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Debate: is stream-sniping unethical/scummy??

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Posted by posted in Gen. Poker

Debate: is stream-sniping unethical/scummy??

hello. so first of all lets make this clear, I pride myself on being a very honest person and very honest poker player. I have never cheated at poker and I always try to help out others and make people's lives a little better in whatever way I can :)

so this morning (okay it's 3pm but whatever I had a alcohol filled weekend) my flat-mate tells me how J-Nandez just got steam-sniped and was admiring how well he took it. in the past I would have called this sniper a scumbag or whatever, but I had a different outlook this time. fair play. okay, on the face of it this guy just 'cheated' his way to making a perfect decision, which was to fold. but, lets look at it from a less emotional and more logical viewpoint:

did this guy do anything wrong here?? and the answer is clearly NO. he did not grab his opponents cards and look at them, he did not angle-shoot, he did not mark the cards or have a super-user account where he can see all of his opponents hole-cards. J-Nandez DECIDED to stream his session, he DECIDED what length the delay was. and let's think logically, what perspective are we getting of stream-snipers when we are watching a poker stream?? that's correct, THE STREAMERS. he is of course gonna call the sniper a scumbag (not in this example), because it is affecting his win-rate negatively in this particular spot.

so why do streamers stream?? not very difficult to work out, TO MAKE MONEY. either directly from subs/donos or from promoting their training site or training course. I done a very rough calculation of what Lex makes from stream, the last time I watched him he had around 7,500 subs, of course this number is gonna rise and fall throughout the year but whatever, lets say he gets half of the $5 sub (which would be more as some people sub for mid/high tier options) then he is making $18,750 from SUBS ALONE. I won't include dono's because I honestly have no idea how much he gets, but lets say he gets that $18k every month, so in a year he is making $225,000 from streaming his hole cards. yes he has some over-heads etc but lets just look at the profit because, again, I have no clue what he pays for them.

and then lets take the example of J-Nandez, his stream is much smaller, he will have much fewer subs and will get much less in terms of donations. but he is charging around $100 per month for his training site, so he doesn't need as many customers to make a similar amount of $. his stream is about attracting new players to his training site, that's not to say that he doesn't enjoy streaming, as he streamed before he had a training site, but that is clearly now his main reason for streaming just now. from what I've read he has A LOT of overheads, but he is/will clearly make money from this training site in the mid-longer term otherwise he wouldn't have bothered to create it.

so we have clearly identified that poker streamers are making a ton of additional income, on top of whatever profit they are making from actually playing poker. so back to the question, is it scummy to stream-snipe?? ask me a couple of months ago and I would have said 100% yes. but now I don't think it is. you are showing your hole-cards so that you can make more money. you made the choice, you are not showing them through the kindness of your heart. so if you have all of this additional income and my sole source of income is only from poker, I don't give a fuck I will watch your stream and I will fold when it shows that you have a better hand than me. because that will increase my EV and I have done absolutely nothing wrong because you are showing your hole cards to thousands of people and you have done so voluntarily. if you don't want stream-snipers, MAKE THE DELAY LONGER. but that will hurt their bottom line, because longer delay=less viewers=less money. so they will not do that. but they will cry wolf or play the victim when some guy stream snipes, painting them as a villain to thousands of people, and now you have given this random guy a bad reputation because you are completely blinded by greed and are extremely biased (I am not pointing fingers at any particular streamers, fwiw, the 2 examples I gave were about incomes ONLY and not about what I am saying here.)

I just want to end this post with a quick thought experiment: if you arrive to the river and a guy goes all in, you are holding a bluff catcher and he very quickly flips over his hand, showing the nuts, would you still call?? or would you still call if you were in the tank and he flips over his cards after 2 minutes??

I hope people get involved because I found this very interesting when I was thinking about it. and I am completely open to having my mind changed on the topic.

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