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April 8, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kerry Greene has won three straight games from behind – a rare feat I dissected in today’s By the Numbers post. Where will she enter Final tonight?

The Final Wager April 8, 2015

Kaya, at podium #3, came to play; she was calm and collected, with a clear plan to execute the Forrest Bounce and wager aggressively.

With just a few clues to play, she tried to put it away – but missed the $12,000 Daily Double.

Kerry

Greene

Travis

Miscia

Kaya

Chua

16,400 4,200 9,400

She still has a chance to win, however. The category is:

SHAKESPEARE’S CHARACTERS

Now let’s see what each player should do. Remember, we save the dollar changes until the end.

First-order calculations

Second doubles up

If Kaya doubles her score, she’ll have 18,800.

To cover this all-in wager, Kerry will need to wager 2,400.

Kerry
Travis
Kaya
16,400 4,200 9,400
2,400 9,400
18,800 18,800
min max min max min max
2,400

An incorrect response with that wager will leave Kerry with 14,000.

To get above her total, Kaya must wager at least 4,600, which means everything. Travis is eliminated.

Kerry
Travis
Kaya
16,400 4,200 9,400
2,400 4,600
14,000 14,000
min max min max min max
2,400 4,600*

A successful doubling will put Travis at 8,400.

Kerry could wager at most 8,000.

Kerry
Travis
Kaya
16,400 4,200 9,400
8,000 4,200 1,000
8,400 8,400 8,400
min max min max min max
2,400 8,000 4,600*

It’s safer to cap that at 7,000 to stay above Kaya, just in case – but I’m unconcerned. I think we all know what Kaya’s going to do.

Kerry
Travis
Kaya
16,400 4,200 9,400
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
2,400 7,000 4,600*
8,000

What actually happened

Kerry Travis Kaya
16,400 4,200 9,400
3,600 4,199 9,400
20,000 1 0
min max
2,401 6,999 9,400
7,999

I know there’s going to be discussion about Kaya’s play. I thought it was excellent.

Her Daily Double wager was, as well. In fact, I would have gone bigger: if Kerry gets that $2,000 clue, she’s back in contention…

Kerry Travis Kaya
14,000 6,200 19,800
2,000 12,000
16,000 31,800

… and the last thing you want on a big-time DD like this is to get it right and still have an opponent in contention.

But why would I go big here? First, there is a limited number of possible answers, and I know all of them.

Second, these language clues are often filled with little hints. Even if you don’t know Spanish, knowing cognates can often help you narrow your focus quite quickly.

Third, I like this category better than a random Final Jeopardy! category. It’s good to have options.

This is not, I should mention, the first time a strong player has been undone by big DD wager in a wordplay category.

The Final Jeopardy! clue

SHAKESPEARE’S CHARACTERS
ONE OF THE BARD’S FEW PLAYS WITH CHILDREN ON STAGE IS THIS ONE WITH 2 BROTHERS WHO LAST APPEAR ALIVE IN ACT 3, SCENE i
Correct response: Show
previous week same week following week
30 31 1 2 3 6 7 8 9 10 13 14 15 16 17
6 Comments
  1. Sue permalink

    Such a bummer. Jeopardy was preempted in St Louis
    , as it often is, by a pushy weather gal going on and on about rain 60 miles away. Will wait for the J-Archive.

  2. David permalink

    My thoughts on Kaya’s big DD was that she didn’t seem strong in the category (I was later discovered to have been mistaken) and I’ve always felt that personal thoughts and strengths in the category, whether Final or DD, should trump what the “proper” wager should be. After all, if I was in Kaya’s position, and everything else was equally the same, except it wasn’t a wordplay category (one of my strengths, and I instantly got that DD, btw) but something I’m weak in (like, say, “sports”) should I have wagered as big as she has given that that was the “proper” wager in the category and given that I’m very likely to get it wrong? For that matter, what is your take on how big of a factor personal strength in the category is in determining the wager?

    • Thanks for the thoughtful post, David.

      As you know, I often offer multiple ranges for Final Wagers. They give you some flexibility depending on how confident you are and what you think your opponent(s) will do.

      DDs are even easier because you eliminate that second concern.

      Generally, my order of preference for late DD wagers is:

      1) lock out second
      2) >1.5x second (“crush” situation) / lock out third
      3) get in the lead

      If she had wanted, Kaya could have made a smaller wager that would have both put her above 2/3 if right and kept the lead if wrong.

  3. Rob permalink

    I think there’s an unclosed HTML tag or something on this page that’s messing up the formatting (it’s the same in FF, Chrome, and IE).

What do you think?