I'm a smoker and new player. I find that I've been leaving the table somewhere around once an hour for about 5 minutes. Regardless though of whether I'm going to smoke or use the bathroom, at which position would it be best for me to go in a 9 Max game?
I've been waiting for the button to move about 3-4 people past me and have been getting back right before missing the BB. Is that the right way?
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I think middle positions is indeed generally the best time. In cash game, you could even consider missing the blinds, and just pay them when you come back, but be in position. Issing blinds not as big a deal as it is in a tournament. But just don't give up the button, cutoff, hijack positions (the last 3 to act after the flop) if at all possible.