Originally Posted by dackler
In the beginning of tournaments lately I have been playing/thinking like this...
I play tight and wait for a hand. The blinds are small and therefore wont hurt your stack too much. So, you can wait for a chance to catch someone with an ok hand (with your great hand) and hopefully double up!
That is the ideal scenario. However, it doesnt always end up like this. Sometimes, that hand doesnt come for a whole level or two. By this point you are definitely not averaged stacked anymore. This is the unfortunate downside if you are running bad. This strategy can render you vulnerable to calls from larger stacks and leave you with only one option but to shove.
So when do you consider shoving? When you are half of the average stack? Maybe a third? When do we draw the line?
By only playing monsters early in the tournament I think you are passing up on some good opportunities to build your stack. I would suggest watching some tournament videos and seeing how good players build their stacks up using aggression and embracing smaller edges.
Think of it this way, the tournament starts with a certain percent of fun players (who are not playing for profit and make questionable plays).
These players are going to lose their chips to those who play better, but if you wait around for great hands many will have fallen by the wayside and the players who are left are those who were willing embrace more marginal situations and collect chips from bad players while the blinds were low.
If you have a bigger stack you will not reach the push/fold decisions until the blinds have gone up significantly (or if you run good enough, not at all!) and you should be deep into the tournament.
You are right, having a bigger stack means having chips to gamble and run up and even bigger stack, and this is how you win big money by making final tables and most importantly the top three payouts (where most of the prize pool is to be won).
There are several different thresh-holds to keep in mind, as mentioned if you start approaching 10BBs you should know which cards you can profitably shove first into the pot from each position.
Something I didn't see mentioned yet is as you approach 20BB's you are looking to re-steal with 3-bets and 3-bet shoves against loose openers with cards that are ahead of their range... For example if they open 20% of hands, (some open much more) when it folds to them, then you can profitably re-raise with hands you might not expect.
Obviously this is just scratching the surface, but I hope this helps and if you are interested in putting in the time your results will keep getting better.
GL at the tables!