Fernando "JNandez87" Habegger Quits Upswing Poker

Less than a year after signing as PLO coach with Doug Polk & Ryan Fees Upswing Poker training site, and barely three months into an apparent 18 month commitment to teach the site's "PLO Lab" course Fernando "JNandez87" Habbeger has shocked his employers by exercising an option in his contract to quit the company to start a rival training site of his own.

News of the split began circulating after it was noticed Habbeger had been removed from Upswing Poker's facebook groups, as, according to a 2+2 post from Doug Polk, "he plans to steal our customers and use that to begin his own site."

After waking up to discover his departure had become a hot topic Fernando published a 12 minute YouTube video explaining his decision to quit Upswing. Essentially his reasoning was that although he was hired as an individual to produce content for Upswing on a freelance basis, which had been fine for his 40 video 'PLO University', that since Upswing's 'PLO Lab' began three months ago that he had been working as part of a team of close PLO playing friends/collaborators to refine, research, and craft the content he would ultimately present in his training videos. As such he said he faced two problems; firstly that he was finding it hard to successfully pitch new ideas to Upswing which he and his team had come up with, ideas which perhaps involved using new software or new teaching methods. Secondly he said that although he remuneration was fine for one person, that in reality it was now a team of half a dozen or so producing the content and that as such he was unable to sustain his team on his agreed pay as a single Upswing employee. The video finished with JNandez saying that he would be producing another three months of cutting-edge content for Upswing before his departure and one month after that he would be starting again with his team at JNandez Poker.

Above: See JNandez87's comment on his decision to quit Upswing Poker

Needless to say, Doug Polk was far from impressed by Fernando's decision to quit Upswing at this time. As he explained in a lengthy post on 2+2 thread, his primary problem with JNandez quitting was that Upswing had sold 6 month and year long subscriptions to the PLO Lab on the back of an agreed 18 month commitment from Fernando, and that now those customers would be let down. As Fernando was Upswing's sole PLO coach, the company have been left very much high and dry. Polk didn't mince his words, saying;

"Fernando apparently does not find it important enough to take care of the people who have paid for training, and for him to fulfill his obligations"


"I have lost a lot of respect for JNandez. This is not how you are supposed to conduct business when people put faith in you by paying you money for a service."

For his part, Polk admitted that he had no idea that the contract his attorney had written up for Fernando to sign included a clause which allowed either party to cancel after 90 days. He also admitted that being 100% reliant on a single PLO coach for the entire PLO Lab project had been an error.

Above: Fernando & Doug provide links to their own takes on the situation. Those wishing to read Doug's side of the story can visit this cached page from the now deleted 2+2 thread

It would seem that the community is split on who to side for on this one. Many of the comments under JNandez's explanatory video are very supportive of Fernando's move. Certainly it is understandable that if he was unable to pay his team sufficiently under his current contract and was finding it tough to produce the content he wanted to produce that he might look to take matters into his own hands.

That said, Upswing and JNandez did negotiate a deal which was agreed on both sides just a few months ago, and he knew full well the commitment which was expected of him, so to do this after three months after giving his word to Upswing and to those purchasing the product does leave a lot to be desired, and there were an equal number of commentators who shared this view. At least customers who bought the product have been told they will receive pro-rata compensation for the length of time remaining on their subscriptions.

Unfortunatley the illuminating 2+2 thread has since been deleted after some squabbling took place with JNandez entering the fray to dispute numerous assertions made by Doug Polk.  Let's hope both parties are able to move on from this episode and learn from their mistakes in the future.


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