Often it seems pretty obvious on which tables to select when you're in the lobby of a poker room - just pick the one's with the highest percentage of players seeing the flop and jump into the table or add yourself to the wait list.
There can be a few problems with this though - if a huge fish has just left the table, then the players seeing the flop percentage may now be significantly lower (particularly in 6max). Even worse if you're on the waiting list and one or two of the fish have just busted out, and then you take your seat to replace them often you'll find yourself sitting next to good players and potentially on a table full of TAGs.
Furthermore the accuracy of the players per flop figure may also be questionable, as it depends on how many hands it is calculated over. If its calculated over a lot of hands, then the actual players on the table may be vastly different from the average calculated due to player turnover.
Natural variance may also impact the figures displayed if a number of players have been dealt decent limping hands several times in the last couple orbits.
So, how do you work around this? Well I rely on my own player notes and HUD to actually check the individual players on the table I sit down at. Normally I don't bother to check them before sitting down unless there are two vacant seats to sit down at. However, once i've sat down, priority number one is to check that the player to my right is a loose fish. I will occasionally accept a tight, but very passive player on my right, if the player to his right is a complete loose passive fish.
Where I don't have a HUD I still rely on my own player notes, but I also go back to the Lobby every so often to check that the table hasn't tightened up too much overall.
For example, I put in a 45 minute session last night between Cake and Bodog. The only decent table on Cake was a $3/6 table showing a very nice looking 60% players seeing the flop. I added myself to the waiting list. About 30 seconds later I was sat down when a seat became vacant. To my left was a player that my notes said "Huge fish. Nrly 100% vpip. Will SD ANY pr on dang brd m/way". To my right my notes said "Tag? OR first in. T8s or co. Vbet top pair". Given that, I stood up straight away, waited for the seat to fill and added myself back onto the wait list.
After about only another two minutes I was seated again, on the left of the fish. Happy days. Even happier when first hand in Tag raises, fish calls, and I have 44 in the BB and flop 864r. So about 10BBs up after one hand. Next hand KK, and I end up heads up with the fish, who actually has JJ on a T high flop with two hearts. Third heart on the river gave me some concern but he just checks, so in two hands i'm up 15BBs, and have great position on a big fish.
Next 30 hands I get nothing though, except probably a decent chunk of rakeback with the fish playing every hand and another fish also playing most hands with the other three on the table being quite aggressive three betting preflop and the flop, leaving me to simply fold. Eventually I did score a couple more decent hands that the fish called down with me in position, and left the table 20BBs up.
On Bodog I added myself to the wait list of the two $1/2 tables that were running. Eventually I was seated, but had a tag to my right, so again stood up without playing a hand and added myself back onto the waiting list. A couple minutes later I was on both tables with good position over a couple passive fish. They promptly sucked out on me a couple times, and I was quickly 15BBs down. Ack. However, by the end of the session, they'd given me back all my losses, and donated me another 20BBs before one of the fish left and was replaced by a TAG so I closed the table.
Add on a bit of rakeback, and the day's progress was actually very good.
Also got an email from Sun saying that on top of the 30% cashback, they are doing a deposit bonus that will match the cashback, which is not deducted from MGR, so effectively 60% cashback. I sent a query email on how long till it expires and am waiting on a response, but i'll probably take up the offer.
Current bankroll: $16,150