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June 2, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

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On June 2, 2004, Ken Jennings won for the first time.

On June 2, 2014, Julia Collins lost for the first time.

Will 5-time champ Dan Feitel do something notable today?The Final Wager – June 2, 2015

Well, he’s got the lead – but things are a bit more knotty than previous games.

Dan

Feitel

Jacob

Johnson

Tara

Whittle

16,600 14,100 8,600

Tonight’s Final Jeopardy! category is:

INFAMOUS

Hmmm. Bonnie & Clyde, perhaps?

First-order calculations

Second doubles up

If Jacob doubles his score, he’ll have 28,200.

To cover this all-in wager, Dan will need to wager 11,600.

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
11,600 14,100
28,200 28,200
min max min max min max
11,600

An incorrect response with that wager will leave Dan with 5,000.

To stay above his total, Jacob can wager up to 9,100.

Tara can wager up to 3,600.

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
11,600 9,100 3,600
5,000 5,000 5,000
min max min max min max
11,600 9,100 3,600

Third doubles up

A successful doubling will put Tara at 17,200.

To cover this, Jacob should wager at least 3,100.

(Dan would need to wager at least 600, but this is somewhat questionable.)

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
600 3,100 8,600
17,200 17,200 17,200
min max min max min max
11,600 3,100 9,100 3,600
600

Tara would need to wager at least 2,400 to get above Jacob if he’s wrong.

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
3,100 2,400
11,000 11,000
min max min max min max
11,600 3,100 9,100 2,400 3,600
600

Here’s where things stand after the first order:

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
11,600 3,100 9,100 2,400 3,600
600

Second-order calculations

Second’s max vs. first

If Jacob makes the rational maximum wager of 9,100, Dan will need to wager 6,600 to cover him.

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
6,600 9,100
23,200 23,200
min max min max min max
11,600 3,100 9,100 2,400 3,600
6,600
600

If he’s wrong with that wager, he’ll be left with 10,000.

To stay above him, Jacob can wager up to 4,100.

Tara might consider risking at least 1,400.

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
6,600 4,100 1,400
10,000 10,000 10,000
min max min max min max
11,600 3,100 4,100 2,400 3,600
6,600 9,100
600

Third’s max vs. first

I don’t see any reason for Jacob or Dan to make this play – the potential for Tara to go big is too strong.

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
4,400 1,900 3,600
12,200 12,200 12,200
min max min max min max
11,600 3,100 4,100 2,400 3,600
6,600 9,100
600

Now, after two orders of analysis:

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
11,600 3,100 4,100 2,400 3,600
6,600 9,100
600

Zero wagers

Score differences:
Dan and Jacob: 2,500
Dan and Tara: 8,000
Jacob and Tara: 5,500

Dan
Jacob
Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
FIRST-ORDER SECOND-ORDER COVER ZERO
min max min max min max
11,600 16,000 3,100 4,100 2,400 3,600
6,600 8,000 5,000 5,500
600 9,100

Then we add a dollar to the minimum wagers, and subtract a dollar from the maximum wagers.

What actually happened

Dan Jacob Tara
16,600 14,100 8,600
16,599 3,101 6,300
1 17,201 2,300
min max min max min max
11,601 15,999 3,101 4,099 2,401 3,599
6,601 7,999 5,001 5,499

Congrats to Dan on a stellar run – while I clearly didn’t always agree with the “everything but a dollar” strategy, it worked well for him. He leaves with $127,998 and a berth in the next Tournament of Champions.

And congrats to Jacob for unseating a very strong champ – we’ll see how he does from the leftmost podium on Wednesday.

And to Tara, for hanging in against two buzzer demons.

I’ll have more on Dan’s strategy soon in a new By the Numbers installment. But check out this interview he did about his run:

The Final Jeopardy! clue

INFAMOUS
BORN IN ILLINOIS OF HUGUENOT ANCESTRY, HE WAS EXECUTED IN JUNE 1882, A YEAR AFTER HIS HEINOUS ACT
Correct response: Show
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2 Comments
  1. Aaron Fisher permalink

    Jacob seems like a pretty smart guy, and his 3,101-5,499 is fairly compelling. Given Dan’s history, going big is a bad idea for Jacob.

    If I’m Dan, I can crush that range with my own wager of 3,000-5,600. The 3,000-4,399 portion of that also does well against Tara’s admittedly less compelling cap at 3,600. That 3,000 amount is definitely what I’d picked for him.

    This seemed like a particularly ripe scenario for mind games.

  2. Please correct spelling of Frances Folsom (NOT Francis!) I’ve been fighting the battle my entire life to educate people that the female name is spelled FrancEs…FrancIs is a male name. We have not had a male first lady yet.

What do you think?