Web video is so hot right now

2020 is the year of the webcam. My family just Skyped with my parents over the weekend, my wife is taking video conference calls from our home office, and my kids are about to go back to school with classes via Zoom. So why not get video communications going with online poker? That’s what GGPoker is doing – more or less – with its new SnapCam feature.

Depending on your perspective, the lack of a video function is either a wonderful aspect of online poker or a great weakness. It is either great that we can hide behind our computer screens and not give away any physical tells or it’s awful that we can’t have “real” poker where we can see our opponents. If I remember correctly, there was actually an online poker room that once tried to implement persistent video feeds, but I could be wrong.

Short clips beamed to the table

Now, GGPoker’s solution to the impersonal experience that is internet poker is not quite constant video, but it’s still something. With SnapCam, you can record up to 15 seconds of video (with audio) during a game and play it right then and there for all your tablemates to see.

Next to the emoji and chatbox icons, there is a green SnapCam icon. Click that and a window comes up that looks like a stripped-down version of your phone’s camera window. Basically all it has is a video window so you can see what you are recording and the red record button.

From there, it is pretty self-explanatory. Hit the record button, film your message to the table, and then hit send if you are satisfied.

For those extremely active SnapCam tables, up to four videos can be shared simultaneously. If players send more than that at one time, the excess videos will sit in a queue until other videos end.

Currently, SnapCam is available only for Windows PC users. Mac OSX and mobile functionality is coming soon. As you might guess, there is plenty of opportunity for players to get offensive, x-rated, or harass other players. After all, it’s not like someone at GGPoker is screening the videos as they come in. There is nothing stopping someone from showing the goods or threatening other players.

Behave yourself

Of course, as one might guess, there are rules against this sort of thing, so anyone who does anything R-rated or who decided they want to start screaming at their opponents could get their SnapChat privileges taken away. GGPoker said that it reserves the right to take further action, as well.

Hopefully the irony isn’t lost on GGPoker that it is unveiling SnapCam two weeks after its star ambassador, Daniel Negreanu, had his Twitch account suspended for threatening a viewer during a live stream. Not that he wasn’t right to be upset if the person he threatened really did say something inappropriate about his wife, but the coincidence is just amusing.

Twitch still has yet to lift Negreanu’s ban, though all is not lost for the Poker Hall of Famer, as he has other platforms, like YouTube, on which he can stream.

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