Those of you who have been to any of the European-based World Poker Tour (WPT) events over the past couple of years or have competed at the partypoker WPT National UK festivals will no doubt have bumped into Jessica Tomsett.
Usually the first to arrive and last to leave at these events, Jessica worked tirelessly behind the scenes (and on the tournament floor) to ensure everything ran as smooth as a baby’s bum and so that players and staff enjoyed a fantastic experience.
Recently, Jessica switched from her role at the WPT to front PR, Sponsorship and Social Media for partypoker, so we thought now was the perfect time to discover more about her by putting her under the spotlight as part of our Meet Our People.
Born in sunny Brighton, Jessica is the older of two children. Don’t ever get on her wrong side because her younger brother is a Paratrooper for the British army and is also a dab hand in the boxing ring; you have been warned. Jessica’s mum is a retired school teacher while her dad has worked in the poker industry for 15 years – you could say this game is in her blood.
After a serious knee injury ended Jessica’s dreams of working in musical theatre, she enrolled at Reading University where she studied Speech and Language Therapy. It was while she studied for her degree that Jessica was introduced to the world of gaming.
“Whilst I was at University my Dad introduced me to Michael Caselli. I was then sold by the glitz and glamour of the gaming world and luckily had a persistent father who got me an interview with Michael’s business partner Jodie for an internship at Lyceum Media. This then quickly turned into a part-time job until I graduated and then a full time role. I had so many different hats on and was able to gain experience from two generous power houses in the gaming world. As well as being involved in the PR and Events for the online gaming arm of the business I was also able to get experience with the publishing side who produce Bluff Europe. During my time at Lyceum I met Neil Barrett, who at the time was General Manager for World Poker Tour. I did some more research about the company and saw that they were hiring and managed to get myself in the door.”
Jessica jumped into the role of PR and Marketing Associate and was quickly promoted to Regional Event Manager where she “was lucky enough to have a number of countries and casinos to look after and organising the WPT Main Tour stops and Nationals within these locations. I did everything from working with Christian Scalzi on the tournament schedules, to the organising the budgets, branding, parties, online activation at the live events and general management of the tour stops.”
It may seem like the perfect job, travelling the world, staying in plush hotels but as Jessica discovered, it is difficult to maintain the work-life balance. Despite missing several birthdays and celebrations with family and friends, the challenge the job presented, the people she met and the buzz of running a successful event more than made up for it.
In 2014, Jessica’s hard work was rewarded at the British Poker Awards when the partypoker WPT UK festival was voted as the Best Poker Tournament by the British poker community.
“As a partypoker/ WPT and Dusk Till Dawn team we all worked so hard to make it a record breaking and popular event. It was a credit for everyone’s hard work and I am very grateful for Simon Trumper to have dragged me up on stage with him to collect the award.”
After more than two successful years, Jessica felt it was time for a change so she could gain more experience within a different area of poker and applied, successfully, for the role of PR, Sponsorship and Social Media Manager at partypoker. Now Jessica gets to work on the social strategy for partypoker, manage the Dusk Till Dawn sponsorship, work with the brand ambassadors and all of the PR for the group. It’s a role that Jessica is thrilled to have.
“I am most looking forward to seeking fresh opportunities to broaden my professional horizons and working with Grace McMillan, Section Head of PR & Social for bwinparty, to develop my skill set in new areas. The extensive aspects of the role allows me to challenge myself and assist partypoker in developing its PR, sponsorship and social media strategies and activation.”
Speaking of helping manage the Dusk Till Dawn partnership, Jessica is excited about the future of partypoker with the DTD team involved in reshaping the UK poker landscape.
“The Dusk Till Dawn partnership has allowed partypoker to take the opportunity to reinvigorate the brand. I like the direction that partypoker is heading in, making it all about the people and working with its community to make it a site that listens the audience. partypoker are sponsoring many live events at DTD so for me it’s also personally great as I love working with the Rob Yong, Simon Trumper, Nick Whiten and the team in Nottingham. We are all hard workers so we will collaboratively make sure whatever we do we do it well.”
So there you have it, you’re now a little more clued up about another key member of the partypoker team. The next time you’re at a partypoker event, make sure you look out for Jessica and come say hi, she doesn’t bite!