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Old 05-05-2019, 05:36 PM
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commasense is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Atlanta area
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
People are vastly overstating the degree to which is strategy is integral to his continued winning. Yes, he's worked out a way to increase his win expectation (at the cost of his variance - his strategy is easier to sink from one fluke) but 95% of what makes him dominate is simply because he's really good on the buzzer and knows the answer to almost all the questions. His strategy is what gets him the big dollar amounts at the end of the day, but he would almost certainly be on just as big a winning streak if he played more conventionally, just with less total money won.
I think I agree -- Ken Jennings is probably the prime example of what you're saying. But I don't understand what you mean by "his strategy is easier to sink from one fluke."

However, I disagree with your 95% claim. I would weight the relative value of the three components -- button speed, knowledge, and strategy -- somewhat more evenly, because having a runaway lead going in to Final Jeopardy completely eliminates the game's biggest risk: not knowing the final question.

Also, building up an unbeatable lead early protects you against wrong answers in DDs and dead spots in your knowledge base. Then there's the psychological effect on your opponents, as well.


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