Solid advice, imo.
So upon googling, the concept is briefly mentioned in Gus Hansen's Every Hand Revealed which you can preview for free on Google Books. Of course, I bought the book when it came out, immediately mis-applied its concepts to cash games, and have been stuck ever since.
As best I can tell, the Ladder Principle is a double edged sword. On the one hand, if you are out-classed, you should play meekly, and fold your way into a higher part of the tourney cash-out, hence climbing up the ladder. On the other hand, if you have any sort of edge, then aggressively pursuing marginal edges should bring you towards making a deeper run.
Or as someone on 2+2 put it: Great postflop play easily makes up for being too loose preflop.
Allen "Chainsaw" Kessler is immediately right about my game lately. I've been happy to make a decent stack early on, but then shutting down later and limping into the money.
So, I took this to heart last night, followed my bliss, and played as my complete maniacal self, with the usual results!
Poker Stars $10+$1 No Limit Hold'em Tournament - t25/t50 Blinds - 9 players - View hand 1096918
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
BTN: t1170 23.40 BBs
SB: t3575 71.50 BBs
BB: t2565 51.30 BBs
UTG: t3140 62.80 BBs
Hero (UTG+1): t3135 62.70 BBs
UTG+2: t4280 85.60 BBs
MP1: t3940 78.80 BBs
MP2: t3120 62.40 BBs
CO: t2760 55.20 BBs
Pre Flop: (t75) Hero is UTG+1 with Q A
1 fold, Hero raises to t175, 3 folds, CO calls t175, 3 folds
Flop: (t425) J Q 5 (2 players)
Hero bets t255, CO raises to t510, Hero calls t255
Turn: (t1445) 8 (2 players)
Hero bets t850, CO raises to t2075 all in,
Hah hah! I have a monster compared to my maniacal image, It's close, but per the Ladder Principle, I should make this call. If villain has a set, oh well, good game me!
Hero calls t1225
CO shows 5 A
FIST PUMP. I've played this hand perfectly! Deep run, here I come. Thank you Chainsaw!! I mean, hah, unless villain binks his two outer....
River: (t5595) 5 (2 players - 1 is all in)
Final Pot: t5595
Hero shows Q A (two pair, Queens and Fives)
CO shows 5 A (three of a kind, Fives)
CO wins t5595