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March 3, 2014

Battle of the Decades preview: 1990s, game 6

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

To see what happened, click here.

The first match in our 1990s week features three of the six players who failed to advance past the first round in the Million Dollar Masters tournament in 2002.

Rachael SchwartzRachael Schwartz was the first woman to win the Tournament of Champions, which she did in Season 11. She had solid showings in opening-round games in both the Million Dollar Masters and the Ultimate Tournament of Champions; she failed to qualify for a wild card in the former, having faced Bob Harris and Frank Spangenberg in that match. She also lays claim to one of my favorite wagers of all time: a wager of zero in first place in a tight TOC semifinal, totally justified by the math.

Babu SrinivasanBabu Srinivasan won his five games with some aggressive wagering. In the Million Dollar Masters, he doubled his score on a nearly impossible Final clue on movies, but it wasn’t enough (he trailed Rachael by 401). It was another film question that tripped him up after a strong UTOC performance, when he added a possessive to the movie’s title and was judged incorrect.

Eddie TimanusEddie Timanus made waves for being the first blind contestant on the show, and he retired undefeated after a hail mary from second on his fifth game. He made a ballsy True Daily Double in his Million Dollar Masters match, and it didn’t work out. That’s the style of play that might suit him here, faced with two competitors who have had stronger recent appearances. (Eddie was in third heading into Final in his UTOC game.)


I think Babu has the best combination of depth, breadth, and wagering aggression. I think he’ll take this unless Eddie hits a few Daily Doubles and goes big himself.

Rachael Schwartz

Game 4 (10/27/93)

Rachael Kathleen Bob
9,800 4,900 3,000

Proper wager: 0
Actual wager: 0
Verdict: with the tie in hand, Rachael doesn’t give it away.

TOC semifinal (11/22/94)

Rachael Kurt Brian
9,200 8,600 4,000

Proper wager: 0(!?!?)
Alternate wager: 8,001
Actual wager: 0
Verdict: this is a strange situation. Rachael played it perfectly.

UTOC Round 1 (02/10/05)

Michael Rachael John
20,400 15,800 400

Proper wager: 4,601 – 6,600
Alternate wager: 15,800
Actual wager: 4,800
Verdict: a good, safe wager, forcing Michael to respond correctly if she’s right, and giving her winning potential if she’s wrong.

Babu Srinivasan

Game 1 (05/16/01)

Travis Babu Hope
5,800 5,700 5,650

Proper wager: 5,700
Actual wager: 5,600
Verdict: this might be the tightest match ever!

Game 3 (05/18/01)

Babu Yaron Verena
9,000 7,200 5,000

Proper wager: 5,400
Actual wager: 5,500
Verdict: tacking on an extra hundred.

Game 4 (05/21/01)

Babu David Laura
9,200 8,500 6,500

Proper wager: 7,800
Actual wager: 9,100
Verdict: probably not going to win if he’s wrong, so maximizing earnings.

Game 5 (05/22/01)

Babu Greg Lisa
6,700 5,700 1,300

Proper wager: 4,700
Alternate wager: 2,100 (Shore’s Conjecture)
Actual wager: 6,600
Verdict: same thing here.

TOC semifinal (10/29/01)

Tad Babu Ryan
10,300 10,200 5,800

Proper wager: 1,401 – 4,399
Alternate wager: 4,400 – 8,800
Actual wager: 10,200
Verdict: a bit too aggressive, perhaps hoping Tad would go smaller.

UTOC Round 1 (02/11/05)

Babu Arthur Melissa
17,200 12,800 3,000

Proper wager: 8,401
Alternate wager: 0 – 399
Actual wager: 8,500
Verdict: going for the win.

Eddie Timanus

Game 1 (10/20/99)

Eddie Keith Becky
7,400 7,000 2,600

Proper wager: 6,600
Actual wager: 7,000
Verdict: no harm; probably can’t win if he’s wrong.

Game 3 (10/22/99)

Eddie Wendy Tony
7,000 6,400 4,400

Proper wager: 5,800
Actual wager: 6,000
Verdict: same thing here.

Game 5 (10/26/99)

Ted Eddie Jane
11,600 6,600 6,500

Proper wager: 6,600
Actual wager: 6,600
Verdict: all in to win!

TOC semifinal (05/16/00)

Jeremy Chacko Eddie
7,200 4,500 4,200

Proper wager: 4,200
Actual wager: 3,100
Verdict: no need to hold back that last 1,100.

UTOC Round 1 (03/16/05)

Jonathan Jeanne Eddie
18,000 12,000 9,600

Proper wager: 9,600
Actual wager: 9,600
Verdict: this time, he got the all-in right.Jeopardy Battle of the Decades 1990s Game 6

  1. Kelly permalink

    I think there’s a typo in the ideal wagering in Rachael’s TOC semifinal – if she hadn’t played “Faith Love” the proper bet was 8,001 and not 8,000 (there was no reason for her to tie on that end, since Brian should go all-in and Kurt’s best wager was 600).

  2. Kelly permalink

    I spotted another error: You have Babu’s video twice (the second time in place where Eddie’s should be).

    • Ah, thanks. “Copy link” on YouTube doesn’t copy the link automatically

    • Kelly permalink

      Speaking of Eddie Timanus, you probably don’t know, but I’m curious as to what things TPTB give him to assist him in calculating his wager since he’s blind? (Like you’ve said the only things sighted people get are a marker and index cards.)

      • Blake permalink

        He is given a keyboard to write his FJ response, and Braille cards with the category names.

What do you think?