Over the past few years, we’ve seen dozens of different poker courses and training programs pop up left and right. Among several sites leading this wave, Upswing Poker has been one of the most productive ones, and they’re back with another top-notch course called Elite Cash Game Exploits.
Taught by Uri Peleg, an experienced cash game grinder, this course takes an interesting approach, as it focuses on the ways you can deviate from the GTO (Game Theory Optimal) to improve your results in the long run.
Instead of insisting you stick to GTO play and following it blindly, Peleg suggests that there is plenty of room for deviations in six-max cash games and even emphasizes that trying to always take the GTO approach may not be the best idea in multi-way pots.
Like all Upswing Poker courses, Elite Cash Game Exploits provides detailed analysis and explanations for every point presented in the lessons. You’re not expected to just take Uri at his word but are rather given numbers and plenty of hand examples that support his theories.
Elite Cash Game Exploits in a Nutshell
Some players may be more familiar with the idea of exploitative poker than others. Uri takes an approach that guarantees everyone can keep up with the course, offering detailed explanations of what the course is all about in the first few lessons.
Crucially, he doesn’t try to take anything away from a GTO approach to the game. In fact, he emphasizes that it’s an important baseline that all players should learn. But once you master these fundamentals, you can start looking for ways to deviate from it and take non-GTO lines against different types of opponents.
In the introductory part of the course, Peleg also talks about two main types of exploits that he’ll refer to throughout later lessons, namely:
- Hard exploits – taking full advantage of your opponent’s mistakes, but also making your strategy against them easier to notice and counteract
- Soft exploits – taking a more subtle approach to utilizing your opponents’ mistakes against them, but also making it much harder for them to figure out what you’re doing and adjust to it
There are some very interesting and quite unique ideas in there, and some of them aren’t easy to understand right off the bat. However, as you proceed with the course, things will slowly but surely fall into place.
Importance of Pre-flop Exploits
The pre-flop section of the Elite Cash Game Exploits course aims to provide you with a way of building an exploitative pre-flop strategy. Instead of blindly sticking to GTO charts, Uri suggests numerous adjustments you can make based on the types of games and opponents’ profiles.
While pre-flop decisions aren’t as intriguing or as challenging as the ones that come after the flop, Peleg emphasizes the importance of mastering this part first. As he explains it in a few simple words, this is the only street that you’ll have to play in 100% of your hands, so its importance can’t be overstated.
The strategy is built around recognizing several major player types or, as he calls them, archetypes. He ties in this discussion with the talk about HUD stats and how you can use these to group players into several main categories. Once you’re able to do this, you can proceed to build your gameplay plan against these types.
Of course, the course gives you plenty of tips and examples on exactly what you should be doing in different spots, be it first to act in extremely passive games, facing a 3-bet, or deciding whether to 3-bet yourself.
To be perfectly clear, this is still a GTO course, and you’ll find many game trees and solver talk in there. That said, instead of focusing on the “perfect” computer solutions, Uri sprinkles in some interesting ideas about how you can profitably deviate from these.
Elite Cash Game Exploits: Post-flop Section
Like with most poker training courses, the post-flop section of Elite Cash Game Exploits is more extensive, as there is frankly just more ground to cover. It is divided into several major sections, starting with some important notes about bet sizing. Once again, Peleg introduces the idea of several main categories of bet sizes based on how different players arrive at their decisions.
Understanding this thought process is very important if you want to play exploitative poker, as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. You first need to understand what the player you’re up against is trying to achieve. When you do that, you can proceed to the next step, which is finding the most suitable exploits for that particular type.
The main idea is to figure out what your opponents are doing and then get into the spots where you can fully utilize that knowledge (against them).
A big part of the post-flop section is devoted to c-betting, as one of the main bets that often defines the rest of the hand. Peleg looks at how the ideas behind the continuation bet have changed over the years and teaches you how to utilize that knowledge to recognize player archetypes and build your strategy against them.
Understanding the player type is important. However, With that said, it is equally as important to understand what motivates players to play in a certain way. Basically, the more information you can gather, the better you’ll be able to build an efficient arsenal of exploits against them.
Is Elite Cash Game Exploits a Course for You?
While there is no denying that some of the ideas discussed by Uri Peleg in this course are very interesting and can be implemented in almost anyone’s game, Elite Cash Game Exploits is clearly aimed at more experienced players.
Importantly, to fully grasp what’s being discussed inside, you will first need to have a deep understanding of GTO, which is no small task. While Uri does a great job of providing examples and explanations along the way, if you’re new to solvers, game trees, and other similar concepts, it will be very hard to keep up.
On the other hand, for serious players who enjoy studying the game, this course gives you plenty of opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. It could be just what you need to find an edge in tougher poker games, as your opponents won’t be ready for these adjustments, and it’ll take them a while to figure out what you’re doing (provided they also haven’t also purchased the Elite Cash Game Exploits course).
In summary, for the seasoned, educated poker player looking to effectively navigate their way through tough tables, Upswing Poker’s Elite Cash Game Exploits is definitely worth exploring and will easily deliver you with a return on investment multiple times over. However, if you’re inexperienced with GTO, we’d suggest first getting good foundations before moving on to this course.