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2009 was a great year for the Austrian online gambling company bwin. They took advantage of their Euro-centric appeal to become one of the biggest gaming companies on the continent and in the world. With acquisitions, promotions, and a rumored merger with PartyGaming on the cards, 2010 looks like being just as successful for bwin.

Their loyal UK poker players will certainly feel that way, thanks to The Contender Series tournaments available exclusively to British customers. These cash freerolls are a special thank you to one of Europe’s most lucrative online poker markets. Any UK resident who earns enough Market Points will be sent a freeroll ticket for the next month. The more points you earn, the more lucrative the freeroll you will be permitted to enter.

As an extra thank you, all new players who opt in to the b’inside reward program will be eligible to play in the lowest Flyweight Tier of a freeroll. This $100 guaranteed freeroll is open to anyone who registered an account and made a deposit in the previous month. If you earn enough points to progress to a higher level of the freeroll then you will forgo your Flyweight privileges and move up to the more lucrative disciplines.

The next step up is to the Welterweight Tier, which requires 1,600 Market Points earned in one month. These points are the exclusive preserve of the b’inside reward program. You must opt into this bwin VIP system, but you only need to make a deposit and then click the tiny ‘b’inside’ link in the top right of

You’ll have to put in the hours in order to reach the next pair of Contender Series freerolls. The Middleweight Tier holds $500 in its prize pool and requires 15,000 Market points to enter. Double that total to 30,000 and you’ll be eligible for double the prize money in the Cruiserweight freeroll. At the top of the tree, dedicated players will require 75,000 Market Points in a single month to qualify for the Heavyweight freeroll with $2,000 guaranteed.

As a b’inside member, you pick up 100 points per $1 in rake. This means that to qualify for the lowest level of points freeroll you need to rake $16 in a single month. This should be a pretty easy task for anyone who plays even semi-regularly. The $150, $300, and $750 required to reach the higher Tier’s should present more of a challenge. However, they are far from unattainable if you play enough at the higher limits.

In early 2010, UK players at bwin now have even more reason to log on, buy-in, and earn piles of points. All Contender Series tournaments are set to feature as yet unannounced bonus non-cash prizes. The events are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 20:00 GMT.