Upswing Poker Lab members have access to the most comprehensive collection of cutting-edge poker training materials ever assembled. This vast and ever-expanding library of knowledge is organized into “modules,” each covering a different aspect of the Upswing Poker’s overall approach to strategy.
You can think of the modules as classes that you need to pass in order to earn your degree in world-class poker strategy. The Lab is designed to guide you from the beginning of your poker journey to wherever you want to go in the game.
The modules are broken up into five larger categories; four different sections of educational learning materials, plus the Play and Explains series, a collection of videos featuring real-time play from the Upswing coaches designed to be used in conjunction with the Lab modules:
Each section of the Lab builds upon what you’ve learned in the previous section, beginning with the Lab Core Strategy section. This is the core strategy that underlies everything else you’ll learn in the Lab. As an Upswing Lab member your journey will start here.
Lab Core Strategy
The Lab Core Strategy modules cover a wide range of topics. Here they are with a brief summary:
An overview of the terms and definitions frequently used in the Lab modules.
Learn how to visualize hand ranges utilizing intuitive hand charts found throughout the Lab.
You and your opponents have a single hand in practice, but a range in theory. Learn how to think about all of the possible hands you or your opponent could have in a given situation.
4. The 4 Categories of Hands
This module introduces a system of ranking your hands using four categories. This system is the backbone of the Upswing Poker strategy as a whole. Learning and applying the Four Categories system is an essential step toward mastering the game.
Introduction to key poker concepts such as position, absolute vs. relative hand strength, and pot odds.
6. Preflop Introduction
Preflop is the most important street in poker. This module introduces you to essential preflop concepts.
7. Raise First In (RFI)
This module covers what to do when the action folds to you preflop.
8. RFI vs. 3-Bet:
What to do when you’ve raised first in and face a 3-bet.
9. Playing vs. a Raise First In (RFI)
Creating calling and 3-betting ranges when facing a RFI.
10.Deviating From the Charts
How to pick your spots to deviate from the Upswing preflop charts.
11. Postflop Introduction
Strong postflop skills make your solid preflop foundation matter. This is where the game is won or lost.
How to choose the right bet sizing.
13. The Value of Position
Many people talk about it—we break down exactly how and why.
14. Single Raised Pots as the Preflop Raiser
You’ve raised preflop and gotten called. Now what?
15. Single Raised Pots as the Preflop Caller
You’ve called preflop and now there’s a flop, how shall we proceed?
16. 3-Bet Pots as the Preflop Raiser
3-Bet pots will make or break you. Do not skip this section!
17. 3-Bet Pots as the Preflop Caller
The most challenging pots of them all. Find out what to do as the preflop caller in a 3-bet pot.
18. Single Raised Pots as the Preflop Raiser on the Turn
We go deeper, analyzing how to play pots as the PFR on the Turn.
19. Single Raised Pots as the Preflop Caller on the Turn
Again we’re deeper, this time looking at turn pots when we called preflop.
20. How to Play the River
How to think through a hand postflop. Ryan Fee delves deep into postflop strategy with this eight-part module.
21. Ranges Quiz
Test your knowledge in a variety of scenarios. These interactive quizzes are some of the most valuable tools in the lab.
22. Game Elements
Things you can do outside of your session to improve.
23. Bankroll Management
It doesn’t matter if you’re Doug Polk, Doyle Brunson, or Phil Ivey—without proper bankroll management, you’re going broke.
24. Game Selection
Game selection is perhaps the most important part of a winning poker strategy. This module teaches you how to pick the right games and skyrocket your win rate.
Tools to help you get ahead, especially online.
26. Mental Game
How to prepare yourself mentally for the ups and downs of each poker session.
27. Tilt and Mental Biases
A deep dive into mental bias and how to deal with tilt. (Special thanks to Mason Malmuth and his book, Real Poker Psychology.)
28.Micro Stakes Bankroll Building
What every player should know before starting their poker journey. Doug Polk takes us through insights gained from his $100-to-$10,000 bankroll challenge.
29. Making Adjustments in a 10,000 hand sample
Ryan Fee plays 10,000 hands at 50 NL online and takes you through an extensive review of his database, including how to set up your Heads-Up Display (HUD).
Beyond Core Strategy
Once you’ve gotten the Lab Core Strategy modules down, it’s time to graduate to the next level: Beyond Core Strategy. The modules in this section include:
1. Downloadable Resources
A collection of Upswing Poker Lab materials available for download.
2. Introduction to Solver-Based Strategy
Fried Meulders joins Ryan Fee for his first module to explain the basics of poker game theory, how solvers work, and how you apply solver findings to your game.
3. When to C-Bet Everything
After spending months studying solvers, Ryan is joined by Doug to talk about situations that warrant a high c-betting frequency.
4. Mastering Database Software
Ryan shows you how to get max value from database software (such as PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager). Even if you primarily play live, this module is still worth watching to see what types of mistakes players make, how to analyze hands, and more.
5. Single Raised Pots Button vs. Big Blind
Fried teaches you the ins and outs of c-betting in position versus the big blind, which is a very common and consequential situation that will have a heavy impact on your bottom line.
6. 3-Bet Pots Out of Position
Fried helps you develop your out of position strategy in 3-bet pots, including how the solvers diverge from the conventional Lab strategy.
7. 3-Bet Pots In Position (Cutoff vs. Button)
Fried walks you through playing 3-bet pots in position — another crucial situation to understand.
8. Single Raised Pots Blind vs. Blind
Learn how to approach blind vs blind play in single raised pots with Fried’s guidance. Playing well in these spots is particularly vital if you’re an online cash game player.
9. GTO With Matthew Janda
Ryan is joined by acclaimed author and game theory expert Matthew Janda to demystify one of poker’s most misunderstood concepts: game theory optimal (GTO) play.
10. Deep Stack Strategy
Ryan and Doug play $5/$10 versus each other and a few regulars on WSOP.com with 250bb stacks. Ryan then reviews the session and explains deep stack-specific concepts along the way.
Doug teaches you how to pull off one of his favorite tactics: the overbet. After learning some general concepts, you’ll be walked through over-betting on 3 flush boards and straight boards with 26 hand examples from Doug’s high stakes career.
12. 4-Bet Pots
Doug and Ryan walk you through playing 4-bet pots to help you avoid costly mistakes in these high variance spots.
13. The Big Blind
Ryan and Doug teach you how to approach playing from arguably the most important position to master.
Ryan and Doug combine forces to teach you about the true value of blockers/card removal, which is a concept most poker players underweight or overweight in their strategy.
15. One-on-One Coaching Session with Ryan
To help you better understand how to analyze your own game, Ryan works with Lab member Patrick on his game by diving into stats, win-rates, and example hands.
16. One-on-One Coaching Session with Doug
To help you better understand how to analyze your own game, Doug works with Lab member Tanner by analyzing his stats, big pots, and some example hands.
17. Multiway Pots
Ryan shows you how to approach multi-way pots on high boards, low boards, paired boards, and more. Learning how to play these spots well is crucial if you’re a live or low stakes online player.
18. Single Raised Pots OOP
Cash game crusher Jason McConnon teaches you optimal frequencies for single raised pots out of position, including some in-depth review of 4 specific flops.
19. Ask Fried
A question and answers thread for Fried Meulders’ content (now archived, but still browsable).
Once you’ve learned all of the material in the Lab Core Strategy and Beyond Core Strategy section, you’ll be ready to crush at the poker table! The principles taught in these modules will prepare you to take on any format of Texas Hold’em.
If you’re looking to focus on mutli-table tournaments (MTTs), then you’ll want to dive into Section 3: MTTs (Tournaments). This section contains the following modules:
1. MTT Ranges:
Complete 9-handed MTT ranges and how to think about MTTs preflop.
ICM or the Independent Chip Model is a way of evaluating the value of chips in a poker tournament. It helps you evaluate what your chip stack is worth in dollars and then helps govern decision making.
3. Big Blind Introduction
The most critical position in tournament poker is the big blind. Ryan takes us through optimal big blind strategy in MTTs.
4. WSOP Tune Up
Doug answers members’ questions about tournaments, breaks down some example hands, and reviews a $100k buy-in WCOOP final table.
5. Playing 10–25bb Stacks
Tournament pro and Twitch star Parker “tonkaaaap” Talbot joins Ryan Fee to help you with your short-stack tournament game.
6. Final Table Play
Parker and Ryan review final table hands to help you better understand the dynamics, ICM pressure, and how to play with different stack sizes.
7. Navigating 3-bet Pots
Parker walks you through playing 3-bet pots in tournaments so you know how to navigate different board textures, adjust for stack sizes, choose effective bet sizes, and more.
8. Betting on the Flop
Tournament crusher Moritz “Mo” Dietrich teaches you how and when to bet on the flop in tournaments.
9. Check-Calling the River OOP
Mo teaches you about check-calling on the river, focusing mainly on hands in which we defended from the big blind and faced barrels. With the pot so big and the decision so important, these situations are crucial!
If your focus is on live poker, the Upswing Lab has a section dedicated to strategy specifically tailored for the live tables. The Live Poker section includes:
1. The Truth About High Stakes Poker
Doug and Ryan take an in-depth, analytical look at 10 high stakes poker hands to help you better understand the world’s top player’s tactics and strategies.
2. The Upswing Live Poker Approach
Ryan is joined by live poker expert Mike Finstein to help you improve your general approach (and results) on the real-life felt.
3. A Deep Dive into Live Dynamics
Ryan and Mike have a hand example-focused discussion on live-specific dynamics, including strange preflop actions, exploitative bet sizing, and getting recreational players to give up information.
4. Bayesian Adjustments Live
Ryan and Mike get into theory-based, exploitative strategies that you can use to crush soft live cash games.
5. Live 3-Bet Pot
Ryan and Mike walk you through how to play 3-bet pots in live games by going over general concepts, dozens of hand examples, and hands submitted by members.
Play and Explains
The first five sections of the Lab give you the most comprehensive poker education ever offered, and with new modules being added regularly, you’ll never run out of leaning material. The final section of the Upswing Poker Lab includes the Play and Explains, where our world-class coaches play real games and take you through their thought process for every decision.
The play and explain collection is an essential supplement to the learning modules, as you get to sit in with the best players in the world as the play real games, including low-to-high stakes online cash games and tournaments, as well as reconstruct live cash sessions.
This section rounds out the Upswing educational material and is to be used in conjunction with the modules. The play and explain collection gives you the chance to see Upswing Poker Lab strategy applied, with our coaches explaining along the way.
In sum, the Lab contains hundreds of hours of content throughout its six main sections, covering every aspect of the game and offering members the chance to build a winning poker strategy from the ground up. No matter where you are in your poker journey, the Upswing Poker Lab offers the tools to take your game to wherever you want it to go.