This is the latest course developed by Upswing poker, focusing primarily on 6-max PLO cash games, although parts of it touch upon MTT play as well.
The course is taught by Dylan Weisman and Chris Wehner, two players with excellent credentials.
Weisman started playing poker when he was 16, focusing primarily on Pot Limit Omaha. He found a lot of success online playing under the moniker “iheartco0kie” as well as in the live setting, playing highest stakes games Vegas has to offer.
On top of his poker knowledge, Dylan also graduated from USCB, and his college education helped him understand other skills required to be a successful poker player.
Chris “bluffmasta” Wehner started playing poker during his high school days. Although his earliest poker playing days were rough, he recognized the value and the potential of studying the game.
He’s developed a theory-based approach revolving around fundamentals, and this is exactly the kind of approach he brings to the Advanced PLO Mastery Course.
Table of content:
Advanced PLO Mastery at a Glance
With the introduction out of the way, it’s time to move on to the actual review of Advanced PLO Mastery by Upswing Poker. You’re probably wondering what kind of a course this is and who is it made for?
Even after watching a few introductory videos, it becomes clear that this isn’t a PLO course for novice players.
While you could still get a lot of valuable information from it, you should probably hone your skills with some simpler lessons before jumping into this one. For example, you can take a more beginner-friendly PLO Lab option.
However, if you’ve been playing PLO for some time and are now looking for a way to take your game to the next level, Advanced PLO Mastery might be just what you need.
It is a very detailed and nicely presented course that covers pretty much every aspect of the game. The knowledge is definitely there for the taking but only for those willing to do the work.
A bulk of this course revolves around calculations created using MonkerSolver, a piece of software that’s very powerful for finding answers for almost any PLO situation.
However, this math-heavy approach means that you’ll need to stay focused during lessons, make notes, and truly apply yourself to get your money’s worth.
If this doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy or you don’t feel you’d have the time for it, this isn’t the course for you.
Wehner and Weisman are very honest about it right from the get-go. They don’t promise you a magic pill that will make you a better player overnight. They promise plenty of resources and wealth of knowledge for you to explore, and they deliver on that promise. But you will need to do your part.
Like other Upswing Poker courses, this one is also divided into several large categories, namely:
- Centralized Spotlights
- Professional Fundamentals
- Play & Explains
The intro section helps ease you into the course, explaining the structure and also introducing the tools used during the lessons, most importantly, MonkerSolver.
If you are new to this software, you should definitely check out the intro section as it will make keeping up with what comes next much easier.
In this section, you also get advice on how to get the most value from the information presented. As I’ve already explained, Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha Mastery requires you to do some work on your own, and here you will learn how to do it.
On top of all the video lessons, you’ll also get a variety of downloadable charts as well as quizzes for different sections.
These poker quizzes represent an excellent tool to check your newly found knowledge.
Course creators suggest you take these a day or two after watching the actual lessons to make sure you’ve adopted concepts and ideas explained in the videos.
While Weisman and Wehner try their best to make the course as fun and as entertaining as possible, some of it is just “boring” – but it is also necessary if you want to become a better PLO player.
Advanced PLO Mastery: Preflop
The actual theoretical part of the course starts at the very beginning, i.e., with preflop. Like in Hold’em, knowing what hands to play from what position is essential for your success.
However, unlike Hold’em, PLO offers 270,725 different starting hands. So, memorizing your starting hands can be a rather daunting task.
The preflop section offers a dozen videos covering different important areas of the game, with a heavy focus on the Raise First In (RFI) spots.
This is a two-part miniseries that explains everything you need to know about what hands to open from what position in a 6-max PLO game.
For the sake of simplicity, all hands in this and other sections assume 100 big blinds effective stacks and the raise size of full pot unless otherwise stated.
Since you don’t have the benefit of visualizing that 13×13 grid that you may be accustomed to from No-Limit Hold’em, a different approach is required. Wehner does a very good job of explaining how to go about creating your RFI ranges.
He explains that it is possible to arrange hands by either class or position. The latter of the two is a popular approach in NLHE, but it doesn’t work for PLO because there are so many starting hand combos that you’d have to add thousands of new hands for each position.
So, instead, he prefers the approach categorizing hands by class and using the concept of the “worst open.”
He breaks down hands into 15 different categories further divided into subcategories according to suitedness.
After this, he goes through these different poker hand categories by positions and explains how you can use this idea of the “worst open” to make life much easier for yourself.
This is also the first section where the impact of rake is discussed, and you’ll get to hear much more about it moving forward.
Rake can be a very important factor when you are deciding how to play your hands, and it’s nice to see Wehner acknowledges this fact and gives it the attention it deserves.
Finally, you’re given some more tips on how to go about studying and memorizing all this new information.
Weisman suggests using handmade flashcards, which may seem like an outdated and rather strange approach in this day and age, but don’t knock it until you try it. It can be very effective and help you remember stuff much better.
None of this may seem super-exciting. However, you can’t improve your game without very solid preflop fundamentals, and these videos provide you with the information you need to do just that.
So, take your time with them, because you’re going to need them in future lessons and your day-to-day games.
Cold Calls & Blind Defense
The second section of the preflop part of the course deals with cold calls and blind defense, but only where that defense is passive (i.e., calling).
Once again, the impact of rake is emphasized and how you should be less inclined to play passively in higher-raked games.
The video also touches upon a very important concept that you shouldn’t be getting involved in multiway pots with mediocre hands despite seemingly good pot odds.
Many mediocre hands lose a lot of value in these situations, and you should err on the side of caution due to reversed implied odds.
3-betting & Squeezing
Final videos in the preflop section deal with 3-bets, squeezes, and defending against 3-bets. Unlike passive actions, aggressive actions such as 3-bets aren’t nearly as penalized by the rake, so there is no much difference between ranges at PLO200 and PLO2000.
Also, it is interesting to see that the 3-betting range doesn’t change as much with the position.
Unlike flat calling, which is often a favorable option on the button, you don’t want your 3-betting range to get much wider as you get closer to the button. Simply put, the positional advantage isn’t nearly as important in 3-bet pots.
When talking about defending against 3-bets, Wehner introduces an interesting idea of the “possibility effect” and talks about how players often tend to call too much in these spots because they tend to focus more on potentially favorable flops.
He explains how this way of thinking can be very dangerous and have serious implications on your bottom line, and how to avoid it.
Advanced PLO Mastery Review: The Flop
If you thought the preflop stuff was complicated, you’re in for a surprise with the flop section. With so many different board textures possible, there is no simple way to approach the flop play, so this particular section of the course will take you on a really deep dive.