PCA 2014: Meet Morgan Crosta, our cool, calm, multi-national chip leader
There are a few countries who might lay claim to Morgan Crosta, the chip leader of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure as 350 players went for their break on Day 2.
He was born in London, England, and is now a restaurant manager in Geneva, Switzerland, even though his passport comes from Italy -- near Milan, to be precise. The son of an airline stewardess, Costa has been touring the globe from a young age, and has the perfect diction in numerous languages that only such a seasoned globetrotter can boast.
But in times of national dispute such as these, we tend to fly the flag above his head that bears the distinctive Red Spade of PokerStars. You see, Costa, 36, is also a PokerStars qualifier here, having gone through two rounds of satellite tournaments online and investing a grand total of $15.
It always bears reiterating: he paid $15 and won one monster tournament, which got him into another. Then he got all the way to the end of that as well, which earned him a $10,300 ticket to the PCA Main Event, travel and hotel expenses and a shot at a $1.8m first prize in the Bahamas. What did you do with your last $15?
Talking to the mild-mannered Crosta today, there seems to be more of the Swiss to him than the Italian. He told a couple of stories about his tournament so far that might have left the average Italian poker player fuming, losing with aces to ten-eight off-suit, and almost busting on Day 1 when his kings were out-flopped by ace-king. (They ended up chopping it with Broadway straight.) Crosta took it in his stride.
"After that, I was winning and winning," he said. "After that, I got some more confidence. I was lucky, of course, but I also think I played well."
Crosta doesn't have an enormous number of recorded results, but has had a few tournaments wins both online and off. He learned Texas hold'em about three years ago, transferring his skills from poker all'italiana, the five-card game favoured in his home country. He seems to have an instinctive understanding of the vagaries of tournament poker, and despite his enormous stack is staying on a remarkably even keel.
"For me it's different from the other players," he said. "For me it's a $15 investment. I am here on holiday...I love to travel, so when I have time I love to go discover the places that I have not been yet, like here in the Bahamas. Actually I did this tournament because I took my holidays in this period and I wanted to come to the Caribbean. I saw the possibility to win this package and I did it."
And then the secret to his success: "I have nothing to lose. I have all to win. Of course, we will see how it goes."
Another one under the Red Spade
Sarah Grant, of PokerStars.tv, caught up with Vic di Crisco, another PokerStars qualifier enjoying his time in the Bahamas.
Our coverage of the 2014 PCA is comprehensive on PokerStars Blog, and it is simple to follow. The PCA 2014 Main Event page has a box at the top in which you'll find hand-by-hand coverage and chip counts after the action commences at noon. Below that are feature pieces, interviews and analysis updated throughout the day. You can also follow the action on PCA Live.