Please pardon my asking what may seem a stupid question. Assume I buy JAN04 puts today, say on some stock, at some strike price that is slightly OTM. Now comes June and there is a big market downturn. The stock falls 40%, which makes my puts very very deeply ITM. What are my risks that might prevent me from taking profits when I want to? What about counter-party risk...how do I know the counter-party will be able to deliver my cash if I choose to exercise? (I am assuming American style options). And if I have puts in a thinner traded option market than the stock I chose, what assurances do I have that there will be a market if I want to simply sell my deep ITM puts?