I think its fair to say that opinion is divided over short-stackers, while some people see this as a legitimate tactic, others look on shortstackers as the lowest of the low.
At my usual 50NL 6max cash games there are a number of regular short-stackers, most of whom make a loss, but some show a small profit according to my pokertracker stats.
There is one guy in particular who buys in for $10 and either folds or pushes every hand, never a call, never a raise, its all in or nothing, he multi-tables 6 or more at a time and must be showing some kind of profit, I wont name him, but I'm sure any Full Tilt regulars at 50 NL with know who I am talking about.
For me this type of player is pretty easy to play against, first you identify his range, (this is easy when he is multi-tabling, and you can data mine through PT), once you know this you can simply play the hands that beat his range and fold the hands that dont, this works pretty well for me, although I do avoid sitting to his right.
Against short-stackers playing a more orthodox style I tend to play my normal game, though I am more inclined to call them down, knowing that my losses are limited to the size of their stack.
This got me thinking, that if I am more likely to go to showdown against a short stacked opponent, then maybe I can reverse the position and take advantage of opponents calling me down lightly by short-stacking with $50 at NL100 or even NL200.
By playing a TAG style while short stacked at higher stakes, maybe I can get bigger raises called and more $100 pots than by buying for the max on a 50NL table.
I know that conventional wisdom says you should always buy in for the maximum, but I think that maybe this tactic is worthy of some investigation.
If anyone has tried this, I would be very interested in the results