“Good Play Makes Good Stats; Good Stats Do Not Make Good Play”
The title of this article seems to be ridiculously obvious, but a lot of people don’t get it. In the stats thread on 2+2, the most common question I get is: “What should X stat be?” Even if you assume that the player asking this question assumes we are talking about the standard 2+2 tight/aggressive style of play, the question is evidence that the questioner believes there is a style of play, a set of perfect stats, that will make them a winner. If you think this, you are thinking backwards; good stats do not result in good play; good play results in good stats. Your focus always should be on making the right play at the right time; good stats follow from a series of good decisions.
Here’s an example. I get a lot of posts in the stats thread from people whose VPIP/PFR stats are roughly 14/7 or so, and they usually have a small, but positive win rate. They ask me, “I should raise more PFR, right? My PFR should be about 10 or 11?”