I love reading these posts, strategies etc...posted a few myself a year or so ago, aliengenius i'd like to see you play, I would imagine you could be quite an opponent.
I've never talked much about final table strategies before, for me as with all tournaments a lot depends on the other players, I don't think i've ever played two tournaments using the same strategy, I use several strategies and change my play a lot during the course of a game.
The final table is almost at times like a seperate tourney (on a MTT), one thing I do almost every time on the final table is find out what the other players are playing like, it also depends on wether or not the final table is in the money or if it is only paying 5 or 8 spots. You will get a lot of players make the final table and not care because they are in the money, i'm sure there are players who just play to make the money then take big risks not worrying if they go out or not, taking the attitude "either double up or go".
My initial aim is to come in the money, once in the money my aim turns to first place. Each final table is different depending on the other players, you may get to the final table and 3 of the remaining 10 may just keep going all-in pre-flop because they've made the money, in this instance i'd let them fight it out, when you get down to the last 6 or 7 who are actually trying to make first place then you can get back into playing real poker, sometimes aggressive play works at this stage sometimes it doesn't. Every final table i've ever been on has played out differently, not because of the cards, because of the players.
I've played a $100 sit-n-go at pacific in the past and couldn't believe my eyes when 4 of the 6 players went all-in pre-flop putting me in the money without having to play a hand, that particular game I won because the chip leader was pushing me all-in every hand, it played like a freeroll. Usually the larger money tourneys are not played like that and it was a one off, the point is even if your chip leader on the final table it doesn't always do you any good being super aggressive, you still need to play skillfully and not rely on luck, i'm still prepared to fold to a small stack if the odds
aren't in my favour, it just makes sense.
Don't want to go on too much, just my thoughts on what i've read so far, good thread.