Ed. note: Updated December 27, 2020
While the game of No Limit Texas Hold’em is definitely the number one choice of most players, certain other variants of the game have been gaining in popularity as of late. This is especially true for Pot Limit Omaha, a game that offers a lot of action and provides a solid edge for those who actually take time to study proven underlying strategies.
If you want to learn to play Hold’em, you’ll find heaps of resources out there, both paid and free, and you’ll have no problems quickly advancing your skills. When it comes to PLO, though, resources aren’t nearly as available, especially for players who already have decent fundamentals and are now looking to take things to the next level.
If you belong to the aforementioned group, the latest course from Upswing Poker is probably the best answer to your query. Entitled Advanced PLO Mastery, this course will help you learn all you need to know about the game, from opening ranges to firing multi-street bluffs (and everything in between). The course is focused on 6-max cash games but lessons can be applied to other formats as well.
Created by Chris Wehner and Dylan Weisman, the Advanced PLO Mastery course is a comprehensive, well-organized strategy guide that covers every area of the game. Like the title suggest, this is an advanced course, so it is primarily intended for those already familiar with Pot Limit Omaha. Naturally, it can work for total novices as well, provided you’re willing to put in the required time and effort.
Advanced PLO Mastery is split into several main groups. The best way to go about learning skills and strategies explained in the course is to watch the videos in the order they’re presented, without skipping around too much. Both Weisman and Wehner have done their best to make the course’s progression feel as natural as possible, so as long as you stick with the program, you should have no problem keeping up. The course’s 8 modules are:
- Centralized Spotlights
- Professional Fundamentals
- Play & Explains
While many players might be inclined to just skip the Intro section and move straight to the actual lessons, I’d suggest watching the first few videos. In them, the course creators explain everything you need to know to better keep up with presented materials. In other words, it’s best to slowly use the steps to walk into the pool rather than jump right in to the deep end.
In the Intro, you’ll learn about the tools used throughout the lessons, what kind of system the instructors use to describe the hands, and, most importantly, how to make most out of the knowledge contained within.
Every strategy section also contains short quizzes, which can be very useful to check your newly acquired knowledge and see if you’ve managed to properly absorb and internalize the concepts that were discussed. While these quizzes aren’t particularly long and only contain a few questions each, taking a few minutes to go through them will definitely help you quickly discover if there is something you missed or didn’t understand properly.
What Knowledge Does Advanced PLO Mastery Offer?
The short answer to this question would be – everything! Upswing Poker’s Advanced PLO Mastery is probably the most comprehensive PLO course in existence right now and if you want to raise your game to the next level, you’ll find all the tools you need to do so inside.
The Pre-flop section offers a step-by-step guide to creating your pre-flop ranges and teaches you how to decide what hands to play and what hands to avoid. If you’re just making a transition to Pot Limit Omaha, this section will really help you understand how your starting hand selection is vital to everything that happens later in the hand. With so many starting hand combos, figuring all this out is much harder than in Hold’em, but after watching these videos, you’ll know exactly how to go about it.
The other three strategy sections cover respective streets, i.e., flop, turn, and river. Each of them contains hours’ worth of video lessons as well as some specific charts you can use.
Worth noting is that things do get increasingly complicated as you progress through the course. This is not a course you can just zip through easily without paying close attention. A majority of strategy explained in the videos is based on the calculations done using MonkerSolver, the top tool for finding GTO solutions for pretty much any scenario you can think of.
What this means is that you’ll have to deal with a lot of numbers and stats. Wehner, who was mostly in charge of doing Monker calculations, tries to explain every spot he talks about using numbers and examples from the software. So, to really get your money’s worth, you’ll need to focus and give these videos your full attention. Otherwise, you might find yourself completely lost halfway through the video. I know that while plowing through the course, I myself had to re-watch a few sections in order to fully understand.
Course Extras: Spotlights, Professional Fundamentals and Play & Explains
The final three sections of the Advanced PLO Mastery course really add a lot of value to an already top-quality product. Videos in Centralized Spotlights focus on several particular areas of the game and give them more attention even if they were discussed earlier in the course. You’ll learn more about some common pre-flop mistakes, warped ways of thinking about the game, and even some MTT-specific strategies.
In the Professional Fundamentals section, Weisman talks about things that every poker player needs to know, regardless of their choice of game. Learning how to handle tilt, deal with downswings, and balance things out between your professional and private life is key to success, which makes these videos a really nice and extremely valuable addition to the course. Plainly speaking, it also gives your brain a welcome break from the hard core math you’ll be encountering.
Finally, the Play & Explains section features hours’ worth of videos of Chris Wehner dissecting his own high stakes PLO hands played against some of the game’s best, like Phil Galfond. These are a great watch in their own right but of course you’ll get much more out of them if you watch them once you’ve actually completed the strategic part of the Advanced PLO Mastery course. As mentioned above, the course’s progression is natural and you don’t want to be skipping around.
Proving dedication to their members, Upswing has updated the Advanced PLO Mastery course since the launch, adding more content to the hand review section. New videos feature Chris Wehner analyzing live play sessions by two site members, Ben and Pierce. These videos do require quite a bit of focus to watch as Wehner tries his best to keep up with the action on four tables, but are a very valuable addition to the Advanced PLO Mastery course.
The Verdict: How Good Is Advanced PLO Mastery?
If you love Pot Limit Omaha and want to take it seriously, there is no other course like this out there on the market. If you go through all the lessons and actually take time to contemplate and process the knowledge presented, you’ll be ready to play at a very high level. This is a top quality poker course presented by instructors who have the results to back up what they’re teaching.
The only caveat to be mindful of is that Advanced PLO Mastery will only actually make you a better player if you’re willing to invest time and effort. This course demands a lot of its students, and you’ll need to think and study hard to follow its guidelines if you want to make most out of it. As long as you don’t have a problem with “going back to school” for a little while, though, Upswing Poker’s Advanced PLO Mastery will easily result in you recouping your investment many times over.