Jean-Noel Thorel

For a player whose central focus isn’t even poker, Jean-Noel Thorel has a pretty notable list of tournament scores.

For a player whose central focus isn’t even poker, Jean-Noel Thorel has a pretty notable list of tournament scores. The Parisian native was the founder of NAOS – a giant in the skincare industry that operates across three different brands: Bioderma, Etat Pur and Institut Esthederm. Although a pharmacist-biologist by trade, Thorel’s love of poker has led him to pick up more than $2,225,000 in live tournament cashes since 2008.

Since he’s a wealthy businessman, Thorel’s favourite tournaments are the high rollers where the competition is at its toughest. His record in these events is nothing short of phenomenal for a recreational player, with the Frenchman making more than a half-dozen final tables in such events. The biggest cash of his lifetime was in the 2015 €25,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller 8-Handed event at EPT Prague. Facing German high roller regular Rainer Kempe in a heads-up showdown after outlasting other pros at the final table including Adrian Mateos and Tobias Reinkemeier, the Frenchman finished as a runner-up for an impressive $420,683.

Jean-Noel has had two other runner-up finishes in these competitive high roller events. One of these was back in 2009 on home soil at EPT Deauville, where Thorel finished second ahead of fellow Frenchman Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier but eventually lost out to Finish legend Juha Helppi. Six years later, the pharmacologist finished second once again at EPT Deauville – this time losing out to Austrian pro Josip Simunic but still earning $239,175 for the achievement.

As someone that plays poker for the competition, Thorel is hungrier than ever to win a major live tournament after so many runner-up finishes. He continues to make appearances on the European circuit and is always a welcome addition to the high roller scene.

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