Poker Tips and Hints
Recognizing When Others are
Disconnected or Sitting Out:
A Way to Increase Your ROI

Poker Tips and Hints - Recognize When Others are Disconnected or Sitting Out: There have been many times when I was heads-up with an unfortunate opponent that was having his hands auto-folded because he was disconnected or sitting out. When this happens, I win a lot of blinds really quickly. Often the SNG is over by the time he returns. Other times, he returns but with a much shorter stack.

I'll talk about how to recognize when someone is disconnected or sitting out and how best to take advantage of it (it's not always obvious), but first let's distinguish between being disconnected and "sitting out". On Full Tilt, if a player loses his connection to the poker site, he gets several seconds to reconnect. If the time runs out and he still hasn't reconnected, his hand is folded. He will still be dealt into future hands, but when the action gets to him, if he still is disconnected, his hand gets auto-folded.

Being disconnected is different than sitting out. If a player is NOT disconnected but still fails to act in time, he will be "sat out". In that case, he'll still be dealt in on future hands, and if the action gets to him and he hasn't hit the "I'm Back" button, his hand will be auto-folded. Why would someone sit out in a SNG? It could happen when someone is distracted by an emergency and leaves his desk or when someone has to restart the Full Tilt client software, but mostly I think it occurs when someone is playing a lot of tables and doesn't realize he timed out on one of them and is now "sitting out". In a Super Turbo SNG there is no time bank, so it's pretty common for multitabling players to time out.

You are more likely to be aware that an opponent is disconnected than if a player is sitting out, because when a player gets disconnected, there a long (up to 90 seconds) countdown waiting for him to reconnect that alerts you to the situation. Plus the chat/dealer message area says he's disconnected and has so long to act. But if a players runs out of time on a decision and is now sitting out, you might just think he's simply folding every hand preflop for a while.

Poker Tips and Hints: Spotting the Clues: Once you have played on Full Tilt for a while, you'll begin to recognize when some else's hands are being auto-folded. One thing you may notice is that the player is insta-folding whenever it's his turn, even when he's UTG. It'll seem unnatural. That will be a clue. Or you might notice someone folding a lot of hands in a row where you think he should be pushing a really wide range. This a tipoff that he's not really there.

You should learn to spot these clues. Next you need to know how to take advantage of that information. If you're 8 or 9-handed, there's not going to be much you can do about it. You'll still benefit from it, but there's not much you can do to take any extra advantage of it. You also can't do much if the player that is disconnected or sitting out is located to your right.

The best situation for you is when it is short-handed (the fewer players the better), and/or when he's sitting to your left. If you are first in from the button and you know that the SB (or the BB) is going to fold, that's a really good situation for you, and you should act accordingly. Knowing a player is going to fold allows you to push more hands profitably.

The dream situation is to be heads-up when your opponent gets disconnected or gets sat out. When this happens, he'll be auto-folding his button hands. Then on your button hands, you should shove any hand you would have normally shoved and min-raise any hand you would have folded. You can steal a lot of blinds in a very short period of time when each hand takes only 1-2 seconds!

You only min-raise the hands you would have folded, because your opponent could reconnect at any time, and you don't want to get caught shoving all-in for 14BBs with 82-offsuit for example. Often your opponent will be playing too many tables and not realize he timed out on your table and is now sitting out. It may only take him 20 seconds to realize what's going on and hit the "I'm Back" button. But in that 20 seconds, you might have won 8 hands and crippled him.

So don't be the one that times out and gets sat out. It's a death sentence heads-up in a super turbo.

And if you feel it's unethical to take advantage of an opponent that is disconnected or sitting out, then that's understandable. Feel free to ignore my advice. The choice is yours.

End Poker Tips and Hints article

Regarding which hands you should be shoving heads-up, here's a
game theory optimal heads-up push-fold table

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