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  #201  
Old 05-02-2019, 09:55 AM
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Hell, he could still be on his winning streak when he himself dies of old age.
But probably not after.
  #202  
Old 05-03-2019, 09:48 AM
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I genuinely feel sorry for the excellent players who are up against Holzhauer. But why don't they play his game along with him? When they get a chance to choose a clue, they go back to the easy ones at the top, leaving the high-value clues for Holzhauer.

And my opinion of him rose a wee bit, when he correctly pronounced "Aïda," rather than the way some contestants pronounce it.
  #203  
Old 05-03-2019, 09:54 AM
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Yesterday's win put him at 21 total games won, which exceeds Julia Collins' twenty games won and only second to Ken Jennings 74 games won. So he's second in number of games played and amount won.
  #204  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:01 AM
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Holzhauer is winning a lot more money per game then Jennings.

Jennings won 74 games and earned 2.5 million.
Holzhauer currently has a 21-day total to $1,608,627.

He could top 4 million or more if he reaches 74 games like Ken.

Can the show's budget allow for that much money? Will they have to shut Holzhauer down at some figure like 3 million?

They must have a maximum earnings limit?

Last edited by aceplace57; 05-03-2019 at 10:04 AM.
  #205  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:12 AM
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Jeopardy! is produced by a division of Sony. Presumably they can find enough money in the sofa cushions to cover his winnings. Plus this sort of thing is huge publicity, especially among the general public. Lots of people like my mother who aren't regular viewers are tuning in and long term, the show may acquire new viewers. I think Ken Jennings is still known among the general public.
  #206  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:13 AM
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I genuinely feel sorry for the excellent players who are up against Holzhauer.
I told my wife that after James loses, they should have a “Jeopardy after James” show where they bring back his strongest three contenders.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:18 AM
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Yes, it would be fair to bring back the stronger players that Holzhauer bulldozed over. I feel so sorry for them in final Jeopardy. They have a respectable 7k and Holzhauer has 40k. It doesn't matter what happens in final jeopardy, they have no chance at all.

Ken is reminding people that he kept his winnings reasonable.
https://twitter.com/KenJennings/stat...100542976?s=20

Last edited by aceplace57; 05-03-2019 at 10:22 AM.
  #208  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:31 AM
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If Holzhauer keeps winning they need to bring Ken back to defend his record.

It would probably draw the biggest Jeopardy ratings ever recorded.
  #209  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:40 AM
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I told my wife that after James loses, they should have a “Jeopardy after James” show where they bring back his strongest three contenders.
That doesn't seem fair to the one who beats him. He topples the cloud giant, then is immediately told to fight 2 hill giants in order to continue. I could see them being sprinkled in over the next season or so instead.

(Disclaimer, don't watch Jeopardy, as it'snot available here, just going by what I've read in this thread and what I know by osmosis)
  #210  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:30 AM
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I genuinely feel sorry for the excellent players who are up against Holzhauer. But why don't they play his game along with him? When they get a chance to choose a clue, they go back to the easy ones at the top, leaving the high-value clues for Holzhauer.
He discussed this in the interview I linked to on the first page of this thread. I think there's definitely some truth to it.

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I think what you’re describing is the best strategy for me, but the most important thing for every contestant is to be comfortable and don’t succumb to nerves. If you’re not playing a game you find comfortable, that’s going to be worse for you than just having a suboptimal game-theory strategy. If you’re the kind of player who needs to take the low-value clues first to become comfortable with the categories to move along, that’s what you should do. But if you’re like me, who goes in cold-blooded about it, then you play the cold-blooded strategy. Everyone is doing the best things for themselves.
  #211  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:07 PM
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He discussed this in the interview I linked to on the first page of this thread. I think there's definitely some truth to it.
Yeah, but while they're staying in their comfort level, they're losing.
  #212  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:09 PM
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If Holzhauer keeps winning they need to bring Ken back to defend his record.

It would probably draw the biggest Jeopardy ratings ever recorded.
That was suggested in an interview Jennings did, and although I don't think he ruled it out, he did say he's nowhere near as sharp and quick as he was back then (can it really have been 15 years ago?!?), and that he doubted he could beat Holzhauer now.

It was certainly that way for me after I won my one measly game in 1991 (age 35). It was as though my brain realized it had achieved its peak performance, and could start shutting down. Twenty-eight years later I can barely remember my own name!
  #213  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:26 PM
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The components to James' game:

His knowledge is excellent, but probably no better than any other Jeopardy champion. I think I've known more or less every answer he's known -- missed a few, balanced by at least one that I knew and he didn't....and I lost on jeopardy.

But his speed and timing is extraordinary. He never gets beat to the buzzer; and when he gets on a roll, I think his opponents get shell-shocked.

And then there's his strategy: start with the high numbers, build a bankroll, hit a Daily Double and go all-in. Repeat until you have an insurmountable lead. (Interestingly, at least once he went all in on his first DD and lost. Just a momentary setback.)
  #214  
Old 05-03-2019, 12:54 PM
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(can it really have been 15 years ago?!?)
Holy crap!
  #215  
Old 05-03-2019, 01:54 PM
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Yeah, but while they're staying in their comfort level, they're losing.
Pretty sure they are going to lose no matter what. Holzhauer strategy doesn't give him any more advantage than the previously most hated style, hopping around the level 3+ questions searching for the daily doubles. Some of his opponents have tried doing that when they got the chance. But generally, almost all the questions get done every round. If Holzhauer knows the answer 90% of the time and he wins the buzzer 90% of the time, his selection strategy is mere window dressing. He's going to win.

Last edited by CarnalK; 05-03-2019 at 01:54 PM.
  #216  
Old 05-03-2019, 02:11 PM
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That doesn't seem fair to the one who beats him. He topples the cloud giant, then is immediately told to fight 2 hill giants in order to continue. I could see them being sprinkled in over the next season or so instead.

(Disclaimer, don't watch Jeopardy, as it'snot available here, just going by what I've read in this thread and what I know by osmosis)
I was talking about three defeated contestants.
  #217  
Old 05-03-2019, 02:27 PM
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I was talking about three defeated contestants.
You mean exclude the current champ from a game so three defeated people can play?

I can understand the impulse, but when you lose- you're out. I don't think they should change that just because you lost to a phenomenon.
  #218  
Old 05-03-2019, 05:46 PM
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From here, it is suspected that audience members must sign NDAs (competitor certainly do), but for some reason it doesn't seem to be general information.
That is what I had always assumed. Surprisingly, though, this Washington Post article states that Jeopardy producers say that while they do have contestants sign NDAs, they don't have audience members.

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Sure, the contestants have to sign nondisclosures about the results. But the studio audience? Producers merely ask politely that they don’t reveal anything. And the wild part is that, mostly, they comply.

“It’s pretty fascinating,” said Harry Friedman, who has been the executive producer of “Jeopardy!” since 1999. “It shows remarkable respect for the show and remarkable restraint. Our studio audience isn’t that big . . . but it only takes one person to be a spoiler.”

[...]

“We simply say, ‘We want you to have a good time, and go home and tell everyone you had a good time, but we ask you not to disclose the outcome of the matches,’ ” Friedman said. “That’s about it.”
  #219  
Old 05-03-2019, 05:51 PM
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If Holzhauer keeps winning they need to bring Ken back to defend his record.

It would probably draw the biggest Jeopardy ratings ever recorded.

The third podium should go to the guy who has never lost (he won five times in the last years of that being the limit, and then has won every Tournament of Champions he has competed in).


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I told my wife that after James loses, they should have a “Jeopardy after James” show where they bring back his strongest three contenders.

I understand the objections people are making, but I personally love this idea.
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  #220  
Old 05-03-2019, 06:27 PM
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The third podium should go to the guy who has never lost (he won five times in the last years of that being the limit, and then has won every Tournament of Champions he has competed in).
Brad Rutter, who competed against Watson and Ken Jennings in that one tournament. His total winnings exceed that of Ken Jennings.
  #221  
Old 05-03-2019, 06:48 PM
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That was suggested in an interview Jennings did, and although I don't think he ruled it out, he did say he's nowhere near as sharp and quick as he was back then (can it really have been 15 years ago?!?), and that he doubted he could beat Holzhauer now. ...
Jennings is probably aware that no matter how good he is on the knowledge component, he's going to lose to the younger man on the motor-reaction-time front.


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A simple response time (SRT) test measures reaction speed when only one response is required from a stimulus, such as hitting a key when a light flashes. Fast test responses are reported for subjects in their 20s, with the greatest consistency of response seen in subjects in their 30s. Responses on SRT tests slow with age. A 20% increase in reaction time is seen in 60-year-old subjects compared with 20-year-old subjects. Slowing reaction time or psychomotor speed has been recognized as a universal behavioral change in aging.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics...-reaction-time
  #222  
Old 05-03-2019, 08:02 PM
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Teachers Tournament will air the next two weeks.

I know this is filmed a few weeks before airing.
I wonder if the layoff in competing will help or hurt Holzhauer? Sometimes it's hard to get back the momentum after a layoff.
https://nypost.com/2019/05/03/jeopar...for-two-weeks/

Last edited by aceplace57; 05-03-2019 at 08:07 PM.
  #223  
Old 05-03-2019, 08:29 PM
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I’m actually wondering, at this point, how far along in his journey Alex Trebek is in finding out about his stage four cancer. He looks pretty tired in the last couple of episodes, but that just could be my imagination given that if my understanding of episode timing is correct, he’s a month or two from revealing it publicly.
  #224  
Old 05-03-2019, 08:41 PM
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I’m actually wondering, at this point, how far along in his journey Alex Trebek is in finding out about his stage four cancer. He looks pretty tired in the last couple of episodes, but that just could be my imagination given that if my understanding of episode timing is correct, he’s a month or two from revealing it publicly.
I believe they were still taping this season’s final shows when he made his announcement, so it probably isn’t your imagination.
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  #225  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:34 PM
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Here's Trebek's latest statement about his health, as of two days ago.

I'm not an everyday viewer, but frankly, I'm getting bored with Holzhauer. It's not like I'm rooting for him to lose or anything, but it's turning into something like a very good high school basketball team playing Golden State. For 22 straight days.
  #226  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:36 PM
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You mean exclude the current champ from a game so three defeated people can play?

I can understand the impulse, but when you lose- you're out. I don't think they should change that just because you lost to a phenomenon.
Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. It’s no different than including/excluding any other group - teachers, past champions (who have all lost) , students, etc. Jeopardy picks match ups based on what they think people want to see and ratings. It’s TV entertainment after all, not a Nobel Prize competition.


.

Last edited by Lucas Jackson; 05-03-2019 at 10:37 PM.
  #227  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:55 PM
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The components to James' game:

His knowledge is excellent, but probably no better than any other Jeopardy champion. I think I've known more or less every answer he's known -- missed a few, balanced by at least one that I knew and he didn't....and I lost on jeopardy


James’ overall correct to incorrect ratio of nearly 30:1 absolutely trounces the average of around 6:1. Speed is obviously a big factor but his knowledge is absolutely is in a class above any other contestant


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  #228  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:57 PM
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Anyone know what that ratio is for Ken Jennings or Brad Rutter?
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:24 PM
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You mean exclude the current champ from a game so three defeated people can play?
Sure, have a theme week and resume normal games the following week. Don't they already do this with celebrity and student Jeopardy games?
  #230  
Old 05-04-2019, 12:09 AM
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Anyone know what that ratio is for Ken Jennings or Brad Rutter?

Jennings has about 10:1, (2693:263) Rutter looks like he averaged 23.6 right 2.2 wrong, around 11:1


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  #231  
Old 05-04-2019, 12:21 AM
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Sure, have a theme week and resume normal games the following week. Don't they already do this with celebrity and student Jeopardy games?
I’m pretty sure they do.
  #232  
Old 05-04-2019, 01:30 AM
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While I haven't watched game shows in a long time...my last was either Million Dollar Money Drop or It's Worth What, unless you count Mental Samurai (and I gave that up after two episodes)...I find this story riveting. I've always fascinated by the story of the nigh-invincible juggernaut; not so much him as how the world reacts. Doesn't matter what game it is: Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Steffi Graf, Lebron James, Hakuho, Sinjin Smith and Randy Stoklos. Always the center of attention, never boring, the fallout could be felt for generations.

The thing I find the most remarkable is that he's not only winning, he's winning big, and he's doing it every time. In every game show I remember that had a risk element, gambling = doom. It was that simple. Greed was THE absolute ironclad super king kahuna sin of game shows, and the most successful champions were the ones who knew how to rein it in. Even Ken Jennings himself only pulled in 30-40K most days. Even if Holzhauer is fantastically knowledgeable, you think that at some point the pendulum would swing the other way, one of his big moves would jump up and bite him, and someone would capitalize. The stars have to align at some point, right? And they haven't.

Humble question. Does anyone know why whoever's in charge of this show changed the rules to allow indefinite champions? I can understand the desire to build a megastar, but shouldn't there be some hard limit? 50 would be reasonable.
  #233  
Old 05-04-2019, 01:19 PM
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The limit used to be five games and you were done. That was totally arbitrary, of course. Jeopardy saw that there were a lot of players who were strong enough that they could probably win a lot more than five games if they had a chance, so why not let them try? A few made it to eight or ten or more games....until Ken came along and did 74.

Even then, it's been extraordinarily rare for people to make it beyond ten games or so. Ken's streak was way back in 2004. Holzhauer now has the second-longest streak at just 22 episodes. That shows just how much the both of them are outliers.
  #234  
Old 05-04-2019, 11:51 PM
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The components to James' game:

His knowledge is excellent, but probably no better than any other Jeopardy champion. I think I've known more or less every answer he's known -- missed a few, balanced by at least one that I knew and he didn't....and I lost on jeopardy.

But his speed and timing is extraordinary. He never gets beat to the buzzer; and when he gets on a roll, I think his opponents get shell-shocked.

And then there's his strategy: start with the high numbers, build a bankroll, hit a Daily Double and go all-in. Repeat until you have an insurmountable lead. (Interestingly, at least once he went all in on his first DD and lost. Just a momentary setback.)
He didn't even need the DD's on Friday to win big. The first DD showed up on his very first pick when he had no winnings and was only able to bet the house limit of $1000. (He did get the question right and immediately was up $2000.) The second DD was chosen by another contestant. He did use the third one to his advantage, but this means he really only took advantage of one and still won overwhelmingly.
  #235  
Old 05-05-2019, 02:45 AM
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Humble question. Does anyone know why whoever's in charge of this show changed the rules to allow indefinite champions? I can understand the desire to build a megastar, but shouldn't there be some hard limit? 50 would be reasonable.
I’m not sure I see what difference it makes. Every game two people lose anyway. The question is why should normal players be limited to a certain number of games, so this discounts James.

The average player wins with about $20,000. A dominate player like Ken Jennings averaged about $33,000. Of course those are averages. Many one time winners make much more (averaging out those $1000 winners).

So why would it matter to the show to pay out $20,000 to 5 different players a week, or to one player $100,000. Especially when you factor in long term players bring in more viewers which translate into more advertising revenue and potentially a more recurring fan base. Those things tend to even out money paid to strong, long term streaks.

Game shows operate in their own best self-interest and not some form of altruistic game play.
  #236  
Old 05-05-2019, 03:18 AM
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I’m not sure I see what difference it makes. Every game two people lose anyway. The question is why should normal players be limited to a certain number of games, so this discounts James.

The average player wins with about $20,000. A dominate player like Ken Jennings averaged about $33,000. Of course those are averages. Many one time winners make much more (averaging out those $1000 winners).

So why would it matter to the show to pay out $20,000 to 5 different players a week, or to one player $100,000. Especially when you factor in long term players bring in more viewers which translate into more advertising revenue and potentially a more recurring fan base. Those things tend to even out money paid to strong, long term streaks.

Game shows operate in their own best self-interest and not some form of altruistic game play.
Yabbut a big part of the appeal of watching Jeopardy! is the satisfaction of answering questions correctly before the players do (in the comfort of your own surroundings, to be sure), and fantasizing “I could win at this game.” Establishing an unbeatable opponent who will ALWAYS be there kinda takes the fantasy away, leaving nothing but the spectacle of the one guy who effectively has a license to print money.

Holzhauer’s staying power might outlast the appeal of that spectacle.
  #237  
Old 05-05-2019, 03:38 AM
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Holzhauer’s staying power might outlast the appeal of that spectacle.
Eh, they said the same thing about Ken but ratings just kept going up the longer he was on. Maybe if someone goes longer than 80 or 90 or 100 games, people will get tired of them. But I doubt it. People like to see winners.
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:31 AM
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And everyone knows that he'll lose eventually, and they don't know when it'll be, but they want to be watching when it happens.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:13 AM
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And everyone knows that he'll lose eventually,
Are you sure?
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:26 AM
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Valar morgulis
  #241  
Old 05-05-2019, 10:39 AM
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... but they want to be watching when it happens.
I agree with this.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:45 AM
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Yabbut a big part of the appeal of watching Jeopardy! is the satisfaction of answering questions correctly before the players do.,.
I don’t agree with your entire post but I will say this, my wife and I have a friendly competition every weeknight - we see who can answer the most questions either no one rung in for or that no one answered correctly. James has all but killed that.
  #243  
Old 05-05-2019, 03:26 PM
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Eh, they said the same thing about Ken but ratings just kept going up the longer he was on. Maybe if someone goes longer than 80 or 90 or 100 games, people will get tired of them. But I doubt it. People like to see winners.
I think the show is in trouble. I believe at some point they are going to have to negotiate his departure with a huge pay out. Jennings was not nearly as dominate on a game by game basis. Holzhauer runs away with every game from the get go. As champion, he chooses first, gets a $500 question right and the game is for all practical purposes over. His buzzer timing is unsurpassed. The other 2 contestants have no chance.

After he's gone, they will quickly install new limits on the new contestants.
  #244  
Old 05-05-2019, 05:19 PM
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And everyone knows that he'll lose eventually, and they don't know when it'll be, but they want to be watching when it happens.
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...Jennings was not nearly as dominate on a game by game basis. Holzhauer runs away with every game from the get go. As champion, he chooses first, gets a $500 question right and the game is for all practical purposes over. ...
Yes, this is the problem with the 'Holzhauer is great for ratings' theory----he's great for ratings for the first ten minutes of the game, only. Once he has that high-dollar dominance, there's no suspense left.

It would be interesting to know if the Jeopardy! production people get ratings based on how long people stay tuned in, once they start watching. If ad buyers catch on that viewership is dropping sharply in the last half of every show, they will balk at paying full-price rates.

Last edited by Sherrerd; 05-05-2019 at 05:20 PM.
  #245  
Old 05-05-2019, 05:59 PM
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I think the show is in trouble. I believe at some point they are going to have to negotiate his departure with a huge pay out. Jennings was not nearly as dominate on a game by game basis. Holzhauer runs away with every game from the get go. As champion, he chooses first, gets a $500 question right and the game is for all practical purposes over.
Haven't been paying attention recently, huh? There are no $500 questions, and haven't been since the early 1990s. The Jeopardy round answers are valued at $200, $400, $600, $800, and $1,000.

But I disagree that the other contestants have no chance. James has several big advantages, but someone who employs the same strategy of going for the high-value answers early, is quick on the button, and has some luck with clues will eventually beat him. We've already seen someone finish within $18 of him.

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After he's gone, they will quickly install new limits on the new contestants.
Why? They didn't after Jennings. People with Ken and James's level of encyclopedic knowledge are rare even among Jeopardy! contestants, and don't come along every day. The rarities who do break through once a decade or so give the show a welcome boost of popularity. I'm sure Merv Griffin Productions is very happy to have Holzhauer win as long as he can.

What I'm sure we'll see in the post-Holzhauer world is his go-big-first strategy become a standard operating mode.

What I'm wondering is why, in 35 years of modern Jeopardy!, did no one ever think to do this before? We've had people hunting for the DDs, and jumping categories to confuse rivals, but how could Holzhauer be the first to discover this method? It's amazing.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:03 PM
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Yes, this is the problem with the 'Holzhauer is great for ratings' theory----he's great for ratings for the first ten minutes of the game, only. Once he has that high-dollar dominance, there's no suspense left.
Nonsense. That may be the way you react, but the rest of us want to see how high he will go this time. Will he set another record? Will he get a big one wrong?
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:07 PM
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What I'm wondering is why, in 35 years of modern Jeopardy!, did no one ever think to do this before? We've had people hunting for the DDs, and jumping categories to confuse rivals, but how could Holzhauer be the first to discover this method? It's amazing.
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.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:11 PM
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There are no $500 questions, and haven't been since the early 1990s.
Correction. The values were doubled in November 2001. They were still at half the current levels when I played in 1991, and I thought they went up shortly after that. I was wrong.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:25 PM
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And everyone knows that he'll lose eventually, and they don't know when it'll be, but they want to be watching when it happens.
The problem I have with that theory is that there is no one time that Jeopardy airs. It's syndicated at various times in various markets (even on different networks), with the times being nowhere near each other.

Thus, once he's shown to lose in the earliest broadcast of the show, it's going to be in the news everywhere. And I'm gonna guess that Jeopardy fans are not usually the types who avoid the news.

And, presumably, the point is to see him lose before you're told about it. Because, otherwise, you could simply wait until he lost, and then watch the losing episode online somewhere.

Last edited by BigT; 05-05-2019 at 06:27 PM.
  #250  
Old 05-05-2019, 06:32 PM
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I don't think it's that easy to "watch the losing episode online somewhere". I don't think they normally make episodes available on YouTube, Hulu or whatever. It would not be in the interest of the stations that syndicate the show.
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