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September 23, 2013

Analysis – week of September 23, 2013

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Monday, September 23
Tuesday, September 24
Wednesday, September 25
Thursday, September 26
Friday, September 27


Monday, September 23

Our new champion shifts over to Jared’s former home. How will he handle the wagering in his first defense?

Not very well – and he gets ripped appropriately.

The Final Jeopardy! clue for September 23, 2013:

CLASSIC FILMS
THE FIRST SCENE OF THIS MOVIE WAS SHOT ON THE FIRST DAY OF FILMING, OCT. 2, 1960 AT 5 A.M. AT 727 5th AVE. AT 57th ST. IN NEW YORK CITY

Correct response: What is Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

In case you missed it, yesterday I put up Part Two of my tutorial. If you’ve yet to check it out, what are you waiting for? Big money could depend on it!

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Tuesday, September 24

I was speaking with my mom about Monday’s FJ! clue, and we agreed that we both kind of liked it.

Tuesday was a tight game going into Final – just $2,000 separating our three players. This situation tends to put the second-place player at a disadvantage: the leader should win if the clue is really easy, and the third-place player should win if the clue is really hard. Assuming rational wagering, the middle player needs a special mixture to come out on top.

The Final Jeopardy! clue for September 24, 2013:

NEWSPAPERS
ON JULY 23, 2013 THIS BESTSELLING BRITISH TABLOID RE-SPELLED ITS NAME ON ITS MASTHEAD TO HONOR BIG BRITISH NEWS

Correct response: What is The Sun?

If you haven’t watched them yet, check out Part One and Part Two of my tutorial.

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Wednesday, September 25

Wednesday’s game looks tight at first glance, but Kamal is in the driver’s seat. If she responds incorrectly and wagers properly, she’ll still have more than the other two players, which means one of them will have to get it right for her to lose.

Compare this with yesterday’s game, where with proper wagering, Neal, the leader, had to get it right or he was toast.

This is because in this case, Kamal has more than 1.5 times the other players’ scores. This is what is known in Jeopardy! parlance as a crush, and is a huge advantage for the leader. The simple math will bear this out.

The Final Jeopardy! clue for September 25, 2013:

20th CENTURY NAMES
SINCE HIS 1988 DEATH, HE’S BEEN INDUCTED INTO THE U.S. HOCKEY, WORLD FIGURE SKATING & NATIONAL INVENTORS HALLS OF FAME

Correct response: Who is Frank Zamboni?

If you haven’t watched them yet, check out Part One and Part Two of my tutorial.Cover 20130925

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Thursday, September 26

Thursday mimics the scenario from Wednesday’s game, where the trailing players need to get Final right to have a chance to win (because the leader has more than 1.5x their totals). Once again, third place has a range of optimal wagers, whereas second is locked into a large wager.

This could have been the first “bet-to-tie” scenario of the season – if only one of the players hadn’t guessed on the final clue of the second round. For more background on those situations, check out Part Two of my tutorial.

The Final Jeopardy! clue for September 26, 2013:

THE INTERNET
THE ANIMAL FOR WHICH THIS COMPUTER PROGRAM IS NAMED IS ACTUALLY A RED PANDA

Correct response: What is Firefox?

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Friday, September 27

Instead of using my usual PowerPoint slides, today I’m coming to you live and in living color! Let’s see if I let out any curses during my single-take entry.

It was quite a disappointing way to end the week: not one, but two players losing courtesy of bad wagering. I’m guessing the category, EUROPEAN CAPITALS, had something to do with it, since most players have those memorized before going on.

Unfortunately, the clue (which you’ll find at the end of the video) was tough, and forced you to first figure out what country was in question before you could convert that to a capital city. This is why you wager based not on category, but on game theory!

Challenger Sarah had a slim lead over Neal, 13500 to 12600. Andrew was in striking-distance with 9200. All three missed, but second and third wagered far too much, giving Sarah a paltry paycheck of $1,799 – but also the right to return on Monday, and that’s all that matters.

Let’s break it down, shall we? (I apologize to Andrew – I have no idea why I put his name as Eric!)

The Final Jeopardy! clue for September 27, 2013:

EUROPEAN CAPITALS
SINCE A NATIONAL SPLIT IN 1993, IT’S THE ONLY WORLD CAPITAL THAT BORDERS 2 OTHER COUNTRIES–AUSTRIA & HUNGARY

Correct response: What is Bratislava, Slovakia?

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2 Comments
  1. Stephanie permalink

    Just came across this. Totally see what you’re getting at in how I may have screwed myself. All I have to say is, had there been a math portion on the Jeopardy test, I’d never have made it on the show. Sometimes I swear I can only count to 20 because of my fingers and toes. 😛

    • Keith Williams permalink

      Hi, Stephanie! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

      Players are on J! for their trivia skills, not for their wagering abilities. That’s why I started this site – it’s an important part of the game that often gets overlooked, and there wasn’t yet a resource to learn how to calculate properly.

      You did well here, and certainly didn’t screw yourself; don’t let some hypothetical situation get you down!

      Keith

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