Is it rude to play tightly in an online tournament? More specifically, is it rude to start a tournament and then just click on the "sitting out" button and wait a while before playing a hand?
My Sit-N-Go tournament strategy has evolved to that - rather than manually folding almost every hand, which is what I would be doing anyway during the early stages of a tournament, I simply sit out and wait until the tournament gets down to 4 or 5 players or until the blinds gets big enough to make a significant difference and then I come back into the game and play for real. I think this is a productive strategy because almost always get to 4-handed and onto the money "bubble" and if I do that I will usually even slip into the money because the other players are such bad tournament players (more on that in a separate post).
Granted, I might be giving away a little value by throwing away big stack-propagating hands at the start of the tourney, but I think this is balanced by the fact that by the time I usually start playing, most of the gamblers have eliminated one another and consolidated their chips into one big stack, usually owned by the rammin' jammin' gambler who just happened to be luckier than the rest and who is likely to be even more prone with a big stack to make dumb gambles than he was with a smaller stack. And then, once this happens, it's always easier to attack one idiot than to attack 4 or more. Sometimes I don't get any cards and get ground down without ever making a difference and sometimes I get run over by better hands, but most times I will catch one or two good hands and double through the big stacks and into the money.
But back to my question.
The reason that I ask if this is rude is because in a tournament last night I was the target of some incredibly crude and caustic remarks in the chat box. Things like, "PLAY THE F*CKING GAME JOHNNY!" and "HI, MY NAME IS JOHNNYMAC AND I'M AN A**SHOLE BECAUSE I SIT OUT!" and "NOW THAT YOUR BIG BLIND IS PASSED YOU CAN GO SIT OUT AGAIN P*SSY".
The comments themselves didn't necessarily bother me, but it did get me wondering about the underlying cause... is it rude for me to use the sitting out button to enable my tight strategy?
Now, I'm not asking if I shouldn't play tightly - my strategy is my own business and in a tournament the rules are simple - the winner must win all of the chips and it doesn't matter how long it takes - my chips are my own until I put them into the pot, period. And whether or not someone else wants to gamble early is not my problem.
But is there an etiquette issue between manually folding every hand and just sitting out and trying to pick someone off at the end? Certainly there is in a cash game because an empty seat means less money in the game than there would be otherwise, but in a tournament does it really matter?
Please respond if you have an opinion. I'm of the opinion that I'm certainly not breaking any rules by doing this (else Pokerstars wouldn't allow it) and or even that I am acting unethically, but etiquette and courtesy isn't always necessarily a question of legality or ethics.
(BTW - I wish I could say that there was poetic justice in shutting up the complainers and thus vindicating my strategy, but alas there was not. The opportunity was there because as could be expected, the complainers were very very loose and aggressive, but I just didn't catch any cards. I managed to outlast a couple of them and finished in 4th place, but the ringleader, "CmdrRiker" was likely smirking when I got blinded out... Someday I will break my boot off in his foulmouthed a** though, I am sure of it)