May 1, 2007

Jeopardy! Is Making Me Insane

Speaking of destroying the television, Jeopardy! is making apoplectic on a daily basis. Today the chick (and it's ALWAYS chicks that fall into this category) was trailing by more than half when she hit the last Daily Double with the 59th (out of 60) question. She didn't wager enough to have half of the leader's total. Even though she got it right, she couldn't catch the leader. spacerThis smart-ass college contestant wagers $1337. In supernerd circles, 1337 = leet, or elite. The opposite of a newbie, or noob.

(Granted, it is the college tourney so she could have been playing for wild card, but she didn't have enough for that yet either. J-Red's never-followed Jeopardy Rule #1: If you get a Daily Double in the last 5 clues, and you would need to nail Final Jeopardy and bet it all to win, BET IT ALL ON THE DAILY DOUBLE SINCE YOU KNOW THE CATEGORY, unless the category is really bad for you. How is this not common procedure? I think it goes back to the "why don't NFL coaches do X" explanations. No one wants to be at $0 or out of it when the final buzzer sounds. If I get the second Daily Double in anything that isn't New Testament, Opera, or Art, I'm doubling up if I'm trailing. This should be obvious.)

I can't possibly explain how furious this makes me, and you wouldn't believe how often it happens. The gene that makes you good at Jeopardy! makes you suck at math. I must have gotten the awesome at Jeopardy!, awesome at math gene set.

3 Responses:

Brien said...

A lot of it depends on if you're in second or third place when you hit the daily double. If you're in second and don't have half of the leader's money, you need to get there so he doesn't risk $0 in Final Jeopardy.

If you're in third place, it's a bit different. If the top two are very close, but you have less than half of the leader, you can assume that they will both risk almost everything. Since you can't get ahead of the leader going into Final Jeopardy, you still have to hope that he gets the final question wrong. If you can't even catch the second place guy, you need both of them to get it wrong to win. That's essentially the same position you're in if you don't risk much on either the DD or Final Jeopardy.

And this isn't math, it's game theory

J-Red said...

Yeah, this was a total runaway. She put herself in a position where she couldn't win even if she got the DD right (based on her wager) and she or the other trailer got the last $2000 question.

J-Red said...

Also check out the Jeopardy! Archive, which has just about every game ever played and every clue from each game. It also has a Final Jeopardy wagering calculator.

Link here

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