Upswing Poker Lab Review 2022 (Is It Worth It For You?)

Upswing Poker Lab Review

This is the most comprehensive Upswing Poker Lab Review ever written for serious poker players (updated for 2022).

I have heard about the Upswing Poker Lab advanced training for quite some time now, but never really had a chance to have an in-depth look at it until now.

And as a poker pro myself, I have always been interested in what's inside. This is also probably the #1 poker training program that I get asked about as well.

Edit: My brand new BlackRain79 Elite Poker University is now another option for small stakes players who want high level poker training at a lower price point.

All of the material is also brand new unlike the Upswing Poker Lab, which means that it is totally up to date for today's games.

Anyways, I have spent the past few weeks going through every single lesson module in the Upswing Lab to write this comprehensive review for you.

The Upswing Poker Lab is really an unprecedented advanced poker training program on many levels. There is over 250 hours of high level poker training included.

There are literally dozens of high level poker training videos, hundreds of hand charts telling you exactly what hands to play, and live play videos from some of the best poker players in the world. 

In this Upswing Poker Lab review I am going to break down all 6 sections of the course for you step by step and give you an inside look into exactly what you will find.

This way you can decide for yourself whether this poker training program is right for you or not.

Alright, let's dive in!


1. The Upswing Poker Lab Core Strategy


The heart of The Upswing Poker Lab is the core strategy section. This is also the recommended starting point for this course.

Upswing Poker Lab Review GTO

There are currently 29 poker training modules (lessons) in the Lab Core Strategy section to which more are regularly added.

There are multiple videos within each module discussing every aspect of how to play a fundamentally solid tight and aggressive poker game.

If you are new to the game of poker or you are a struggling small stakes player, this section is going to be your bread and butter.

I would recommend studying one module each night and then playing poker in order to apply what you learned at the poker tables right away.

At the end of one month you will be dominating your low stakes games online (NL2, NL5, NL10, NL25, NL50, NL100 and Zoom) or low stakes tournament or sit and go games.

Or if you play live at stakes like $1/$2, $2/$5 or $5/$10, the Upswing Poker Lab Core Strategy section will quickly get your crushing these games as well.

The amount of high level poker strategy instruction included in this section is really impressive. Nearly every subject imaginable is covered to teach you how to dominate live or online poker.


Here are a few of the topics covered:
  • Hand reading and understanding ranges
  • What hands to raise with preflop
  • How to react versus a 3Bet
  • Flop, turn and river bet sizing
  • Single raised pot strategy as the preflop raiser and caller
  • 3Bet pot strategy as the preflop raiser and caller
  • Postflop bluffing strategies
  • Postflop value betting strategies
  • Bankroll management
  • Tilt control
And much more.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

Format:

Each lesson is typically comprised of a 20 to 40 minute video by Doug Polk who is a 3-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner with millions more in winnings online at the highest stakes.

He explains the core concepts of the lesson making use of range charts, equity analysis tools and hand history examples.

He shows you exactly what hands to bet, raise, call or fold with in every situation from the perspective of arguably the best No Limit Hold'em poker player on earth.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

There is also a writeup below each video lesson (similar to a blog post) explaining the core ideas of the module in even more detail and sometimes with quizzes or other downloadable content.

In my opinion it would take you weeks just to get through this section of The Upswing Poker Lab. The amount of high level poker theory covered here is truly amazing and I wish something like this was available when I was first learning the game!

I would suggest going through just one or two modules a night in this section of the course in order to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed with too much information. 

Also, everything is covered here from the basic terminology and the fundamentals of winning poker to highly advanced topics such as river bluff raising ranges.

This means that whether your are brand new to the game of poker or a seasoned grinder, you are going to learn a lot along the way here.

*Video Review* - Did you know that I also created a comprehensive review of The Upswing Poker Lab on YouTube as well?


Now, as good as the Upswing Poker Lab is, I know that many small stakes poker players read my poker blog. 

And they don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on expensive poker training courses like this yet.

Heck, I certainly didn't either when I was first starting out in poker!

So I decided to put together a free poker "cheat sheet" which includes many of the exact same strategies taught by The Upswing Poker Lab.

I have decided not to charge anything for it though. It's free for the readers of my poker blog.

You can get my free poker cheat sheet, right here.
 

2. Advanced Upswing Poker Lab Strategies Review


The core strategy section is still only the beginning of what The Upswing Poker Lab is all about though.

Once you have gone through all 29 core modules the next step is the Advanced Lab Strategies section. 

For somebody who is struggling at NL10 or higher online (2/5 or higher live), this is the section of the Lab that is really going to help improve your results the most. 

Following a similar format as before, in the advanced section there are 26 more modules with dozens of video lessons on high level poker theory and how to apply it from both Doug Polk and Ryan Fee this time as well, who is also a high stakes poker pro.

This section is the real heart and soul of the Upswing Poker Lab in my opinion, and offers some of the most advanced cutting edge poker training in the world.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

Here are some of the topics covered:
  • How to play your flush draws like a pro
  • Dominating multi-way pots
  • How to crush the regs with overbets
  • Hand reading and understanding blockers
  • Deep stack poker strategy 
And much more. 

For me personally, this was one of the best parts of The Upswing Poker Lab because some of the concepts (i.e. overbetting, multi-way pots and deep stacked strategy) just aren't covered elsewhere in this type of detail.

And this is the kind of stuff that truly separates the amateurs from the pros.

This is also the section where you will find some of the best content in the course for GTO, intro to using solvers and other poker software tools.

If you want to know more, I have already written a comprehensive article on the best poker software tools used by today's poker pros.

There is also one final module in this section where you can download hundreds of hand range charts (439 to be exact) which explain exactly what hands to play in pretty much any poker situation imaginable.

Upswing Poker Lab Review Solver

These charts cover online cash games, live poker games and tournaments as well.

This is really mind-blowing stuff because you basically get an exact answer for any preflop situation imaginable at the poker table. Raise this hand, fold that hand and so on.

Upswing Poker have also developed their own app for these hand charts (available for both Android and iOS) so that you can view them all right on your phone.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

Now of course all of the standard caveats apply here.

I would advise that you don't try to copy these charts literally. Every situation is different in poker and you need to adjust for things like player type, stack size, relevant history and so on. 

However, these hand charts are a highly impressive tool nonetheless especially for beginner or novice level poker players who are still trying to figure everything out. 

They are almost like a "cheat sheet" for how to play.


Not Ready to Spend Hundreds of Dollars on Expensive Poker Training? Get My Free Poker Cheat Sheet Instead


Are you a small stakes poker player on a tight budget and bankroll? Not ready to invest in expensive poker training yet?
 Blackrain79 free book 

If so, then I wrote this free poker cheat sheet for you. 

This is the best completely free poker strategy guide available online today. It shows you how to crush the small stakes games step by step. 

Learn exactly what hands to play and when to bet, raise and bluff all in! 

These are the proven strategies that I have used as a 10+ year poker pro to create some of the highest winnings of all time in these games.

And these are also many of the exact same strategies that you will learn in The Upswing Poker Lab.

Only difference is, my free poker cheat sheet is, well, free. 

I don't charge anything for it.

Enter your details below and I will send my free poker "cheat sheet" to your inbox right now.



3. Upswing Poker Lab Review 2022: Tournaments


The next section in The Upswing Poker Lab is all about MTT's (multi-table tournaments). Even though I am primarily a cash game player I think this section would be highly useful for any aspiring tournament pros out there. 

Starting with preflop there are detailed explanations of how ranges work in MTTs and how they differ from cash games. After that there is a large discussion of ICM (Independent Chip Model) analysis and an entire section devoted to just big blind theory (stack-off ranges). 

All of this is explained with dozens of videos and charts like the other sections of the Upswing Poker Lab that I already discussed above.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

The Tournament section continues with a large "Play and Explain" series of videos which covers actual situations deep in large online tourneys like the WCOOP $100k Final Table. 

There is also a large section devoted to live poker tournaments, discussing World Series of Poker preparation and strategy in particular. 

The MTT section finishes with a series of videos on 10bb-25bb short stack play by Parker "tonkaaaap" Talbot who is one of the most successful high stakes online tournament players in the world.

Once again, if you are looking for a free alternative though, I have created a comprehensive free tournament strategy guide which you can find, right here. 


4. Upswing Poker Lab Review 2022: Live Poker


The next section in The Upswing Poker Lab continues with a look at live poker. 

Even though I am primarily an online poker player I found this section to be particularly refreshing as well because so much poker training these days focuses on just internet poker.

In this section there are 3 modules and about 20 videos in total. Doug and Ryan discuss various high stakes situations, many of which are televised hands that they themselves played in.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

There is also tons of expert analysis included on how to adjust your play for live games, how to pick the right casino, reading physical tells and so on. 

Overall this section is a solid addition to The Poker Lab. There is plenty here to help a live poker newbie confidently step into casino cash games or tournaments and start winning right away.

I would like to see more added here in the future though for live players (casino and home games).

As I think some other advanced poker courses available these days simply have more content than The Upswing Poker Lab in this key area of the game, which a lot of people play!

By the way, if you are a small stakes poker player, I also put out free videos teaching you how to start quickly winning every single week.


Make sure you are subscribed so you never miss my newest videos.


5. Mini-Courses Within the Upswing Poker Lab


The next section includes a bunch of mini-courses on various advanced topics. This is another section which is tailor made for anyone who has already had some success online or live, but is struggling to really break through to the big time.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

The mini-courses here include detailed analysis of sample sizes and variance, how to finally fix that redline of yours (non-showdown winnings) and how to master using database software like PokerTracker or Hold'em Manager.

The final module in this section was particularly interesting to me. This is a detailed breakdown of GTO (game theory optimal) poker strategy by the man who quite literally wrote the book on it, Matthew Janda (author of Applications of No Limit Hold'em). 

He explains the main differences between exploitative poker strategy and GTO. The latter becomes an increasingly vital skill to know especially as you start moving up the stakes. 

Matthew also walks you through the math behind GTO poker theory, balancing your ranges perfectly, and tons of hand history examples to help illustrate it all for you.

Once again, if you are new to GTO, solvers or various higher level poker tools and strategies like this, I have already written a comprehensive article on all the best poker software used by today's pros. 


6. Play and Explains Section Review


The last section in The Upswing Poker Lab is called "Play and Explains." And it pretty much is exactly what it sounds like. 

This is arguably my favorite part of the entire course because it is basically a bunch of old school type training videos like you would see on CardRunners back in the day or like the dozens of videos I made for DragTheBar. 

Basically you get to look over the shoulder of one of 4 world class poker players while they play and explain their actions.

Upswing Poker Lab Review Coaches

You get to watch as Doug "WCGRider" Polk and Ryan "Fees" Fee play small, mid and high stakes cash games with a little bit of heads up thrown in there sometimes as well. 

Fried "MyNameIsKarl" Meulders, who is another world class cash game pro, has also been making a lot of 500NL Zoom videos for this section lately. 

And lastly, the MTT live play videos are once again covered by top tourney pro and popular Twitch streamer Parker "tonkaaaap" Talbot.

*Update 2022* - There have been several brand new world class poker pro coaches added to the Upswing Poker Lab in 2022 who are now regularly making Play and Explain videos as well.

This includes nosebleed crusher "Danmerrrr" among others (More on this below).


New Content in the Upswing Poker Lab (2022)


One of the best things that I like about The Upswing Poker Lab is that new content is continually being added all the time.

This ensures that you are learning the most cutting edge poker strategies (both on and off the poker table) to crush the games in 2022.

And speaking of "off the table" poker training, my one main gripe about The Upswing Poker Lab in the past was that there was not enough content included on stuff like:
  • The mental game
  • Tilt control
  • Bankroll management for the micro stakes
  • Understanding how variance works in poker
  • How to use a poker HUD

But now all of these vital parts of your off the table poker strategy are covered in massive detail in the Core Strategy section of the Upswing Lab.

For example, one of the biggest problems that low stakes poker players face in my experience is dealing with the swings of the game (bad beats, coolers).

Well now there is a 16 part 4+ hour video series included in The Upswing Poker Lab on how to break down your poker hands over a 10,000 hand sample and plug your leaks in your HUD database.

upswing poker lab review hud

This is a massive new addition to The Upswing Poker Lab that will help low stakes players tremendously.

As a 10+ year online poker pro myself, my single biggest weapon in staying on top of the games is learning how to plug my leaks through HUD database review and study my opponents to find the right strategies to beat them.

Ryan Fee does an excellent job of showing you how to do this step by step with individual videos on how to analyze your hands, run filters and plug your leaks and study your opponents.

Another one of my favorite new sections of The Upswing Poker Lab is Doug Polk's new 16 part 4+ hour video series on bankroll building at the micro stakes.

Drawing off his famous $10,000 poker bankroll challenge, he shows you exactly how to manage your bankroll in low stakes games, how many tables to play, when to move up and tons more.

upswing poker lab review bankroll

This is another hugely new important section in The Upswing Poker Lab that will help struggling low stakes poker players in particular.

Doug Polk teaches you the best strategies to build your bankroll quickly that are specifically aimed at low stakes poker games.

By the way, I have also written a comprehensive popular poker strategy article on the 15 proven ways to beat small stakes poker.


Upswing Poker Lab Mental Game and Tilt Control (New for 2022)


Some other important updates to the Upswing Poker Lab in 2022 includes several new sections on the mental game and tilt control.

I was particularly happy to see this as I have been saying for years that I believe the mental game is the single most important factor in your success as a poker player.

Most people have a big tilt problem, and there is new material to help you understand why you tilt, notice the signs and ultimately prevent it from happening in the first place.

I also liked the new mental game section which includes several new ideas I have never seen covered before such as warm up and cool down rituals and the importance of fitness and proper nutrition.

As a 10+ year poker pro myself, this is something that I have been preaching the importance of for years. Real poker pros take all of this poker "lifestyle" stuff very seriously.

There is also a brand new section in The Upswing Poker Lab on game selection which is another area that is absolutely vital for your poker success in 2022.

The new material teaches you how to locate the bad players and get the right seat against them which is something that I have been talking about for many years on this poker blog.

Overall, I really like all the new content in The Upswing Poker Lab on mental game, tilt control and game selection but I would like to see these sections expanded even more in 2022.

There are other poker training sites available these days which clearly have more to offer than the Upswing Poker Lab in these key areas of the game.


Upswing Poker Lab Live Poker, Tournament Poker and Elite New Coaches (New for 2022)


There have also been significant upgrades to the live poker and tournament strategy sections included in The Upswing Poker Lab.

For example, there are now sections on how to understand live table dynamics, make Bayesian adjustments in live poker games and play 3-bet pots much better.

If you play live poker in a casino there is plenty of good stuff here to help you start understanding how to read players at the table better and make specific adjustments against difficult players.

On the tournament side, there are all new sections on how to probe effectively from the big blind, check calling on the river out of position and check raising flops as the preflop raiser.

This includes dozens of new videos teaching you the most cutting edge tournament poker strategy in 2022 for the early stages, middle stages, bubble and final table.

But perhaps the best new content upgrade for The Upswing Poker Lab in 2022 is the addition of several new high stakes coaches creating new Play and Explain videos and regular content as well.

upswing poker lab review danmerr

This includes:
  • Tournament crusher Mo "MuckCallOK" Dietrich
  • Cash game beast Jason "JASON.MAC100" Mcconnon 

And my personal favorite, one of most well known elite high stakes online cash game crushers in the world, Daniel "Danmerr" Merrilees.

With these new additions to The Upswing Poker Lab coaching lineup, you are simply learning from the very best poker players in the world in 2022.

And The Upswing Poker Lab continues to add 5+ hours of new cutting edge poker training content every single month.


Who is The Upswing Poker Lab For?


So who is The Upswing Poker Lab for?

The Upswing Poker Lab is best suited for:

  • No limit holdem players
  • 6max games
  • Zoom poker games
  • Full ring 9 player games
  • Tournament poker players
  • Live poker players
  • Low stakes, mid stakes and high stakes

The Upswing Poker Lab is the most comprehensive poker training product to quickly improve your game that is available anywhere today.

With over 250 hours of high level poker training (and more being added all the time), there is something for everyone here.

Whether you play cash games, 6max, Zoom, full ring, tournaments, live poker there is a ton of high level material for you taught by some of the best poker players in the world.

This is why The Upswing Poker Lab continues to be one of my top recommended poker training programs in 2022.

Whether you are at a beginner level, novice or advanced, there is something in here for everyone. I have played poker professionally myself for over 10 years now.

All I can say is that I wish something like The Upswing Poker Lab was available when I was first starting out.

It would have cut my learning curve tremendously and saved me thousands of dollars in costly beginner mistakes.

The Bottom Line:

If you are a serious No Limit Hold'em poker player, this is the best training program available in 2022 to help you quickly improve your game, and start creating real consistent profits at the poker tables.

Once again though, if you are currently a small stakes player who isn't ready to invest hundreds of dollars in poker training like this, I have created a free alternative for you.

My free poker "cheat sheet" teaches you all of the basic strategies you need to know to start consistently beating the small and mid stakes games.

It is 100% free and you can pick up your copy, right here.


Upswing Poker Lab Engage Private Facebook Study Group


Another big strength of the Upswing Poker Lab is that it offers a private Facebook group for all members. This allows you to personally ask the coaches your questions about anything related to the course.

You can also post your own poker hands or strategy questions in there and get direct feedback from the coaches and other pros.

In fact, the Upswing Poker Engage Facebook Study Group (for Upswing Lab members only), currently has 4000 members and growing.

Upswing poker lab facebook engage group

I think more poker courses should offer something like this because poker learning should not be a one way street in my opinion, where the coach is simply giving you a sermon.

There should be a back and forth where you can ask questions and get answers from the instructors. The Upswing Poker Lab is unique because it is a poker training program that allows that.

Lastly, because you are in a private poker study group with 4000 other very serious poker players (who are all fellow Upswing Poker Lab members), this is a great way to meet other good poker players and also form private study groups with them.

By the way, I also have a free private poker study group on Facebook with over 6000 members. I don't charge anything to join though.

You can join for free, right here.


Free Bonuses Included in The Upswing Poker Lab


Along with free access to the exclusive private Facebook poker study group, recently the Upswing Poker Lab has added even more free bonuses when you enroll as well.

These include:


1. Advanced Solver Ranges

You get 98 preflop charts based on GTO ranges using advanced solver analysis:

Upswing Poker Lab Review

Use these free charts (normally a $379 value) to play the exact same preflop ranges as a high stakes world class poker pro would.

This takes the guesswork out of many complex preflop situations for you and let's you instantly start playing optimal ranges.


2. Advanced Tournament Ranges

With this free bonus you get 82 tournament preflop charts which teach you how to play perfectly in tournaments with various stack sizes in 3bet pots, multi-way hands and much more.

Upswing Poker Lab Review

Use these free charts (normally a $299 value) to improve your tournament game quickly and start dominating the final table.

Once again, these free charts take the guessing out of the equation for you and show you how to start playing optimal ranges in many complex tournament situations.


Is The Upswing Poker Lab Advanced Enough? Is It Good For High Stakes Players?


Also, another question that many people ask me is does The Upswing Poker Lab include enough advanced content for high stakes pros or is it only for struggling small and mid stakes players?

I would say that The Upswing Poker Lab is mostly targeted at small and mid stakes players but there is enough high level GTO (game theory optimal) strategy in it to satisfy the high stakes pros as well.

For example, the GTO sections of the course by Matthew Janda are especially top notch. He as you might know is the author of probably the most influential GTO poker book ever written, "Applications of No Limit Hold'em."

Also, with the recent addition of Daniel "Danmerr" Merrilees to the coaching lineup you have one of the absolute best high stakes cash game players in the world creating regular content for the Upswing Poker Lab.

Danmerrrr has won millions of dollars crushing nosebleed stakes games online in recent years and I can't wait to watch his new videos every month in The Upswing Poker Lab.

For example:

Just last week Danmerr released a new 2 part series on 500NL Zoom (each video is 45 minutes). You get to see every hand he plays as he smashes a lineup of tough regulars.

He also recently released an 8 part series on "Raising the River" where he analyzes hands with a solver that he played in nosebleed games against some of the best high stakes online poker players in the world, such as TrueTeller.

Upswing Poker Lab Review Danmerr

So while The Upswing Poker Lab is very accessible for beginner and novice poker players, I think there is enough high level strategy in the Upswing Poker Lab that even advanced players and pros will be satisfied.

And since they only hire the best poker players in the world at Upswing Poker, such as the recent addition of Alex "Kanu7" Millar, you can be sure that The Upswing Poker Lab will continue to provide some of the most advanced poker training in the world.


Final Thoughts


People ask me all the time what is the best way to improve your poker game these days. Or what is the best advanced poker training?

Well, if you are brand new to the game of poker or struggling at the lower stakes, then I would say any of the hundreds of free strategy articles I have written for this website or my poker strategy books and videos would be the best place to start.

In fact, if you literally have no money at all to invest in any poker training right now, just grab a copy of my free poker "cheat sheet."

It actually includes many of the exact same poker strategies that you will find in the Upswing Poker Lab. Only difference is that I don't charge anything for it.

You can get my free poker cheat sheet, right here.

What if you are truly ready to take your game to a world class level and start making the big money at higher stakes games though?

After having a thorough look now at this massive poker training program, all I can say is that I wish something like this was available when I was just starting out in poker 10+ years ago.

It probably would have cut years off of my learning development. There is so much included in the Upswing Lab that it was hard for me to cover it all here.

For example, you will learn advanced poker math, GTO theory, exploitative strategy, how to understand ranges better, how to work with equity tools and the basics of solver theory.

Now with all of that said, will this poker training suddenly turn you into a world class high stakes crusher over night though? Probably not.

But I believe The Upswing Poker Lab could definitely be a game-changer for someone who is currently struggling to produce real, consistent results at low or mid stakes right now.

Membership in The Upswing Poker Lab is currently $99 per month and there are cheaper options if you opt for a longer term plan. You can of course cancel at any time as well.

I can understand that this will still be a bit price prohibitive for many small stakes players who are on a small bankroll.

This is why I recently created a brand new advanced poker training program called BlackRain79 Elite Poker University.

I charge a one-time fee only (no monthly fee like the Upswing Lab). And since it was just released, all of the material is totally up to date for today's games.

The Upswing Poker Lab is best suited for serious poker players who play online, live, cash games, tournaments, sit and gos, 6max, full ring or Zoom.

Lastly though, I know that a lot of beginners read my poker blog.

If you are just starting out in poker, and you aren't ready to invest in any higher level poker training yet, I also created a free option for you.

My free poker "cheat sheet" includes many of the exact same strategies you will find in the Upswing Poker Lab.

I don't charge anything for it though.

Because I know I certainly couldn't afford any advanced poker training when I was first starting out.

So this is my way of giving back.

You can get my free poker cheat sheet, right here.

Upswing poker lab review