I notice that most players when short stacked in a poker tournament lose their patience very quickly. Knowing what being short stacked is, and how to play with a small stack, can lead you to sneaking into, or after a rush, lead you into the money, when in fact you think you have already lost your chance.
Short stacked is generally when you have less then 10% of the big blind. So if the big blind is 1000, having less then 10,000 in chips is considered being short stacked. Being patient, and waiting for a quality hand, instead of acting rash seeing that first ace, or a weak king, is one way to play.
Playing with less then 5% of the big blind still requires some patience, but remember that qualified connectors are your best play, most players might think that ace with a weak kicker is a better play, but the odds will consistently disagree with you.
In fact, a qualified 7-8, or 8-9, have the best chances to win a hand against a high pair. When playing, just remember, that your not out as long as a chip is in front of you. We all know the chip and a chair saying, but you would be surprised at the number of players who have cashed because they did not quit. Do not just throw them all-in, give a little thought. Also, knowing the numbers of players still left, and how many spots till the money, will help you with decisions.
Another part of patience, and well within the rules and etiquette of poker is slow playing when your close to the money. Do not be afraid to use the time given, especially on-line, where a timer is generally given on every site. Even in live games, the worst that can happen is a player calling time on you. But remember, even after this happens, you still have a full minute to make your choice to continue or fold.
You can also get tells on players doing this. Watch there reactions, impatience on there part, can give away a bad bluff, and help you reach your goal of cashing in a tournament.
Poker is about building your bankroll, and anything that gives you the chance to increase your bankroll, within the rules, should be used to your advantage. So show some patience, it will pay you off when to play a lot of poker tournaments, just do not slow play as well, that annoys people!