Texas Hold’em may still be the most popular poker variation out there but the golden era of Hold’em is definitely behind us. Back in the early days, you could pretty much sit down and print money online after learning some strategy fundamentals as the level of opposition you were up against was really poor.
Today, this is no longer the case as many players you come across, especially on the virtual felt, are at least solid and won’t be making huge mistakes. You can continue to try and find small edges and make money playing Hold’em, of course, but more and more professionals are turning to new game variations such as Pot Limit Omaha.
Omaha is an exciting and action-packed variation that many recreational players aren’t as familiar with so an edge for someone who has a good understanding of the game is quite significant. And Upswing’s Advanced PLO Mastery course contains everything you need not just to beat softer Pot Limit Omaha games but even compete at a very high level.
Like other courses offered on Upswing, this one is also created and taught by top-tier professionals whose results clearly show they know what it takes to beat the game. Chris Wehner and Dylan Weisman bring their own unique touch and offer a course that doesn’t just teach you PLO strategies but also addresses other important aspects that you need to cover to be successful in poker in general.
Table Of Contents
What Does Advanced PLO Mastery Course Offer?
It’s important to emphasize right at the start of this Advanced PLO Mastery review that this isn’t a course designed for players completely new to the game. I’d say that a novice would be completely overwhelmed by the information contained inside. The theoretical model designed by Wehner for the purposes of this course is targeted more at those who already have fairly solid fundamentals.
This isn’t to say that you’d get no value from watching it as a complete novice, of course, but I don’t think your money would be best spent here. You could instead get a simpler (and much cheaper) course to get you started and then move on to this one if and when you feel ready. A good example of a somewhat more beginner friendly PLO course is PLO quick pro’s Win 1k course.
For those looking to take their PLO play to the next level, though, this course has it all. It’s broken down into several logical sections that make it easy to keep up.
- Play by the streets (flop, turn, river)
- Centralized Spotlights
- Pro fundamentals
- Hand examples
After watching this course, it’s fair to say that Weisman and Wehner have done an excellent job of making all the materials as digestible as possible. Their lessons are easy to follow and the way they present concepts and ideas is fairly entertaining. But, at the end of the day, this is a serious course for serious players, so don’t expect it to be too light. It will require you to pay attention and do your part to make most out of it.
Making Most Out of Advanced PLO Mastery
The first few videos in this course are basically your guide to how to get most out of it. They explain everything you need to know moving forward, from what poker tools have been used to do the math and come up with strategies to what methods are best if you want to really adopt and understand the information inside.
As already mentioned, some sections of this course are quite “heavy” and demanding, so definitely take the time to go through these introductory videos. The time you invest to watch them will help save you a lot of time down the line. This is especially true if you aren’t too familiar with so-called solvers such as MonkerSolver, which is used heavily throughout the lessons.
Learning PLO One Street at a Time
The core of Upswing’s Advanced PLO Mastery are lessons covering play by the street. The course starts with the preflop section and moves on through flop, turn, and river. Each of these segments leans back to the previous ones, so you’re best off watching them in the order they’re presented. Otherwise, you risk missing out on a key piece of information that you’ll need to understand some future lessons.
The preflop section is very solid even if you’re a complete PLO newbie. In it Wehner discusses how you should go about choosing your starting hands in Omaha, focusing on the fact that there are so many more starting combos in PLO than in Hold’em. So, he introduces a very useful system you can use to figure out your starting ranges without having to learn starting charts by heart.
The rest of the preflop videos deals with standard situations like raising first in, 3-betting, cold calling, and defending your blinds. These lessons will provide you with answers to many questions you might have about PLO, especially if, like many, you didn’t just stumble upon it, but are actually making a transition from Texas Hold’em.
Playing the Flop
Pot Limit Omaha is often described as a “flop game” and for a good reason. If you want to be a good PLO player, you’ll have to learn to navigate many different flops and develop a set of skills to recognize favorable and unfavorable spots quickly. While this is also true for Hold’em, due to a sheer number of possible combos in Omaha, your flop skills become increasingly important.
Wehner does a great job of taking you through a variety of different board textures, explaining the finer details you need to think about in these spots. He explains how to approach tricky spots like monotone and paired boards, how to play on dynamic textures, and what to do on dry boards. These explanations are accompanied by in-depth mathematical calculations so you’ll need to pay attention and really focus on the lessons.
On to the Turn
You’ll definitely be playing more turns in PLO than in Hold’em. Players aren’t as ready to give up on the flops in Omaha since there are so many potential draws they can fall back on. Of course, turn lessons continue naturally on the flop section so it’s all intertwined.
You’ll find that the turn section is quite extensive and covers various turn situations with theoretical lessons and numerous examples. It can feel quite intense at times so don’t try to rush through it. Watch it on your own pace and focus more on understanding what’s being covered in a particular lesson.
According to Wehner, turn is the street where most players really start to make mistakes in PLO so mastering strategies for this particular point in a hand is very important. It can really make a difference in your bottom line.
The Final Card: Arriving to the River
By the time you get to the river, you should have a fairly good idea of where you are in a hand. If you’ve been paying attention to the lessons up to this point, you should be able to keep up with new ideas and concepts introduced in this section.
There are numerous strategies discussed in this part, such as finding bluff raises, taking different lines, firing three barrels, leading rivers as a defender, etc. While pretty advanced, ideas presented in these lessons can really make you a top-tier PLO player if you’re able to understand them and properly implement them into your game-plan.
Rounding Up Your Knowledge: Centralized Spotlights
The Centralized Spotlights section of the Advanced PLO Mastery course is a really valuable segment that shows course creators were really determined to help everyone become a better player. These lessons cover a number of concepts that go beyond strategies for playing a particular street such as:
- Common preflop mistakes you need to avoid
- Doing away with outdated ideas
- Dealing with flush-completing turn cards
- Specific tournament strategies
These lessons do lean on the previous ones but even if you watch them in isolation, they can be quite helpful. In them, you’ll learn a lot about some of the most common mistakes and misconceptions about PLO. You’ll also discover some specific strategic ideas that can be really helpful at the tables. The course would be just as complete without this section but having it in there definitely adds to its overall value.
Thinking Like a Pro
The final set of lessons is presented by Dylan Weisman and it is entitled ‘Professional Fundamentals’. As you could guess from the name of the section, this particular segment moves away from discussing PLO strategies and takes a much wider perspective of things.
Achieving success in poker, be it PLO or any other variation, takes more than just learning the numbers. A professional player knows how to deal with tilt and downswings and understand bankroll management but most importantly balance between his professional and personal life.
This particular segment could easily be included into any poker course as it’s not PLO-specific. Why Upswing decided to add it to this one is a bit of a mystery but you should be glad that they did. Weisman offers some really valuable thoughts and insights about a life of a professional poker player and gives you a roadmap to follow if you’re considering a poker as a career. And, even if you aren’t, having a more professional approach to the game can only be a good thing.
Summary: Is Advanced PLO Mastery Right for You?
There aren’t any Pot Limit Omaha courses out there that break down the game and explain it as well as Upswing’s Advanced PLO Mastery course. The amount of valuable information contained inside is truly impressive and the way it is presented is commendable. You don’t just get lessons covering all sorts of topics but there are also quizzes at the end of each chapter to help test your newly acquired knowledge.
So, objectively speaking, this is a top-quality PLO course. But is it right for you?
The answer to that question depends on just how serious you are about becoming a better player. This course will ask you to do your share through homework and taking time to understand how to use solvers. It is very math-heavy and asks you to really focus on what’s being explained.
If you’re at a point in your poker career where a casual approach to learning just doesn’t work for you anymore, than Advanced PLO Mastery is the right choice for you. If you’re still struggling with some fundamental principles, though, and don’t enjoy spending your time going through your hands and doing the work off the tables, you might want to hold on. The course isn’t going anywhere and you’ll get so much more value out of it if you buy it when you’re really ready for it!
Check out Upswing’s Advanced PLO Mastery course if you are ready to dive in and improve your game. You won’t regret it!