About Live Streaming Events

I watched a few minutes of the ToC event on Replay’s YouTube channel. Frankly, the current way you’re doing things is rather pointless. Sad, really, because there is a huge poker fan base on YouTube, and they are starved for quality content.

Without showing hole cards, you will never get nearly the results you could get. This isn’t my opinion, it’s cold, hard fact based on historical precedent. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, American TV networks tried televising tournaments without hole card cams, and failed miserably. In fact, this was why hole card cams were invented.

You are trying to engage an audience with no hole cams, and only showing one table’s action, and only then when it goes to showdown. The commentary is OK, as far as it goes, but can’t be very poker related because the commentator doesn’t know what’s going on in the hand. Nobody outside your existing customers will have any interest in watching stuff like that.

As far as it goes, the audio was pretty good. the commentary, within its limitations, was OK. The lighting was horrific. Back-lit and low contrast makes it look pretty bad.

You could be using your YouTube channel to attract new players to the player pool. If you did a highlights vid featuring the best action at every table, with an analyst and a color commentator, and maybe expanded coverage of the final table, you would have a winner.

But hey, I’m just an arrogant Yank, what could I possibly know?

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Bingo Bango Bongo… everything Guru says I second!

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Serious question for @SunPowerGuru, and anyone else interested in weighing in. I’m considering starting a stream playing RP tournaments. Which would you prefer:

  • Show my hole cards, but stream on a delay. This would break any “live” communication with streaming fans, potentially making it harder to build a community/rapport.
  • Stream with no delay, but hide my hole cards until the end of each hand, making it harder for fans to relate to how I’m choosing to play.

0 voters

At the moment, I’m leaning toward the latter. The focus of my stream would be poker strategy, and would start off with the first few sessions on building a strong preflop range. I could have a target preflop range which I could show to the streamers throughout the hand, then display what my cards are at the very end of each hand. This could be really useful for intermediate players to understand how high-level players build and understand ranges, weigh range advantages, and narrow their ranges based on actions taken throughout the hand. However, it would probably come at the expense of novices who would be totally over their heads.

In any case, would love to hear your thoughts. Possibly in another thread, if a moderator would prefer not to clog up this thread with responses to a tangential topic.

I hit enter over the bar on accident but can’t take back or change my vote. I can see going either way having pros and cons though. If you went with option one you wouldn’t have to delay very long so I think chat could keep up pretty well. I do think that showing your whole cards will make it easier for you to grow a base of fans but if you’re showing at the end of the hand it probably doesn’t make much difference either way really.

I watched the TOC on the stream and I also had a table up so I could chat directly with the players. The stream already has a slight delay, so if that were to increase a bit to maintain the integrity of the game, while still allowing you to show your hole cards, I don’t think it would be problem. I have seen some old poker broadcasts on TV where they didn’t show the hole cards and I do agree it is much less interesting and harder to learn from them. You don’t have to know what everyone has, but knowing what one person has makes it much more engaging to a wider audience.

Of the 2 options, showing is the best.

But that’s not enough. You will only show your cards in those pots you are involved in, and the vast majority of people will not watch such a stream.

Every televised poker show features an analyst and a color commentator, and they all show all of the cards all of the time. This isn’t by accident, they all do it the same way because that’s the only way it works. In TV tournaments, they have a featured table, but show the “exciting” hands from the other tables. We see highlights reels because poker is rather boring to play and 10 times as boring to watch. Showing a tournament from the perspective of one player at a single table will not gain you an audience.

No offense to you or to Replay, but that’s just the way it is.

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I’m for a delay, so you can get your thoughts in order and give unhurried content. Just make sure Mike Postle isn’t playing :slight_smile:

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I like the thought of doing a live stream of games, but I don’t think it works very well for Replay, for a few reasons, most of which are addressable, but I won’t hold my breath:

  1. The pacing. TV poker coverage relies on the slower pace of live poker to allow the commentators to have time to discuss the hand. Poker commentators who do hand analysis of online play pause and say their piece, then resume. They can do this by replaying a video of a game played in the past. Doing this live, you don’t really have a way to do it.
  2. You need to know what the table is holding in order to appreciate the play as a spectator. Replay could engineer this into the HTML5 tables, but I wouldn’t want them to, because it’s a potential way someone could cheat.
  3. You need a delay to prevent cheating. There is no other way to do it.
  4. Sports broadcasting always uses 2 commentators, and you only have one.

I was a part of ToC and was there almost every week when BuffaloPrime did the 1st stream on ReplayPoker.

Puggywug is correct, pace of internet poker play is way too fast for the type of comentary SPG suggested. It would be better if players were allowed to show thier cards @ the end of a hand , even if they lose or fold thier hand. I also agree that currently, even Replay ( so they say ) doesn’t know what everyone has by design. Allowing them to know would prolly envite smart coders to hack the stream/table and cheat thier butts off.

The big draw for Buffalo’s MTT was being at the featured table. The other draw wasn’t anything more that being able to hear the stream, so you felt like you were part of the action. It also took alot of advertizing here (forum) to keep players playing. The host needs to be engaged with thier players to grow the tournament. So some time is required outside the actual MTT, if its gonna be a success. The host needs to both make it entertaining, and be connected with the community.

After talking to another player later after the tournament, I had a brilliant Idea. No matter how players are having trouble connecting to twitch , what if the video stream was somehowe embedd’d into the table view on the right side. Even tho it still would be technically be run thru twitch, players then only need Thier table open to have a pipeline to the stream, rather than having twitch open in the background. Some players , especially Mobile users ( mobile is the future, ugggg ), cannot multitask, therefore are stuck with 1 window @ a time, this solves that.

I am against hole-cams for replay. The biggest reason is that once players are allowed to see so much of other people’s cards, thier tricks become useless faster. On TV, the odds of 100,000 ppl watching , being able to play against top players is nill. Whereas on replay that would never happen, to have a stream weekly event be sucessfull, you have to make it accessable for as many ppl possible.

There was 2 problems with Buffalo’s Stream, and now in retrospect 1 of them isnt that big of deal…

    • the host(s) need to be involved with thier players/MTT/LB. As crazy as it sounds… when ppl feel involved, they tend to participate more.
    • the host(s) need technical knowledge of what really is happening, so they do need basic knowledge of poker and poker terms.

I felt like I was learning poker all over again watching the evolution of Buffalo’s hosting/poker abilities. It was fun, Buffalo was fun and funny. The other thing even Buffalo found out was, streaming demands a certain format to be successfull. When his weekly MTT had a format that allowed playability, it was much more enjoyable to both play and watch (listen to ). So as an example, the (2) Main Event MTTs had that playability, whereas ToC really didn’t because it was basically a turbo.

If you want a good stream you have to build playability into the MTT, otherwise its quickly devolves into a shove/fold situation. Noone wants to watch the final table where the chipleader has less than 15bb and the the median range of the table is 4-5bb. There was no chance in ToC to see or understand a 3-5! cause it never happened with such small chipstacks.

Doesnt matter if its Twitch or YouTube, hole-cams are not necessary to be successfull here. The Twitch stream is basically an infomercial for ReplayPoker. Show a crappy product and even more ppl will never come to Replay. Show a product ppl wanna play in and you just might attract more players to ReplayPoker.

Playing and hosting tends to be difficult. I know on my PC and a 17" screen, I couldnt quite fit 4 tables completely on the screen. That was NOT a widescreen display as many now have. I long for the FullTilt days where 4 tables on 1 screen was not only possible, but a special format allowed for 4 tables to be play’d simultaniously. IF the host could do that, then there would effectively be 4 featured tables.

As ReplayPoker is currently working on HTML5, I think this subject is ripe for vetting out all the great things necessary for a successfull stream, way before another implementation is tried.

We’ve had BuffaloPrime, then Alec, and now GoldenDonkey. Bust the staff, ToC and Buffalo’s MTT have been streamed. Lets take thesse 3 itterations, and combine the best from them all, to make streaming successfull.

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This is why many top pros were against the idea at first. Phil Hellmuth was one of the first to realize that this would bring so many new players into the game that the benefits far outweighed the disadvantages. The “boom” in poker was largely the result of hole cams, so he was right.

Ifd Replay covered tournaments the way the TV networks cover tournaments, i suspect the same thing would happen here. Before long, the big YouTube poker channels would start doing hand analysis on some of the more interesting hands, because they are starved for content, and a flood of new players would play on Replay. If they had an affiliate program, this could happen very fast.

I have been an affiliate for more than 200 sites over the years, and have set up programs as a publisher about half a dozen times. It’s not hard to do, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and it is well worth doing. I usually used Commission Junction, which makes the whole process simple.

They don’t have access in real time, but they can call up any hand with all cards exposed after the fact.

I don’t agree. In fact, I would say that every single player in a major live tournament has seen the top pros play on TV. Thus, the top pro players ONLY play against people who have seen them on TV. Final table players routinely study every available hand their opponents have ever played on TV. This doesn’t affect the game as much as you might think.

Anyway, if Replay put in the time and effort to develop a “TV Show” type tournament coverage, I think they would find a ready market of possibly millions of players. This would have the potential to drastically increase their user base and revenue.

Running it as they do now will never work. It appeals only to a very small group of existing customers, and will never be worth the time and effort. I’m not being negative here, I’m being realistic. I doubt they will listen, but with such a huge potential benefit if they did it differently, maybe they should.

But SPG,
Even today, you can’t see the broadcast in realtime, only get updates from the rail, when your table is on break… Your saying being able to see 1-2 hands ago, then every hand as its being played from there, thats far different than gett’n a 2 hr update from your wingman on the rail watching the live broadcast. Within the last year or 2 hasn’t there been rumors of signaling from the rail, based on recent hand play in live events ?

Nowhere in live poker can you see everything on a 90 second delay, or all the top pros would have the broadcasts live on thier phones at the table to see what happened last hand or 2 hands ago. There’s no way to stop online players from also watching the stream, therefore it really is apples to oranges…

So I guess SPG, bottom line here is … since you can’t restrict the players in the game from watching a 1 hand delay’d broadcast, you really don’t wanna be doing hole-cams for everyone. Its a totally different dymanic than currently happens in real life for say WSOP, and its a security risk.


I agree it can’t and shouldn’t be done in real time.

I was poking around on a site called TwitchMetrics to see just how popular twitch poker streams really are. The 2nd rated stream was live, so I took a look. The guy was “streaming” a rerun of a televised tournament, with hole cards and 2 commentators. I only watched a few minutes, but the streamer never said a word! Haha. Still, his channel was ranked 2nd in popularity, so there’s that.


Anyway, no, I don’t think it should be done in real time. After looking at the numbers, maybe it shouldn’t be done at all. On the other hand, YouTube is a different matter., There’s a market there, and if you are going to develop content for your YouTube channel, you might as well stream it too.

I would start by asking, “What do people want to watch?” and work from there. The answer would be: huge pots, sick suckouts, and big bluffs. If those are the kinds of hands that get the most views, those types of hands would be my focus. Find a way to filter for those kinds of hands, put together a tournament coverage around those hands, and people would watch it.

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If I were to hide my hands and play without a delay, my plan is to show my hole cards to the streamers at the end of every hand, whether or not I’m involved in the hand. I’d also have a chart open showing my preflop range based on position, competitors still in the hand, and the actions of players who called/raised before me. Commentary would revolve around building those preflop ranges, how the board interacts with my range postflop, what hands I would bet/raise for value and bluffs on those boards, and what hands I might move into a check/call or check/raise range for deception.

I get that the stream might not be as interesting as some others’, but the goal would go beyond sheer entertainment. Rather, it’s more of a learning session, training watchers how to develop strong ranges, and how to use understanding of your range to maximize value across the entire range. I’d also share the tools that I develop in support of the stream - for example, the below Excel range builder (make sure macros are enabled to use the file).

To my knowledge, neither he nor JFK are in any way associated with Replay. :slight_smile:

Pacing would definitely be a challenge… but I think it could be an asset too. Talking through the decision in real time, showing what my full range could look like, while avoiding divulging my actual hand would be a personal challenge that could also lead viewers to shift their perspective. Most current players on the site have “level 1” thinking - “I have top pair, now what do I do?” This would force them (and me!) to think about how often I’ll have top pair in that spot, what other hands I could also have when I bet, what sizing I should use to put competitors’ ranges in a tough spot, &c.

In most spots I’ll be folding most of my range preflop, which will allow me to replay key hands with a bit slower pacing.

I’m not sure this is true. Again, if I structure things where I talk about what my full range looks like in the absence of a delay, then there could be value to the viewer even if they can’t see my actual holding.

If I’m not showing any of my cards until after the hand is over, there’s no potential for cheating, even if we don’t have a delay.

This. 100x this.

Interacting with the other players and streamers, and not just talking to myself, would definitely be a challenge… but that’s what makes it fun. Also, as far as your second point, I hope I’ve shown some measure of “basic knowledge of poker and poker terms” elsewhere in these forums.

That’s one of my biggest complaints with the site in general - tournaments get too short-stacked too quickly. If I were to stream, I’d be looking to play deeper-stacked MTTs.

IIRC, WSOP final tables have been on a ~30 minute delay for the past few years. Players will absolutely head to the rail after folding to get an update on how their competitors were playing half an hour ago. I remember one particular point late in the 2017 Main Event when Scott Blumstein ran a huge bluff. A little bit later, one of the commentators mentioned that Dan Ott’s rail had informed him of the bluff. It was really interesting to see how Ott then changed up his strategy in light of that information, 3- and 4-betting a little wider and calling down a bit lighter.

In any case, it looks like people really want to see hole cards while the hand is going on, and putting the stream on a delay to compensate. I’ll likely end up following the O’Jays’ advice… at least for the first few streams. Thanks for the feedback, everyone.


The exciting part of watching live poker is to know what hole cards every player has and to follow how they play it.
The risk for players playing in events like ToC which is live streamed is that spectators can take notes of their play/strategy and use it in future against them. To overcome this I would suggest Replay allocates a new alias or mask the players real identity whilst in the event. The real Replay names are then only revealed after conclusion of the event when the results/leaderboard is published and participants are guaranteed anonymity whilst playing. This would make it slightly more difficult for spectators and players as to who the real Replay players are actually playing at the table.

@WannaBeCoder, you might want to check out the stats on Twitch’s most popular poker streamer before you invenst a lot of effort into your project. He’s been doing it since 2011.


Here’s his YouTube channel… https://www.youtube.com/user/BaboRaSZi

By my rough calculations, he gets maybe 50k views average per video on YouTube. If he runs a single preroll ad per video, he should make about $2 per thousand views, but YouTube takes something like 60% of that. Keep in mind that he has been at it for 8 years, and his channel is the most popular one on twitch by quite a margin. I don’t know what he makes from twitch, but he averages less than 6k views per stream, so it can’t be much.

His big problem is his format. He doesn’t have the ability to show all the hole cards of every hand. He shows his cards, and he talks about what he is thinking as he plays. That’s about as good as it gets, considering his limitations.

Replay wouldn’t be doing it for ad revenue, they would be doing it to bring in new players. Some of these players would buy chips over and over for years. This makes it a totally different game for them, and one they should explore.


@WannabeCoder ,
please do not embelish my quotes.
I never said [sic] , for you to just add that is disrespectfull.

I dont think players are getting up from thier seats every hand to see the latest hand from 30 min ago either. It would be too disruptive… but not a live feed, watching 2 min ago, constantly… plus 1 hand might last 4 minutes, what if the delay is only 2 minutes ???

This isn’t 4-5 ppl in a studio producing a stream, its 1 maybee 2 ppl in a room of a house… Replay would have to completely write the software from scratch for hole-cams… Whereas my idea about embedd’n ( like a advert / banner ) the feed to the right of the table, would be by far alot less development and would allow only 1 window to be open (great 4 mobile) to enjoy both playing and the stream.

There was interest in BuffaloPrime’s Event and if Replay just takes all the good things from the current/past streamed events, and incorporates them into thier twitch endevour it should be successfull. The idea of a Duo host is also awesome, most radio stations do that too. The entertainment value for me is feeling apart of the stream without actually being the host or even on the featured table. Sure we all want to be at the featured table, lol … but thats why the global chat aspect of the twitch feed allows everyone to play together. It becomes both an infomercial for ReplayPoker and a Social event for thier players…

The problem is that online poker is boring to watch, hole cards or no its painfully boring and SPG’s last post outlines it well, that if a globally known top pro playing high stakes cash games online like Lex doesn’t draw a crowd then amateurs playing for play money will get very little if any attention at all. The only audience will therefor be a small handful of players from replay, and I think the amount of views on the youtube post of the ToC shows that to be true. If the intention is to promote socializing internally then a public chat on the dashboard would be the better option at least there would be time for a bit of banter and humor between players that doesn’t disrupt anyones game - the most popular threads in this forum are in the off topic section which are the music one, the joke of the day and then the silly games type, all fun things, all sociable things, its why people are here, for the fun of it, strategy and rank (in either order) is likely last for most players and if the idea is to get new people to the site or increase the amount/level of play in a given tournament then there needs to be a real prize to win, a reason for the effort, cash is obviously out of the question so something like swag store credit would be the next best thing, even the winning players “name in lights” on the dashboard where everyone could see it for a day or two would bring more determination to win in most players games simply for earning their default bragging rights and not looking like a so and so for actually bragging about it, we have a huge board at my local club I go to for the winner of the weekly that says “Yes you do really suck at poker …look, even THIS fool beat you!.” with a big pointy finger next to the winners name which is surrounded by a herd of donkeys lol, now call me old fashioned but ill take that over a bar tab any day … OK no I wont that sounds crazy, I’ll take the bar tab too :innocent: but you get what I’m saying, It needs to be something physical or meaningful for most to justify the effort to sign up or play well. Just my 2 cents worth and now I’m off to read the joke of the day :wink: :new_zealand:

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If I was doing this as Replay, I would put Twitch on the back burner for now and concentrate on the YouTube channel. I would also forget about tournaments for the time being and do a weekly single hand review with all cards exposed. The initial goal would be to build the YouTube following.

I would pay particular attention to the title of each video, and make sure it is keyword rich. “Replay Poker: Hand Review - Set over Set” is an example of a well constructed title.

Shakerraise and Chasetheriver both have the in-depth knowledge to write the script, others on your staff might too. Your forum members might be willing to help. Someone like Wannabecoder or 1warlock come to mind, but there are others too. GoldenDonley has a great voice and personality, he would e the natural choice for commentator.

I would aim for a new video per week, because youtube rewards regular content. You could run a weekly contest to select the hands. Let users post hands and vote, then select the hands from the top vote earners.

I would include internal ads on the vids. These would be in 2 types. The first would be to attract new players and would take the form of a substantial chip bonus for new signups. 50k or even 100k is about right. My goal would be to give them enough chips that they have time to get comfortable with the software and game flows, and maybe time to make a few friends. This would help tie them to the site and help with retention.

The other promo I would run would be designed to stimulate chips sales. Something like, “For a limited time, use promo code “doubledip” to get twice as many chips!” Rewarding people for buying chips is better (to me) than spending money on t-shirts. Sure, do a swag giveaway now and then, but I would be doing this to make money, not spend it.

Once I was comfortable with the work flows and production of single hand reviews, I would then start thinking about expanding to some tournament coverage. I would do this when and if the numbers indicated that it would be worth doing.


Hi Everyone,

I like to know if Linked Account to twitch tv and stream replay tables and have a replay website to see other people streaming replay on twitch tv. and forum a twitch tv community on replay website to link twitch tv streamers on that web page.


I have not been to YouTube, but have seen the Stream of ToC posted on the Twitch channel. I assume YouTube is redundancy, ok sure… lolol

I see a live stream, as a dirt cheap advertizing infomercial for ReplayPoker. You get a sense of how tables look, how things work kinda, and an overall impression of what a Replay MTT feels like. It is also another way to incorperate more players into more of a community mentality. Lastly its a revenue source for the streamer, a very small one if I understood BuffaloPrime correctly… which kinda pays for thier time/effort.

In order for a successfull product, the streamer needs to be kinda involved here @ Replay to grow/maintain followers as well as Relay does. In the end it boils down to the personality of the host(s), or the enjoyment of the stream itself that will sustain followers.

This is not WSOP, its ReplayPoker… unless you slow down the game alot, you cannot do justice to the type of commentary hole-cams provide. Do you really want 2-3 minute timers ???

ReplayPoker says they don’t know anyone’s hands untill that hand is over. OK, then after the fact they can reconstruct the cards if they really want to do , to do instructional videos as clips, can’t they ?? Therefore the technical aspect of live hole-cams, while HTM5 is the focus of coders, means that its MOOT to say they are necessary for a stream… not gonna happen.

I constantly am looking @ products on a website, where somewhere a very small video clip auto-plays from youtube, that is someone’s review of the product. I seriously think if such a window to a Twitch/YouTube stream was incorporated into the right side of the table view… Replay Poker could offer a 1 window solution for the streaming events… that includes audio/video. Not sure if thats even possible, or only for videos themselves. We all know the “what are you listening to” thread is nothing more than a link to youtube, that plays here on our forum. Can it be that simple??

I enjoyed BuffaloPrime’s stream, I think that this can work for Replay. The devil is , as always, in the details… I think only certain formats, like ( blinds , starting chips, breaks, hand timers ) lend themselves to a good stream. I think the host(s) and I think a duo is the best, is critical to success/failure here. They must like poker, like streaming, work well with replay and its community, and the time to donate to replay.

Because we play here for free chips, no stream will attract ppl wanting to watch a cash event. Its more about advertizing and name recognition. ReplayPoker , seems 1 niche is watching any replay , anytime , of any hand. This isn’t Hole-CamPoker after all… lolol. So I see it possible to recreate hole-cams after the fact, but not live during a stream.

I don’t think SPG is an arrogant yank, but ReplayPoker doesnt have a staff of 4-7 ppl just for live streaming…

neither do they have comentary from the players to add to that expanded coverage. Its 1 person or two, in a room in a house, thats streaming and talking about themselves playing poker @ Replay. (unpaid by replay)