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Valentines Day is a time to celebrate love and romance between intimate companions – a time where loved ones pass gifts onto one another. Jean Noel Thorel arrived on one of the most romantic avenues in the world in the Champs Elysees and walked into the Aviation Club de France. Then he got intimate around the poker table and in a show of gratitude to his companions, gave them all gifts in the form of sizeable chunks of his chip stack.

Welcome to the mad world of the €10,000 WPT Paris High Roller event on day one!

24 males and one female started level one and amongst the luminaries were Bruno Fitoussi, Juha Helppi, Antony Lellouche and Max Lykov. Then just before registration closed – Freddy Deeb and Basil Yaiche made it 27.

There was a high sense of joviality in the air, a lot of early bluffing and also cards being shown to try and rile opponents. Victor Delmas catching Jean Noel Thorel triple barrel bluffing as early as the first level for example. This didn’t stop Thorel becoming the chip leader very quickly during proceedings. And then in one amazing hand he tripled up and eliminated both Nicolas Levi and Bruno Fitoussi. On a board of all three went all-in, Levi had for a set, Fitoussi had for the nut straight and Thorel had for the flush draw. The river was and Thorel hit one of his outs and eliminated both players.

Lykov, Lellouche and Tureniec also fell by the wayside before Thorel added the scalp of Dominik Nitsche to his collection. By this time Thorel had over 160,000 chips – almost double the chips of Basil Yaiche in second place. Then came the gifts and Thorel simply imploded, eventually being eliminated at the hands of Saya Bouali.

Party Poker online qualifier Firas Nassar looked extremely comfortable all night and finished the day with a respectable 49,400 chips. The short stack at the table belonged to the winner of the Tony G challenge, Gabriel Nassif, who will come back tonight with 20,800. The chip leader is Basil Yaiche who despite arriving late managed to accumulate 132,425 chips. But the story of the day has to be the self-destruction of Jean Noel Thorel who managed to give away 160,000 gifts to everyone else around the table on this celebratory day of love.

12 players will return for day two and it will start at 18:00 (CET) on Tuesday 15th February 11.

The live updates from day one can be found here

High Roller Top 5

1. Basil Yaiche 132,425
2. Saya Bouali 129,480
3. Frederic Loiselle 118,500
4. Yacoub Dori 79,225
5. Ludovic Lacay 51,175

Day 1 Image Gallery

[miniflickr photoset_id=”72157626048922434″]

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