I have noticed, as im sure many have, that poker has turned super agressive in the last 10 or so years. It has been said that to be a successful poker player, you must be playing aggressive, and put your opponents to the test of risking all their chips. This has become the normal strategy, especially for beginners learning the game. I have inherintly always played pretty agressive since the start of my poker play many moon ago, but in my older age i am leaning towards playing poker a little more soft, strategic and controlled. I have learned that playing a big pocket pair doesnt always have to be for all my chips, and most certainly doens't have to mean playing super aggressive with it. Even if i am ahead in many hands i will bet flop and turn, and then check the river to see if someone plays against me, putting me in a really bad situation to try and call the river just on my read against my opponent, but that is my strength, reading players, so it works for me. But I am wondering how many other people are playing hands SOFT now instead of playing them super aggressive especially late in touranment play. Something like QQ late in a tournament, i have learned is better to play soft sometimes. Like from middle position just limping the pot preflop and then just calling when against an solid opponent to see what the flop produces. I have even done this w AA when playing cash games because it is so unpredictable w aggressive players hand ranges. I am wondering if this is putting me in unnecessarily bad positions all the time. Dont get me wrong, most the time i get a high pocket pair, (JJ, QQ, 1010, or something like AKo) I am going to play it rather aggressive and try to take the blinds or gain a lot of value from it, But if i am playing late in a tournament, w an average stack on a tighter table, near the bubble, I may play my 1010 or QQ from early or mid position SOFT, not intending to want to risk a lot of chips , but rather let the flop produce how i am going to approach the hand. Should this be thought of as a bad way of playing poker? Should i just always play it aggressive and if it turns out bad say, oh well, I played it the correct way? Or am i doing what i am supposed to by seeing how the hand evolves during the flop,turn and river? I think by playing it SOFT, i am also putting my opponents in a position where it is hard to read what i am limping pots with, It could be 67 suited, or it could be KK, which may allow my hand range to open up and see more flops that can produce big implied odds late in the tournament. Not to mention, when i play a hand soft it gives me the opportunity to trap players when i hit the hand super hard, giving me a great chance to double up or greatly increase my stack size. The downside of course being that if i play it soft too early in position preflop, i allow for "junk" hands to see the flop and may end up overplaying an overpair to the board against a blind flopping a weird 2 pair, losing way more than i ever intended on a hand i could have just raised with and took the blinds preflop, no problem. I guess there are so many variables that i will often play it differently depending on how the table is, who i am playing against, exactly what position i am in, my stack size, how many BBs i have left in respect to the blind level, and how deep in the tournament I am. I think for me at least, Playing big hands SOFT, not slowplaying!, but playing them soft, has opened up more options to my play and allowed for me to assess my situation more thouroughly as the hand progresses. I would love to hear what others think of playing big hands SOFT in tournaments.