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May 19, 2014

Daily analysis, Monday, May 19

We’re back to regular play with a 10-game champion in the wings. Will she tie Arthur Chu for third place all-time tonight?The Final Wager - May 19, 2014

Julia’s in good shape heading into Final: Leah’s incorrect response on that final 2,000 clue knocked her out of contention, so it’s just Julia, James, a single clue, and some mind games.

Julia Collins: 16,400
Leah Blumenfeld: 4,200
James Herman: 11,000

The Final Jeopardy! category: BOARD GAMES

Basic strategy

Julia should wager 5,600 to take control of her own destiny. (We’re back to where ties are ok!)

James should wager no more than 200 to stay above Julia if they both miss.

Mind games

Julia might wager up to 5,200; if James bets “small”, she’ll automatically win.

If he’s afraid of this, James might wager everything (but at least 10,600).

I have a feeling James miscalculated here. This is why you double-check and triple-check your math; you have an unlimited amount of time!

Congrats to Julia on reaching 11. Will her dial go beyond that? Let’s find out tomorrow!

The Final Jeopardy! clue for May 19, 2014 (BOARD GAMES):


Correct response: What are Marvin Gardens & Boardwalk?

  1. Mark Barrett permalink

    Drew Horwood also won 8 games.

  2. Greg permalink

    Lotsa heartburn for the losing pair today. Cannot excuse James here. What if Leah had not missed that last $2000, taking her out of contention? Would she have been justified in betting it all, which when combined with her correct answer, would have given her the win?

  3. Rob permalink

    1. Another reason to wager for the tie–if Julia bet $5600 and James bet $200 (and both are wrong), they tie. With a $5700 (or $5601) wager, she would have lost if James had bet $200.

    2. Since you have an unlimited amount of time for your final Jeopardy wager, could you use that time to try to prep secretly for the clue? When I heard the category, I thought of Monopoly pieces (only partially wrong!), so how could the producers prevent you from ‘spending 5 minutes on your wager’ when actually you were thinking of Monopoly pieces or property names (or Oscar winners for the Academy award clue, for example)? This wouldn’t work for the more broad categories, but it could help sometimes. On the other hand, is there just too much else on your mind before final Jeopardy to make this work?

    • Agreed on 1 – see my January 29 post for more.

      Regarding 2, many players will indeed use some time before Final to brainstorm potential topics. It’s tough to do too much of that under the lights, though, especially with the usually-vague categories.

    • bigbuffguy95 permalink

      Well, perhaps I need some clarification, but it seems to me that playing for the tie is absolutely the wrong move for James in this situation (and he has said on Twitter that this is what he was doing, but he miscalculated). Why bet $200 and risk a tie, when he can bet $0 (or $199) and win outright if she misses? Remember, she was a TEN-day champion at this point. Nobody in their right mind would want to play her two games in a row if they could avoid it. Sure, her actual wager would have let him win outright on a $200 bet, but there’s no reason to even put it on the table. Bringing back a weaker player makes sense. Bringing back a dominant one does not. James should be trying to win as many games as possible, not just tie for one win. To do that, he’s going to want to avoid playing anyone that’s even half as good as Julia if he can avoid it.

      • Rob permalink

        That makes sense to me from James’ perspective. If James bet $200 because he thought Julia would bet $5601 (which would give him the win by $1 if both are wrong), he might as well just bet $199 instead to prevent a tie.

What do you think?