Set yourself some rules for joining tables. Table selection rules should vary from site to site and time of the day. For instance, your table selection criteria are going to be much higher on Friday night at 9pm than they are at 3am on a Monday. A set of rules would look something like this:
• No table under XX% players/flop
• No more than 1 player on the waitlist
• No more than X play with stack smaller than 20BB
• At least X players with 80BB or bigger stacks
Finding a table that meets your criteria is just half the battle. The next thing you want to do is make sure you have a decent seat at this table. Things that make a good seat:
• SS'ers to our left
• Aggro Regs across from us
• Fishy players/Maniacs to our direct right
After you find yourself a good table and seat, you want to keep an eye out the table to make sure that it stays good. Create another set of rules used to reevaluate the table from time to time:
• Average VPIP less than XX%, leave
• More than X mid to short stacks
• Good regs to your left and right
• No fish at the table
Starting a table can lead to some of the best tables. In general, poor players do not like to wait to play so they will sit down and play with you. You can choose to start a 50BB min table and avoid short stackers completely as well. One added advantage is your ability to select your seat early on.
Essentially having a SS on our direct right makes us play effectively short-stacked.
I'll adjust my steal raise sizing when I have SS on my left (lots of BTN min. raising) because these guys rarely adjust and you save BBs when the decided to 3bet/shove.
I love nothing more than sitting at a table to the immediate left of a fish with a huge stack and slowly bleeding the chips away from him (chips flow in a clockwise motion). I will even close down some of my tables and focus on that fish if necessary. When I first sit at a table, I try to decipher which players are weaker than myself and focus on playing pots with them. If there's an uber fish with a stack, then I play a lot more pots.