With most online Sit ´n´ Go´s and tournaments costing money to enter, why is it that there are so many people sitting out? Sure, some join the game maybe after 30-40 minutes and a few more after an hour, but for the remainder – how can you possibly forget that you paid money to enter a competition and then not turn up for it? And for those who eventually join in, how many opportunities do you think you have missed, and how do you feel about starting at a disadvantage to the rest of the pack? In logical thinking, this is similar to betting somebody $10 that you can race them to the corner, and then counting to twenty while they get a head start!
Sitting out long term from a tournament is a worthless ploy. It is handy to have a sit-out button in case nature calls, somebody rings you or you have some dire emergency that means you cannot play poker (so it had better be pretty dammed important!), but why pay an entrance fee for a game that you have an unequal chance of winning? Furthermore, what an advantage for a player sitting in front of three or four sitters, just to bet into them and pick up the blinds on more than half the games.
There is just no justifiable excuse for not being at a table you have paid to join. If you are concerned that your early participation might cost you chips, then you should not have entered the tournament in the first place. The only times that you can possibly conceive it is feasible to sit out is if you are the chip leader in a tournament where the first five hundred qualify for a later stage or final, and you feel pretty secure that you are through.
There are only three reasons why people sit out long term:
They are rubbish at poker, and hope that they have found a tournament where everybody else is equally rubbish so they get into the bubble by default.
The player is multi-tabling more than they can handle. Even so, that is not a real excuse, as they should have unregistered before the tournament had started.
The third sitter is the one who has gained a nice size pot and is hoping that other players get knocked out before his chips run out. However, if he has managed to get into this position, you would imagine that he would want to enhance his finishing by remaining in the game.
The only way to deal with sitters is to be determined that they are not going to be in the money. If there are four of you left in a SnG, and one is a sitter, let the shortest stacked player pick up a few blinds until the sitter is blinded out. You do not want to give your chances of winning away, but the only way to discourage long term sitters is to keep them out of the money.