You just went out in 51st position in a mutual tournament on RP with a small buy in. I suspect you had something better to do, which I know is often the case for me!
The real question is not what is the standard of play on RP. The standard of play on RP poker is terrible, including my own.
My current ranking is #590 and the standard of play in the 1-million and 5-million chip buy-in tournaments is really not much better than the lower buy-ins, except that the players are less likely to call an all-in preflop raise with A T in the first ten minutes of a tournament. Many players will limp with almost anything and then play like they have the nuts with second pair, no kicker. Many players will call any preflop raise with any small pocket pair from any position. Many players will miniraise when they should raise larger.
In all the tournaments on RP the standard of play is much better when it gets to the final table, but that is just because it becomes a shove-a-thon and there is not a lot of calling.
The real question is what is the standard of play like in live cash games and tournaments, and to that question I have no idea. I have only ever played one live tournament, about 10 years ago in the Dominican Republic for a $25 buy-in, and I only played 1 hand, which was KK, and I lost all my chips.
So I don’t really know, however I suspect that the higher buy-in tournaments where there are substantial prizes for winners will attract some very capable players as well as players with plenty of money to burn. As far as cash games, I always remember that old poker aphorism, take a look around the table and see who the fish is, and if you do not see one, then it is probably you.
Coming back to tournaments on RP, the biggest difference is between those players who are playing to try to win tournaments, and those who just want to relax and have fun.
I can actually flip between the two, and tend to try harder at bigger buy-ins where a loss will damage my ego, and experiment more with tactics and calling what I think are bluffs at lower buy-ins.
To win tournaments on RP, you have to be prepared to fold most hands, raise to isolate opponents when you have good hands or position, or sometimes as a bluff, so that when those good opening hands get a favorable flop, there is a very good chance that you will be ahead, or that when there are tied hands you will have the better kicker.
You cannot play with fear. You must make opponents fear you. You must accept that sometimes bold moves will backfire on you and you will be knocked out, but also know that some of the largest pots can be won with bluffs.
I don’t think winning tournaments on RP means much, but at least having experience of winning tournaments means that you have some idea what it takes to win.
Having said that, look at this hand, the very last one that I played a minute ago. I am in second place in the tournament, there are 12 players left in from 52 starters, and 10 will win prize money.
Should I have folded to this wild attempt to resteal on the cusp of the bubble or called as I did. In a higher stakes tourney I might have folded the to resteal, but in this lower stakes entry I had to call with KK. And in a real money tournament would the opponent have tried this move right on the bubble? Who knows?
The perceived wisdom here in these forums is that this is an automatic call for me, but I am increasingly suspicous that given the stack positions, it would be better to fold in tournaments, not cash games, although if opponents were sure I would fold to any resteal then they would be doing this all the time.
Bottom line is probably that people just don’t take these RP games all that seriously and that you can’t really take anything from the hand shown and use it in a serious tournament for real money.