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Old 04-17-2019, 04:53 PM
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The Jeopardy thread [was James Holzhauer]


*spoilers for Jeopardy 4/17 below*
.
.
.
Anybody watching this guy? He's hit 10 wins, which is already a good feat, but he's completely smashing daily records. He's broken the previous single day record 4 times now, pushing the new record to 131K. He's already 2nd behind Jennings in non-tournament winnings.

Some other stats just from today:
-Jamesí 41 correct, 0 incorrect (including Final) is believed to be the most number of correct responses given in one game without being incorrect once. David Madden had a 36 correct, 0 incorrect (35 plus Final) game on July 11, 2005.

-$60,013 is the largest amount of money ever wagered in Final Jeopardy. James is the only player to have had at least $60,000 going into Final Jeopardy (he has now done that three times).

-Jamesí bet of $25,000 on the final Daily Double equals his record Daily Double bet from April 9.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:07 PM
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I'm not a regular viewer of Jeopardy but I've seen a few scattered minutes during Holzhauer's run. He seems to be very good at knowing how to bet on Double and Final questions, and combined with his correct answers, that looks like what's pushing his winnings into the stratosphere.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:13 PM
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You have to feel sorry for the contestants who happened to be scheduled to play during the reign of one of these mega-players. Like hitting a buzzsaw....

It's good for ratings, though (I'm assuming).
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:45 PM
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Do people really tune in irregularly to shows like Jeopardy!?

He's a machine. I can't see anything obnoxious or really unlikable about him, unlike some recent big winners. Even so, I'm beginning to wish he'd lose. I don't know why - I admit it is irrational.

In one game, I had a thought that, if I were one of the other contestants, I'd just have walked out in the middle of the game. His dominance was so complete, I'd have said fuckit.

(Of course, were I on the game I would have won. So there! )
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:54 PM
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I like him. He isn't excessively quirky or obnoxious like some. Just a betting monster and a answer machine.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:59 PM
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You have to feel sorry for the contestants who happened to be scheduled to play during the reign of one of these mega-players. Like hitting a buzzsaw....

It's good for ratings, though (I'm assuming).
My cousin was on many years ago when you could only win five times. He went up against the best player that year who won all five of his games and strolled through the end of year tournament. The champ was kind of unlikeable. He did do the best against him than anyone.

According to my cousin, you are allowed to say you arenít feeling well one time and one time only and they will reschedule you. He almost did that after watching the champ in the previous couple of games but didnít. Afterwards Alex said to him, ďdamn it. I thought you had him.Ē
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:01 PM
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When you're as good as he apparently is at getting the answers right, "knowing how to bet on Daily Doubles and Final" is easy: Bet as much as you can, to win as much as you can.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:05 PM
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He was on the Chase a few years ago.

It goes about how you would expect.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:08 PM
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The guy has the nerve to make big bets. I think they did say he is a professional gambler.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:32 PM
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James is taking the strategy of choosing the highest valued clues first (all of the $1000 clues, then all of the $800 clues). That way he gets a big balance to bet if and when he gets a Daily Double, which seem to be on the $600 or $800 clues.

I noticed that on today's show (4/17), when a different player had control of the board, they also chose the most valuable clues first, just as James was doing. I wonder if his strategy will be a new normal from now on. I can also imagine that future shows will have the Daily Double on the $1000 clues to thwart the strategy.

He is certainly brave and very knowledgeable. It also probably helps that he got the feel of the buzzer down, ringing in before anyone else gets a chance.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:59 PM
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It also probably helps that he got the feel of the buzzer down, ringing in before anyone else gets a chance.
That really is important (speaking as someone who's auditioned three times and had trouble with the buzzer each time). All the knowledge in the world won't help if you don't get the chance to answer.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:21 PM
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This guy knows the game fully. He uses aggressive Jeopardy strategy to unfailing find the daily doubles; and as a professional gambler and, presumably mathematical quickness he can bet with precision to own the board. Until he decides to stop. What we are witnessing, is the sublime end to a great, one of the greatest game shows ever. I think it's over and this is a great way to always leave them laughing when you say goodbye, as the man says.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:28 PM
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Do people really tune in irregularly to shows like Jeopardy!?
I do. Why not? Most of the time I have something else I need to do during that time.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:22 AM
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I didn't really like the guy at first, but I'm warming up to him. He's a professional gambler, and it shows. Wonder how long he can keep it up.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:40 AM
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I do. Why not? Most of the time I have something else I need to do during that time.
Because you never know who the daily winners are. It's like watching soap operas once a week.

And you miss all the good questions!
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:15 AM
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I hate the guy.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:01 AM
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I didn't really like the guy at first, but I'm warming up to him. He's a professional gambler, and it shows. Wonder how long he can keep it up.
Same here. I thought his smile was more of a smirk.

But then I noticed he seems embarrassed/uncomfortable whenever Alex points out his dominance; I think the 'smirk' is just an expression of mild awkwardness.

On another note, I'm not convinced he's going to beat Jenning's streak of victories. All it would take to end his run is for him to come up against an above-average player while missing one of his huge Daily Double bets.


mmm

Last edited by Mean Mr. Mustard; 04-18-2019 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:06 AM
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He was on the Chase a few years ago.

It goes about how you would expect.
An impressive performance.
I do have a question about the prize money though.

James earns $60,000 from his 'quick questions' segment.
The presenter says "That's the most anyone has ever earned!"

But the other two members of the team have already put $115,000 into the prize fund. So surely one of them had already earnt $60,000 (or more)?
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:46 AM
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All it would take to end his run is for him to come up against an above-average player while missing one of his huge Daily Double bets.
Jenning's run was ended by a fairly mediocre player who got lucky. She didn't even win her next game.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:37 AM
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An impressive performance.
I do have a question about the prize money though.

James earns $60,000 from his 'quick questions' segment.
The presenter says "That's the most anyone has ever earned!"

But the other two members of the team have already put $115,000 into the prize fund. So surely one of them had already earnt $60,000 (or more)?
They didn't show it, but after the "Cash Builder" segment there's the Chase, where you face head to head with the Beast answering multiple choice questions. You have to answer five right before he answers eight. At the tart, he offers you a chance to get less money for one less question or more money for one more question. Looks like this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._gameboard.png One of the earlier contestants must have taken him up on the offer. I'm surprised James didn't since it probably would have been over 100K.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:38 AM
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Jenning's run was ended by a fairly mediocre player who got lucky. She didn't even win her next game.
Didn't he only lose because he got FJ wrong? He was in the lead at the end.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:50 AM
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All it would take to end his run is for him to come up against an above-average player while missing one of his huge Daily Double bets.
There have already been a couple of games where he got one of the Daily Doubles wrong and lost everything. He was able to climb back and still have a runaway victory.

His strategy with the "all-in" Daily Doubles is that he only does them relatively early in the game, leaving himself enough time to recover if he gets them wrong. When he hits a Daily Double late in the game, with fewer clues left, he will bet more conservatively. Still a big number, usually, but limited enough that he will maintain his lead if he gets it wrong.

Of course it helps that he's fast on the buzzer, and has a very broad knowledge base so that he rarely answers incorrectly. He also doesn't seem to guess. Except on Daily Doubles, when he has no choice but to answer, if he's not confident of the answer he doesn't ring in.

The best chance others have of beating him is to find the Daily Doubles before he does. Of course, that means getting control of the board for a long run, which isn't easy given how fast he is. Get someone else on there who is also good with the buzzer and has a good command of trivia, and it would be an interesting match-up.

While I can't deny James's skill, I'm not entirely thrilled about his winning streak. I don't really like huge blow-outs like he's been delivering. I enjoy it when games are competitive.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:51 AM
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I get a kick out of his wagers - I have to wonder if the amounts have significance to him or he's just having fun.

And I also think his smiles are a bit forced and uncomfortable when he's on camera. I watched at the end of the show one evening when the credits were rolling, and he seemed a lot more relaxed and his smile was more genuine.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:42 AM
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I get a kick out of his wagers - I have to wonder if the amounts have significance to him or he's just having fun.
Yes and yes. Alex asked him about it once, and he said a lot of them were special dates like birthdays and anniversaries. He has run out of these dates, however, and the last couple of shows he has made even number bets.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:52 PM
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Jenning's run was ended by a fairly mediocre player who got lucky. She didn't even win her next game.
Didn't he only lose because he got FJ wrong? He was in the lead at the end.
I remember that. The question was something about a company with peak employment from January-April and the answer was H&R Block. I think he guessed Fedex.

As for James, I've been enjoying watching him, except for the little bit at the end where he kisses the tips of his fingers. It just annoys me irrationally.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:30 PM
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They didn't show it, but after the "Cash Builder" segment there's the Chase, where you face head to head with the Beast answering multiple choice questions. You have to answer five right before he answers eight. At the tart, he offers you a chance to get less money for one less question or more money for one more question. Looks like this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._gameboard.png One of the earlier contestants must have taken him up on the offer. I'm surprised James didn't since it probably would have been over 100K.
Aha!
That's it - the presenter meant "that's the most money anyone has earnt in the cash-builder phase..."
Thanks.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:11 PM
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He's a machine. I can't see anything obnoxious or really unlikable about him, unlike some recent big winners. Even so, I'm beginning to wish he'd lose. I don't know why - I admit it is irrational.
We liked him from day one, but after his 6th win we've stopped watching until he loses. He's no longer fun to watch. Here's why:

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While I can't deny James's skill, I'm not entirely thrilled about his winning streak. I don't really like huge blow-outs like he's been delivering. I enjoy it when games are competitive.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:52 AM
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Until he decides to stop. What we are witnessing, is the sublime end to a great, one of the greatest game shows ever. I think it's over and this is a great way to always leave them laughing when you say goodbye, as the man says.
It's Michael Larson on Press Your Luck. It's Ender Wiggins in the Battle Dome. Total dominance, and (even if there was a reason to keep battle school after the defeat of the buggers) battle school would never be the same again. You can't go back to what existed before. The game will not be the same after.

Even more than Arthur Chu, James has altered the way the game is played, probably permanently. Austin Rogers played a straight-up strategy for the game, so did Ken and Julia and Roger and everyone. Now along comes James with such a different way of winning that he just crushes his enemies and drives them before him. All that's left is to hear the lamentations of the women.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 04-19-2019 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:13 AM
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Even more than Arthur Chu, James has altered the way the game is played, probably permanently. Austin Rogers played a straight-up strategy for the game, so did Ken and Julia and Roger and everyone. Now along comes James with such a different way of winning that he just crushes his enemies and drives them before him. All that's left is to hear the lamentations of the women.
I don't know if the game will change that much. The strategy only works with the skill to back it up. He's answering the question more than 50% of the time. Even if it wasn't for the daily doubles, I bet most of these games would be runaways.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:19 AM
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But he's not the first one to start with the high values, or to bet aggressively on Daily Doubles. His dominance is due much more to his skill than to his strategy.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:29 AM
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Here's an interview with him where he talks about his strategy, other players trying to copy it, and other topics. He comes across as a likable person, but it's pretty hard to stay likable when you are demolishing the competition like he is.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:34 AM
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It's Michael Larson on Press Your Luck.
My favorite gameshow moment! I was eight (almost nine) years old at the time, but I remember seeing that episode. I always just assumed I saw a re-run, but then I learned the episode was only aired once -- in 1984 -- until 2013.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:46 AM
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I haven't seen any of his episodes yet (I binge watch them) but I have seen some highlights. Just from the highlights, I find him a little off-putting.

Most likely there is going to be a new host next year. To promote the new host, I think the producers are going to want a Brad Rutter vs Ken Jennings vs James Holzhauer showdown.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:04 AM
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Just from the highlights, I find him a little off-putting.
I don't really get the complaints about him. He's pretty bland. You figure everyone who complained about Austin Rogers would be thrilled.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:14 AM
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I used to record and watch daily, but I stopped doing that years ago. I just set my DVR...
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:55 AM
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I don't really get the complaints about him. He's pretty bland. You figure everyone who complained about Austin Rogers would be thrilled.
I hated Austin. Still do.

James does nothing to complain about.

Even though I'm on record as hoping he'll lose, that's me, not him.

"Go. Fight! Win!

And call me when you get back, darling. I enjoy our visits. "
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:46 PM
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He is certainly brave
I wouldn't consider bravery to be a characteristic of playing a game.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:13 PM
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I checked in last night to watch, I hadn't really watched Jeopardy in years. He seems like a nice enough guy, talking about his grandmother and his kids, but definitely is awkward. When the game is on, he's totally in the zone, but as soon as it stops he seems kind of embarrassed by the whole thing. I always find it interesting when someone figures out a new way to win something that we all assume has its best practices set in stone. One of the other contestant would get a $200 clue right and try to go to the next one down, but as soon as Holzhauer got control it was all over.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:20 PM
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Just now watching his first show. In the interview segment, he asked Alex if he was looking for any action on the [Stanley] Cup this year, and then added that he likes the Lightning.

That was a complete whiffy!
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:53 PM
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Just watched him for the first time. Holy hell that looked effortless.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:19 PM
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... I always find it interesting when someone figures out a new way to win something that we all assume has its best practices set in stone. ....
The only way I could see that strategy failing, given a well-informed contestant who can work the buzzer, is if the show-runners started emphasizing obscure word-play games. If the rules were eccentric enough that you needed the easier clues to be able to figure out said rules, then the strategy could become less useful.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:45 PM
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Ken Jennings tweeted yesterday that heís always wanted to watch someone pursue that incredibly aggressive strategy, and who also had the skills to back it up.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:57 PM
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The only way I could see that strategy failing, given a well-informed contestant who can work the buzzer, is if the show-runners started emphasizing obscure word-play games. If the rules were eccentric enough that you needed the easier clues to be able to figure out said rules, then the strategy could become less useful.
I donít want to see them change the rules to beat him, Iíd think it would be fun to see another player take him on using these tactics: a really fast paced game between two contestants during it out and one person kind of lost in the middle.

I think whatís likely is that James will blunder badly in his fast passed strategy and blow a big wager. I bet the person who beats him does it by a little luck.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:58 PM
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I don’t want to see them change the rules to beat him, I’d think it would be fun to see another player take him on using these tactics: a really fast paced game between two contestants during it out and one person kind of lost in the middle.

I think what’s likely is that James will blunder badly in his fast passed strategy and blow a big wager. I bet the person who beats him does it by a little luck.
Could be. After all, he's playing five games a day (unless they've changed their system in the aftermath of Trebek's health news, that's the way it's filmed--two days a week, five games each day).

That has to be incredibly wearing after a while.

Last edited by Sherrerd; 04-19-2019 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:17 PM
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Ken Jennings tweeted yesterday that heís always wanted to watch someone pursue that incredibly aggressive strategy, and who also had the skills to back it up.
I don't have Twitter, but was it, "Dez NUTS!"?
  #46  
Old 04-20-2019, 12:37 AM
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I just watched him for the first time tonight. It was actually close in the first round, and then he blew their doors off in the second round to win $45,000. Very impressive. The other two finished with less than $5,000 each.

Go, James, go!
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:10 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if the shows being shown today were taped well before Alex's announcement of cancer which was about 6 weeks ago.

I believe shows are taped 2-3 months in advance.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:52 AM
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I watch Jeopardy! every day. James is blowing me away. He doesn’t have an OTT personality and isn’t annoying or showy. As a professional gambler, he has nerves of steel and a strategy. Five games a day are taped. I figure at some point fatigue will get him and he won’t be able to be as quick on the buzzer. I am impressed with his scope of knowledge. But runaway games get boring. I do hope though, he wins a million.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:38 AM
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It occurs to me that his payoff calculations might be based on incorrect assumptions. His strategy maximizes the expected value of payoff for each game. But the winnings from a single game aren't the only payoff. If you win the game, even if it's only be a score of $1 to $0, then you get to come back for another day, which also has a high expected value. So he should perhaps be playing a bit more conservatively, to increase the chances of coming back, even though he's decreasing how much he gets per game.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:52 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if the shows being shown today were taped well before Alex's announcement of cancer which was about 6 weeks ago.

I believe shows are taped 2-3 months in advance.
Yes, you're probably right about the timing of the announcement (and the rest).

Last edited by Sherrerd; 04-20-2019 at 07:53 PM.
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