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February 4, 2014

Battle of the Decades preview: 1980s, game 2

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

Check out what actually happened.

Our second Battle of the Decades game pits a single TOC champ against one of the most famous women in the show’s history, and a Teen winner not named Eric Newhouse.


Leslie Frates JeopardyLeslie Frates is a “tournament veteran”, as she was once introduced on the show. She finished third in the 1993 10th Anniversary Tournament, and had the lead over Brad Rutter in the semifinals of the Million Dollar Masters. (She famously wagered zero and asked to change it after responding correctly.)

She’s a juggernaut – at various times she’s had the upper hand in Final against Rutter; all three players in the first 1980s game; Newhouse; and Frank Spangenberg and Tom Nosek (in the two-day 10th Anniversary final). Quite impressive.


Leszek Pawlowicz JeopardyLeszek Pawlowicz won the 1992 Tournament of Champions over Jerome Vered, before getting nipped in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. He’s one of the strongest players ever to play the game, and still appears to be a force – he’s appeared on a number of other game shows, including Win Ben Stein’s Money (he did!) and Grand Slam.


Andrew Westney JeopardyAndrew Westney was the Teen Tournament champion in 1991 and was selected as the “Fan Favorite” in the online competition. He did well in his UTOC game, but trailed heading into Final. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to go on for him in terms of wagering, but he could be a wild card.


Prediction: This one’s tough to call, but I choose Leszek. He’s been the most consistent of the three, and I have no reason to believe he’s not still sharp. I can see this going any way, though.


Leslie Frates

Game 5 (02/07/91)

Leslie Sean Richard
8,900 8,700 5,400

Proper wager: 8,500
Actual wager: 8,501
Verdict: tacking on the extra buck in the final game is unnecessary!

TOC Semifinal (11/11/91)

Leslie Jim* Mark
6,900 6,200 5,300

Proper wager: 5,501
Actual wager: 5,501
Verdict: well played!

Million Dollar Masters semifinal (05/09/02)

Leslie Brad* India*
20,400 19,600 3,800

Proper wager: 18,801
Actual wager: 0
Verdict: yikes.

UTOC Round 1 (02/09/05)

Eric Leslie Michael
15,000 9,900 8,600

Proper wager: 9,900 (must wager 300; should wager at least 7,301)
Actual wager: 9,900
Verdict: there we go!

Leszek Pawlowicz

Game 1 (10/10/91)

Leszek Tim Ann
13,000 7,700 3,800

Proper wager: 2,400
Actual wager: 2,401
Verdict: ok, fine with the extra dollar.

TOC semifinal (11/16/92)

Leszek April Richard
10,500 6,700 3,900

Proper wager: 2,901
Actual wager: 2,901
Verdict: easy peasy.

UTOC Round 1 (02/25/05)

Tad Leszek Al
17,200 15,600 7,600

Proper wager: 3,200
Alternate wager: 399
Actual wager: 1,601
Verdict: good for covering a zero wager, but not for the unsafe wager.

Andrew Westney

UTOC Round 1 (03/11/05)

Steve Andy David
19,400 15,600 9,800

Proper wager: 4,001 – 5,799
Actual wager: 5,000
Verdict: nice and round.Jeopardy 1980s game 2 matchup

5 Comments
  1. LabHandyman permalink

    Sorry if this question has been answered elsewhere, but why are they putting early 90s winners into the 80s games? (I mean, I’ve seen plenty of photos of myself from 1991 that look like they belong in the previous decade, but that’s besides the point!)

    • Keith Williams permalink

      They’re breaking it up into groups of 10 seasons, so the “1980s” decade includes anyone who played through the TOC in Season 10, won by Tom Nosek in November 1993. I guess “1980s” is easier than saying “First Decade”!

    • Kelly permalink

      The tournament is designed so that each of the three roughly 10-year periods of the Trebek-era show’s history fits into each preliminary round. TPTB decided to go ahead and call it the 1980s week, even though some of the contestants cover the early ’90s (likewise for each of the other decade weeks).

  2. Kelly permalink

    I think you have a typo for Andy’s recommended wager in that last game – his minimum should be 4,001, not 3,801 (you forgot about covering David!).

    • Keith Williams permalink

      Ah, yes! Nice catch. My self-built calculator needs a tweaking. :)

      Thanks, as always, Kelly!

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