Online Poker: Dealing with Sitters
It can be a very frustrating part of the game.
If you are unfamiliar with what a sitter is when playing online you have the opportunity to sit out a hand to use the facilities or get a drink. A sitter is someone who has no intention of playing or will only join the table when the stakes get high and they are at risk of being blinded out.
It seems very odd that someone would pay money to get into a game without intending to play, but it happens. To alleviate some of the frustration keep in mind that not all sitters are deliberate sitters. Imagine signing into a game and just when it comes up on your screen, one of the kids falls down the stairs and needs to be rushed to the hospital. Another nondeliberate sitter is the person who is all ready to play only to have their internet drop out. Sometimes people are forced to sit out by people coming to visit or a phone call from the boss. The point is not all sitters are deliberate sitters.
Don’t get me wrong there are deliberate sitters. Usually, there are three reasons why a person would sit out during a game.
The first reason is that they are a lousy player and it is the only way they can hope to win money. They sit out for most of the game hoping you play badly and get eliminated or that one or more players get hyper-aggressive and eliminate the other players. Then they never have to play to win money. They just need to outlast enough other players.
The second deliberate sitter is the player who thinks they are so skilled that they are capable of playing multiple games at one time. While many players are that skilled if you are sitting out at tables you are not. Many players get on several tables and get a bit overwhelmed. Sitting out at a table or two eliminates the demand on them and they can wait until they have to play.
The third sitter is the person who has gained a nice size pot and is going to sit back and let others do the work of eliminating players with the hope it happens before they run out of chips.
The key to playing with a deliberate sitter is to make sure their money stays at the table. What that means is to gauge your play in part by where they are money wise. Instead of allowing the sitter to frustrate you, just determine they are not going to be on the money.
For example, you are at a table with four players left. Three get paid. One person is very low and would be easy to take out. The sitter is in third place. Fold a couple of hands, so the low person gains a little. Not a lot. You don’t want to give away the game. But the only way to eliminate deliberate sitting is to ensure they aren’t paid off. If we all do it, who would pay money to get in a game, they knew they would lose it they didn’t play?