Stack preservation vs. Stack growth
Can someone please explain this to me?
My assumption is this is the biggest problems I'm having with tournaments lately. I'm not ashamed to admit that there are at least some, especially late regs where I'm pretty much never in the running. But that is the exception, rather than the rule. At least half the time, I am chip leader coming to crunch time, and plenty of times have had 2:1 or 3:1 leads over 2nd place. Obviously I have won some. But no big ones this year. It is definitely possible for me to Mark Newhouse it and either have good lead or 2nd with good cushion and find myself out in 9th. To that point, couldn't hold the lead tonight and finished 4th.
So please help me correct this horrendous weakness that I'm demonstrating. I don't know if it is because I stopped focusing on tourneys online years ago except for big buyin events that tended to have small fields. So having the mindset of a cash game player, when a short stack shoves, I do the math to figure out my expected odds
and how often I have to be right to make it the correct play. Sometimes this works out for me, but not usually. More often than not, I've taken the first of many small bumps to my stack/lead and turned a short stack into a doubled up contender.
To be clear, I'm not a COMPLETE IDIOT when it comes to tourney strategy and I did have plenty of early success (that's how I initially built my bankrolls). So I can reassess what appears to be a good spot mathematically but check the leaderboard and realize that ICM dictates I pass this time. Other times, it dictates a call and then we have a poker hand with standard 3 potential outcomes of win, loss or split. lol
So when I've won, I guess you can say I "got lucky" because I found myself in those spots where the math dictated a call and I took it down. This can rarely and occassionally be 3 way if they're both super short compared to what I've already got invested. But usually it's just a head's up spot where it can be anywhere from 2:1 to 10:1 on a call depending on their stack and anything I've already splashed around. When I've lost, I lose these situations and dwindle my stack away eventually.
So explain to me the theory/strategy of stack preservation and maybe I'll understand why I should be folding more often and not thinking I'm the sheriff at the table regardless of my position. ALSO, if I DON'T call in these spots, when do I? Seems like some of you suggest looking for spots to pick up smaller pots and build slowly. Then, obviously, I can be in a position to make the standard call with premium top 10 hands. I just find myself kind of "trying" to do that by making small opens and then getting shoved by the SS's.
So, other than being fixated on always winning first and trying like an idiot to hold 1st place wire to wire, what am I doing wrong? How can this improve?