Originally Posted by Gnomeace
When would be a good time (if ever) to sit out for any period of time in a online tournament?
Sometimes it is unavoidable, if the real world intervenes, but there is no good time to do that.
If you are a good player and have an edge over your opponents, that edge only works for you when you play, not when you sit out.
If you don`t have an edge, study and practice until you do. You gain no useful experience by sitting out.
The only slight exception would be on the bubble in satellite tournaments. For example, if you are in a tourney where ten players win a ticket to the final, there are eleven players left and you are chipleader, you would probably be wise to play no hands. Even pocket Aces may be beaten and, if you do nothing, it is a near certainty that somebody else will bust out before you. Since tenth place wins the same prize as first, you have no need to defend your first place.