The ability to use the strategy effectively depends on two critical things: a. conservative position sizing and b. very low commissions.
While you can use a small DMA CFD account of say $2,000 to try out a few trades at $1000/leg, unless your commissions are free or $0.50 per trade it's going to be hard to make money.
Our Top 30 show average wins of about $600-$700 per trade at $10,000/leg, so that is $60-$70 per trade on $1000/leg. And don't forget margin costs if you leverage up.
To properly have a go at the strategy, we like to see a $10,000 equity DMA CFD account (or option account in USA) at a very low fee, good execution broker. You can guess our first choice based on with whom PTF PRO has integrated for data and semi-autotrading. Even with a $10,000 equity account, we would trade that at about $1,000/leg for a standard volatility pair. That position sizing means you can carry about 20-25 open trades (which is a well-diversified pairtradnig portfolio if constructed properly).
As most pairs do not have a historic Max DD in excess of 20%, a max loss stop loss might be set at $200 or so for $1,000/leg, if one were to use a Max Loss Stop Loss. That translates into a potential 2% account equity loss per pair trade, trading at 5:1 leverage.
Many US brokers are now offering free commissions. That certainly increases the odds of being a consistently profitable pair trader with a small account, provided execution is high-quality.