Problem Gambling, Fake Money, or a Bit of Fun? Roshtein Stakes $111m in Disastrous Plinko Session

  • Roshtein staked $111m on Plinko, gambling $3,000 per ball and playing 37,000+ balls 
  • He failed to even hit the max multiplier before ultimately accepting defeat to his fans
  • Roshtein recently took a gambling break  for his health, prompting concern of addiction
  • The debate rages over Roshtein’s deal with Stake and if he is actually playing real money
Roshtein playing Plinko
Gambling streamer Roshtein (pictured) played through $111m on Plinko Monday night. [Roshtein Kick]

$111m in 90 minutes

Earlier this month, Roshtein announced that he intended to return from a short break from gambling but would lower the risk, regardless of the high-stakes antics that had earned him his many followers. “I will go lower bets so anyone that moans about higher bets can suck it,” posted the Kick streamer on Twitter.

Just a few weeks have passed since then, but clearly those lower stakes aren’t cutting it for the content creator. On a stream Monday evening, Roshtein gambled $111m+ on Plinko while trying to hit the max multiplier of 1000x. Staking $3,000 per ball, the streamer dropped more than 37,000 balls before calling it a day and moving on to slots.

lost around $4.7m in total during his Plinko session

Much to the disappointment of Roshtein and his fans, the streamer never hit the max multiplier. He lost around $4.7m in total during his Plinko session, beginning with $2.7m in his account balance and playing down to near zero before deciding to reload. He did this four times, adding $500,000 more with each reload and losing almost all of it.

He ultimately admitted defeat after playing the game for more than 90 minutes, but lost more cash on slots before signing off. “I’m triggered by this whole session that we’ve had today. Five to six hours full of degeneracy,” the streamer concluded. His words pose the question, is this “degeneracy” out of hand, the result of risk-free wagering, or just a bit of fun?

A gambling problem

Roshtein, real name Ismael Swartz, took to Twitter at the end of April this year to announce that he had suffered too many gambling losses and would be taking a break from wagering. He received an outpouring of support from followers and fellow streamers as he declared he needed to clear his mind and “rebalance.”

It’s clear to see why the gambler might need to take some time out. Like he did on Monday, Roshtein regularly gambles with millions of dollars in each session. He routinely loses eye-watering amounts but, like with most gambling addicts, only really shouts about his big wins. Before he made the move to Kick last year, one of Roshtein’s biggest Twitch highlights was winning $16m in one slot spin:

Check Roshtein’s chat during one of his streams and it is evident even some followers believe he needs to rein it in. Many urged him to “chill out” and “stop there” as he expressed his frustration after losing yet another $500,000 on Monday. On the other hand, just as many followers goaded the streamer on, one pushing him to “just keep clicking” as his funds dwindled to nothing on Plinko.

xQc announced in 2022 that he had lost $2m of his own money gambling

Notably, other popular gambling streamers have stepped back after suffering major losses too – some even making those losses public. Popular name xQc announced in 2022 that he had lost $2m of his own money gambling online before taking some time off, while Xposed took a gambling break in March this year after suffering a string of bad luck he said was affecting his health.

As appears evident from the streams of Roshtein and others, in which they wildly chase their losses by adding more and more cash to their accounts, these streamers are indeed battling with addiction. Many admit to that fact. But there is another side to this story.

Risk-free betting

It is widely believed among the gambling streaming community that operators such as Stake have deals with content creators. As per the supposed terms of these partnerships, the streamers are able to use a certain amount of cash to gamble, thus advertising the online casino’s product to their followers at no real risk to their own bank balances.

Now that Twitch has banned unregulated casino gambling and Stake has launched Kick as a rival platform, these deals are more important than ever in retaining top talent on the new website. Stake reportedly has partnerships with all of the top gambling streamers, including most notably Roshtein, Trainwreck, and Xposed.

Of course he’s on fake money.”

The specific details of these deals are unknown but you will often see Roshtein’s chats light up with unbelieving viewers. During his stream on Monday, one viewer wrote: “Go back in time and see Rosh going absolutely nuts over 50k. Now he’s dropping insane amounts and barely flinching. Of course he’s on fake money.” Many have criticized him for not being honest about the deals with his followers.

In February last year, Trainwreck called out Roshtein in a rant in which he implied some streamers were lying to followers by making “fake money” deals.” In contrast, Trainwreck has always insisted he earns a salary through his Stake partnership, meaning he gambles with his own hard-earned cash. While gambling on Twitch for 16 months, Train said he earned $22.5m per month through this partnership.

Whether or not Roshtein is gambling real cash is still a big focus for debate in the community, but it seems that many factors are coming into play. His gambling addiction is perpetuated by his need to entertain his followers, while perhaps he also exaggerates this with some risk-free wagering. There is a certain lack of transparency that could come at a high cost to some of his more vulnerable followers, and perhaps even himself.

Either way, when the stakes are so high, it’s certainly not all just a bit of fun.

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