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Sitting Out

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 13 years and 85 days ago. Viewed 1,159 times. #2
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Poker Stars on Sitting Out

Quite often in a PokerStars.net tournament, you will run up against a player who seems to perpetually sit out. This might be frustrating for players who are actively playing, but it isn't actually against the rules.

In my experience the "sitters" are players who, for whatever reason, have abandoned the game. They are no longer present, either disconnected or (as I have done occasionally) having fallen accidentally into a game different from the kind they want to play (pot-limit vs no-limit, or Omaha vs Texas Hold'em). What the system needs is a way for a player to abandon their seat better in the countdown to starting the game. This might cause problems in starting the games as you'd then have to re-post the tournament as having an available seat.

>>From the site:

Why "Sitting Out" isn't against the rules

A player in a "ring" game (a non-tournament game) can click "leave table", and take his chips out of the game at any time. They can do this because each hand is its own separate event. If a player sits out too long in a ring game, we do remove them in order to free up the seat for another player.

A tournament is not like a ring game, however. For their "buy-in", they receive their starting stack of chips, which are not from their chip totals but are instead just scorekeepers for the tournament. Once the event begins, it must proceed until one person has won all the chips.

For the same reason that players cannot just choose to pick up their own chips and leave, we cannot arbitrarily remove the player and their chips from the event once it has begun. Every chip in a starting stack of a tournament must be at the final table in order for a game to be fair to every player.

It's best to think of a player who is sitting out as simply folding every hand. This is a completely legal tactic, as it is up to any individual player to decide his own best strategy. There is no rule, for obvious reasons, against folding every hand. Therefore, what these players are doing is not against any rule, and no action will be taken against them.

For the same reasons, we cannot make changes to the system to discourage this activity. Once a player has paid their entry, they are entitled to play (or not play) every hand that their chips will buy them.

A player who is sitting out actually puts his opponents at a significant advantage. The player who is sitting out is still forced to pay his blinds and antes, and is never able to build his stack. On occasion, a player might blind off into 3rd place, or maybe even 2nd, but players who employ this strategy are usually far worse off than those who play their best game.

If players are actually winning chips by sitting out the entire time, this is a sign that the play in these events is far too loose and you should adjust your play accordingly. You will find that this is often the case with all play money chip games. I'm sure you've noticed, for example, that players will go all-in holding virtually nothing when it is play money.

We hope this clearly explains why this is neither against the rules nor something we can possibly police. If you were to play in our $5.50 cash sit and go events (available only on PokerStars.com, not on Pokerstars.net), we believe you would find that very few players are sitting out, and that the play is much more realistic with real cash on the line.

In addition, we have implemented a limit of 2 concurrent play money sit and go events per player. Players can no longer sign up for an unlimited number of events in an effort to accumulate chips without playing.

I think that on ballance the existing system is the fairest. In fact I have never considered sitting out to be against the rules or even the spirit of the game, as my current extremely-tight strategy closely resembles the sitting out "strategy". Besides, I recall watching the first Texas Hold'em program I would see on TV and seeing some regular champion who made a habit of not playing the first half day or so -- he didn't even show up -- and his blinds were deducted from his stack while he was absent.

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