FinsRule
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April 18th, 2019 at 9:44:03 AM permalink
I know some of this stuff, but I donít feel like itís my place to share.

The story is not nefarious at all. Iíll say that.
WatchMeWin
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April 18th, 2019 at 12:18:12 PM permalink
Quote: FinsRule

Iím not sure if this has been mentioned, but the reason he is making so much per episode is because heís a professional gambler.

The money doesnít affect him like it affects other contestants



I hate to say this, Fin, but you are absolutely correct! When you're right, I'll give you credit where credit is due. The fact that he does not have fear in wagering allows him to take large risks where others are more apprehensive.

Fear is a crippling emotion in many facets of Life. Of course there is rational fear and irrational fear, however the sphere allows people to take greater risk and action in life. The more confidence and security you have with yourself, the less fear you have.

The best part of watching him on Jeopardy is when he motions his hands 'all In' when wagering large... Like he is pushing in all of his chips at the table. The other thing I like about him is that he labels himself a 'sports bettor', as he knows if he were to label himself as a gambler that it has a negative connotation and may not be as well received. By the public.... but he sur is helping the gambling Community by taking away the stigma of being a gambler.

Go James!!
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TomG
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April 18th, 2019 at 12:30:37 PM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Quote: beachbumbabs

My biggest question about him is, what took him so long to get on Jeopardy?

Took that long to get an insider on the questions?

I'm sorry, anyone "too good" reminds me of the phrase "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

But to explain, I'm always suspicious of long term gamblers more than anyone else, because as some people already know, many are looking for an edge every day. They're looking for a faulty promotion, catching flaws like hole carding, etc.,

I'm not saying he's doing anything illegal.



One possibility is that he knew his talent was good enough to do well, but he also knew he had only one shot. So even after he was good enough to get on, he instead spent years practicing and developing his strategy until he was truly ready to unleash it
EdCollins
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April 18th, 2019 at 12:43:44 PM permalink
Quote: WatchMeWin

The other thing I like about him is that he labels himself a 'sports bettor', as he knows if he were to label himself as a gambler that it has a negative connotation and may not be as well received.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he is introduced on each show as a "professional gambler from Las Vegas."

He probably IS a sports bettor, but that's not the label the show gives him... and the show lets each contestant decide how they are introduced.
EdCollins
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April 18th, 2019 at 12:44:39 PM permalink
I haven't had this much fun watching Jeopardy since... well since Ken Jennings was playing.
rxwine
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April 18th, 2019 at 1:06:16 PM permalink
Quote: TomG

One possibility is that he knew his talent was good enough to do well, but he also knew he had only one shot. So even after he was good enough to get on, he instead spent years practicing and developing his strategy until he was truly ready to unleash it



I couldn't find anything I considered definitive on the development of reflexes or decline, but age 34 is probably within the good window.
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WatchMeWin
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April 18th, 2019 at 1:58:12 PM permalink
Quote: EdCollins

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he is introduced on each show as a "professional gambler from Las Vegas."

He probably IS a sports bettor, but that's not the label the show gives him... and the show lets each contestant decide how they are introduced.



Im not sure. Im pretty sure I heard Alex call him a professional sports bettor. We will find out tonight...
'Winners hit n run... Losers stick around'
WatchMeWin
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April 18th, 2019 at 2:04:49 PM permalink
Quote: TomG

One possibility is that he knew his talent was good enough to do well, but he also knew he had only one shot. So even after he was good enough to get on, he instead spent years practicing and developing his strategy until he was truly ready to unleash it



After watching and studying his mannerism and answers, there's only one possible conclusion... He has an AI microchip in his ear feeding him the answers.

One question I have.... with his extraordinary intelligence and talent, why didn't he choose to do something good for society. Guess thats too boring..
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mcallister3200
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April 18th, 2019 at 2:13:03 PM permalink
Quote: WatchMeWin



One question I have.... with his extraordinary intelligence and talent, why didn't he choose to do something good for society. Guess thats too boring..



Nonsense chain of thought. People spend less than 1/3 of their time at work. Probably has more time and freedom to do things that have value to society if he chooses than if he was working 60 hours a week for someone else, achieving someone elseís objectives.
WatchMeWin
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April 18th, 2019 at 2:22:35 PM permalink
Quote: mcallister3200

Nonsense chain of thought. People spend less than 1/3 of their time at work. Probably has more time and freedom to do things that have value to society if he chooses than if he was working 60 hours a week for someone else, achieving someone elseís objectives.



If you say so...
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EdCollins
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April 18th, 2019 at 2:50:55 PM permalink
Quote: WatchMeWin

Im not sure. Im pretty sure I heard Alex call him a professional sports bettor. We will find out tonight...

You were right. Just heard an intro from last night's show. "A professional sports gambler" is how he was introduced.
charliepatrick
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April 18th, 2019 at 3:24:33 PM permalink
Thanks I found a video of one of his performances ( https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x75ytgj ). I won't spoil it but he seems to just glide to an unassailable lead by keeping control of the board and getting Daily Doubles. I recommend the above video of him on April 17, if you want spoilers more details of his wins can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jeopardy!_contestants and https://thejeopardyfan.com/2019/04/final-jeopardy-4-18-2019.html .
FCBLComish
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April 18th, 2019 at 3:38:03 PM permalink
He is a bridge player and a friend of Alex Jacob, who also had a good Jeopardy run playing the same exact style.

He has played at Las Vegas Bridge World a few times. I don't think there is anything nefarious here, he really is that good.
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charliepatrick
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April 19th, 2019 at 6:29:56 AM permalink
WatchMeWin
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April 19th, 2019 at 7:36:04 AM permalink
He is becoming the pride of Vegas in my eyes. I would like to see how he does with his sports wagering. He could be the next Billy Walters...
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FinsRule
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April 19th, 2019 at 8:21:41 AM permalink
Heís a private person, youíre not going to know how heís doing.
Wizard
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April 19th, 2019 at 11:18:58 AM permalink
I figure James knows the answer to about 90% of the questions. I think the questions by answered by other players were not because he didn't know, but lost to the clicker. That said, going "all in" is usually the right play. The only reason he might not is its a category he is very weak in, which probably don't exist (he never seems to fear any category) or it's late in the game and another player has a score he might not be able to pass if he gets the Daily Double wrong.

What would you do in this situation:

1. You have wealth of $1,000,000.
2. You are presented with an even money bet that you have a 90% chance of winning.
3. You have this opportunity once only.
4. How much do you wager, up to the million?
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
EdCollins
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April 19th, 2019 at 11:30:25 AM permalink
I wouldn't wager the entire million, because although the thought of two million is very appealing, with a 90% probability of success, I couldn't fathom losing it all, and ending up with zero. I'd have to think hard how much of my million I would wager.

Note that if my wealth of one million had been very hard to come by, and took many, many years, I'd risk much less of it than I would if the million had been easy to come by, and took just a few months. For example, assume my current wealth is one million, but many times in the recent past I had been down to zero, then up to a few million, then down back to zero, then up to a few million, again, etc. It is much easier to risk it all in that scenario, than it would be if this million had been the final accumulation of a lifetime's worth of work.
mcallister3200
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April 19th, 2019 at 11:43:08 AM permalink
I would risk 85-90%, but Iím close to Jamesí age with no dependents. Were I 50+, I think it would be 50% or less.
Wizard
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April 19th, 2019 at 11:50:47 AM permalink
Quote: mcallister3200

I would risk 85-90%, but Iím close to Jamesí age with no dependents. Were I 50+, I think it would be 50% or less.



I think he mentioned he had a daughter and ended a Daily Double wager in her birthday.

However, for the sake of the question at hand, assume happiness is a function of the log of your wealth. In other words, a change in wealth affects happiness not by the dollar amount of the change, but the degree of change relative to the initial wealth.
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unJon
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April 19th, 2019 at 12:15:56 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think he mentioned he had a daughter and ended a Daily Double wager in her birthday.

However, for the sake of the question at hand, assume happiness is a function of the log of your wealth. In other words, a change in wealth affects happiness not by the dollar amount of the change, but the degree of change relative to the initial wealth.

I smell a Kelly.
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GWAE
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April 19th, 2019 at 12:32:35 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think he mentioned he had a daughter and ended a Daily Double wager in her birthday.

However, for the sake of the question at hand, assume happiness is a function of the log of your wealth. In other words, a change in wealth affects happiness not by the dollar amount of the change, but the degree of change relative to the initial wealth.



Imo, the difference between 0 and 1 mil is so much greater than 1 mil and 2 mil.

The difference between 400k and 1 mil is so much more than 1 mil to 1.6 mil.

What I am trying to say is I would risk the amount that I think won't affect my life for the worse. Risking is all and losing is going to be a huge negative whereas winning the additional 1 million is not a huge positive when it comes to lifestyle.

I think I would wager 300k and thank you for the free money.
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charliepatrick
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April 19th, 2019 at 12:33:33 PM permalink
While I can see the argument of a LOG I think it depends on whether, for instance, you could buy a nice (house/car/holiday) with a specified amount and hence had "fun money" to spare.
I'm not sure of the maths but a spreadhseet said your best EV was to gamble 80%. I'm not expected any brownie points for that!
CrystalMath
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April 19th, 2019 at 1:19:33 PM permalink

If you want to maximize your expected happiness, then you must maximize:
0.9(log(1,000,000 + w)-log(1,000,000)) + 0.1(log(1,000,000-w)-log(1,000,000)

Taking the derivative, we get:

0.9/(1,000,000+w)/ln(10) - 0.1/(1,000,000-w)/ln(10)

Set to zero and solve.

w = 800,000, and your average happiness will increase by about 16%.
I heart Crystal Math.
gordonm888
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April 19th, 2019 at 1:36:30 PM permalink
All these answers do ignore state and federal tax rates, including the federal Alternative Minimum Tax.

Given the taped delay in filming Jeopardy, I wonder if James Holzhauer won/wins all his money in the same tax year?
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FinsRule
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April 19th, 2019 at 1:55:41 PM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

All these answers do ignore state and federal tax rates, including the federal Alternative Minimum Tax.

Given the taped delay in filming Jeopardy, I wonder if James Holzhauer won/wins all his money in the same tax year?



I think thereís a 2 month delay? So yes.
Wizard
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April 19th, 2019 at 5:03:28 PM permalink
Quote: CrystalMath


If you want to maximize your expected happiness, then you must maximize:
0.9(log(1,000,000 + w)-log(1,000,000)) + 0.1(log(1,000,000-w)-log(1,000,000)

Taking the derivative, we get:

0.9/(1,000,000+w)/ln(10) - 0.1/(1,000,000-w)/ln(10)

Set to zero and solve.

w = 800,000, and your average happiness will increase by about 16%.



I agree!
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Wizard
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April 19th, 2019 at 5:30:31 PM permalink


Here is my analysis of episode 153, James' 5th appearance, which aired April 10 (the infamous day of the Burning Man main ticket sale). Click on any image for a larger version.

James got the first Daily Double. The category was Holidays and Observances. Here was the board:



Scores at the time:
James: $3,000
Jeff: -$1,000
Laura: $1,800

This was obviously very early in the game, so it pays to be aggressive. James correctly went all in. Given my alleged 90% success rate, it is obviously the right move.

This was a rare one that James got wrong, by the way.

Here is the second Daily Double, which James got. The category was the Civil War. Here was the board.



Scores at the time:
James: $9,200
Jeff: $200
Laura: $5,200

It was still early in the Double Jeopardy round and both competitors had low scores, so James correctly goes all in. No big surprise there. He got it right.


Here is the third Daily Double, which Laura got. The category was Mollusks. Here was the board.



Scores at the time:
James: $28,400
Jeff: $1,400
Laura: $12,000

Before making a wager, Alex even hinted she be aggressive with this comment, "At the moment, the game is a runaway for James." However she wagered $7,000 only. WTF?! What a terrible bet. If she went all in and got it correct, she would have had $24,000, within striking distance of James. Maybe she wouldn't have surpassed him before Final Jeopardy, but in Final Jeopardy she would have had hope to swing him with more than half. She got it wrong, by the way.

Here were the scores in Final Jeopardy

James: $33,200
Jeff: Negative (eliminated)
Laura: $5,800

In this "can't be caught" situation, the correct strategy is simply to bet your score less double your opponents score, less $1, or less. In this case, that maximum wager would have been $33,200 - 2*$5,800 - $1 = $21,599.*

James wanted his final score to end in 1122, to honor somebody's birthday, so he wagered $21,122. Note that if he bet $31,122, he would have risked being swung by Laura. Assuming the sentimental value of the final score ending in 1122 was worth $477 to James, he did the right thing. As usual, he got it right.

In conclusion, this wasn't the best episode to illustrate James' brilliance in wagering, as every decision was fairly obvious.

I welcome all comments, as always.

* Corrected
Last edited by: Wizard on Apr 20, 2019
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
EdCollins
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April 19th, 2019 at 5:46:44 PM permalink
I did notice one "strategy" mistake he made the other day. (Well, I believe it's a strategy mistake.)

In the Double Jeopardy Round, there are, of course, two Daily Doubles to be found. They are NEVER in the same category. That's by design.

Given that it's a big advantage to find these Daily Doubles yourself, so that your opponents cannot take advantage of them, after finding the first one you should NOT select any further dollar values that are available in the same category. Instead, use your choice of selection (which you may never get back if don't answer any further questions correctly), to select ANY OTHER dollar value in ANY OTHER category.

I saw James select a dollar value from a category that contained the first Daily Double, when the final DD was still hidden.

Now, if one specifically selects a dollar value in that same category with the argument that they wish to build up their winnings as much as possible before finding that final Daily Double, I won't argue that fact. But usually that's NOT what they are doing.
EdCollins
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April 19th, 2019 at 6:15:24 PM permalink
Shoot, I have to stay away from any social media for the next 3+ hours. (I don't want to accidentally find out about tonight's outcome beforehand.)

Jeopardy normally airs here at 7:00 pm on the local ABC network, just prior to Wheel of Fortune. However, because of the Celtics/Pacers game tonight, I see that it's scheduled to air at 9:30 pm., after they show Wheel at 9:00 pm.
FinsRule
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April 19th, 2019 at 6:22:45 PM permalink
Jeopardy airs at 3:30 in Chicago.
GWAE
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April 19th, 2019 at 6:26:03 PM permalink
Quote: EdCollins

Shoot, I have to stay away from any social media for the next 3+ hours. (I don't want to accidentally find out about tonight's outcome beforehand.)

Jeopardy normally airs here at 7:00 pm on the local ABC network, just prior to Wheel of Fortune. However, because of the Celtics/Pacers game tonight, I see that it's scheduled to air at 9:30 pm., after they show Wheel at 9:00 pm.



you are going to be disappointed in tonights
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MaxPen
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April 19th, 2019 at 9:30:03 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I figure James knows the answer to about 90% of the questions. I think the questions by answered by other players were not because he didn't know, but lost to the clicker. That said, going "all in" is usually the right play. The only reason he might not is its a category he is very weak in, which probably don't exist (he never seems to fear any category) or it's late in the game and another player has a score he might not be able to pass if he gets the Daily Double wrong.

What would you do in this situation:

1. You have wealth of $1,000,000.
2. You are presented with an even money bet that you have a 90% chance of winning.
3. You have this opportunity once only.
4. How much do you wager, up to the million?



A wise Asian guy told me he would take it for 100% if you give him a 95% chance of winning.
EdCollins
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April 19th, 2019 at 10:21:11 PM permalink
Quote: GWAE

you are going to be disappointed in tonights

Nope, I enjoyed it. Not disappointed at all. The entire Jeopardy round was exciting, since Holzhauer didn't run away with it.

I figure when he eventually loses, it will be the same way Ken Jennings lost. Going into Final Jeopardy Holzhauer will have more money than his closest competitor, but it won't be more than twice as much, probably because he risked a lot on an earlier Daily Double and missed it. He will then miss the final question, while his closest competitor will get it right.

Losing in this manner is more likely, in my opinion, than someone else finishing ahead of him going into Final Jeopardy, and getting the final question correct to stay ahead of him.

Before this Holzhauer run, the largest single day win was $77,000. (By Roger Craig, set more than eight years ago.) In 12 games Holzhauer has now beaten that $77,000 mark FIVE different times. That's absolutely amazing.
charliepatrick
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April 20th, 2019 at 12:50:22 AM permalink
I'm glad someone keeps posting videos of the show online ( https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x765jxm ) as last night's had some excitement. I didjn't know the rule about the Daily Doubles and it's interesting that Holzhauer just goes all in for the early ones and seems unfazed, presumably hoping to catch up if he gets one wrong.
RisingDough
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April 20th, 2019 at 3:48:43 AM permalink
Why is there more than one "DAILY" double? Isn't the definition of "DAILY" once per day? This is supposed to be a smart show......pfffff
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GWAE
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April 20th, 2019 at 3:49:05 AM permalink
Quote: EdCollins

Nope, I enjoyed it. Not disappointed at all. The entire Jeopardy round was exciting, since Holzhauer didn't run away with it.

I figure when he eventually loses, it will be the same way Ken Jennings lost. Going into Final Jeopardy Holzhauer will have more money than his closest competitor, but it won't be more than twice as much, probably because he risked a lot on an earlier Daily Double and missed it. He will then miss the final question, while his closest competitor will get it right.

Losing in this manner is more likely, in my opinion, than someone else finishing ahead of him going into Final Jeopardy, and getting the final question correct to stay ahead of him.

Before this Holzhauer run, the largest single day win was $77,000. (By Roger Craig, set more than eight years ago.) In 12 games Holzhauer has now beaten that $77,000 mark FIVE different times. That's absolutely amazing.



Haha I was just trolling you a little. I meant disappointed that he didnt break 100k hehehe.

At the start of this episode I thought he looked in trouble. Wondering if this was the last taping of the day and he was tired. Then he regrouped and whooped ass.
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Mosca
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April 20th, 2019 at 3:50:32 AM permalink
Quote: SM777

Are you aware the other contestants can buzz in?



Heís got a really quick buzz-in. Theyíre all smart, they've all passed the tests. This way he prevents a few lucky hits from countering a dozen quick answers.
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GWAE
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April 20th, 2019 at 5:24:46 AM permalink
I believe I read somewhere that the buzzer timing is important. If you buzz early then you are locked out for a split second or something.

We need teddys to come back and join this thread.
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Wizard
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April 20th, 2019 at 8:56:53 AM permalink
Quote: GWAE

I believe I read somewhere that the buzzer timing is important. If you buzz early then you are locked out for a split second or something.



That's true. I hear there is a light that is supposed to signify when it is safe to buzz in. I also hear this light is not necessarily in sync with when it really is safe. Good players have to feel out the difference, which varies from show to show.
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Wizard
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April 20th, 2019 at 9:05:56 AM permalink
Here is a recap of Episode 35-160, which aired April 19.

Daily Double 1 went to James. Here were the scores at the time:

James: $1800
Nate: $1000
Gabby: $800

James went all in.

Daily Double 2 went to James. Here were the scores at the time:

James: $8200
Nate: $4200
Gabby: $2000

James went all in.

Daily Double 3 went to James. Here were the scores at the time:

James: $28400
Nate: $1800
Gabby: $2800

It should also be noted that it was found late in the Double Jeopardy round, with only $4,000 left on the board over five turns. In a worse case scenario, Gabby could have got all five, for a total of $6,800. To guarantee staying above that, the maximum wager would have been J-2*G-1 (where J = James score & G = Gabby score) = $28400 - 2*$6800 - $1 = $14,799*.

James wagered $15,000. A bit over the maximum safe wager, but seven out of seven bad things would have had to happen to lose, and who could do all that math in a few seconds?

Final Jeopardy scores:

James: $45000
Nate: $2200
Gabby: $4800

James wagered $35,006. Maximum safe wager would have been $40,199.

I think the only non-obvious play was the wager on the third Daily Double.

* corrected
Last edited by: Wizard on Apr 20, 2019
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
FinsRule
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April 20th, 2019 at 9:15:22 AM permalink
Buzzing timing is something that James knew would be important before he started his run.
beachbumbabs
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April 20th, 2019 at 10:12:02 AM permalink
Interesting article about show budgets and James' impact on it.

https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/587668/
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FinsRule
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April 20th, 2019 at 10:17:46 AM permalink
I think the rating increases outweigh the budget issues.
Joeman
Joeman
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CrystalMath
April 20th, 2019 at 1:41:55 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard


Final Jeopardy scores:

James: $45000
Nate: $2200
Gabby: $4800

James wagered $35,006. Maximum safe wager would have been $40,199.

I think the only non-obvious play was the wager on the third Daily Double

Wiz, I think you may want to reconsider the amount of the "maximum safe wager." I would think that the maximum safe wager for Final Jeopardy in a 'runaway' situation is:

your score - 2x the highest competitor's score - $1.

In this case, it would be $35,399. That way in a worst case scenario in Final, where you get the answer wrong and the opponent doubles up, you would still win $9,601 vs. $9,600.
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
Wizard
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Wizard
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April 20th, 2019 at 2:53:48 PM permalink
Quote: Joeman

Wiz, I think you may want to reconsider the amount of the "maximum safe wager." I would think that the maximum safe wager for Final Jeopardy in a 'runaway' situation is:

your score - 2x the highest competitor's score - $1.

In this case, it would be $35,399. That way in a worst case scenario in Final, where you get the answer wrong and the opponent doubles up, you would still win $9,601 vs. $9,600.



You're right. Thank you for the correction. Maybe too much THC in my brain cells.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
FinsRule
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April 22nd, 2019 at 9:58:13 AM permalink
Interesting article on Wired about James. Ken Jennings interviewed.

One thing mentioned in the article is the stamina of 5 shows in a row.

I think Jamesí poker background is a big help for that.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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April 22nd, 2019 at 10:10:41 AM permalink
Is the best technique to be quick and hold the button down, or to mash the button repeatedly? It appears that contestants do both. What is BBB doing to train? Maybe a new thread should start on that.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
petroglyph
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mcallister3200
April 22nd, 2019 at 11:06:36 AM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

Is the best technique to be quick and hold the button down, or to mash the button repeatedly? It appears that contestants do both. What is BBB doing to train? Maybe a new thread should start on that.

I believe her button is pushed.
RonC
RonC
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April 22nd, 2019 at 11:18:44 AM permalink
I just flipped through the channels and came across Jeopardy. I guess it is today's show since there was a category for Earth Day.

Very interesting to watch so far... I had not seen the show in a long time, even though I always have enjoyed watching it.
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