25% off individual video purchases and pro moderated forums. The second level membership option is $24.99/ month with a $99.99 sign up fee. This gives members unlimited access to the entire video library plus access to new videos. CardRunners recently announced they are doubling new releases, from three per week to six per week. Members also have unlimited access to everything on the site and all the level one benefits.
Accessing the videos should be simple for most online players. Technical recommendations are to use Windows XP and the latest Windows Media Player, along with Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. A member may stream a video for continuous play. When a member downloads a video, they have the option to rewind or fast forward to a portion they might want to review. They may also view the video at anytime from their computer without internet access by acquiring a 14 day license for the video. After the license expires, members may simply request another 14 day license.
CC: What is the difference between your main instructors?
CardRunners: We currently have instructors of many styles and stake ranges. The main instructors tend to focus on a more Loose Aggressive (LAG) style. The pros who make videos at the lower limits teach a more solid Tight Aggressive (TAG) style. However, there are differences between the main instructors. Taylor who plays a more LAG style opposed to Brian Townsend who preaches a more solid mathematical style of poker. Andrew focuses mostly on the mid limits and teaches more of a multitabling TAG strategy.
CC: Who are some of your guest instructors?
CardRunners: Jason Laso (Mkind16), Aaron Been (AaronB), Stuart Taylor (Zpaceman), Josh Suptak (Jsup), Ryan Daut (Daut44), and EmpireMaker2
CC: The online game has gotten tougher and tighter post-IUGEA/NETeller. Are the older videos still helpful, or is it important to view them in the context of the new videos?
CardRunners: While the games have gotten harder in recent months, the fundamentals of solid poker playing remain. With the current structure of online poker, it is even more important to ensure that one has solid fundamentals in place. All of our videos focus on eliminating common leaks and playing with sound strategy. Therefore, one can learn from all of the videos. However, it is no secret that the prevailing styles found in the games today are different than one would have found in the games a year ago. To help our members fine-tune their games, we have specifically addressed how to adjust to the changing landscape of online poker in several of our newer videos.CC: How have you improved the videos since the site was launched?
CardRunners: We have improved the overall quality of the videos from the way they are produced to the way they are presented. We always take members feedback on what they think we can do to improve videos and we work to make the proper adjustments. The latest improvement has been adding PokerAce Hud into our videos and reviewing PokerTracker stats at the end of the videos. We walk through the key hands during the session and explain them over again. Our videos are improving every time we put them up on the site.
It isn't always natural for a pro to explain every move he makes while he is playing. Our pros improve their video making skills with every video they make. We have a place in our forum to discuss the videos and members can also make comments on the video page where they download or stream the videos. This allows for the pros to get honest feedback with ease. Every pro takes their feedback into consideration as they continue to make videos for CardRunners.
CC: Have your pros gone through any adjustments as they play on the videos?
CardRunners: After the screen names we played on regularly got more popular, more players would "show off" for the camera. This has forced us to play a different style of poker than the normal games. Since then, some of the pros play under anonymous screen names to keep the videos as natural as possible.
CC: How do you recommend using the videos?
CardRunners: There is no set formula on how to utilize the videos as it can be different for every member. It is important for members to make sure that they understand what is being taught in the videos. We promote discussion around our videos to discuss hands and concepts. Healthy discussion revolving around tough situations is one of the best ways to learn in poker. The videos are meant more to teach concepts than individual moves. It is important for the members to understand the thought process that is used to analyze situations so that they can develop their analyzing skills. This way, players aren't learning a cookie cutter style of play but are rather learning how to develop and maximize their own style through the use of winning concepts.
CC: How are your subscribers involved in generating ideas for new videos or improvements?
CardRunners: CardRunners is an ever evolving product. We openly ask for comments and suggestions from our members so that we can always be bettering our product. Members often post in our forums about what they'd like to see from us. We recently put up a video voting system where members can vote how they liked the video (1 to 5 star rating system) and leave comments. Any suggestions or ideas anyone has are always taken into consideration. There have been countless improvements made to the site since it was launched and many of the ideas came from member's suggestions.
CC: What have been some of the results achieved by your subscribers?
CardRunners: We have had several members start at the micro limits and work their way up to the highest stakes on the net. The majority of our members have moved up in limits from the time they joined and are experiencing success. Current member/guest pro Ryan Dautt (Daut44) has gone on to win a World Poker Tour Event. Brian Hastings, who is now a pro, was a 1/2nl player when he joined CardRunners over a year ago. He now frequents 50/100nl and higher. Brian Townsend was also playing 1/2nl when he joined CardRunners. He is also now a pro and frequents 200/400nl and higher, including an appearance on GSN's High Stakes Poker. Both Brians are not exceptions, there are many players who were playing low limits when they joined and are now making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
CC: The higher stakes videos can be very intoxicating, but instructors often stress how a tactic will work at one level yet not work at another level. How important is this in viewing the videos?
CardRunners: No matter what stakes you are playing, the same basic concepts apply. Of course, there are plays, such as elaborate bluffs, that work at 5/10nl that will not work at .5/1nl. The pros work to make this clear as the play is being made. The pros making the higher limit videos work to stress the most important parts of the game (i.e. position and aggression) more than individual plays. If a player understands the thought process behind the plays, he can apply that thinking to any limit.
CC: I noticed some charity videos. What are these?
CardRunners: We currently have 3 charity videos for individual purchase on our site. All the proceeds from these videos are donated to a member of our site whose mother is battling breast cancer without insurance and to the Breast Cancer Society. The videos consist of 4 of our pros playing at the same table. 3 of these members all recorded during the session. It is CardRunners way of helping out a member and showing our community at CardRunners that we support them
CC: What are your plans for CardRunners?
CardRunners: Our goal is to be the best poker training tool available. We are constantly working to improve our product to remain the best. We work to recruit the top talent on the net while meeting the demands and suggestions from our members. Improving the interface and features provided by CardRunners is a top priority and something that we are persistently working on.