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July 21, 2014

Daily analysis, Monday, July 21 – Teen Tournament QF #1

2014 Teen Tournament
Overview Teens in the TOC Joe Taglic interview
Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 1 2

This year’s teens are off and running. How will they handle the unique quarterfinal format?The Final Wager – July 21, 2014

I always feel bad when a player fails to make Final Jeopardy! – particularly in the Teen Tournament.

What’s particularly upsetting is the way many, many people taunted, criticized, demeaned, or otherwise insulted Josiah on Twitter. I’m confident not a single one of them has ever set foot behind the podium and played a game.

The Internet is a wonderful place – after all, it’s brought you The Final Wager – but it’s also a reminder that there is an overwhelming number of cruel, thoughtless, and (dare I say) bigoted people in our world.

Kat Deabill: 20,400
Cooper Lair: 12,800
Josiah Takang: -2,800

The Final Jeopardy! category: RELIGIOUS HISTORY

Remember, we’ve got those four wild cards in play, so neither Kat nor Cooper needs to go for the win. What I’ll do is break down the “normal” wagers to obtain suggested ranges depending on each player’s comfort with the category.

Basic strategy

Kat should wager 5,201 to cover Cooper.

If she’s wrong, she’ll have 15,199, so Cooper should wager at least 2,400 to cover her.

Mind gamess

Kat’s 20,400 is almost certainly good for a wild card, so I’d stand pat if I had any hesitation on the category. At most in this case, I’d aim to stay above that “mystical” 20,000 mark – the one so many players appear to worship for no apparent reason, both in tournaments and in regular play.

For Cooper, conversely, 12,800 is sketchy at best. If he wants to go big, there’s more potential upside for each additional dollar – up to a certain point. The difference between say, 20,200 and 15,200 is huge; between 5,400 and 10,400, the inverses of those scores, not so much.

Of course, above 20,000 he’s almost certain to qualify for a wild card, so I’d aim for just above Kat’s score and hope to get it right. I’d go for 20,800 just in case Kat goes for 399 or something small like that.

What actually happened

A great wager out of Cooper, which is unsurprising given he and his father did plenty of analysis before the tournament.

It’s also an aggressive play out of Kat – but 799 more than the bare minimum needed to guarantee the victory. Let’s see if that comes back to haunt her.

The Final Jeopardy! clue for July 21, 2014 (RELIGIOUS HISTORY):


Correct response: Show


  1. Aaron Fisher permalink

    Now that you’ve actually recommended a wager based off other competitors wagering for exactly $20,000, do we need to add another rule to basic wagering? Maybe it’s priority falls somewhere between Rule #3 and Rule #3 Cont’d.

    It might make for some tricky mind games once someone decides to wager for $20,001.

    • Nah, this is particular to the wild cards available in the quarterfinals.

      • Aaron Fisher permalink

        I was just joking around – honestly it surprised me a little bit to hear you mention $20,000 at all. But I suppose it does makes more sense to look at the arbitrary round number cuttoffs when you have 14 opponents rather than 2.

  2. Trevor Panno permalink

    When the double jeopardy round was over, Kat’s score was $22,000.

What do you think?