This is a discussion on Tourney Strat within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; When down to 5 bigs or so in a Tourney, how tight are you guys in ur shoving range? Are hands like J10 in there
with 5 bbs, i'm getting it in with anything decent. that's going to include any broadway, any pair, any ace/king/queen/jack, suited connectors, suited 1-2 gappers, mid-high unsuited connectors. if it's folded to me in late position, i'm jamming atc 100% of the time. and if the more players in a hand, the more inclined i am to get it in pre with anything. even if there is a raise and multiple calls before me, i'm more than happy to get it in.
and the reason for playing so loosely is because it doesn't matter if i bust out. if there are 119 players before the money and i have 5 bbs, does it matter if i bust out in 199th or i last long enough to bust out in 99th place? they're exactly same. but, if i'm able to double up from 5 bbs to 10 bbs, i'm in a much better position than if i played tight and doubled up from 2 bbs to 4 bbs.
and with more players in the hand, the odds of me wining go down significantly but the risk is so worth the reward, which is why i'm not afraid to go for it. lets say i get into a 6-way pot with 5 bbs and will pick up a 30 bbs side pot if i win. lets also say that my preflop equity is only 10%. well, 9/10 times, i bust out. no big deal because i'm so far from any cash that it doesn't matter. but 1/10 times, i scoop up that 30 bb pot.
now, compare that to just folding and waiting a better spot. the odds of me running deep with 5 bbs isn't great at all and very rarely am i going to be able to build a 30+ bb stack with just 5 bbs, especially if im still playing tight. it's not impossible to still do well, but odds of the failure is much greater than success, especially if i still have a large field to get through.
near the money bubble, it's a bit different and it depends on your goal. if you like to cash first, then i completely understand tightening up. personally, i don't care about the bubble so i'm willing to take more high risk/high reward lines with a severe short stack.
At few blinds left, look around the table, how many stacks are hanging by a thread, won't call? If many at table are barely there, semi-raise with anything, use pressure to your advantage..
At table with big stacks, you'd wait until QJ, pairs, ++, if they're gong to take you out, go out with your best.
Like a lot of posters said, it depends on the situation.