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You don't win by upvoting whatever is already at the top of trending. In fact you'll probably get very little for that because curation rewards come from votes after yours.

If a post is doing well, or even at the top of trending and I vote on it, but I get in early and lots of other people also do the same, then I'd get paid out. I was really, though, more thinking of being able to look at who is at the top of trending - perhaps due to their high stake and self voting, or through use of bidbots and then autovote their next posts after 5 minutes.

If you are able to get in early, sure. But it won't be at the top of trending at that point or even near it.

autovote their next posts after 5 minutes.

No doubt there will be others competing to do the same thing. That's not going to be easy money.

I meant 'get in early' before others compete for the same curation.. But yes, I understand that it's not optimal to vote for a post that's already at the top.
It seems like there is very likely to be a vote sniping contest to see who can do the autovoting at the optimal time. We shall see.

It seems like there is very likely to be a vote sniping contest to see who can do the autovoting at the optimal time.

Probably.
Anyway, I never cared when to vote on a post and I still won't care. :)

It seems like there is very likely to be a vote sniping contest to see who can do the autovoting at the optimal time. We shall see.

Absolutely. That is by design.

I'm talking about sniping of voting on posts just because you know they spend a lot on bidbots or are whales and self upvote.

Yes that is by design.

So what is the selling point and usefulness of people competing for significant rewards as a result of being able to place a vote the earliest, but closest to 5 minutes for posts that defy proof of brain by using bid bots etc?

It's easy to make a list of the usual trenders and upvote them before the others do.

We already covered this in the sibling reply thread. Yes it is easy to do which means many people will be doing it (in fact already are today, but with the higher starting rewards competition will likely intensify), driving the votes earlier and earlier and returning more and more of the curation rewards back to the pool.

That's the EIP incentive :) Just be aware that flags will be flying too on the trending page lol. So you may still end up with nothing.

So... I just need to vote on whoever has the most flagging power and who also pays the most for bots on their own post? Basically, I need to support whoever the biggest jerk is. Got it. ;)

You know who they are 😉