Originally Posted by missjacki
To get to first place, you MUST cash. you simply must. There's a lot of other important stuff that happens in between cashing and first place but NONE of it even has a chance to transpire unless you first cash.
Obviously winning without cashing is impossible. That said, this doesn't reflect the full picture since it doesn't take into account that for most of an MTT, "playing to win" is a misnomer. You're actually playing to get deep with enough chips to have a decent chance to win.
It's a matter of balance. Playing conservatively so you're more likely to be ITM comes at the cost of being less likely to go deep and win, which lowers your EV. Otoh, trying too hard / taking too many risks because you don't care at all about cashing probably lowers your EV too.