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October 25, 2013

Wagering practice – Friday fun with Penultimate Wagers

This Penultimate Wager scenario comes from the fourth game of this season. What would you have wagered as Hillary?

Hillary Kwiatek Penultimate Wager 20130919 Slide1

I apologize to Melizza Zygmunt; I misspelled her name as “Melissa” in yesterday’s post.

Answers to Thursday’s scenario:

(click to view as a slideshow)

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  1. Kelly permalink

    Hillary has several viable options depending on how she feels about the category:

    She could wager no more than $600 to keep the possibility of winning on a Triple Stumper open (Jared would be in “Stratton’s Dilemma” so if he wagers to cover Hillary she’d win in such a case if Parth makes the usual bet to cover Jared). If she wagers exactly $600 and misses then the game would be another special wager-to-tie scenario similar to the 1st=2nd+3rd one, except here 3rd has exactly twice the difference (instead of exactly the difference) and 1st has the incentive to bet a tie so as to not fall below a $0 wager by 3rd (which is the best wager on 3rd’s part).

    If she wants to bet bigger (remember that any wager over $601 will mean that she will then need to get Final right to be able to win if wrong on the DD unless Parth does something weird) $1,400 is a possibility putting her in 3rd with evenly-spaced scores if wrong, as would betting at least $2,200 to put her into 2nd if right.

    To get into the lead she’d need to bet at least $5,800, but if she decides to bet anything more than $4,200 (the bet that would put her at the difference between her opponents if wrong) she might as well bet it all since she’d have no hope (barring bad wagers) of winning if wrong on the DD (or leave a little behind so she can still play in Final). (In this case there probably wouldn’t be any benefit of betting exactly $5,800 to aim for a tie since the trailer would have more than half of the tied leader’s score, rendering the possibility of betting $0 less practical; with 1st=2nd<Twice-of-3rd the best move is for the leaders to bet it all, and the trailer to at least cover a zero wager by the leaders but leave at least a dollar behind to win if they both bet it all and everyone misses.)

    • Kelly permalink

      I found another sweet-spot if Hillary decides to aim for 2nd: between $4,000 and $4,200 to put her in a non-Stratton’s-Dilemma position (exactly the former figure would give evenly spaced scores with her in 2nd if right, and exactly the latter would put her at the difference between her opponents if wrong as I said before). It’s better to be in 2nd without Stratton’s Dilemma than with, so you don’t have to make the choice between covering 3rd vs. staying ahead of 1st if wrong.

    • Great analysis, Kelly! For Penultimate Wager situations, I like to focus strictly on entering “wager-to-tie” scenarios, since they boost your chances of winning significantly (e.g., you can still win even if the leader gets FJ! right).

      I see four wagers here that fall in line with the wager-to-tie situations I’ve previously covered. ($600 is a good one, too.) You’ve found three. Can you find the fourth – which is, IMO, the best?

  2. wjmorris3 permalink

    Keith, are you looking for the $2400 wager? $2400 puts Hillary at exactly three quarters of Parth’s score and forces him to wager to tie. I’m leery of this one though because Jared is so close to the lead that it’s almost asking for you to be caught by him.

    • I am! But in that scenario, Hillary would likely wager everything in Final to tie Parth, rendering Jared moot.

What do you think?