Local woman vying to face pros, celebrities at poker table

Peggy Revell

Fort Frances resident Tracy Clarke is wanting to show the world her poker face—and take on both the pros and celebrities—by landing a spot on Fox Network’s “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge.”
“I’ve been practising and dabbling in [Texas Hold’em poker] for about five years—it’s just exhilarating,” enthused Clarke, who originally hails from Alberta but has made Fort Frances her “adopted home” having moved here two-and-a-half years ago with her husband, Dan Scott, who originally is from the area.
Clarke currently is vying in a video showdown to land a spot on the second season of the popular “PokerStars Million Dollar Challenge” show, which is shown alongside Fox Network’s Sunday NFL coverage.
“[PokerStars.net and Fox offers] these tournaments to amateurs like me, or anybody, and I’ve gotten far enough so that I can do the videos and go on the show,” she noted.
“I mean, somebody’s got to go on the show, right? It might as well be me,” she reasoned, noting the competition features all “free rolls,” meaning participants don’t have to put up their own money to enter.
Since September, Clarke has done well enough in the three qualifying tournaments at www.pokerstars.net and she’s moved onto the next round, which requires her to create and submit a video on why she should be the one to appear on the “Million Dollar Challenge.”
“It is kind of cheesy,” she chuckled about her video, which highlights such things as her love of Canada, poker, and how she wants to have a shot at the million dollars.
And while Fox and PokerStars.net will be reviewing the videos to decide who becomes a contestant on the show, the public also is allowed to have their say by voting for the videos of their choice.
“With the quirkiness of this video and my supporters, I just may be able to get on there,” Clarke said.
“It would be interesting.”
While there are thousands of videos up on the site with people bidding for a spot, she’s hoping some local support will give her an edge.
With the competition to qualify for the show’s second season running until Dec. 8, Clarke said people can vote on a daily basis for the video of their choice by registering at www.memelabs.com/mdc
Her own video can be found by searching for her user name: “pkrlvrfer”
Those who are selected from the video round will head to Las Vegas for the challenge, where they will play in front of the cameras in a series of matches against both “Team PokerStars Pros” and celebrities, with the assistance of professional poker player Daniel Negreanu.
A contestant possibly can win up to $25,000 during these rounds—and afterwards either can cash in or go up against Negreanu himself for a chance at $100,000.
Finalists who beat Negreanu then will face off against each other for the opportunity to go up against Negreanu once again—this time for a million bucks.
Last year’s inaugural season saw contestant Mike Kosowski, a retired NYPD officer and 9/11 first responder, come out on top and win the $1 million.
The second season of the show kicked off Sept. 19, coinciding with the Fox Network’s Sunday NFL coverage when there isn’t doubleheader coverage.
Already gunning for this competition, Clarke has her sights set on what she calls the “Triple Crown”—made up of “The Million Dollar Challenge,” as well as “The Big Game” and the North American Poker Tour, both of which feature similar set-ups to allow amateurs to enter the ring.