Editor’s Note: Since the release of this review, Upswing Poker’s PLO University has been replaced with the PLO Lab, learn more about the changes at the bottom of this blog.
PLO University Review – It is undeniable that the Great Game of Pot Limit Omaha has seen its popularity rise over the past few years thanks to bountiful high-stakes action, increased live tournament coverage, and a dedicated slew of loyalists – including PokerLife Podcast host Joey Ingram and high-stakes professional Ryan Fee. That’s why it came as no surprise when the world’s leading poker training website Upswing Poker, a site founded by Heads-Up Specialist Doug Polk and the previously mentioned Fee, announced it was releasing a pot limit omaha strategy pack created by PLO professional Fernando “JNandez” Habegger.
Dubbed the PLO University, the strategy course includes over 40 videos as well as a highly impressive set of Pot Limit Omaha hand charts. Having had the opportunity to begin exploring the course in-depth over the past week and seeing the sheer volume of information, we’ve decided to break our PLO University review into a few separate blogs so that we can provide as complete of a picture as possible. So with that said, let’s kick off this first installment of the PLO University review by looking at the course’s structure & content.
PLO University Review – Part 1
The PLO University course is broken down into 4 primary sections, with each section expanding to reveal a long-list of highly-specific videos exploring the nuances of each topic. We’ll dive deeper into the content itself in the next portion of the PLO University Review, but as far as the structure of the course, all the information has a very intuitive flow to it and course-instructor JNandez does a fantastic job transitioning from one topic to the next while seamlessly weaving the multi-faceted PLO strategy together.
One small issue that could improve the learning experience, though it is somewhat cosmetic, is if the Upswing Poker website was able to keep track of the viewing history and would list which videos have already been watched and resume videos at their last position. This would be especially beneficial to players who like to watch videos non-sequentially, choosing to bounce back and forth from the classroom-style videos and live-play videos.
Applicability & Ease Of Understanding
One of the biggest concerns from players, particularly low-stakes and non-professionals, who are considering investing in a premium poker training product such as PLO University or the Heads-Up Mastery Course is:
“Is it right for ME?”
To answer that, let’s expand on the question slightly and look at it in two parts.
1. Will the content be too advanced for me if I am not a professional player?
Just as with Doug Polk’s Heads-Up Mastery Course, Upswing Poker does an incredible job ensuring the poker training content they create is accessible to players of all skill-levels. Although having an understanding of the basics of PLO is important, if you are a poker player who enjoys watching strategy videos or are already a member of the Upswing Poker Lab, you will absolutely not have any issues understanding or digesting the analysis and strategy presented in the PLO University course. In fact, the material is so well structured that even strictly NLHE players with little-to-no PLO experience should have no problem following along and building solid pot limit omaha fundamentals.
2. Will the strategies in PLO University apply to low-stakes and live-poker games?
Considering how many times he stressed this point through the course, we’ll let PLO University coach JNandez answer this one himself…
PLO Hand Charts
If you thought the Heads-Up Mastery had an impressive set of charts, you haven’t seen anything yet! With 16,432 distinct starting-hands possible in PLO as opposed to NLHE’s 169, a simple loose-leaf paper taped to the side of your monitor is just not going to cut it. Instead, coming with the PLO University pack is an astoundingly comprehensive matrix of hand rankings, all packaged in a handy and simple-to-navigate excel file. Check out the short clip below for a glimpse of this impressive Pot Limit Omaha hand charts file in action.
PLO University Play & Explain
Speaking of PLO University creator Fernando, his teaching style is polished, engaging, and extremely easy to follow, which makes for a great learning experience during the robust PLO play & explain portion of the course. Fans of the live play format are in for a treat with 11 videos in total, including games at both the 200 and 500 limits, a session played with no HUD, as well as a 4-part series with Upswing Poker co-founder Ryan Fee.
Although JNandez’ style could be categorized as a little more “formal” than someone such as Doug Polk, like an up-and-coming TA making sure to impress the seasoned professor by playing it straight, it works well to his favor during the live sessions where he seems to drop knowledge bombs one after another, sometimes sharing incredible insight as mere after-thoughts to the topic he’s discussing, all the while ensuring complex concepts are broken down into their simplest and most valuable tenants.
We’ll take a look at the PLO Play & Explain section in greater-depth in a future post, but the thing that stood out most during this module was JNandez’ talents and understanding of the Great Game of Pot Limit Omaha in-game. Fernando’s hand-reading skills are on full display throughout the series and the speed at which he arrives at and begins implementing a 3-street game-plan after the flop is truly impressive for a game with so many variables.
For fans of the live-play format, the Play & Explain portion of the PLO University course is as satisfying and lightening as it gets!
PLO University: Icing On The Cake & Final Thoughts
As with the Heads-Up Mastery course, the cherry on top of Upswing Poker’s PLO University is its own dedicated Facebook group, available only to members of the course. Having witnessed the immense value and high-level discussion in the Heads Up Mastery group, if the PLO version is even half as valuable, its worth to this course should not be understated. Having access to a dedicated group of players, with one the best in the game regularly available to answer questions and offer advice, is, perhaps, worth the price of admission itself.
For this reason and all the others discussed above, it is safe to say that for anyone who is a Pot Limit Omaha fan and has a bankroll that can afford the purchase, Upswing Poker’s PLO University is an absolute slam dunk.
For more info follow the link below, but not before youto our newsletter & receive our list of the best deposit bonuses, training discount codes, and entertainment from around the world of poker.