If you’re seeking out an Advanced Heads Up Mastery review, you likely already know who Doug Polk is. Currently busy building a poker empire through his popular YouTube channel and poker coaching site Upswing Poker, Doug recently released a complete heads-up cash-game course titled Advanced Heads Up Mastery, which will be the focus of our review today.

When we heard Doug Polk was releasing a heads-up strategy course we were eager to get into it, not just for the content itself, which, based on our prior experiences with Upswing Poker content, we already suspected would be great, but also for the insight into how a player of Doug’s caliber approaches developing a holistic strategy to improving as a poker player.

  • What poker programs does he value when working on his game?
  • What tendencies would he notice first when analyzing an opponent?
  • How would he try to exploit one of the least exploitable players on the planet?

These are the types of intangibles that can add incredible value to a poker strategy pack, and ones that are doubly important for content that, at $999, is admittedly priced near the very top of the market.

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Intended Audience & Ease Of Understanding

After working through the course, our suspicion is that most of the players who would be on the fence about purchasing the Advanced Heads Up Mastery pack would be recreational players and aspiring professionals in the 10nl-100nl  games. Because, just to put it right out there and save you the effort of reading the next 1500 words, for anyone playing the equivalent of 100nl or higher, purchasing Upswing Poker’s Advanced Heads Up Mastery course is an absolute no-brainer.

Not only are we talking about arguably the best heads-up cash-game player on the planet, but about someone who has a proven track-record of being a skilled educator, a critical aspect of quality poker training. So for anyone playing at limits where it would only take winning a few extra buyins to work off its value, the Advanced Heads Up Mastery course feels as close to a slam-dunk as there is.

For the remaining recreational players and low-stake grinders who may be concerned that the Advanced Heads-Up Mastery course might be too advanced, we feel confident in saying that, as far as ease of understanding of the material, anyone who watches Doug Polk’s YouTube videos will absolutely be able to follow along and improve their overall poker strategy.

The course obviously requires some basic poker knowledge and an understanding of common core concepts such as range and equity, but all the content in the Advanced Heads-Up Mastery course is presented in a way that should be of great value to anyone who is dedicated to improving their game.

Advanced Heads Up Mastery Course Structure


Advanced Heads Up Mastery Poker


The Advanced Heads Up Mastery course is broken down into 10 main sections:

  • Preflop Introduction
  • Preflop Ranges
  • 3-Bet & 4-Bet Pots
  • Postflop Introduction
  • Small Blind Single Raised Pots
  • Big Blind Single Raised Pots
  • Big Blind 3-Bet Pots
  • Small Blind 3-Bet Pots
  • 4-Bet Pots
  • Play & Explain

These sections cover the whole spectrum of situations you’re going to face in a heads-up match, and contain a massive slew of subtopics that really drill-down into the nitty-gritty of each concept. For example here is the outline for just one of these sections, Small Blind Single Raised Pots:

Just look at how much information is incorporated into each of the 10 topics included in the Advanced Heads-Up Mastery course; notice how detailed and specific the subtopics are. Combo breakdowns for probe and barrels, strategy for facing river checks after calling a probe, advice when facing a bet after checking down, things to consider when facing a check-raise on every street, there really is no fluff here, just section after section of useful and highly-specific poker knowledge. Heck, if you’re playing above 25nl, we bet you could make back the cost of the course with just one of these sections, let alone all ten.

Heads Up Poker Cash-Game Hand Charts

Having recently reviewed the Upswing Poker Lab’s hand-ranges, and released a set of our own hand-charts for Jackpot Sit and Go tournaments, we were looking forward to exploring what the Advanced Heads Up Mastery course hand-range section had to offer.

Not one to disappoint, the guys at Upswing Poker went above and beyond by including not just a set of default ranges, but also loose and tight ranges for each scenario. Not only is it nice to have your first line of adjustments for each situation already broken down, but it’s also incredibly helpful to see exactly how Doug Polk adjusts each range, and how much he adjusts them, when going from default to loose ranges, or from default ranges to tight.

Another fantastic aspect of the Advanced Heads-Up Mastery course, which, as far as we know, has never been done before, is that it offers different flatting and 3-betting ranges for each of the standard open sizes (2x, 2.5x, 3x). As before, seeing how much Doug Polk’s ranges change based on what some might consider a “small” deviation, is going to be extremely valuable to anyone who’s never studied this aspect of the game before. As Doug says:

If you’re not adjusting your game based on open-size, you’re making a huge mistake.

Game-Tree Program & Poker Database Analysis

game tree Upswing Poker

Doug Polk’s Private Game-Tree Program


A few other great aspects of Doug Polk’s Advanced Heads Up Mastery course are his use of his own unique game-tree program, as well as the use of his own database when analyzing hands and common heads-up scenarios.

Although the game-tree program that Doug uses is unfortunately not available for purchase (yet?), it is featured prominently in many of the videos and offered great insight into how Doug breaks down his opponents’ overall strategies and find the best ways to exploit their game.

Doug also goes into his very own database and breaks down the profitability of various hands in a plethora of situations. For example, when discussing strategies about dealing with 3-Bets, Doug jumps into his database and investigates how certain groups of hands, say weak offsuit aces, preform as flats vs folds, and then compares it to other groupings of hands such as suited connectors or weak offsuit bluff hands.

Doug Polk Vs Ben Sulsky – $20,000 Heads-Up Cash-Game

Although Doug claims it doesn’t hold as much value as the classroom-sessions, the star of the Advanced Heads Up Mastery course would most definitely have to be Doug’s 11-part analysis of a 4-tabling session against the legendary Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky.

Regardless of which of the two you have ranked as the top heads-up cash-game player in the world, having 11 videos of the top two heads-up cash-game players going head-to-head is, to put it mildly, quite a treat. And of course, through it all you have Doug offering incredible insight on both the strategy and thought-process required to succeed in the world’s toughest games. For fans of high-stakes cash-game action, this portion of the Advanced Heads-Up Mastery is where all the hard work in the lab pays off!

Advanced Heads Up Mastery Review: Beyond The Course & Final Thoughts

In what could very well end up being the secret sauce of the entire Advanced Heads-Up Mastery course, included with the price of admission is  access to Doug’s very own private Advanced Heads-up Mastery Facebook group, where he personally responds to every question. After spending some time reading all the insightful Q & As already posted, it appears as if this Facebook group could soon become one of the most valuable aspects of the entire pack. So for anyone who’s ever dreamed about having a team of committed high-level players to discuss strategy with, this group presents an incredible opportunity.

advanced heads up mastery facebook review doug polk upswing pokerTaking all these factors into consideration, it’s safe to say that for any serious poker players in 2017 who are looking to put in the work necessary to succeed in today’s poker climate – be it in a cash-game, sit and go, or tournament environment – the Advanced Heads Up Mastery course is without a doubt the single best Heads-up poker resource that’s ever been created; so for anyone still undecided the only real question is how bad do you want it?

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