I sort of agree with fergy here.
The early rounds of all tourneys do offer some interesting opportunities, but the first few hands seldom do. So for the first orbit or so, I'm generally restricting my play to premium hands, or premium opportunities.
After 5 orbits or so, the play generally stabilizes and actual pot odds can play somewhat normally. By then I have usually figured out something about the flow of the game, and the table I'm at and its players as well. By the break, in almost all tourneys, something like 50% of the starting group are gone.
My tourney mantra goes something like this;
First 2 obits AA, KK only or a great knowledge of some particular players.
Orbits 3-10, 'investigate' the players. This will involve some specific raises against specific players while in specific positions (late). A willingness to lay it down to any return aggression is mandatory, and most of the time I have no problem doing it. When I 'cop' and attitude against a player, I am doomed. I will make mistakes. So I try very hard to catch myself before I make that mistake. I do much better once I know a villain is agro, and I can wait.
After the 10th orbit, it becomes chip accumulation time. 'Steal, and be stolen from' plays big from the 10th orbit thru the break and till about 10 spots from the bubble. I only takes 1 purposeful steal every 2 orbits (on average), along with a standard win rate, to get ahead. 1 steal per 2 orbits is barely enough to raise anyone's eyebrows. More than that will raise those eyebrows, and put a target on you icon.
Moral of the story, is you can't win the tourney in the first few orbits but you sure can lose it.