Tracy Doss isn’t a household name – yet.

That’s likely to change soon, however, as the local Las Vegas player recently stepped onto the national poker stage based on the strength of his play at the WSOP National Championship where he turned a freeroll entry won on into a fifth-place finish worth more than $86,000,

While he’s still basking in the thrill of playing against some of the game’s top competition in such a prestigious event, the gregarious businessman isn’t satisfied with his result. “Honestly, I was really disappointed in my finish. If I’d have won that flip, I really think I could have won the tournament,” he said in a recent interview during a break at the Rio.

“I’m a product of the (Chris) Moneymaker effect. I watched him win the Main Event in 2003, and immediately went out and bought a computer,” said the Columbus, Ohio native. After cutting his teeth online, Doss quickly tasted success, turning a $200 satellite entry into WSOP Main Event seat in 2004.

Though he only made it to Day 2 in that event, the experience was enough to convince him that poker could be a possible career and, in 2005, he relocated to Las Vegas for the first time. “I played a mix of live and online poker, and I got pounded into oblivion,” he said of his first stint as a Las Vegas grinder. “I made some final tables and made a little money, but I couldn’t sustain a life as a pro.”

Eventually, Doss gave up the swings of professional poker and moved his family to Portland, Oregon where he took a job working with his brother. “The job was good, and Portland is very nice, but it wasn’t the life I wanted.” Tiring of the 9 to 5, Doss credits the decision to return to Las Vegas earlier this year to his wife, who encouraged him to try his hand at poker for a second time. “Moving back was a little rough, but I started playing again, and I was playing well.”

A couple of deep runs in local tournaments at the Venetian, including a final table appearance, did more to boost his confidence and, when he saw the Knockout Series online, Doss didn’t waste any time in registering. “I didn’t win the first events I played, but I felt sharp,” he said. “I knew when to bluff. I knew when to call bluffs. I saw that what I was doing was working.”

Doss’ perseverance paid off in the form of a freeroll entry that eventually led him to Atlantic City where he proved that he has what it takes to hang with some of the biggest names in the game. “I’ve always made a good living, but not always in poker, so I wasn’t intimidated by the wealth or fame of the players I was competing against,” said Doss. “I wasn’t nervous at all.”

“My family and friends are thrilled with my finish, and someone was even nice enough to call me an upcoming star. That’s a little much. It was a good accomplishment, but it wasn’t great,” he said of the experience. “I wanted that bracelet. I wanted to win.”

Now back in Las Vegas, Doss, who plays regularly on, says he’s hoping lighting might strike twice. “I’m going to play tons of satellites, and I have July 5 marked off on my calendar to play the 25 Seat Scramble,” he said.

While he continues to chase his poker dreams, Doss is also keeping busy off the felt as he prepares to open High Roller Pizza later this summer. “It may not be a gold bracelet, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” he said of the organic, free-range pizzeria which he hopes will soon become a popular destination for local and tourists venturing to the south end of the Las Vegas Strip.