Meet The Upswing Poker Pros
Chris Wehner -"bluffmast"
Every year there is someone who can soul-read the field, who knows when their opponent has it, who knows all the spots to “never bluff,” who is on a run and seems straight-up telepathic. I know because I’ve seen dozens of them run it up to the heavens, casually step into the kitchen to make some popcorn, and then watched them burn it all down.
I have made a LOT of popcorn. While I’ve never been blessed with these famed abilities, I was very lucky that I formed a good relationship with studying poker. I know all too well how rare that is.
I started playing poker in high school, and like everyone, got whacked the first few times I played. I remember calling a river bet in one of my early sessions with a total airball. My “friends” of course inquired and I exclaimed, “I was bluffing!” They were thrilled. Needless to say I was invited to next week’s $20 tournament.
Clearly, something had to change. Once I got over the initial hurdle of adopting an entirely new way of thinking, I quickly saw the value in improving that process. I filled my high school notebooks with hand rankings, then preflop hand openings, then postflop strategies, and on and on. Most importantly in this process, I developed a positive relationship with studying. And that approach has stuck with me for all the years since. I’ve continually improved the style that I so strongly advocate today, which is a theory-based approach with a huge emphasis on
But wait, there’s more. I have studied how to study. I have studied tilt, self management, habit forming, record keeping, and anything else I thought I needed to succeed in this industry. Because that’s what I do. I have been using every available tool since Before Solver Era and working with their outputs more or less every day for a decade. I am neither the Alpha, nor the Omega. But I know my own limitations more precisely than anyone else I know knows theirs, and I use that knowledge to keep improving.
I’ve never had any meaningful tournament score, and I’ve never been at risk of going bust. I’ve methodically grinded my way up, first in NL, and now in PLO. I started at the very bottom at
$0.01/$0.02 and now my regular games are $10/$20 and $25/$50 PLO. Many places I play do not offer downloadable hand histories, but a few do; here’s a graph of the expected value of my side hustle:
As the lead instructor for Upswing Poker’s upcoming Advanced PLO Mastery course, my goal is to give back to those in the community who are interested in honing their PLO fundamentals. The correct way to improve your PLO game is to collaborate with solvers to create a sound theory-based strategy. This approach alone has gotten me all the way from calling the river as a bluff to crushing the mid-high stakes scene for years. I’ve done more solver work than nearly anyone, and since my material is backed up by the best available technology, it’s applicable to everyone.