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March 27, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

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Like two of Friday’s players, I’ve “come to play.”The Final Wager – March 27, 2015

What a match – Michael and Eric came out with guns a-blazing.

We enter FJ! with a total of $55,600, just $1,000 shy of the sum amassed by Arthur Chu, Julia Collins, and Ben Ingram in the first day of the last TOC Finals.

Jacqueline

Hawkins

Michael

Bilow

Eric

Swanson

6,200 28,600 20,800

Speaking of guns, the reason this is so late is my good friend Jacqueline (coincidence) organized a “murder mystery weekend” at an inn in the Catskills. It was perfect: the joint even had a billiards room.

My character, Keith Brunette, ran a floating craps game. Mr. Body and I had a good relationship – he’d bring his friends to the game I’d set up in his LIBRARY, and he’d take them to the brothel afterwards to celebrate their wins or drown their losses.

We had a good arrangement until he lost $10,000 one drunken evening (that’s a lot of money, particularly in 1933, when this game was set) and I sent a few business associates with a LEAD PIPE to convince him to start paying.

Mr. Green was the guilty party. REVOLVER, BALLROOM.

Anyway, our Final Jeopardy! category is:

TRANSPORTATION

First-order calculations

Second doubles up

If Eric doubles his score, he’ll have 41,600.

To cover this all-in wager, Michael will need to wager 13,000.

Jacqueline, with less than the difference of their two scores, is out of contention.

Jacqueline
Michael
Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
13,000 20,800
41,600 41,600
min max min max min max
13,000

An incorrect response with that wager will leave Michael with 15,600.

To stay above his total, Eric can wager up to 5,200.

Jacqueline
Michael
Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
13,000 5,200
15,600 15,600
min max min max min max
13,000 5,200

Third doubles up

A successful doubling will put Jacqueline at 12,400.

Michael could wager at most 16,200.

Jacqueline
Michael
Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
6,200 16,200 8,400
12,400 12,400 12,400
min max min max min max
13,000 16,200 5,200

Here’s where things stand after the first order:

Jacqueline
Michael
Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
13,000 16,200 5,200

Second-order calculations

Second’s max vs. first

If Eric makes the rational maximum wager of 5,200, Michael will need to wager 2,600 to stay above him.

Jacqueline
Michael
Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
2,600 5,200
26,000 26,000
min max min max min max
13,000 16,200 5,200
2,600

In that case, Eric would have to wager 10,400 and respond correctly. That’s worthy of an all-in wager, however.

Jacqueline
Michael
Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
2,600 10,400
31,200 31,200
min max min max min max
13,000 16,200 5,200
2,600 10,400*

Now, after two orders of analysis:

Jacqueline
Michael
Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
13,000 16,200 5,200
2,600 10,400*

Zero wagers

Nothing doing here.

What actually happened

Jacqueline Michael Eric
6,200 28,600 20,800
6,200 16,199 14,599
0 12,401 6,201
min max min max
13,001 16,199 20,800
2,599 5,199

There’s nothing wrong with Eric’s wager, per se, assuming he meant to go “big” – he’s covering Michael’s low range. I just hate to see money left on the table.

The last time two players entered Final Jeopardy! with more than $20,000 was Mark Japinga‘s second game, the infamous “Zelda” Final Jeopardy!, on July 12, 2013.

Mark Toby Ken
20,800 26,400 6,600
7,500 15,400 6,000
28,300 11,000 600
min max min max
5,601 7,599 15,201 19,799 6,600
20,800 4,001 5,599

At game’s end, our three players combined for a total score of $18,602. Had all three responded correctly, the total would have been $92,598.

For those of you who do crosswords, this Final clue was a slam dunk.

The Final Jeopardy! clue

TRANSPORTATION
INCORPORATED IN 1948, THIS COMPANY CHOSE ITS NAME FROM THE BOOK OF THE HEBREW PROPHET HOSEA
Correct response: Show
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3 Comments
  1. Kelly permalink

    One slight way that Michael’s wager could have been better (at least $600 less): If Eric bets just enough to cover Michael’s zero bet (which is a possibility) Michael unnecessarily loses if they both miss (if you’re the leader in a 2/3-to-3/4 scenario you ought to keep your cover bet small enough not to open that door for your opponent).

    • Great point, Kelly – now that I’m fine with people going bigger than the bare minimum, there are a few situations I haven’t considered. This is one of them. I’ll point this out next time it happens. Thanks for catching it.

  2. Blake permalink

    Keith, how many times have two people gone into final with 20,000+?

What do you think?