Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass - Which One is Best For You?

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass
One of the most common questions I get asked these days is: Which poker training program is better, The Upswing Poker Lab or the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass?

Both of these poker courses are among the very best poker training material available today in my opinion to get you quickly beating the low stakes and mid stakes poker games.

By the way, Phil Ivey also has a Masterclass which I have actually already reviewed in the past as well, right here.

However, since I get asked about the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass quite a bit more often, I will be focusing on that Masterclass in this article.

Now, I do want to mention right off the top though that neither of these poker courses are going to turn you into a high stakes poker pro over night.

That takes years and years of dedication.

But for somebody who is motivated to learn and improve their game at the low and mid stakes, The Upswing Poker Lab and The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass are both excellent choices in my opinion.

And they are both taught by some of the best professional poker players in the world. So let me break it all down for you in this article.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Daniel Negreanu Masterclass. Let's find out which one is better for you!

Best Poker Training For Beginners - Daniel Negreanu Masterclass

Alright, so if you are a total beginner to poker, I am going to give the edge to the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass here.

The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass is aimed more at the beginner level poker player. There is not a lot of super advanced math and theory in this course, unlike The Upswing Poker Lab.

Instead, Daniel focuses on teaching you the basics such as:
  • What hands to play
  • How to use position
  • When to bet, raise and fold
  • How to read their poker hand
  • Basic (and a bit of advanced) poker math
  • Fundamental strategy for both cash games and tournaments
  • How to use table talk
  • How to pick up tells
Basically, Daniel Negreanu gives a poker beginner an excellent crash course on the basics that every beginner or struggling low limit player needs to know.

Through dozens of video lessons, Daniel teaches you the fundamentals of winning poker strategy for both online poker and live poker in simple terms and language that anyone can understand.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass

In fact, this is one of the key strengths of the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass in my opinion.

First off, you know that you are learning from one of the best poker players of all time. Daniel Negreanu has over $40 million dollars in career winnings in live poker tournaments alone.

But even more importantly, Daniel does an excellent job of explaining how to play a consistent winning poker strategy in the simplest terms possible for beginners.

Unlike many other poker training programs, which include tons of complicated jargon, advanced math and complicated theories, there is none of that in Daniel's Masterclass.

This is why it is perfect for poker beginners in particular.

In fact, for anyone who is struggling to beat the very lowest stakes cash games or tournaments online or live, I would recommend enrolling in the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass.

I actually made a complete walkthrough of the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass on YouTube to give you a better idea of what is inside this poker training program.

In this video you will learn more about how the video lessons from Daniel work, along with the course workbook ("homework") that you get.

And also, you will learn how to contact Daniel directly through his "Office Hours" component of this course where he personally answers your questions.

This is something that also sets this course apart from many others. The personal touches like this.

You can enroll in the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass right here.

Not All Poker Training Has to be Expensive - Get My Free Poker Cheat Sheet Instead

Let's face it, a lot of the poker training available these days can be pretty expensive.

For example, both the Upswing Poker Lab and the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass cost hundreds of dollars to join.

What if you are a small stakes poker player though on a limited budget and bankroll? 

This might be too much of an investment for you right now.
 Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass 

This is why 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. 

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

Best Poker Training For Novice and Advanced Players - The Upswing Poker Lab

Now, as much as I recommend the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass for complete beginners and those struggling to consistently turn a profit at the very lowest stakes, some people need something a bit more advanced than this.

Many poker players out there already have the basics down and maybe they have already had a bit of success either at the online poker tables or the live ones.

If this sounds like you, and you are looking for something that is quite a bit more advanced, then I would definitely give the edge here to The Upswing Poker Lab.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass
Hundreds of Upswing Poker Lab video lessons just like this are included, taught to you by today's top pros, where they break down complex situations and provide you cutting edge poker strategies often with the aid of solvers and equity tools.

The Upswing Poker Lab has been my #1 most recommended poker training program for many years now because it is unequaled in the amount of high level poker theory and cutting edge strategy included.

While The Upswing Poker Lab does have plenty of material for struggling beginners (tons actually), there is so much more for mid stakes and high stakes poker players who are looking to take their game to an elite world class level.

This is something that you will generally not find in The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass.

The Upswing Poker Lab currently has over 250 hours of some of the highest level poker training available anywhere today taught to you by some of the best poker players in the world.

These are a few of the main instructors for The Upswing Poker Lab:
  • Doug Polk (3 time WSOP bracelet winner, One Drop winner for $3.7 million dollars)
  • Ryan Fee (world class mid and high stakes online and live pro)
  • Fried "mynameiskarl" Meulders (one of the best mid and high stakes Zoom players in the world)
  • Daniel "Danmerr" Merrilees (nosebleed stakes cash game legend)
  • Mo "MuckCallOK" Dietrich (online and live tournament crusher)
  • Matthew Janda (wrote the most famous book ever on GTO poker theory)

In fact, this in my opinion, has always been one of the key strengths of The Upswing Poker Lab.

That is, unlike other poker training programs, they ONLY hire the very best poker players in the world to teach you.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass tournaments
In the "Play and Explains" section of the Upswing Poker Lab you can actually 
just watch these elite level pros play high stakes poker games as they 
explain all their decisions to you (every hand revealed!)

And there is also new material being added all the time, with tons of new videos every month.

This is also what separates The Upswing Poker Lab from every other poker training program out there.

The advanced poker strategies that you are learning are always the very latest and most effective for today's games.

There countless video lessons made by these coaches teaching you both basic cash game and tournament concepts as well as advanced theory and strategy such as:
  • GTO poker theory
  • Advanced solver analysis
  • How to use blockers
  • How to count card combinations
  • How to check raise bluff
  • How to play a loose and aggressive style
  • How to read ranges and crush good players

And tons more. It would actually take you months to properly go through every video lesson included in The Upswing Lab.

There are also 400+ preflop hand charts for cash games, Zoom, tournaments and more which actually tell you exactly what hands to play in every situation imaginable.

You can actually just download these charts on your phone and view them in the custom Upswing Poker app.

Honestly though, there is so much basic and advanced material covered in The Upswing Poker Lab that it is difficult to even scratch the surface in this blog post.

This is why I also made a comprehensive walkthrough video on YouTube for the Upswing Poker Lab so that you can see for yourself exactly what is included inside:

Bottom Line:

If you are a serious poker player looking to take your game to an elite world class level, then this is one of the best advanced poker training options today.

However, I know that many of my readers are small stakes poker players who are on a limited budget and bankroll.

And at $100 a month to join, the Upswing Lab is out of the price range for many newer low stakes players.

So this is why I decided to create a free poker "cheat sheet" which teaches many of the basic poker strategies that you will learn in the Upswing Lab.

However, I purposely decided to make it 100% free.

You can download my poker cheat sheet for free right here.

Which is Better For Tournaments? Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass

How about for all you tournament players out there? Which one is better, The Upswing Poker Lab or The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass?

In this comparison, it is honestly really close.

Daniel Negreanu is one of the highest winning poker tournament players of all time with north of $40 million dollars worth of live tournament winnings alone, and countless WSOP bracelets to go along with it as well.

In fact, if you have been around this game for awhile, you might remember Daniel Negreanu crushing the World Poker Tour as well on TV, along with many other prominent tournaments.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Daniel Negreanu Masterclass tournaments

Daniel Negreanu has quite literally been the face of poker for the last decade or two, and his incredibly consistent results have a lot to do with that.

On the other hand, The Upswing Poker Lab has some of the best online poker tournament coaches in the world with millions of dollars of earnings in their own right.

And Doug Polk himself is a multiple time WSOP bracelet winner and took down the One Drop a few years ago (beating all the world's top pros) for $3.7 million dollars.

So with all of that said, and despite Daniel's impeccable tournament results, I am still going to have to give the edge for poker tournament players to The Upswing Poker Lab.

And this is simply due to the amount of high level tournament strategy included.

There is comprehensive advanced strategy advice and analysis for every stage of a poker tournament:
  • Early stages (80+ big blinds)
  • Middle stages (30 big blinds to 80 big blinds)
  • Bubble
  • Final Table (30 big blinds or less)

This includes a complete breakdown of how to play optimal tournament poker at each stage depending on your stack size, the ICM considerations, solver analysis and more.

There are also complete Final Table analysis (hand by hand commentary) for some of the biggest online tournaments in history such as the $100k WCOOP main event.

You get to see first hand what goes into winning the biggest online poker tournaments, with every hand revealed.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass Tournaments Zoom

What if you play live poker tournaments though like the World Series of Poker?

In terms of live poker tournaments, you might be able to give a slight edge here to The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass because he is such a well known live poker champion.

Daniel includes his expert advice for example on many subtle details of live poker tournaments such as picking up on physical tells, table talk, how to put people on tilt and so on.

So if your goal is specifically to win the World Series of Poker, then I might give a slight edge here to The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass.

But for an overall primer on how to take your poker tournament game to an elite world class level, I would have to give the edge to The Upswing Poker Lab.

By the way, I also have a huge article on my website for tournament poker strategy, which is of course 100% free. 

Which is Better For Cash Games and Zoom? Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass

If you are a cash game player (and you are not a total beginner), then in this comparison, it isn't very close in my opinion.

The Upswing Poker Lab is a far better poker training program for cash game players, and this especially includes fast fold style games like Zoom, Snap, Zone, Fast Forward and so on.

The Upswing Poker Lab includes some of the best cash game instructors in the world including:
  • Doug "WCGRider" Polk (#1 heads up NLHE nosebleed stakes player in the world online for many years)
  • Daniel "Damnerr" Merrilees (nosebleed stakes 6max cash game legend online)
  • Fried "mynameiskarl" Meulders (one of the best Zoom poker players in the world)

This 8 part "River Raising" series for example was released by Danmerr recently.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass 6max Cash Games

He has millions of dollars in winnings in some of the highest stakes 6max cash games online. And you get to learn first hand the strategies that he uses to crush other world class pros.

This lineup of coaches (especially for cash games) is simply unmatched by any poker training program available today.

And since The Upswing Poker Lab is updated with new videos on a weekly basis, you are always getting the most advanced cash game theory and strategy.

You will learn:
  • How to play a cash game short stack, mid stack and full stack
  • How to balance your ranges perfectly in cash games
  • How to apply basic and advanced GTO theory
  • Advanced solver analysis for preflop, flop, turn and river
  • How to play optimal poker in 3bet, 4bet and 5bet pots
  • Advanced deep stack poker strategy for cash games
And much more.

All of these concepts by the way are taught to you in 10 minute to 30 minute video lessons. Sometimes there is also some additional study material included.

However, as mentioned already, a decent chunk of the course material is also taught in the form of "Play and Explains."

This is where you can actually just look over the shoulder of one of these top cash game pros as they explain every single decision they make to you.

This includes fast fold cash games like Zoom, Zone, Snap and Fast Forward poker.

I think this hybrid style of learning is excellent for both beginner and novice level serious students of the game.

Not to be outdone, the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass has plenty of basic (and some advanced) cash game strategy to help you quickly improve your game as well.

Many people forget that Daniel Negreanu is actually a highly successful cash game player as well. And once again, his expertise in a live cash game environment specifically is just unparalleled.

For example, his breakdown of live physical cash game tells and live hand reading is the best I have ever seen in a poker training course.

Also, as a 20+ year poker pro, Daniel is able to break down the mental side of the game (surviving the ups and downs), from a level of experience that is simply unmatched by nearly all other pros.

However, for an overall complete system for crushing today's cash games both online and live, including the latest cutting edge strategies, I am going to have to give the edge here to The Upswing Poker Lab.

Once again, I also have several completely free cash game strategy options here on my website.

For example, see my free guides for:

Upswing Poker Lab versus Masterclass - Which One Has Better Free Bonus Content?

Both the Upswing Poker Lab and the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass include plenty of free bonus content and coursework to help you absorb all the strategies and begin implementing them in your game right away.

For example, the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass comes with a highly in-depth 120+ page course workbook, which helps you understand every single lesson that Daniel teaches you along with lots of additional insights.

As mentioned, the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass also includes "Office Hours" where you can personally ask Daniel questions yourself.

However, not to be outdone, The Upswing Poker Lab also includes over 400 preflop strategy charts which basically tell you what hands to play in every situation imaginable in a cash game, Zoom, tournament or a live game.

Upswing Poker Lab versus Masterclass poker training live games
Enter the preflop situation in cash games, tournaments, Zoom or live games and the Upswing Poker Lab
preflop charts tell you exactly what hands to play.
This is literally unheard of in any poker training program that I have ever seen before, because these charts give you almost a "cheat sheet" for what hands to play in all preflop situations.

And, as mentioned also, you can just download these right to your smartphone using the custom Upswing poker app.

Inside the Upswing Poker Lab you will also find tons of extra worksheets and bonus strategy guides to help you through the mountain of advanced poker content included in this poker course.

Lastly, The Upswing Poker Lab includes perhaps the best private poker study group found anywhere online with its Facebook "Engage" poker group.

upswing poker lab versus masterclass poker zoom 6max

In this private member's only study group, you can personally ask the coaches your questions about poker situations that are giving you trouble as well as get advice on your poker hands.

You can also benefit from a community of thousands of other serious poker players who are also students in the Upswing Poker Lab and very determined to improve their own game as well.

So in the end, both The Upswing Poker Lab and The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass include plenty of bonus material and study guides to help you improve your game even faster.

But when you include the 400+ preflop "cheat sheets" into the mix, I am going to have to give the edge once again here to The Upswing Poker Lab.

Once again, for you small stakes poker players who don't have a $100 per month right now to subscribe to a training program like this, I created a free poker "cheat sheet" for you.

By the way, if you are looking for a completely free private poker discussion group I have one on Facebook with 6k+ members.

Join my private Facebook poker strategy discussion group, right here.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass Price Breakdown Comparison

Finally, let's have a look at the price breakdown between The Upswing Poker Lab and the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass.

Which poker training program offers the better bang for your buck?

The Upswing Poker Lab is a monthly based subscription membership starting at $99 per month, although it is cheaper if you enroll for the semi-annual or annual plans.

The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass on the other hand is a one time payment of $90, or you can access the entire Masterclass library (which includes the Phil Ivey Masterclass, Gordon Ramsey, Steph Curry etc.) for $180.

As for which one is a better bang for your buck, I am going to have to give the slight nod here to The Upswing Poker Lab even though it is a subscription based poker training with a slightly higher price.

And this is simply because the amount of high level elite poker instruction in the Upswing Lab is frankly more than any other poker course ever created.

And as mentioned, there are brand new cutting edge poker strategy lessons and live play videos being added every single week.

This includes all the latest GTO poker theory and solver analysis, which is stuff that you will NOT find much of in The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass.

However, Daniel's Masterclass still offers a pretty solid value as well especially for the newer poker player who wants a complete package of video lessons from one of the game's all-time great players, that will help them start winning immediately.

The bottom line is that the price of enrollment for either of these poker courses is literally just a buy-in or two in any micro stakes poker game.

But the poker knowledge that you will learn in either The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass or The Upswing Poker Lab is worth thousands of dollars at the very least for a serious poker player.

I know that many people who read my poker blog are not ready to make this kind of investment yet though.

So once again, for small stakes players on a limited budget and bankroll, I created a totally free poker cheat sheet for you.

Final Thoughts

So what is the final verdict here? 

Should you enroll in The Upswing Poker Lab or The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass?

Well, I think both of these poker training programs are among the very best ways to quickly improve your poker game these days.

Edit: I should mention that I also just released my brand new BlackRain79 Elite Poker University which covers a lot of the exact same material as both of these courses (and much more).

However, all of the material in my new course is completely up to date for today's games and might be a better option for struggling small and mid stakes players in particular.

However, both the Daniel Negreanu Masterclass and the Upswing Lab appeal to different skill-sets and levels of poker experience.

The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass is the best poker training option for poker beginners.

If you are quite literally brand new to poker or you are still struggling to turn a consistent profit in the very lowest stakes games online or live, then I would recommend starting with The Daniel Negreanu Masterclass.

You are learning from arguably the best poker player of all-time and Daniel has a unique ability to explain highly complex poker theory and strategy in simple bite size pieces that any beginner can benefit from.

The Upswing Poker Lab is a much better advanced poker training option for anyone who is not a complete beginner.

However, if you are an experienced poker player, who has perhaps seen a little bit of success, and you are looking for something a bit more advanced, then there is no question that The Upswing Poker Lab wins here.

The Upswing Poker Lab is the most comprehensive poker training program ever created with 250+ hours of video lessons from some of the best poker players in the world today.

This is why it The Upswing Poker Lab has been one of my top rated poker training courses for several years in a row now.

Simply put, if you are a serious poker player looking to take your game to a world class level, then there is no better answer than The Upswing Poker Lab.

Anyways, I hope this breakdown and analysis between these two top poker training programs was helpful for you.

Quite frankly, I don't think you could go wrong with either of them. This is why they continue to be at the top of my list for serious poker players looking to quickly improve their game.

Like I always say. This isn't the "old days" anymore where a handful of poker pros greedily hang on to all the elite poker knowledge.

It is readily available today, and taught to you by some of the best players in the world.

And there is no faster way to skyrocket your poker earnings, than by investing in a world class training progam like The Upswing Lab or Daniel's Masterclass.

Lastly, to learn my entire strategy to beat small stakes poker games, grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.


Please note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to enroll in either of these poker training programs.

Upswing Poker Lab vs Masterclass