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Jeopardy! Discussion

Old 06-05-19, 03:20 PM
  #376  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Jeopardy's producers have always manipulated the parameters for maximum entertainment. When Ken Jennings was on his run, they actually changed how new contestants were tested for the show by allowing them practice on Jeopardy's buzzer system, because they believed Ken's buzzer advantage was too much of an obstacle to overcome for regular challengers.

This is all public knowledge.
Why on earth would the producers want James to lose in the first place? This is the most popular Jeopardy has been since Jennings. You don't actually think that he was making too much money, do you?
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Old 06-05-19, 03:27 PM
  #377  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

James's success is going to alter the long-term dynamics of Jeopardy's finances. If everyone adopts his playing style, the daily average winnings are going significantly up. That would be motivation enough to throw up some roadblocks in James's path. He now has something like 23 of the top 25 daily totals in history.

I don't believe Jeopardy's producers are heartbroken over the loss. James will return in some sort of champions format, probably to high ratings.
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Old 06-05-19, 03:31 PM
  #378  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
James's success is going to alter the long-term dynamics of Jeopardy's finances. If everyone adopts his playing style, the daily average winnings are going significantly up. That would be motivation enough to throw up some roadblocks in James's path. He now has something like 23 of the top 25 daily totals in history.

I don't believe Jeopardy's producers are heartbroken over the loss. James will return in some sort of champions format, probably to high ratings.
They could easily thwart his strategy (at least temporarily) by just better randomizing the daily doubles across the board, instead of concentrating them in the third and fourth highest levels. That's why he clears the bottom first, then fishes in the third and fourth levels.

edited to add: To be clear, I'm not saying they did this, I'm saying if it becomes a trend they can probably mitigate it somewhat by randomizing the daily doubles better.

Last edited by fujishig; 06-05-19 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 06-05-19, 03:42 PM
  #379  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
James's success is going to alter the long-term dynamics of Jeopardy's finances. If everyone adopts his playing style, the daily average winnings are going significantly up. That would be motivation enough to throw up some roadblocks in James's path. He now has something like 23 of the top 25 daily totals in history.

I don't believe Jeopardy's producers are heartbroken over the loss. James will return in some sort of champions format, probably to high ratings.
I still don't see these 'roadblocks' you speak of. Monday just wasn't his night. It was going to happen at some point. It wasn't because of some conspiratorial deck-stacking of the categories/contestants.

And I bet they are heartbroken as I think the monetary impact of the ratings increase per episode with James' streak dwarfs the $40K difference between an average James victory and an average Player X victory. And just think of what the ratings would be in September if the season ends (in July) with James sitting on 60-some wins. Last week's episodes were getting greater than 10.0 ratings in many markets, outrating the NBA Finals.

Sure - they'll do very well when's he's back for the ToC or the inevitable matchup with Jennings, but you're only talking 4 episodes in a tournament format. That's nothing. Furthermore, given you're not playing with actual money in the tournament format (unless they make some change to it), it makes it far less interesting.

Last edited by Red Dog; 06-05-19 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:11 PM
  #380  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
James's success is going to alter the long-term dynamics of Jeopardy's finances. If everyone adopts his playing style, the daily average winnings are going significantly up. That would be motivation enough to throw up some roadblocks in James's path. He now has something like 23 of the top 25 daily totals in history.
It has been 18 years since they raised the values of each clue. That is longer than the 17 years that they used the old amounts. Even if the average amount won increases, they'll be fine with it.

That said, very few contestants will be able to replicate his strategy effectively. He went 72 out of 76 on DDs and 32 out of 33 on FJs. Also, most people simply are too risk averse to even try.
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Old 06-05-19, 06:59 PM
  #381  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Jeremy517 View Post
It has been 18 years since they raised the values of each clue. That is longer than the 17 years that they used the old amounts. Even if the average amount won increases, they'll be fine with it.

That said, very few contestants will be able to replicate his strategy effectively. He went 72 out of 76 on DDs and 32 out of 33 on FJs. Also, most people simply are too risk averse to even try.
In constant dollars, a 2001 $1 is equivalent to a 2019 $1.44. That's not a big jump. If the show raised the answer values by 50%, they wouldn't be nice round numbers.
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Old 06-05-19, 08:30 PM
  #382  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Did anyone notice that when Trebek interviews the trivial pursuit guy Trebek called it the Genius Edition?
wasnt it actually the Genus edition?

Also when the new winner did a true DD Trebek said she was using James strategy and she shrugged as if to say yeh not really.
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Old 06-05-19, 10:24 PM
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
In constant dollars, a 2001 $1 is equivalent to a 2019 $1.44. That's not a big jump. If the show raised the answer values by 50%, they wouldn't be nice round numbers.
I think you missed the point.
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Old 06-06-19, 05:27 AM
  #384  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
James's success is going to alter the long-term dynamics of Jeopardy's finances. If everyone adopts his playing style, the daily average winnings are going significantly up. That would be motivation enough to throw up some roadblocks in James's path. He now has something like 23 of the top 25 daily totals in history.
So you think that by rigging the game against him right before breaking the all time record changes that? And since he didn't break the record that future players will see no reason to adopt his playing style?
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Old 06-06-19, 06:43 AM
  #385  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Kdogg View Post
They tape five shows a day and if you are not in the game you don’t see the taping. His whole run was like six days, taped in March/April so nobody saw him play in advance. They would know his win total and probably put two and two together quickly.
That's not true, for regular games, the other contestants watch the other games that they don't play the day they are there (that's different for tournaments where contestants are sequestered so they don't know the scores for wild cards). One good example is Adam Levin, who got to see a whole day's worth of James' games before playing him. Per this article:
Levin had a slight edge that day: Because the show tapes five episodes in one day, and selects 12 contestants to come to the set for 10 spots, Levin was one of two extra contestants called in on Tuesday, Feb. 26. He ultimately wasn’t selected that day, meaning he was able to watch Holzhauer play five games before facing him in competition.
So the only ones that didn't get to see James play at least one game are contestants who were on the Monday show who weren't holdovers from a previous day. FWIW, I'm pretty sure Emma was one of the few that did not get to see James play before facing him, which would especially explain her reaction when Alex mentioned he was playing like James in her second game.
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Old 06-06-19, 09:21 AM
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by joltman View Post
That's not true, for regular games, the other contestants watch the other games that they don't play the day they are there (that's different for tournaments where contestants are sequestered so they don't know the scores for wild cards). One good example is Adam Levin, who got to see a whole day's worth of James' games before playing him. Per this article:


So the only ones that didn't get to see James play at least one game are contestants who were on the Monday show who weren't holdovers from a previous day. FWIW, I'm pretty sure Emma was one of the few that did not get to see James play before facing him, which would especially explain her reaction when Alex mentioned he was playing like James in her second game.
Thanks. I didn’t know about the extra players.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:35 AM
  #387  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Jeremy517 View Post
I think you missed the point.
I think I still am.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:58 AM
  #388  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I think I still am.
One of PhantomStranger's reasons for believing that it was rigged against James is that he says the producers don't want the average prize money given out to increase as a result of people trying to mimic James. I said that even if the average prize money does go up a bit, they'd still be paying out less (when adjusted for inflation) than they were giving out when the values were first increased to the current amount, and that if they were fine with the average payouts then, that they'd be fine with the increased average payouts now.

There are a ton of things wrong with his theory, and that was just one of those things.
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Old 06-06-19, 01:08 PM
  #389  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Adopting his playing style will not make you a winner. He backed it up with actual knowledge. Hunting the DD’s and wagering big doesn’t work if you don’t know the answers.

The biggest thing I learned from watching this was James’ tip about reading children’s non-fiction to study. That’s a great idea. Jeopardy isn’t about depth of knowledge, but rather bredth. No need to read deep, big textbooks to bone up on subjects you may be week in.
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Old 06-06-19, 03:27 PM
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

James has already laid out the blueprint for maximizing your earnings on Jeopardy. It may not show up immediately, but you will begin seeing clones of his playing style now that the Jeopardy audience has seen its success. Within the next year, someone will come close to beating his one-day record.
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Old 06-06-19, 03:28 PM
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Adopting his playing style will not make you a winner. He backed it up with actual knowledge. Hunting the DD’s and wagering big doesn’t work if you don’t know the answers.

The biggest thing I learned from watching this was James’ tip about reading children’s non-fiction to study. That’s a great idea. Jeopardy isn’t about depth of knowledge, but rather bredth. No need to read deep, big textbooks to bone up on subjects you may be week in.
In that Planet Money podcast, they said that many of the good contestants know the majority of the answers, which is why it often came down to buzzer training.
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Old 06-07-19, 07:04 PM
  #392  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
James has already laid out the blueprint for maximizing your earnings on Jeopardy. It may not show up immediately, but you will begin seeing clones of his playing style now that the Jeopardy audience has seen its success. Within the next year, someone will come close to beating his one-day record.
Broken record.

The plan is great. The execution....that's the hard part.

Maybe someone will break his one-day record. Lets see that person rack up 7 or 8 of the top one-day winnings. That's what made James' run unreal. He's got the top 16.

I think James followed Arthur Chu did - who hunted for DDs. He was much better than Chu.
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Old 06-08-19, 10:33 PM
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Emma's reign is now over as Jeopardy champion. That didn't last long.
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Old 06-08-19, 11:08 PM
  #394  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Well at least this time you waited until the new champ had already won two eps before you told us.
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Old 06-09-19, 12:00 AM
  #395  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Emma's reign is now over as Jeopardy champion. That didn't last long.
No, it didn't. Interestingly, she probably would have lost in her first game as a champion but for a "James" like move. The second place contestant got a daily double late in Double Jeopardy. Tried to make a bigger bet and got it wrong. He only bet $6,000, which wasn't really James like big numbers. But it ended up (likely) costing him the game when he missed it. He ended the second round with a little less than half her total, making Final Jeopardy irrelevant. And while he did get Final Jeopardy right (she did not), he could not make up the gap. In that case, a more conservative bet would have likely resulted in victory. Though I can't fault someone for trying to take the lead into Final Jeopardy. It's generally a far better strategy. But it also shows the difficulty in pulling off what James did. Jeopardy contestants are smart, but the Daily Doubles tend to be on some of the hardest clues and going 72 for 76 is pretty rare. I just don't think its a sustained plan of success for most people.

The other thing I'd add is that the idea of going for the high value clues first isn't new. It's not common, but other contestants have done it. The idea of betting big on Daily Doubles isn't really new either. What James did that was new was to do both tactics consistently and repeatedly. But I'm really not sure how repeatable it is for others. His success was partly because he was good on the buzzer and also really, really smart. He'd typically build up a good amount of money, make a big wager on his first Daily Double and then just cruise. If he got a second or third daily double, he's also bet big. But he after his first Daily Double, he never wagered so much to lose the lead. He just had such a big lead that his wagers seemed big. It was only early in games that he'd wager enough that he might lose the lead. But that was at a time when his opponents had little money and he had plenty of time to build back up his score if he missed. And, as pointed out, he rarely missed. Nailing almost 95% of the Daily Doubles. So while he was somewhat aggressive, he was never reckless. But players would need to be fairly dominant to mimic the strategy. Otherwise, they'd be risking a lot.

One other note, I always found it odd to go for the biggest clues at the beginning of the game. James often found the Daily Double in the first one or two clues picked, which didn't do much good. You can't maximize a Daily Double if you don't have any money. You do deny it from your opponents. So there's that. But ideally you build up a good bankroll first. I do wonder what the optimal strategy is for doing that. Is it better to hit a few higher value clues first hoping you avoid the Daily Double and build up your score quicker or stay in the lower values and try to slowly build on clues unlikely to have the Daily Double? Not sure. Once Double Jeopardy rolls around though, then you should go Daily Double hunting.

Last edited by Jericho; 06-09-19 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 06-29-19, 11:46 AM
  #396  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

A truly shocking moment happened during this week’s teen tournament. There was a clue that was something like “This man partnered with Keith Richards to write hit songs” and there was even a picture of him! Yet none of the teens were able to ring in with “Who is Mick Jagger?” There were audible gasps in the audience. Yes, I’m old.
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Old 06-29-19, 02:45 PM
  #397  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Damfino View Post
A truly shocking moment happened during this week’s teen tournament. There was a clue that was something like “This man partnered with Keith Richards to write hit songs” and there was even a picture of him! Yet none of the teens were able to ring in with “Who is Mick Jagger?” There were audible gasps in the audience. Yes, I’m old.
Well, they are teenagers, which means they born around the mid-00s. They were probably still in diapers when they put out their last album. And the producers used an old picture of Jagger, too. One of them might have recognized him if they used a newer picture.

I don't know if I would have could answered that question (or questioned that answer?) when I was fifteen or sixteen.

The kids coming up today just don't have the same cultural experiences as adults. Consider that a teenager alive today has no memory of 9/11 happening. It's ancient history to them. And for a teenager today, the moon landing is ancient history like WWII was to me.

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Old 06-29-19, 03:21 PM
  #398  
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Pretty much. Would you be able to recognize a picture of Glenn Miller? I wouldn't.
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Old 06-29-19, 03:41 PM
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Not sure why this is shocking.

I am sure I could not recognize many of the pop stars currently.
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Old 06-30-19, 12:34 PM
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Re: Jeopardy! Discussion

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Not sure why this is shocking.

I am sure I could not recognize many of the pop stars currently.
i would at least be able to recognize pictures of Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift although I don’t know any of their songs.

Getting back to the Stones, I’ve seen multiple generations of families at their concerts, so I will write this off as a failure of parenting. Oh wait, more like a failure of grand-parenting.
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