I'm not going to beat about the bush, rocking a micro stack is not the most attractive part of playing a poker tournament; they dwarf your arsenal, and people often liken having one with being on on life-support. It's not all bad news though, not only are micro stacks often underestimated, they are super easy to play.
Raising from a micro stack with a hand like Aces or Kings might seem like a logical way to squeeze out some essential value, but this would be super transparent to even the most clueless of opponents and unfortunately you would only get action if you coolered someone.
In a nutshell, the precariousness of our situation means that we will be moving all-in frequently, and because we can't increase the number of premium hands we are dealt, this high frequency weakens our overall range. This, coupled with perceived 'cheapness' of the call, means that our shoves will get called so often that we don't need to worry about missing value with our monsters. There aren't many benefits of having a micro stack, but this is definitely one of them!
We also run the risk of inattentive players failing to notice that we have a micro stack and calling our raise, especially from the blinds, presenting us with additional problems post flop. Tzu's The Art of War might stress the importance of acting strong when you are weak, and vice-versa, but in poker balance is often more important because it makes you less exploitable, and shoving or folding your entire range is the best way to play with a micro stack because it enables you to represent the widest and most balanced range possible.
A hand like 67o might seem like a good candidate to get it in with, but the truth of the mater is that seven high doesn’t win a lot of showdowns, and if you are getting called 100% the time (which is the case when you have no fold equity), you want a hand that does well against a range of any two cards. Look at the following match-ups:
Q2s vs any two cards (opponent never folds)
As you can see, Q2s is a much better shoving candidate than a hand like 67o, despite 67 giving the illusion of having more potential. I'm not going to labour this too much because it's not rocket science, not by any stretch of the imagination, but if you have no fold equity, I think it's better to risk an ante or two until you have a hand that has at least some chance of winning without improving, after all, why would anyone want to move all in knowing their guaranteed to be an underdog?
Those of you who are familiar with the gap concept will understand that shoving is more powerful than calling because you can win by making your opponent fold – pretty basic stuff, but worth mentioning nonetheless. I'd like to take it a step further and suggest that the difficulty of calling an all-in is amplified proportionately with the percentage of your stack that the call will jeopardise.
This means that you will be able to yield more fold equity shoving your five big blinds against a big blind who has eight or nine BBS and can't afford take the hit as liberally.
If you want to maximize your profits playing poker, you must do your best to take a beat on the chin, dust yourself off, and make the best decisions you can with your micro sack; by all means get it in, but try to make sure that you're doing it for the right reasons, and not simply giving up too soon.