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April 24, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

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Greetings from Joshua Tree National Park! Here’s hoping tonight’s game won’t be as dry as this part of the country.

The Final Wager – April 24, 2015

Kudos to Greg for going big on that last Daily Double – $11,000 on an $800 clue in WORDPLAY.

Greg

Seroka

Chip

Brookes

Eric

Fleury

28,200 12,400 17,400

He left $6,200 on the table, though – we’ll see if that comes back to haunt him.

Had Greg gone all-in on the Daily Double, he would still not have the game locked up. But Greg leads Eric by 10,800 – Chip has more than this, so he’s still alive.

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy! category is:

ACTORS

As it stands, our players have a combined $58,000 heading into Final, and all three players are in contention. That bumps 2014 TOC Final #1 from its third-place perch and is just $400 behind the best in the post-Ken Jennings era.

First-order calculations

Second doubles up

If Eric doubles his score, he’ll have 34,800.

To cover this all-in wager, Greg will need to wager 6,600.

Greg
Chip
Eric
28,200 12,400 17,400
6,600 17,400
34,800 34,800
min max min max min max
6,600

An incorrect response with that wager will leave Greg with 21,600.

To get above his total, Eric and Chip must respond correctly to have a shot, so all-in is the way to go.

Greg
Chip
Eric
28,200 12,400 17,400
6,600 9,200 4,200
21,600 21,600 21,600
min max min max min max
6,600 9,200* 4,200*

Zero wagers

Greg has some room here. I recommend he stay above Eric’s pre-Final total just in case Eric makes a bone-headed wager.

In theory, he could go for up to 15,000, considering Eric’s minimum.

Greg
Chip
Eric
28,200 12,400 17,400
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
6,600 10,800 9,200 4,200

What actually happened

Greg Chip Eric
28,200 12,400 17,400
7,000 9,201 12,600
35,200 21,601 30,000
min max
6,601 10,799 12,400 17,400

A well-deserved victory by Greg, despite a gimme of a Final clue.

Over $60,000 in two games – we’ll see if he can earn a spot on the TOC leaderboard on Monday!

The Final Jeopardy! clue

ACTORS
IRONICALLY, IN THE SUMMER OF 1955, HE GAVE AN INTERVIEW ABOUT THE DANGERS OF RACING ON HIGHWAYS
Correct response: Show
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6 Comments
  1. 11K wager is wrong. He should bet it all.

  2. Please explain why the 11K wager should have been a true double up. I literally yelled at the screen at how wrong that bet was. It did not give him a lock, as of course you know. But what it could have done if he had gotten it wrong was take him completely out of contention.

    • Good question. It was an $800 (read: easy!) clue in a wordplay category, where typically there are multiple ways to arrive at the correct response.

      Odds are good you’re going to get it right, and the possibility of taking one or both of your opponents out of contention (and perhaps even rendering FJ moot) far outweighs the downside of being knocked out of contention, because the probability of that happening is much lower.

      Another way of putting it: in this case you can wager big and try to put it away now, or try to secure the lead and put your chances on a random FJ in a random category. Either way you’re probably going to have to respond correctly to win. I know where I’m placing my chips.

      • That’s fine for a general explanation, but it doesn’t work in this particular circumstance. Not only could he not get the lockout WITH THAT WAGER, but he couldn’t get the lockout with what was left on the board after that wager, which was only $2000. A big, but not double, bet gets him nothing. So, yes, it might make some perverse sense in a Roger Craig way to double up (or almost double up) at that time, and actually get the lock, I can almost understand that. But it MAKES NO SENSE to bet 11,000 out of 16,400.

        The scores at that moment were his 17,200 to 12,000 and 16,600, with just 2000 left on the board after the DD. If he had missed with that bet, it would have been 5200 to 12,000 to 16,600, and regardless of whether he picks up the extra 2000 or not, he would have been practically out of it. At that point he would have to count on not only a double miss but a correct answer himself in FJ in order to win. That sounds like a stupid bet to me. And that’s why I yelled at the TV at that bet.

      • Ah, I get what you’re saying now. I was just happy that the champ had the cojones to make a big wager – that the wager was suboptimal was of less importance to me at that time, for some reason… but really, he should have wagered everything if he was going to go big for the reasons both of us cited. (Alternative: 1,401)

What do you think?