Jessica Welman - Reporter/Contributor
Jessica Welman is an aspiring Hollywood mogul turned aspiring academic turned actual poker media member. A graduate of University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television with an MA in Communication and Culture from Indiana University at Bloomington, Welman first started in poker at the 2008 World Series of Poker as part of a grad school research project. That research project quickly turned into an unexpected career shift.
Initially a reporter for the online poker community PocketFives, Welman became acquainted with the up and coming new school of poker talent, not to mention became fully fluent in "internet poker nerd." From there, she moved on to BLUFF Magazine where she served as Senior Reporter before becoming Managing Editor in the spring of 2011. During her time at BLUFF she wrote several feature and cover stories, but became best known for numbers more than words. Her "By the Numbers" feature, a poker riff on Harper's Index, broke down everything at and away from the tables at major poker events around the world be it hands played, money won, or number of hoodies worn at a final table.
While she has covered the online poker beat and done magazine work, Welman's most at home of the floor of poker events reporting the action live from events. For three years, she traveled the country as part of the World Poker Tour's Live Updates crew doing everything from writing hand updates and recaps to interviewing players and doing her best Michael Wilbon impression as one half of the PTI-esque "Jess and BJ" web show.
In May of 2012, Welman decided to retire the microphone and return to her roots behind the camera. In her role as Managing Editor of WSOP.com, she not only oversaw the written content on the website, which covers all WSOP-related events on the poker calendar, she also played an integral part in the WSOP's live streaming efforts. In the summer of 2012, the WSOP expanded live streaming efforts to include more than two dozen final table live streams with commentary from poker analyst David Tuchman. That summer she could be found running around the Rio searching for co-commentators, researching stats on things like all-time Bulgarian WSOP cashes, or adjusting camera set-ups in an attempt to channel her inner Steven Spielberg.
Originally from Lexington, Kentucky, Welman now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. While she may not live in the Bluegrass state anymore, her penchant for Southern hospitality, the Kentucky Wildcats, and the word "y'all" persists. She can frequently be found baking, cheering on USC football and UK basketball, or catching up on a Netflix queue filled with obscure old movies and "Murder, She Wrote" episodes.