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Stats (1) - Basics
IntroductionIn this article
- How stats can help you with your game
- Which problems you need to be aware of
- Different levels of stats and their structure
In every hand evaluation, in every consideration and on every street, stats play a very important role. That's why you should know what stats say and what they don't say about a player in a given hand.
What are stats?Singular: The stat (abbreviation of "the statistic")
The term stats refers to all statistical figures that you collect about your opponents in a poker database with the help of poker software. Such software may include the PokerStrategy.com's Elephant, Hold'em Manager or Pokertracker.
As statistical mean values, the scope of information they provide about a specific situation is somewhat limited, but they still often determine your reaction in a specific situation.
This article kicks off an article series about stats, which will deal with exactly these aspects and their correlations. You will learn which stats build on each other and how the interpretation of stats helps you with your decisions in the game.
In this series, you will learn about the basics of the pyramid principle and how the different stats relate to each other. Later we will focus specifically on the interpretation and correlations of individual stats as well as the influence of sample size. On top of that you will see what role stats play in your meta game.
You use stats in order to limit your opponent's range in a given situation and to figure out how the equity of your hand or of your range would hold up against it. Stats also help you get an idea of what player types you are facing and how they tend to play.
Stats are statistical mean values and you need to keep this in mind. Stats therefore tell you how an opponent, on average, reacts to a certain situation, e.g. how often he raises or calls preflop.
Stats predict tendencies. However, there are other factors that influence every decision your opponent makes. Looking at stats out of their context can lead to wrong decisions if you don't see or don't consider other pieces of information.
Stats may therefore not serve as the only basis for your decisions in the game. You have to embed their interpretation in the overall context of the situation. You should by no means blindly rely on their numerical value.
When you look at a stat, you combine two things: You take the stat's numerical value and based on this derive a range that your opponent might have.
In general, stats initially don't tell you anything about the strength of Villain's range, even though this may sound contradictory.
If, for example, your opponent has a 3-bet stat of 5%, this only tells you that this player has 3-bet 5% of the hands he has played. Nothing else.
Such a stat on its own does not initially allow any other conclusions about your opponent's range, but only represents the frequency of a specific reaction/situation. This is a very important aspect, which you need to internalise.
Stats specifically indicate the frequency of an action or a reaction. Stats do not directly indicate the strength of a range.
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