Will James Holzhauer be beaten?

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May 20th, 2019 at 7:36:47 AM permalink
JimRockford
Member since: Sep 18, 2015
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Ken Jennings responds to fans hyperventilating about Holzhauer's playing style
Quote:
If you’re a oncein-a-generation talent, playing “Jeopardy!” the James Holzhauer way works. For less elite players, it might backfire. But either way, a version of “Jeopardy!” where more contestants feel that they need to wager big to win is going to produce a more exciting game.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ken-jennings-why-im-rooting-for-james-holzhauer-on-jeopardy/2019/05/19/011e4056-798b-11e9-bd25-c989555e7766_story.html?utm_term=.952e22e8e781

WaPo paywall if you've used up your free views
The mind hungers for that on which it feeds.
May 21st, 2019 at 12:40:45 AM permalink
quadriga
Member since: Mar 30, 2019
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James Holzhauer is bold and aggressive with daily doubles, taking big but calculated risk. His correct percentage for daily doubles is higher than the regular clues. And his batting average for the final jeopardy is even better, something like 90 percent. Is he onto something?

He's exploiting DDs to the fullest by betting big, given that you get more time to respond than regular clues. The time limit on Doubles is flexible and you get about 10 seconds to answer. If the contestant takes more than a moment that few seconds get edited out.

He appears to be a vertical thinker with linear knowledge and photographic memory. That is an advantage especially when he gets a few seconds more to recall linear and trivial information.

Here's a sports analogy. In basketball, a 3 point shot is worth 1/2 more than a 2-pointer. Stephen Curry can shoot 45 percent on 3 pointers in a season and his overall percentage is a little higher. He exploits his 3s prowess by shooting more of them than the regular shots. In practice he can shoot over 50 percent on 3s since he gets better, uncontested looks at the basket, the basketball 3-pointer equivalent of Holzhauer having more time to respond to Jeopardy daily doubles.
May 21st, 2019 at 5:48:44 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
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Quote: quadriga
James Holzhauer is bold and aggressive with daily doubles, taking big but calculated risk.


James Holzhauer after 23 episodes has $1,780,237 in total winnings to date
Ken Jennings won 74 episodes for a total of $2,520,700 in regulation play.

At first, I thought perhaps James may switch his strategy towards staying in the game once he reaches $2 million, but now I have my doubts. James won his 18th game by $54,017 to $53,999 with only an $18 lead. Had he failed to win his total would have been only $1,329,604.


The 50 questions are collectively worth only $45,000 so to get those big wins you have to bet very aggressively.
May 22nd, 2019 at 6:28:15 AM permalink
Wizard
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Quote: Pacomartin
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May 22nd, 2019 at 6:29:28 AM permalink
Wizard
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I figure James has about a 2% chance of losing on any given show. That would suggest he will lose in an average of 50 episodes from now.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
May 22nd, 2019 at 6:32:38 AM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
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Quote: Wizard
I figure James has about a 2% chance of losing on any given show. That would suggest he will lose in an average of 50 episodes from now.


Is that math-based or more a prediction? If math can you expand on how you arrive at it?
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
May 22nd, 2019 at 5:03:11 PM permalink
Wizard
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Quote: AZDuffman
Is that math-based or more a prediction? If math can you expand on how you arrive at it?


Just a prediction.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
May 22nd, 2019 at 5:48:20 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
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Quote: Wizard
Just a prediction.


Fair enough, was just curious.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
May 23rd, 2019 at 3:40:27 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 927
Posts: 10948
What Alex Trebak calls "a runaway game" and some people call "a lock" is when the first place person has so much money going into final jeopardy that even if the other players bet everything they have they shouldn't win.

In the 1990 "Cheers" episode when Cliff Claven, the mailman, is playing jeopardy and he gets his dream categories of answers: "CIVIL SERVANTS, "STAMPS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, "MOTHERS AND SONS", BEER, BAR TRIVIA," AND FINALLY, "CELIBACY.
He is ahead $22,000 at final jeopardy, and the next highest contestant has $3300.
THE FINAL JEOPARDY! ANSWER IS, "ARCHIBALD LEACH, "BERNARD SCHWARTZ, AND LUCILLE LESUEUR. The next contestant bets $2900 but gets 2 out of 3 parts to the question wrong and has only $400. Cliff gets the answer completely wrong, but he bets the entire $22,000 and gives away a runaway.

James has managed a runaway game 23 out of 25 times so far. In one of the two "non-runaway" games, James won by a mere $18. He has only missed one final jeopardy question.
May 23rd, 2019 at 4:25:06 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 102
Posts: 2574
If the next contestants don't study how Holzhauer nearly got beat , when it happened, they have to be nuts.

However, as smart as these people are, it's surprising how poorly prepared they often are. Holzhauer's success in part is that he does indeed know the correct strategy [has probably improved on it].

Mistakes and oddities I often see [that come to mind]:

*not leaving at least one dollar as a remainder if you answer incorrectly in final J
*not going for the biggest dollar spots
*or at least on a hunt for likely daily double spots
*not learning to ring in right [I have to believe], see https://www.jeopardy.com/jbuzz/behind-scenes/how-does-jeopardy-buzzer-work
*not betting enough to win in final J, seems to me [though perhaps sometimes someone's strategy is that the others will answer wrong?]
*oddity: playing well but turning into a dunce on final J. Often the category will be, say, 20th century authors, and the player will guess Shakespeare or somebody
The light at the end of the tunnel can be a freight train coming the other way! ....Fleastf
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