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Fernando “JNandez” Habegger. Fernando “JNandez” Habegger is a well established Pot Limit Omaha specialist and coach. He started playing in 2006 and then took a job as a poker dealer in order to get closer to the game. Towards the end of 2010, JNandez made the move from No-Limit Hold’em to PLO.

Sarah Herring @auntychardonnayJeff Platt @jeffplatt
  • The drama between Fernando “JNandez” Habegger and Doug Polk, with Joey Ingram stuck in between, continued this past weekend with two news videos. The whole fiasco has turned into a “he said.
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Episode 493 of the PokerNews Podcast with Sarah Herring and [Removed:139] includes an in-depth conversation with JNandez Poker (Fernando Habegger) about the vision for his new training website, and what advice he has for players who are working on improving their game. JNandez also discusses what led to his departure from Upswing Poker.

Sarah and Jeff also dive into the hottest stories in the poker world as the summer poker season approaches. The legend that is Phil Ivey is planning on making an appearance at the World Series of Poker, Valentin Vornicu sets an all-time record, and a Supreme Court ruling on sports betting might open up the floodgates for online poker. That, and more, on a jam-packed edition of the PokerNews Podcast!

This week's sponsors: Spades Sun Shades (use the promo code 'PokerNews' at checkout) and Global Poker
(there's still time to get in on the Rattlesnake Open, the Main Event is Sunday, May 20, with a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool!)

Show Time Stamps

0:10Intro: 'Day 2 Life' for Jeff, #PNPod run-good
1:15Sponsor: Spades Sun Shades (Use the promo code 'PokerNews' at checkout)
4:10Valentin Vornicu Wins Back to Back WSOP-Circuit Events
7:50Phil Ivey Wins Triton Short-Deck Event, Discusses Summer WSOP Plans
13:15Adrian Mateos Wins Winamax SISMIX Main Event
15:45Sponsor: Global Poker The Rattlesnake Open Main Event features a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool!
18:00HUDs Will Not Be Allowed on Run It Once
20:45Supreme Court Clears Way for Expanded Sports Betting
27:30Fernando Habegger jumps on the podcast
29:25On his departure from Upswing: 'The whole premise of this course was a one-time course..but throughout the year there were some really interesting movements in PLO.. All this second-guessing, which most of the coaching industry was based on anyways prior to solvers is an empirical style of teaching..So I felt I wanted to hop on this train of actually being one of the first people in the PLO industry to introduce the solver to a bigger audience.'
33:20How his coaching style has developed: 'It's all about the environment. It's not about watching a video or learning a strategy or using a solver, it's about creating an environment where you have a constant progression, where you're motivated, you find feedback, you find members who have a similar goal as you.'
35:30How Pot-Limit Omaha is progressing: 'Live PLO is blowing up quite a bit..People don't argue as loosely anymore when it comes to professional poker. They have facts, they have numbers associated with it.'
39:45Why his coaching can benefit PLO players at all stakes: 'I'm a very strong believer in concepts..At the ground level, it's all about understanding why something is true and why something else is not true.'
42:20More on his separation from Upswing: 'I was still basically a video producer..and producing videos is really only one angle of creating the perfect environment for someone to become a better poker player.'
45:40How he finds the time to play: 'I just expanded my team from basically a one-man show to now working with eight people who all play PLO and all understand PLO..We are creating concepts and presentations all together..so that makes it much easier for me to create the environment but at the same time keep playing and keep my game sharp in PLO.'
46:15The team on JNandez Poker, his training website
49:30The future of the JNandez Poker brand: 'I'm a consumer of content..I'm just trying to get poker training to a level that can compete with the content people are actually consuming outside of poker.'
55:40Learning from your mistakes: 'The easiest way and most likely way somebody is going to learn..is if they get hit in the face basically.'
57:40Taking on a completely new project: 'I love the idea of taking on more responsibility the older you get. It's a way of growing up. When you get older, you start to feel this urge to take on this responsibility of something else or for someone else.'
1:01:00The 10X Conference and what kind of impact that had on him: 'The energy is just amazing'
1:02:45His advice to players looking to create a strong poker environment: 'I'm a strong believer in finding someone else that can help you, or a community of people. I think people should be more confident about investing in themselves, and if you feel very uncomfortable investing in yourself, then most likely poker at the high level..might just not be for you.'
1:06:30How cryptocurrency affects the poker landscape: 'You can get burned really hard. Because when everyone tells you you can't go wrong, you start believing it..If something looks very attractive..I would be kinda careful because most likely you have to be an expert to make a lot of money.'
1:10:00Check out JNandez Poker, and his YouTube channel.
1:12:25The PokerNews Podcast Network is available on audioBoom.
1:14:50What the Heck Happened to Randy “The Dreamcrusher” Jensen?
1:20:10Sponsor: Global Poker The Rattlesnake Open Main Event features a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool!
1:20:44Wrapping up the show, plans for next week!

You can check out the full video of the interview with JNandez below or on our YouTube Channel.

Tell us who you want to hear from. Let us know what you think of the show - tweet about the podcast using #PNPod, and be sure to follow Sarah and Jeff on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the PokerNews Podcast on iTunes here, or you can access the RSS feed here. The PokerNews Podcast family of podcasts is now available on audioBoom. Leave us a review and we might read it on the air, or at least give you a shoutout.

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    Phil IveyPokerNews PodcastOnline PokerJNandezFernando HabeggerSarah HerringWSOPValentin VornicuTritonShort Deck
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    Phil IveyValentin VornicuFernando Habegger

There will be no real winner coming out of the Doug Polk and Fernando ‘JNandez87’ Habegger feud on YouTube this week.

The reputations of both Polk and Habegger will undoubtedly be tarnished by the various allegations.

Publicly airing his dirty laundry regarding one of poker’s most popular content creators could serve to raise Habegger’s significantly smaller social media profile. His motivation may even be just that. He could very well be leveraging Polk’s immense following to sell a few more subscriptions for his JNandez Poker PLO Mastermind course.

But ultimately, going public with allegations that Polk’s Upswing Poker fudged revenue numbers to keep from paying him his fair share won’t do it. Instead, it will damage the image of poker coaching and the poker training business in general — something that is much more likely to hurt sales over the long haul.

A truth about the business of poker training

The truth is, Habegger’s allegations, and Polk’s defense against them, unveil a truth about the business of poker training neither side really wants the public to know. Which is that poker training is a business, first and foremost.


Those in the business of teaching others poker strategy want it to look like their sole motivation is helping people get better at playing the game. When in fact, what’s really driving them is the almighty buck.

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Habegger claims Upswing owes him close to $100,000 for the course he ultimately quit on. Polk revealed financials showing the short-lived course did close to $1 million in sales. Plus, that Habegger has already been paid out over $200,000 in accordance with the revenue share agreement between the two.

Unfortunately, both only serve to show just how big of a business poker training has become. Plus, they completely dispel the myth either side are in it for anything more than money.

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Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach

The old idiom those who can, do; those who can’t, teach, doesn’t really apply here. In poker, it’s those who have done can now trade in on their hard-earned success for the kind of stable income a skill game with a significant element of luck can never provide.

People might think these poker players turned coaches were born to teach. That they want to share what they’ve learned playing the game out of the goodness of their hearts. Think again.

This description might fit the average high school English teacher making $58,000 a year. But it doesn’t match gamblers who exploit edges for a living. Nor those who leverage the success they’ve had into a seven-figure revenue stream teaching.

The knock on coaches and training sites inside pro poker circles has always been that making people better at poker is tantamount to killing the long term viability of poker as a profession. Or at least its profitability. Of course, poker pros who say this publicly are criticized for being selfish.

The pot calling the kettle black

This Polk-Habegger feud makes that criticism seem a little like the pot calling the kettle black.

The content on Upswing Poker, Habegger’s PLO Mastermind course, and many other training sites will likely help you improve your game. It might even be worth the hundreds or thousands of dollars you’ll ultimately pay for it.


Just don’t be fooled into thinking the people behind it are in it for anything more than that. Instead, allow this very public feud over money to serve as an indication of what most coaches and training sites are really about.

Jnandez Twitch