FILE – In this July 14, 2015, file photo, players compete at the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. The World Series of Poker’s main event returns Sunday, Nov. 8, offering a $7.6 million prize to the victor. (AP Photo/John Locher, File) by Kimberly Pierceall, The Associated Press Posted Nov 6, 2015 1:01 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 6, 2015 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The World Series of Poker main event returns Sunday offering a $7.6 million prize to the victor and it appears to be 24-year-old Joe McKeehen’s to lose.The Pennsylvania poker pro and mathematics graduate will have more than twice as many chips as his nearest competitor when the cards get dealt for no-limit Texas Hold ’em at the Rio All-Suites Las Vegas casino-hotel on Sunday.Its eight Davids versus a self-described “average Joe” with a Goliath chip stack at the final table. Or if 61-year-old Neil Blumenfield gets his way, he has another tale in mind: going head-to-head with 72-year-old Pierre Neuville, “and the young kid wins it all.”Blumenfield, who once founded a tech startup, and Neuville, a former board game executive, are the oldest competitors in recent history to make it this far.“It says a lot for the ability, my generation, to hang in there in a game that’s become dominated by kids,” Blumenfield said.World Series of Poker tournaments began in May and continued for 51 days with 68 events, culminating with the annual main event. It’s a grueling multi-day poker marathon that whittled down the competition from 6,420 entries at $10,000 each to nine players, all already guaranteed at least $1 million each.Among the remaining “November Nine” are a poker star turned daily fantasy sports pro, an Israeli software developer and four young poker professionals from New York, New Jersey and Italy.McKeehen has the largest lead a player has had since the World Series of Poker switched its format in 2008 to give people more chips. Chips have no monetary value in the tournament — a player must lose all his or her chips to be eliminated or win all the chips in play to take the title.Since 2008, only one other player has entered the main event as its chip leader and won the whole thing: Jonathan Duhamel in 2010.“He’s certainly not even-money to win,” said popular poker celebrity Daniel Negreanu, who narrowly missed his own chance at the final table after being knocked out in 11th place by McKeehen in July. “I expect him to make it down to the final three.”The inclusion of Blumenfield and Neuville has changed the dynamic of the final table, too, he said.“They don’t play the typical style of poker,” Negreanu said. “They’re more unpredictable. They’ll add a little wrinkle.”Casino owner Benny Binion started the series in 1970 as an invitation-only event. It was so casual the ultimate winner was chosen by the other, usually older, guys at the table.Poker caught fire in 2003, when an accountant from Tennessee in need of no nickname — Chris Moneymaker — entered a $39 online poker satellite contest, won an entry to the main event and won the whole thing, inspiring other amateur players. Caesars Entertainment Corp. bought the tournament in 2004.The number of poker tables in Las Vegas-area casinos ballooned from an average of 293 to 707 between 2003 and 2006. Online poker sites multiplied, too, until a U.S. law sent them packing overseas in 2006 and eventually a federal crackdown shut the sites down to American customers in 2011, with just a few states legalizing the sites since. The number of poker tables dropped every year starting in 2011 until there were about 603 in Las Vegas last year.Poker pro Max Steinberg, for one, had replaced the card games with a new game for much of the last year: daily fantasy sports. Late to the poker boom but just on time predicting the rise of the fantasy sports contests, the Las Vegas resident won his entry into the World Series of Poker main event via a DraftKings fantasy basketball contest. Now he’s back playing cards, singularly focused since Nevada regulators recently shut down unlicensed fantasy sports sites in the state since they consider it gambling.For someone who needed to keep an eye on the poker prize in the days leading up to Sunday’s main event start, the state’s decision was, “sort of a blessing in disguise for me.” It’s old vs young with a chip Goliath as World Series of Poker returns to crown $7.6M champ
Restaurant Brands International wants Tim Hortons to be as ubiquitous as Burger King by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 4, 2016 5:47 am MDT Last Updated Aug 4, 2016 at 9:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The owner of Tim Hortons says it plans on making the Canadian coffee shop as ubiquitous around the world as the American fast-food chain Burger King.“There is really no limit on how far the Tim’s brand can travel,” said Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, the multinational parent company of both restaurant chains.Schwartz told analysts in a call Thursday that the company sees both brands have an opportunity to grow on a global basis.During the second quarter, the number of Tim Hortons locations increased about three per cent to 4,464 stores, while Burger King restaurants jumped about four per cent to 15,100 locations during the second quarter.Last month, the company announced that it was opening a Tim Hortons in the Philippines, its first foray into southeast Asia. No launch date has been set.Restaurant Brands (TSX:QSR) reported a big jump in its quarterly profit despite flat revenue compared with the same time last year, which it attributed to the negative impact of currency fluctuations.It earned net income for common shareholders of US$90.9 million or 38 cents per share in the three months ended June 30. That’s up from US$11.0 million or five cents per RBI share in the second quarter of 2015.Last year’s profit was reduced by one-time costs associated with RBI’s acquisition of the Tim Hortons restaurant chain. Excluding those and other items, RBI’s adjusted net income was $192.4 million or 41 cents per share, up from $141.0 million or 30 cents per share a year earlier.Comparable restaurant sales grew 2.7 per cent at Tim Hortons in the quarter, and Burger King sales were up by 0.6 per cent.Revenue was little changed at US$1.04 billion, including $759.8 million from Tim Hortons and $280.4 million from Burger King.Schwartz said the company is staying focused on their expansion strategy despite seeing softness in the quick-service restaurant industry in the quarter.He declined to provide a reason for the softness, but other industry executives have cited weakening consumer confidence amid political and global uncertainty. Analysts have also noted that the increasing competition over promotional deals, as well as the growth of smaller, independent players.In an interview prior to the call, chief financial officer Joshua Kobza said RBI plans on continuing to expand its lunch offerings at Tim Hortons, which recently launched new menu items such as potato wedges and salads.He said the company also wants to improve its late afternoon and evening menus, but is not looking at duplicating the business model of its competitor Starbucks, which recently began offering customers alcohol and tapas.— With files from The Associated PressFollow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Don’t expect the province to cut business taxes here following Donald Trump’s election.Premier Rachel Notley believes Alberta’s business tax system is just fine the way it is, even if President-Elect Donald Trump decides to cut taxes south of the border.“Even with our carbon levy fully implemented — which of course it hasn’t even been implemented yet — but even when it is, in Alberta we enjoy a $7-billion a year tax advantage over the next lowest tax province in the country. So, we retain our competitive advantage,” she said.Notley says Canada’s health care system is also attractive to business owners as costs for medical insurance are much lower here than in America. Rachel Notley – June 9 2016, Calgary (Lucas Meyer, 660 NEWS) by Mike Tarasko Posted Nov 15, 2016 7:12 am MDT Trump presidency won’t inspire cuts to Alberta business taxes: Notley
by Tom Krisher And Michael Biesecker, The Associated Press Posted Jan 12, 2017 8:51 am MDT Last Updated Jan 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The U.S. government accused Fiat Chrysler on Thursday of failing to disclose software in some of its pickups and SUVs with diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution than allowed under the Clean Air Act.The Environmental Protection Agency issued a “notice of violation” to the company that covers about 104,000 vehicles including the 2014 through 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pickups, all with 3-litre diesel engines. The California Air Resources Board took similar action.“Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” said Cynthia Giles, EPA assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance.Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne denied any wrongdoing, saying the EPA was blowing the issue out of proportion. “We have done in our view nothing that is illegal,” he said Thursday on a conference call. “We will defend our behaviour in the right environment.”Marchionne said he was told by company lawyers that the Justice Department is investigating the company in concert with the EPA, raising the likelihood of an ongoing criminal probe. He said the company halted production of Grand Cherokees and Rams with diesel engines in September, but will continue to sell models manufactured before then that are still on dealers’ lots.The company said it intends to present its case to the incoming Trump administration. “We will work with the new leadership to get this issue through,” Marchionne said.A spokesman for President-elect Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The White House said Thursday that EPA makes enforcement decisions independently and that outgoing President Barack Obama wasn’t involved in the decision to cite the company.If found liable, Fiat Chrysler could face more than $4.5 billion in potential fines for violations of the Clean Air Act.EPA said it will continue to investigate the “nature and impact” of the eight software functions identified through an intensive testing program launched after Volkswagen was caught in a 2015 cheating scandal involving its “Clean Diesel” line of vehicles. Regulators were not yet defining the software found in the Fiat Chrysler vehicles as so-called “defeat devices” intended to cheat on government emissions tests.However, the agency said that numerous discussions with Fiat Chrysler over the past year had not produced any suitable explanation for why the company had failed to disclose the software, which regulators said caused the vehicles to emit less pollution during testing than during regular driving.“This is a clear and serious violation of the Clean Air Act,” Giles said. “When companies break the law, Americans depend on EPA to step in and enforce.”On Thursday California regulators also announced they were citing Fiat Chrysler for 11 violations under that state’s strict air quality standards.Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that its emissions control systems “meet the applicable requirements” and that it spent months giving information to the EPA to explain its emissions technology and proposed a number of actions including software changes to address the agency’s concerns.Regulators said owners of the affected models do not yet need to take any action and that they should continue driving their vehicles.Fiat Chrysler shares tumbled 20 per cent $9.12 Thursday morning as the EPA action was reported, wiping out about $3 billion of the company’s market value. The shares recovered a bit to $9.91 by early afternoon but still were down nearly 11 per cent.Shares of Cummins Inc. also fell just over 2 per cent to $137.59. Though the company manufactures some diesel engines for Fiat Chrysler, the company said Thursday it did not make the engines in the Jeep and Ram models cited by the EPA.The announcement comes one day after Fiat rival Volkswagen pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges related to widespread cheating involving emissions tests, agreeing to pay a record $4.3 billion penalty. Six high-ranking VW executives have been charged in the scandal, which prompted a nationwide recall of more than a half-million affected cars and SUVs.In the Volkswagen case, prosecutors alleged that top officials at the company approved of the cheating scheme, repeatedly lied to U.S. regulators and then orchestrated a mass attempted coverup that included deleting computer files and emails.EPA regulators made no such allegations against Fiat Chrysler on Thursday, though they said their investigation is in the early stages and is ongoing.This isn’t the first time the company has run afoul of a federal agency. In 2015, Fiat Chrysler was slapped with $175 million in penalties by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for mishandling recalls and failing to report safety data.Marchionne, who clearly was agitated on a conference call with reporters, expressed confidence that the EPA will find no evidence of an illegal “defeat device” in the Jeeps and Rams. He said some of the computer software on the engines was not disclosed because it’s standard among automakers and disclosure wasn’t previously required. But he said the EPA changed the rules after the Volkswagen case.Marchionne said there is no comparison between his company and VW because there was no intent by Fiat Chrysler to deceive the EPA or cheat on emissions tests.“There’s not a guy in this house that would even remotely attempt to try something as stupid as that,” he said. “And if I found a guy like that I would have hung him on a door.”___Krisher reported from Detroit. Associated Press writers Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit and Josh Lederman in Washington contributed to this report.___Follow Krisher at Twitter.com/tkrisher and Biesecker at Twitter.com/mbieseck___This story has been corrected to show that Cummins does not make engines in the affected Jeep and Ram models. US gov’t accuses Fiat Chrysler of cheating on emissions FILE – In this Tuesday, May 6, 2014, file photo, a vehicle moves past a sign outside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. On Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, the U.S. government alleged that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles failed to disclose that software in some of its pickups and SUVs with diesel engines allows them to emit more pollution than allowed under the Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement that it issued a “notice of violation” to the company that covers about 104,000 vehicles, including the 2014 through 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram pickups, all with 3-liter diesel engines. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)