Originally Posted by coolnout
Why are there so many shortstacks when most of the advice I read is to buy-in with 100bb? I saw a guy 16 tabling .02/.05 with a buy-in of 1$ at each table.
A variety of reasons:
1. Some players at small and medium stakes play a specific strategy designed to exploit being a ss. It's an extremely simple strategy - basically, shove all in pf or on the flop if you think villain will fold or if you think your hand is ahead of villain's range - so you can 24table without much effort. This is a high variance not particularly profitable strategy (compared to playing fully stacked for a good player), but you can train a monkey to do it, so... Your guy that's 16 tabling $1 each may be practicing ss strategy in order to move up (generally you need to be playing at least 100nl in order to make this strategy marginally worth the effort, preferably 400nl).
2. Some players are playing scared money and think they're limiting their exposure by buying in short. This is bad logic - your monsters don't get paid off properly because effective stacks are short, and playing scared money is always a losing proposition.
3. Some players are playing their entire bankroll, which is only 20bb's.
4. Some players are just plain bad (at micro, the vast overwhelming majority of ss's are in this category). You'll recognize them by the fact that they voluntarily put money in the pot more than 13% of the time, and the fact that they limp or call. When you only have 20bb's, you need to shove preflop or on the flop, and you don't get hands often enough that warrant shoving to be putting money in the pot more than 13% of the time.