What's in Your HUD with Paul Ciaca (ciaca21)

Date: 2015-11-25
Author: Jason Glatzer

We sat down with Paul "ciaca21" Ciaca to get his thoughts on poker software.  Ciaca has accumulated almost $400,000 in cashes on PokerStars alone and currently uses a variety of programs while playing and studying.  Here is what he had to say.
PokerSoftware:  What poker software do you use while playing poker online and while studying?
Ciaca:  I am using both PokerTracker 4 and Tournament Shark while playing. When I am studying, I use both PokerStrategy Equilab and ICMIZER.
PokerSoftware:  Tell us how you are using PokerTracker 4 and how your HUD is set up.
Ciaca:  My HUD setup is not complicated at all.  I keep it very simple using VPIP, 3-bet, fold to 3-bet, continuation bet, fold to continuation bet, and steal as my stats.
PokerSoftware: Do you take advantage of the pop-ups in your HUD while playing for more info on your opponents?  If so, in what situations?
Ciaca:  I sometimes use the pop-ups, but not too often.  An example of when I am using them is when I want to see exactly how often an opponent raises in either early or late position.
PokerSoftware:  What do you think about PartyPoker's decision to ban HUDs altogether and PokerStars' decision to ban advanced HUDs?
Ciaca:  I totally agree with that.  I think all HUDs will eventually make you play like a robot and at some point if you can't use them anymore you will be lost and will not know how to play.
PokerSoftware:  How and when are you using Tournament Shark?

Ciaca:  I use Tournament Shark every time I am at a new table.  I then look up each opponent to see who the fish are and who the regs are.  The most important things I am looking for are the average buy-ins and whether or not they are profitable overall.  I'm looking at how many tournaments they played, as this can tell me if the sample size behind the stats is meaningful and if the player is new to the game or not.
PokerSoftware:  How are you using PokerStrategy Equilab for studying?
Ciaca: I use PokerStrategy Equilab during review whenever I want to go deep analyzing a hand.  The software is very easy to use because you are just looking for the equity of a hand.
PokerSoftware:  In what situations are you using ICMIZER?  Is the software easy to use?
Ciaca:  I am using ICMIZER to check whether I made the correct decision based off ICM calculations. As an example, let's say I am in the final 11 of the PokerStars Big $109 and have a spot where I shoved all-in.  The software will help me learn whether or not my decision was the correct one.
The software is very easy to use, as all you need to do is copy and paste the hand in ICMIZER and ask it to run the calculations.  I find this software to be very important since it helps me learn not to make ICM mistakes when I am very deep in a tournament.
PokerSoftware:  What are your thoughts about mobile poker?
Ciaca:  I have tried it, but honestly I am not a big fan.  If I am home, it is much better to play from my computer on a big screen. If I am away from home, it is better to not play poker and instead focus on what I am doing.

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