Remember that real-estate mantra. Worthless right now, but translates well to poker into the manta "position, position, position". If its so true, why do so many players (aka gus handsen) play so effectively OUT of position. I should have answered this question YEARS ago, but I get it now.
and thank the books on "chip utility" for pointing it out.
Position matter MOST when you HAVE position and stack sizes are SIMILAR.
Positions matters less to you if you have a ton of chips. You can play out of position because you can apply pressure easily in a tournament when you are deep stacked.
Position help you less when you have less chips. Let's say you raise on the button with AK and its late in a tournament. You have average stack of 5k and the blinds are 150/300. Both blinds call and you miss the flop. The pot is 900 and someone bets 750 who has 25k behind. You are suddenly playing a dangerous pot. The presence of his stack size alone applies pressure, forcing you to want to have a hand.
but if he has only 5k to start the hand, you could come over the top and apply the last pressure point of the hand thanks to your position.