Upswing Short Deck Course Review: Is It Worth It? [2024]

Upswing Short Deck Poker Course Review

In the past year or two Short Deck Hold'em Poker has really taken off in popularity.

This has been especially driven by high stakes Short Deck cash games in Asia featuring well known pros like Tom "durrrr" Dwan bluffing extremely wealthy Chinese businessmen!

If you have never heard of Short Deck Hold'em before (also sometimes called Six-Plus Hold'em) it is basically a variant of Texas Hold'em where the 2 through 5 cards are removed from the deck.

So instead of a regular 52 card deck, Short Deck Hold'em is played with 36 cards instead.

There are a few other very significant differences in 6+ Hold'em as well though. Namely, a flush beats a full house and three of a kind beats a straight.

If you are wondering why. It is because with the 2 through 5 cards taken out of the deck, these hands are now mathematically harder to make.

Another interesting quirk of Short Deck Holdem is the Ace can be played either high or low just like in regular Holdem. Therefore, the lowest straight possible is A6789 (in regular Holdem it is A2345).

Everything else remains the same though. Each player is dealt two hole cards face down and the goal of the game is to make the best five card poker hand.

Short Deck Hold'em Poker is still a relatively "unsolved" game though and I believe there are some very big edges to be found in this game right now (think No Limit Holdem 10-15 years ago).

So I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the new Short Deck Course by Upswing Poker.

Is Short Deck Course by Upswing Poker worth it?

Here is the short answer:

Short Deck Course by Upswing Poker is a decent option for beginner poker players. However there are many significantly better poker training options available these days for serious players.

This is why it did not make the list of my top recommended poker training programs.

Also, given the extremely high price tag this course is simply going to be beyond the reach of most of my audience.

And quite frankly, I don't know that you are getting enough value for the price it commands in any case.

But let's move on to the full review now and you can decide for yourself.

Upswing Poker Short Deck Course With Kane Kalas

The Short Deck Course by Kane Kalas is an exciting new poker training program that was just released by Upswing Poker.

This is the poker training site by the way that is famous for the Upswing Poker Lab which is still my #1 top recommended poker training course today.

You can read my full review for The Upswing Poker Lab right here.

For their new Short Deck Poker course Upswing Poker have hired Kane Kalas as the head instructor. Kane Kalas is a well known high stakes online poker pro and one of the best Short Deck Holdem players in the world.

Now since Short Deck is such a new format, nobody has ever offered a comprehensive strategy course covering it until now. And since this is still a largely new and unexplored game, the opportunity for big results is very clear.

Upswing Short Deck Course Review - What is Included?

There are nearly 100 videos (27 total hours) of advanced Short Deck Holdem theory taught to you by one of the game's foremost experts, Kane Kalas.

Kane starts with the fundamental concepts of Short Deck theory and then moves on to preflop, postflop and then the "Play and Explains."

If you are unfamiliar with Upswing Poker Play and Explains these are basically a step by step walkthrough and breakdown of ultra high stakes poker hands.

In the Short Deck Poker course there are 57 in-depth videos covering high stakes Triton poker Short Deck hands.

These hands include some of the most famous poker players in the world such as Tom Dwan and TrueTeller playing high stakes Short Deck Hold'em, analyzed by Kane Kalas.

Overall, the Upswing Poker Short Deck Course offers unprecedented high level theory and advanced strategy analysis on this exciting new format by one of the game's foremost experts.

Who is the Upswing Poker Short Deck Course by Kane Kalas For?

In this new Short Deck poker course Kane Kalas does a good job of including content for beginners all the way up to advanced pros.

And this really is key. Because even for long time poker pros like myself, Short Deck is still a relatively new and unknown game to me.

While the rules of Short Deck Hold'em are still the same as a regular poker game, the removal of the 2 through 5 cards and the altered hand rankings (i.e. a flush beats a full house), changes the strategy involved dramatically.

So for example Kane teaches you:
  • Basic short deck hand strength both preflop and postflop
  • How to analyze flop board textures in short deck holdem
  • How to play flush draws and straight draws
  • How to play two pair and three of a kind optimally in short deck holdem
  • Bluffing the river, bluff catching and understanding how blockers work

Basically, the Upswing Short Deck Course includes almost all of the most important fundamental concepts and ideas that I as a relative beginner to the game would want to know.

But there is also enough advanced short deck theory and strategy, especially in the extensive high stakes short deck hand review section, to satisfy the experienced short deck pros as well.

Downsides of the Upswing Short Deck Course

With all of that out of the way, let's move on to the one fairly big downside of the Upswing Poker Short Deck Course.

And that is the price.

At $999 this is simply going to price out the vast majority of small and mid stakes poker players.

This course is only going to appeal to a handful of wealthy poker pros who are looking to get an edge in a new game.

If you are a small or mid stakes poker player and you just want a simple strategy guide to get you winning quickly right now, I would recommend just reading my free poker "cheat sheet."

Yes, it's free, I don't charge anything at all for it.

It includes everything you need to know to start confidently beating your poker games, using the exact strategies I have used as a 10+ year pro.

You can grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet, right here.

Final Thoughts

So should you get the new Upswing Poker Short Deck Course with Kane Kalas? Is it worth it?

Well, I think it depends how serious you are about short deck hold'em and taking your game to the next level.

It also depends on whether you are willing to shell out $999 or not. 

Unfortunately this will probably be too much for many of my small and mid stakes readers here on the blog.

Also, there are just simply many much better comparable poker training courses available these days and a much lower price.

But I think short deck holdem is an exciting new format of poker that has a ton of room for growth because so many people don't have a clue how to play it well yet!

That is why I am happy to finally see a high end training program available for short deck poker. And I think Kane Kalas does an excellent job of teaching the game to both beginners and advanced pros alike.

I will say though that this new short deck course by Upswing Poker is not for the dabblers though. If you are not serious about taking your short deck game to a world class level, then I would not bother with it.

The level of instruction in this poker course is extremely high. And it was meant for very serious poker players who want to learn elite level short deck strategy from the best in the world.

However, if you just want a simple step by step strategy guide instead to get you quickly beating the small and mid stakes poker games, just grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

Upswing Short Deck Course Review

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