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February 2, 2014

Battle of the Decades preview: the prelims

Battle of the Decades – preliminary round
1980s 1990s 2000s
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
knockout rounds

On Monday, February 3, Jeopardy! will kick off its Battle of the Decades, a tournament featuring some of the greatest players in the show’s 30-year history. Each of the three “decades” will have 15 representatives, including winners of the Tournaments of Champions, producer selections, and “fan favorites” chosen by online voting.

The format is as follows:

  • Each “decade” will have its own week, with the five winners moving on.
  • The 15 surviving players (five from each “decade”) will square off in a traditional tournament, wild cards and all.

Up first: the 1980s, which includes the first few years of the 1990s.

The nice thing about reunion tournaments is that you can study your opponents in advance. For every game, I’ll deconstruct the wagering history of each player to see how they’ve done in past situations. Some will show consistency; others, not.

All information comes from the J! Archive. Unfortunately, for some of these players, not all of their games are available.

Here are the match-ups. Click the link for my (spoiler-free!) preview of each game, with a special focus on the players’ wagering histories.

Mon, Feb 3 India Cooper Chuck Forrest Jim Scott
Tue, Feb 4 Leslie Frates Leszek Pawlowicz Andrew Westney
Wed, Feb 5 Richard Cordray Tom Nosek Leslie Shannon
Thu, Feb 6 Phoebe Juel Mark Lowenthal Frank Spangenberg
Fri, Feb 7 Tom Cubbage Jerome Vered Bob Verini

Now, for the 1990s (seasons 11-20):

Mon, Mar 3 Babu Srinivasan Eddie Timanus Rachael Schwartz
Tue, Mar 4 Dan Melia Pam Mueller Ryan Holznagel
Wed, Mar 5 Bob Harris Robin Carroll Shane Whitlock
Thu, Mar 6 Claudia Perry Dave Abbott Mark Dawson
Fri, Mar 7 Brad Rutter Jill Bunzendahl Chimka Mike Dupée

Finally, the 2000s (seasons 21-29):

Mon, Mar 31 Colby Burnett Celeste DiNucci Tom Nissley
Tue, Apr 1 Vijay Balse Roger Craig Stephanie Jass
Wed, Apr 2 Tom Kavanaugh Larissa Kelly Russ Schumacher
Thu, Apr 3 Michael Falk Ken Jennings Vinita Kailasanath
Fri, Apr 4 Dan Pawson Maria Wenglinsky Keith Whitener

I’m psyched! Let’s see how this goes.

Note: because each game must have a winner, the tournament will employ tiebreaker questions if necessary.

One Comment
  1. donnypip permalink

    Is it me or was the first episode of the 80’s champions brutally awkward?

What do you think?