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  #51  
Old 04-20-2019, 10:34 PM
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I lost to Austin Rogers. (September 29, 2017). Watson proved that Jeopardy is nothing more than a test of how fast you can buzz in. I'm also convinced that the player in the winner's spot has an advantage. Also, there's a person, not a machine, who decides when Alex has completed the question; those that mesh with his timing will do better. I think that Jeopardy should not have just one person in this role, but that is the choice they have made.
  #52  
Old 04-21-2019, 10:25 AM
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I lost to Austin Rogers. (September 29, 2017). Watson proved that Jeopardy is nothing more than a test of how fast you can buzz in. I'm also convinced that the player in the winner's spot has an advantage. Also, there's a person, not a machine, who decides when Alex has completed the question; those that mesh with his timing will do better. I think that Jeopardy should not have just one person in this role, but that is the choice they have made.
I disagree. One, it doesn't matter how fast you can buzz if you don't know the answer.

And, two, I think Watson's games were rigged. There weren't any what I would call "clever" categories. Like Before and After. I'd love to be able to rewatch them to be sure, but it seemed the game was entirely rote knowledge and look up questions. The game played to the strength of Watson.

I'd love to see a rematch with James, Arthur and Watson. Or even Austin. Too bad Watson can't get annoyed. I'd love to see Watson mime doing a medical diagnosis or something when "he" is introduced.
  #53  
Old 04-21-2019, 02:49 PM
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I don't DISlike him. He's certainly not as odious as Austin Rogers, who can die in a cancer fire as far as I'm concerned. But I find myself feeling sorry for his competitors, and that takes me resent him a wee bit.

And here's a question: Who in the name of tap-dancing Jeebus would marry a "professional gambler"? He might have been more or less successful so far, but by definition, ruination is ever-looming.
  #54  
Old 04-21-2019, 02:56 PM
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Also, I do have a problem with the buzz-in system on "Jeopardy!" I think it should be revamped...perhaps a single large button for all the contestants to vie for. As it stands, each contestant has a hand-held, hair-trigger thumb button; if everyone clicks at the same time, it's a difference of microseconds determining who gets to answer, not to mention how well the equipment is working.
  #55  
Old 04-21-2019, 03:58 PM
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...I figure at some point fatigue will get him and he wonít be able to be as quick on the buzzer...
I disagree. I think being the returning champion gives you a huge home-field advantage. James is nicely settled into his routine and comfortable with his button timing. By the time the challengers chase away the butterflies at the beginning of each game and figure out the button (if they ever do), they can barely glimpse James' taillights in the far off distance.


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  #56  
Old 04-21-2019, 06:09 PM
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OK, I binged watched the episodes (accidentally deleting Friday's episode before I watched it). I like him a little better than I did going into my binge watching but I do find him a tiny bgit fake and smarmy. He has a weird smile, almost "doll-like" . His upper lip does not move when he smiles, just his lower lip drops to expose his teeth. That said, he is much better than Austin and Buzzy.

No doubt he has got the game figured out and optimum timing on the buzzer. I want to see a matchup between him, Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.
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  #57  
Old 04-21-2019, 07:26 PM
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And here's a question: Who in the name of tap-dancing Jeebus would marry a "professional gambler"? He might have been more or less successful so far, but by definition, ruination is ever-looming.
This is not true, imo. A good friend of mineís son is a professional gambler and does quite well for himself and has for going on 10 years now. Nothing flashy, just grinds it out. I think the professional part is the key.

I like James. True, final isnít as fun with a runaway but his ďall inĒs even it out. When he misses a big one in DJ he will have his work cut out for himself.
  #58  
Old 04-21-2019, 09:14 PM
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Also, I do have a problem with the buzz-in system on "Jeopardy!" I think it should be revamped...perhaps a single large button for all the contestants to vie for.
That sounds absolutely terrible.
Quote:
As it stands, each contestant has a hand-held, hair-trigger thumb button; if everyone clicks at the same time, it's a difference of microseconds determining who gets to answer, not to mention how well the equipment is working.
Iím not understanding how that is any kind of problem.
  #59  
Old 04-22-2019, 08:53 AM
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I disagree. I think being the returning champion gives you a huge home-field advantage. James is nicely settled into his routine and comfortable with his button timing. By the time the challengers chase away the butterflies at the beginning of each game and figure out the button (if they ever do), they can barely glimpse James' taillights in the far off distance.
That's basically what Ken Jennings said in a recent interview.

It takes a new player some amount of time to acclimate to being on the set and using the buzzer. A returning player has moved past that period of adjustment.

Regarding Holzhauer, in addition to his strategy and big bets, he knows the answers and doesn't hesitate. ISTM that alone would give him wins even if he played a more traditional game.
  #60  
Old 04-22-2019, 09:42 AM
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There is such a thing as a real professional gambler, who consistently brings in a profit. But a lot of people think that such folks are doing the same things as amateur gamblers, just more of it or for higher stakes: They're not. For the most part, they win the same way the casinos do, by finding suckers.
  #61  
Old 04-22-2019, 09:46 AM
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But this guy doesn't bet on casino games. He's a sports gambler, betting on football, baseball, basketball and so forth. I don't know enough about this to say if that's a workable business.
  #62  
Old 04-22-2019, 10:18 AM
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The problem isn't that he's too good, the problem is that his opponents aren't good enough. It's not Mike Trout's fault that he's the best player in baseball. Imagine if there were two other players of his skill level playing against him, it would be an insanely entertaining game.
  #63  
Old 04-22-2019, 10:19 AM
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In principle, it can be, if there are enough irrational betters around.
  #64  
Old 04-22-2019, 10:29 AM
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Jimmy the Greek was a professional sports gambler as well as tv personality.
  #65  
Old 04-22-2019, 10:45 AM
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For the most part, they win the same way the casinos do, by finding suckers.
And therein lies the problem with "marrying a professional gambler."

You can have an office building full of engineers, lawyers, doctors, bricklayers, whatever, and they can all be making money. But you have an office full of professional sports gamblers, and you'll have (say) 10% making money and 90% losing all their money. Because sports wagers don't come from a vacuum, they come from other sports gamblers. And it is a zero-sum field.

While acknowledging that there can be successful professional gamblers, if I met a random person who claimed to be one, I wouldn't trust that they actually were. Someone is losing the money the successful ones are earning.
  #66  
Old 04-22-2019, 10:54 AM
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In principle, it can be, if there are enough irrational betters around.
From the interview with him I linked above, it sounds like he makes his money by making bets where the bookies aren't setting the odds correctly, not by going against suckers.

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Originally Posted by James Holzhauer
They have this thing called ďfuture betsĒ where you pick which team is going to win the division or the World Series. Itís easy to analyze those odds mathematically. The next few years I transitioned to betting on individual baseball games, which has a much bigger market. As it went on, the bookies were getting better at setting their baseball odds, so I branched into different sports where I thought they were still behind the curve. You have to find different ways to get edges.
...
What I do in sports betting is I look at what the typical bettor does. I look at every aspect and think, What can I do just a little bit better than the average person? If you synthesize, like, ten different things, you do one or two percent better than someone else.
(bolding mine)
  #67  
Old 04-22-2019, 11:40 AM
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The sports gamblers who make money arenít going out and betting seven games a day. They are choosing the relatively occasional game where the odds are off. Often this isnít because the bookies set the odds wrong. Itís because the bookies need to move the odds because there is too much action in one direction. The bookies donít give a shit about being ďrightĒ they just want the action to match on either side. For example, they got killed when Tiger won the Masters because all of the emotional bets on him shifted the betting too much.
  #68  
Old 04-22-2019, 12:26 PM
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A skilled bookie would have taken the emotional bets into account, and given Tiger better odds, to encourage more bets against him.

And whenever a professional gambler is succeeding, it's because there's some sucker somewhere. Who precisely it is might vary. The sucker might or might not be another professional.

EDIT: That said, yes, someone describing themselves as a "professional gambler" or a "successful gambler" should be taken with a very large grain of salt.

Last edited by Chronos; 04-22-2019 at 12:28 PM.
  #69  
Old 04-22-2019, 12:53 PM
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A skilled bookie would have taken the emotional bets into account, and given Tiger better odds, to encourage more bets against him.
I don't really gamble, so forgive my ignorance, but isn't betting supposed to drive the line, anyway for the reasons you state? I thought typically there was a starting line, the bets would come in, and adjustments would be made to even out the betting on both sides, so the bookie always comes out ahead. Is that typically not how it works?
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:04 PM
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I don't really gamble, so forgive my ignorance, but isn't betting supposed to drive the line, anyway for the reasons you state? I thought typically there was a starting line, the bets would come in, and adjustments would be made to even out the betting on both sides, so the bookie always comes out ahead. Is that typically not how it works?
In sports betting, yes, the spread movement (or the line) is changed by how much has been bet for one team or player over the other. Changing the spread will push more action the other way, etc. This way the house has ends up as close to even bets on each side of the game. They then collect the "vig" or "juice" as their share of the winnings for taking the bets.

The house is in the business to collect the juice, not to pick a side and win against all other takers.
  #71  
Old 04-22-2019, 01:07 PM
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I don't really gamble, so forgive my ignorance, but isn't betting supposed to drive the line, anyway for the reasons you state? I thought typically there was a starting line, the bets would come in, and adjustments would be made to even out the betting on both sides, so the bookie always comes out ahead. Is that typically not how it works?
It is. And the Tiger thing was so overwhelming that the books lost big. They couldnít get enough action the other way. Too many people who never bet golf bet on him. Stuff like that happens occasionally. No biggie, they can absorb the rare loss like that.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:11 PM
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It is. And the Tiger thing was so overwhelming that the books lost big. They couldnít get enough action the other way. Too many people who never bet golf bet on him. Stuff like that happens occasionally. No biggie, they can absorb the rare loss like that.
I always take all those "Bookies lose big" with a grain of salt. They're the ones putting out that information so then people think "Hey, maybe I can beat the system."
  #73  
Old 04-22-2019, 01:20 PM
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I don't really gamble, so forgive my ignorance, but isn't betting supposed to drive the line, anyway for the reasons you state? I thought typically there was a starting line, the bets would come in, and adjustments would be made to even out the betting on both sides, so the bookie always comes out ahead. Is that typically not how it works?
This is a misconception. Bookmakers regularly lose on individual events. They take the long term view, and will not stray too far from what their numbers guys believe are the true odds, regardless of how lopsided the betting is. For example, in a prominent horse race the bookmakers will have a large liability on the favourite, and a profit on the field. Each race has a good chance of being a big loss for the bookmaker, but it is the repetition over thousands of races that ensures their profit.
  #74  
Old 04-22-2019, 01:22 PM
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I always take all those "Bookies lose big" with a grain of salt. They're the ones putting out that information so then people think "Hey, maybe I can beat the system."
I agree. It's not like we see the balance sheets.

Last edited by hajario; 04-22-2019 at 01:22 PM.
  #75  
Old 04-22-2019, 05:00 PM
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And, two, I think Watson's games were rigged. There weren't any what I would call "clever" categories. Like Before and After. I'd love to be able to rewatch them to be sure, but it seemed the game was entirely rote knowledge and look up questions. The game played to the strength of Watson.
I was kinda curious about this too (since I'll always remember how Watson clearly wasn't programmed to properly take the categories in account given the infamous U.S. Cities/Toronto answer). Looking it up on J-Archive (putting in spoiler tags to save space):

SPOILER:

Game 1:
Jeopardy
Literary Character APB: Watson got 4/5 including DD, Brad rang in first on the other one
Beatles People: Watson got 4/5, Ken rang in first on the last
Olympic Oddities: Watson 3/5, Ken 1/5, the last was a triple stumper on which Watson and Ken both gave the same wrong answer
Name the Decade: Interestingly, Ken and Brad cleaned up on this one, with Watson only ringing in once (and getting it wrong).
Final Frontiers: Watson got 2/5, and gave a wrong answer on another.
Alternate Meanings: Watson got 2/5, and gave a wrong answer on another.

Double Jeopardy
Etude, Brute: Watson 5/5
Hedgehog-Podge: Watson 5/5
Don't Worry About It: Watson 4/5
The Art of the Steal: Watson 2/5 (inc. DD), Ken 1, two triple stumpers (one all wrong, one no ring-ins)
Cambridge: Watson 4/5 (inc. DD), Brad 1
"Church" & "State": Watson 3/5, Brad 1, Ken 1

Final Jeopardy
U.S. Cities ("What is Toronto?????")

Game 2:
Jeopardy
EU, the European Union: Watson 3/5, Ken 1, triple stumper (Watson/Brad wrong)
Actors Who Direct: Brad 3/5, Ken 2/5
Dialing for Dialects: Watson 4/5
Breaking News: Watson 3/5, Ken 1 (DD), Brad 1
One Buck or Less: Ken 4/5, Brad 1
Also On Your Computer Keyboard: Brad 3/5, Ken 1/5, triple stumper (Watson/Ken wrong)

Double Jeopardy
Nonfiction: Watson 3/5, also got the DD wrong, Brad 1
Legal "E"s: Watson 4/5 (inc. DD), Ken 1
What to Wear?: Watson 2/5, Ken 2/5, Brad 1
U.S. Geographic Nicknames: Watson 3/5, Brad 1, Ken 1
Magical Mouse-tery Tour: Watson 3/5, Ken 2
Familar Sayings: Watson 3/5, Ken 1, Brad 1

Final Jeopardy
19th Century Novelists (all got it right)


So yeah, there weren't any out-and-out 'clever' categories like Before & After or such, but it does seem like there were a couple it had trouble with. Watson didn't seem to like "name the decade", probably because a lot of the prompts didn't include any specific question (instead just saying something like "Disneyland opens"). Same thing for "actors who direct" as every clue was just movie titles with no prompt. Interestingly it didn't like "one buck or less" either even though it had relatively normal clues, maybe just not enough factoids in Watson's database about prices? Didn't like "also on your keyboard" either.

Interestingly it didn't seem to have trouble with the ones with the quotes in the titles, likely because the actual clues were still normal enough even without needing the "E" or "church"/"state" to narrow it down.
  #76  
Old 04-22-2019, 05:12 PM
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The Watson games were certainly rigged in it's favor (especially since it came down really to buzzer speed), but I always just saw it as more of a proof of concept then anything. I mean, you try asking Siri "You're just a little stiff! You don't have this painful mosquito-borne joint illness with a Swahili name"
  #77  
Old 04-23-2019, 06:09 AM
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I watched him again last night, what’s with his oddly specific bets? Last night he bet something like $9,013. It will be interesting to see the game catch up to him.
  #78  
Old 04-23-2019, 07:22 AM
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He has stated that the weird bets are often important dates to him, but that he has rapidly run out of family birthdays, anniversaries, and the like.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:24 PM
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Two articles, CNN and NPR, on his streak:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/23/enter...rdy/index.html
https://www.npr.org/2019/04/22/71462...opardy-records
  #80  
Old 04-23-2019, 04:03 PM
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Spoilers for 4/23 episode:

SPOILER:
He's now broken 1 million in half the time Jennings did
  #81  
Old 04-23-2019, 05:39 PM
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We watched the Saturday rerun, from 7/20/2018, and they had Ryan Fenster's Game 8, and Johnny announced that his "7-day cash winnings total over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS*" (insert pinky into corner of mouth ala Dr Evil).

Wow, that seems...quaint now.




*$156,497, but still...
  #82  
Old 04-23-2019, 11:37 PM
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So I'd like to watch this, and apparently jeopardy streams on both Netflix and hulu, but in a way that makes no sense. There are random old seasons ( not even consecutive) and just a few random old special episodes and tournaments. Does no one do a current stream? It's so weird that hulu and Netflix both have a contact to show it but just old random stuff.
  #83  
Old 04-24-2019, 01:29 AM
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A skilled bookie would have taken the emotional bets into account, and given Tiger better odds, to encourage more bets against him.
That works, if you have infinite gamblers. But sometimes in the real world things are so one-sided that you can push the odds as far as you want and you won't attract enough action to balance your book.

Last edited by friedo; 04-24-2019 at 01:29 AM.
  #84  
Old 04-24-2019, 05:21 AM
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So I'd like to watch this, and apparently jeopardy streams on both Netflix and hulu, but in a way that makes no sense.
We don't have cable, either, and can't figure out a way to watch current Jeopardy episodes on any of the streaming channels we use. We had to install a cheap antenna just for this show.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:57 AM
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Even if you can't find enough betters on the other side, pushing the odds would at least limit the losses you'd take.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:23 AM
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I can't vouch for their legality, but there are a lot of free episodes (current and past) posted at different websites on the Internet.
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  #87  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:11 PM
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538 article:
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...lved-jeopardy/

Brian
  #88  
Old 04-24-2019, 12:38 PM
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I think their best bet to get him off Jeopardy is to offer him a job as the host of his own sports trivia show.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:42 PM
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We don't have cable, either, and can't figure out a way to watch current Jeopardy episodes on any of the streaming channels we use. We had to install a cheap antenna just for this show.
We pretty much bought our antenna just for Jeopardy. I think it cost like $15.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:06 PM
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I read that James is currently making more money in winnings per episode than Trebek’s per Episode salary.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:10 PM
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The problem isn't that he's too good, the problem is that his opponents aren't good enough. It's not Mike Trout's fault that he's the best player in baseball. Imagine if there were two other players of his skill level playing against him, it would be an insanely entertaining game.
The next time Jeopardy! has a "special" tournament I want to see Mr. Holzhauer on it (and you KNOW he will be!) going up against the likes of those who appeared in the All-Star Team Tournament a couple of months ago. THAT will be epic!
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:17 PM
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The problem isn't that he's too good, the problem is that his opponents aren't good enough. It's not Mike Trout's fault that he's the best player in baseball. Imagine if there were two other players of his skill level playing against him, it would be an insanely entertaining game.
I'm wondering if the difficulty of the questions has been elevated, in order to make James lose. Usually in regular weekly Jeopardy! I do fairly well, but with James I'm missing a higher percentage. And he isn't! So that means the disparity is even more pronounced. Not only are the fodder contestants being run through a buzzsaw, it's both James and the showrunners manning the saw.

Three contestants as good as James would make the game unpleasant for the average viewer. The clues would have no hints, no tell, they'd all have to be straight knowledge. And categories like 4th Century BC Mesopotamian Literature and Lesser Known Quantum Physicists.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 04-24-2019 at 04:17 PM.
  #93  
Old 04-24-2019, 04:43 PM
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James is increasing ratings for Jeopardy. I'm not sure why they would want him to lose.
  #94  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:40 PM
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I'm wondering if the difficulty of the questions has been elevated, in order to make James lose.
Although, as I said earlier, I'm not an everyday viewer, based on today's Final Jeopardy question, they definitely have not.

And considering bombing on FJ is about the only possible way Holzhauer could lose, it seems like the producers are willing to let this play out, at least for the time being.
  #95  
Old 04-24-2019, 08:46 PM
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Even if you can't find enough betters on the other side, pushing the odds would at least limit the losses you'd take.
If you do it early enough, sure. But attitudes can change overnight in sports betting and you can still be left holding the bag if there's a rush on some event and you don't push the odds quickly enough.

By and large, bookmakers are pretty good at what they do and for most things the math basically runs itself. But there are still outlier situations where they can lose.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:01 PM
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He seems to be part Japanese -- given that his mother's name is Nachiko.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:42 PM
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He's mentioned his Japanese grandmother more than once, so yes, he's part Japanese.
  #98  
Old 04-24-2019, 11:39 PM
Leaper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
And considering bombing on FJ is about the only possible way Holzhauer could lose, it seems like the producers are willing to let this play out, at least for the time being.
Thing is, James could have bombed every single FJ so far, and still be champion right now.

You have to keep him from having an insurmountable lead after DJ, which means beating him to high value questions and taking away his DDs long before FJ.
  #99  
Old 04-25-2019, 04:15 AM
Mr Shine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
But there are still outlier situations where they can lose.

I'll say it again: losing money on a single event is a regular and expected part of being a bookmaker. It's not an outlier situation. They make money by aggregation of millions of such events. If the betting on a player/team/horse is lopsided the bookmaker will not chase it, (at least the long-term successful ones won't), and will stick to what the proper odds are, accepting the loss on that event if the popular pick comes in.

Last edited by Mr Shine; 04-25-2019 at 04:18 AM.
  #100  
Old 04-25-2019, 07:53 AM
notfrommensa is offline
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James is averaging over 75.6K per win. ($1,135,175 in 15 episodes). Before he started playing three weeks ago, the single one day record was 77K.
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