I'm the only one playing!
It happened to me last night in the Poker-millions UK freeroll... I'm doing alright at about 8-10K in chips, and I realise that everyone at the table but me is sitting out. So I figure to take my time and not get the tables rebalanced anytime soon. I must have had 20-30 consecutive hands (winning only 175-200 chips per hand) where I entered the minimum raise and stole the blinds at the table.
When one player dropped out and was eventually replaced with a 'player' who only had about 2,800 himself, (I had already creamed about 4k in chips from the sleepers) I kept quiet. When he eventually commented on how everyone was folding, I arranged with him to take it in turns to continue to steal the blinds, which we did for some time.
This does involve a certain amount of trust and even laying down the monster hands, in good faith.
This continued for a while until another sleeper was lost to the blinds and was replaced by a real player, the tables were then rebalanced and it was back to regular play again.
We never spoke of it since...
I think it boils down to professional freerollers, hoping to register in a tourney and the fold their way ITM. Even if it's only a few cents, it's the lazy man's way of playing Poker!!
Check out this thread on the subject at Titan Poker
It's a common problem, but I suppose it's only in the freerolls that it happens, who'd sit-out a tourney with a buy-in? Full-tilt doesn't show on-screen when someone is sitting out in a tourney, but it appears in the hand history. Everest poker eliminates anyone not signed in for a tourney , as does UltimateBet although Everest goes one step further and ejects anyone who sit's out for an extended period of time, which seems to me like a resonable way to handle it.
Failing that, if your software displays those sitting out, grab a screenshot of several hands and inform your poker site
. It's their problem too. They can either eliminate players from the site or issue warnings, or just ban them from the freerolls... they'll wake up when they have to buy-in!!
But there's nothing worse than dropping out of an MTT when you've been grinding against 3 other players at the table and six sleepers. So beware of the uncooperative types too!
Good luck, see you at the tables.