I will offer my two cents, tried and true. I have cashed in many an MTT, and I am not even a good MTT player.
Fold everything except A-K suited +. A situation may arise where it's cheap to get in with A-J off + for cheap - do it only in position. If you wake up with aces or kings, you might not want to get too pot committed. I know this sounds crazy, but you will more than likely get sucked out. All the players who will give you action at these stages are horrible players and should be regarded as such. They will take great pride in busting your A-A with 8-2 offsuit.
Establish a betting pattern (half pot every time you bet, whatever. standard preflop raise that you stick to, all throughout the mtt)
Middle stages (after first break):
Loosen up a bit, start playing some hands. Position is everything. Wait for good cards in late position. Be carefull with small PP 8-8 and less. Never raise with these hands at these stages. see the flop for cheap. Don't call big raises OOP EVER with small PP's. Somewhere around 10% to flop a set. That is not very likely. Don't pay alot to see flop with small PP's.
Hand selection should still be tight. Premium hands A-J suited or off + in late postion. Hopefully by this time, you have identified the players at your table. Especially the calling stations. Do not bluff a calling station. And it is nearly impossible to bluff a really bad player. A bluff is a story, represented by the cards on board. Some players are so bad, they don't even consider what a dangerous situtation they are in with middle pair. They just keep calling.
When you do enter the pot, raise if no one else has opened yet. 3x BB + 1BB for every limper. If you are already facing a raise, re-assess your hand, and try to put him on a range. If you can beat his assumed range, proceed with caution. Play in late position. I can not stress this enough. You should not play a pot out o position against any raiser unless you have premium (AK+). If you meet with strong resistance, and suspect a big pair, get out of the hand. Don't put yourself in a postion to lose much, much more.
Steal blinds when the time is right, with suited connectors, or two painted cards. Perhaps even nothing, but you need to be familiar with the table dynamics to pull these moves off. Consider your table image. If you play ultra tight, people will often respect your bet. However, if you try to steal and bluff too much, somebody will look you up eventually. Do not bluff often. Those types of plays are best saved for the late stages.
If you made it through the middle stage, and you caught some cards, you will be sitting on a nice stack by now. Entering the late stages the play changes.
People are going to be stealing with all sorts of garbage. By now, the blinds are very expensive. A steal is a wise investment. People are going to be running alot of bluffs. Be wary of this, as it is hard to know when they really woke up with a hand. Position is everything. If you really have a good read, you might evan have to look some people up, and pick off the bluffs. I sometimes get a wierd feeling I am being punked, and re-raise. They often will fold to any pressure. Be careful with this type of play though. Ask yourself what does this guy want me to do here? Dissappoint him. If you looks like he is trying to push you out, he very well may be doing just that.
If you enter a pot, you should be raising. If the hand is not strong enough to raise, or you are early position, fold. If it has already been raised, re-evaluate you hand. Suited connectors on the button are great for multiway pots.
Post flop play is going to be essential at these stages. Position is everything.
Let's say you hold A-K off on the button. 3 limpers by the time it gets to you. Raise 3x + 1BB for every limper. One caller.
The flop comes Q-2-7 rainbow. Opponent checks to you. Bet your usual amount. Never check here. My usual amount is 40-60% of the pot. You might have to triple barrel c-bet all the way to the river sometimes. This is a very advanced and difficult play, and should rarely be implemented. The triple barrel also requires a strong read on you opponent. If you have not been paying attention to the behavior at the table, don't even attempt 3-barreling when opponent check calls. Check behind on turn.
Checking behind on the turn can be a smart play. Many opponents will check then smooth call the flop bet. Then they will check the turn. If you check behind here, they are forced to bet strong hands for value on the river. People always try to trap. They act strong when they are weak, and weak when they are strong.
However, most of the time (about 68% of the time), if you see a flop heads up, your opponent totally missed that flop. That is why position is important. For post flop play. That is why you raise preflop. To isolate, and hopefully take it down right there. But, if you go to the flop, it is only against 1 or 2 other players. A c-bet in postion is a profitable play in the long run against a max of 2 opponents (when checked to you).
I have derailed. I wrote a novel about tournament play. I am sorry, but I could not stop. If you read all this, thanks!
If you make it deep, and wind up with a big stack, don't take too many big risks. Don't try to pick the short stacks of when they push when you hold garbage.
Proceed to 1st place. Ship it.....