Learned something today, at substantial expense. I started off (weeks ago) short crude calls. As the future climbed, I covered the call by going long the future (turning it into a synthetic put). As the future climbed further, I wanted to lock in profits: I bought a put. (I could've also bought call/sold future, but didn't want to leg in. Buying the put seemed "easier"). At this point, one possibility would've been paying a nickel or so and gotten a conversion done down in the crude pits: buy call, sell put, sell future. I thought it would be a waste of commission, so I didn't bother. I just put it out of my mind, thinking of the position as being "gone". Well, the position wasn't gone. When crude settled yesterday, the calls settled only $0.01 ITM. Half of the options were abandoned. My long puts, on the other hand, were all abandoned (it didn't occur to me to do otherwise). So I woke up today naked long crude, and didn't even realize it for half the morning. And of course, crude sold off... the rest is history. Bottom line: I should've paid a penny or two yesterday and gotten the conversion done. Never again.