Marsh rulz, but this post isn't *really* about that. This post is all about tournament play when you have passive, inexperienced players in the field, and the blinds are super-low compared to your starting chipstack. Last night, Martin, Marshall, and I were playing a $10 entry, (unlimited rebuys for 20 minutes) tournament with a bunch of friends and some other associated people (some of who were very inexperienced, passive players). Since Martin was Tourney Director, he had built in a structure that allowed a lot of play: 290 starting chips with 1-2 blinds to start.
Martin and I were seated at the same table with 6 other players. As I knew the people at the table really well, I could point out two very inexperienced players, two players with some experience (but fairly weak), two good players, and Martin (aka D0nk King). After the first couple of hands, it became very apparent that it was a "family pot" type of game at our table, and that no one was interested in raising preflop with anything less than AA or KK (and even those hands might be limped by some of the players involved).
In these types of games, I'm very confident in my ability to outplay players after the flop, and to see every flop possible, even when its junk. I understand that every good, tight player's instinct is to fold what is normally unplayable, crappy hands such as 8 3 or 7 2 unsuited, but I strongly suggest to play ANY hand in a "family pot", blinds-low-relative-to-the-chip-stacks type of tournament. The action in these kind of tournaments typically have all limpers 90-95% of the time in the early rounds, with no concept of pot odds on later streets. You can chase flush or straight draws with minimal risk, especially if you're the first to bet. "Family pot"-type tables usually just call bets, without any raising - so say the pot is limped around 8 ways. If you hit a flush draw, you can bet low to build a pot and get almost all the other players to call, and if you don't hit on later streets, you've only invested, say, 10 chips total. But, if you do hit your draw, you can overbet, and someone still is likely to call with any pair and get paid off!
It also should be easy to get away from any hand, as inexperienced players in these situations will raise a huge red flag if you're beat. Say you hit a flop with top pair and a crappy kicker, and you bet. If you get raised, it'll likely be a significant overraise - you *will* feel the heat or pushback from a n00b player, if you are beat. It should be very easy to lay down these hands, and you will know when to do so.
If you're confident that you can value a hand correctly, and apply basic principles such as pot odds and position, you have more than enough to have a significant advantage over inexperienced or semi-weak players in these kinds of tournaments in the early stages, and build up your chip stack without significant risk by calling with *any* two cards. Who knows, maybe you'll hit two pair and double up right away (that's what I did!).