Poker tournaments differ greatly from cash games. In cash games, the winner can immediately claim his prize and live the game. It is also allowed to have as many chips as you require, or buy additional chips.
In tournaments, the number of chips is set by the rules, and to exchange his chips for money, a player has to reach a certain stage of the tournament.
Stages and strategies of poker tournaments.
Early-stage – it is not recommended to be aggressive during this stage. In the early stage, you’ll face a vast number of inexperienced players, which means they’ll often bluff, call every bet, and act irrationally. You better play tight against them.
Medium stage – during this stage, your main goal is to increase your stack as much as possible. Unnecessary risks are better avoided, just as entering a draw without the raise, Aggressive tight playing is recommended for this stage.
Bubble – at this stage, all players feel that victory is ahead, and try to play very safe. This allows for some aggression, collecting antes and stealing blinds.
Final stage – you’ll face the best players, who probably have years of experience behind their backs. The best advice is not to panic and focus on the game itself, rather than on the money you’ll possibly win. Playing against experienced players means they’ll adapt and shift their strategies, which means it’s hard to pick a single strategy that works perfectly at this stage.