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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
6/4/19 10:12 P

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I love how she made a face when Trebek said she learned from James's technique.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 6/10/2019 (23:43)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
6/4/19 7:07 P

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Off to a fast start (1st commercial break)

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
6/4/19 3:27 P

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I found several summaries quoting the Post. The outcome is the same. Interestingly, she is an "outcome librarian", or some such. It appears she studied James very carefully. Plus, luck was on her side when she hit the Daily Double, and learning from the master, bet it all and got it right. Well played.

Now to see if she'll be a "one-hit wonder" (it's happened before).

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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Dare to dream.
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6/4/19 3:07 P

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Anytime anyone wants to see something in the Post or Times, just ask.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
6/4/19 2:45 P

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I, too, thought at first he threw the game. Then I read the analyses online. He didn't. One quoted The Washington Post, but not being a paying subscriber, I could not read it from the original source.

It had to do with two crucial moves made by the librarian. Once that happened, James realized he could not win. As simple as that.

EDIT: Time Magazine just released the math behind his thinking, a few hours ago. Makes perfect sense:

time.com/5600227/james-holzhauer-fin
al
-jeopardy-wager/


Edited by: NUMD97 at: 6/4/2019 (15:28)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
6/4/19 1:13 P

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I believe he threw it. He made a comment about his daughter wanting him to be home.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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6/4/19 11:55 A

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He lost????!!? I haven't seen the show since Wednesday and expected he'd still be rolling along. The next I'd be able to watch would be this coming Thursday. Let's see if someone put the entire last show on youtube.

-----------Just saw the show and I do not believe that James wished to continue, given his bet in Final. That wasn't his style. What is his style was walking over to salute the new champion and turning back immediately so as not to intrude on her moment.
----------------------

Here's one of the things that's kept me from Jeopardy. Not giving up. The lower left is my painting; upper right may become a painting.



Edited by: SYLPHINPROGRESS at: 6/4/2019 (12:24)
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
6/4/19 11:11 A

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IMO he lost on purpose. He said his daughter was missing him.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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SPIEGY's Photo SPIEGY Posts: 1,825
6/4/19 9:43 A

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AAAHHHHH!!!! He lost! How was this possible? It was so enjoyable watching his run - now everyone else will seem boring!

"When the blues whomp you up on the side of the head, throw them to the floor and kick them out the door..." -- the B'52s

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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/26/19 6:55 A

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Yes. During the banter after the 1st ad Thursday or Friday.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/25/19 7:55 P

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Never heard that. Who remarked that? James?

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/25/19 7:14 P

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I liked the remake about realizing that being a Jeopardy contestant was a workable career choice.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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5/25/19 7:02 A

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I missed the show and was happy to see it in its entirety, without commercials, thanks to Youtube. This is the first I've ever come across a full game on line after the fact. Unless my eyes were playing tricks, some emotion passed over James' face when his total winnings was announced.


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/25/19 1:56 A

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Actually, tonight I was afraid that Final Jeopardy was going to be played by only James. It nearly happened.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/24/19 4:52 A

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I saw the applause and the thumbs-up. James clearly has good sportsmanship.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 44,804
5/23/19 11:52 P

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And the man at the far right answered a question James didn't ring in on - answered correctly - and James gave him a big thumbs up.

Definitely a nice guy.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/23/19 11:05 P

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He's a good teacher.

And a good sport. I don't see him as smug nor arrogant. And he applauded his oppononent who almost beat him in the end, which most may not have noticed.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 5/23/2019 (23:05)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/23/19 9:54 P

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Quite so.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/23/19 8:32 P

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That is the second time that happened.

Did you notice how others are starting to use his strategy?

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/23/19 8:12 P

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Very close call tonight for James.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 44,804
5/23/19 5:00 P

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We leave tomorrow to visit my brother in Las Cruces, NM. Then we'll vaguely head toward Bellingham, WA, stopping along the way. I want to see Chaco Canyon. Richard wants to visit Reno, and the central Oregon desert. I think we can swing by Crater Lake if we take the right highway north. Things like that. We figure a month or so.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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SYLPHINPROGRESS's Photo SYLPHINPROGRESS SparkPoints: (107,602)
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5/23/19 4:49 P

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Road trip to where?

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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 44,804
5/23/19 3:21 P

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Maybe James will go for an even 100, then opt out. Unless he has a lucky number, then I'd think he'd go for that.

Oh well, I'm packing for our road trip, so I'll just wish him well. He definitely is an impressive player!

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/23/19 9:52 A

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Yes, of course he is going for Ken's record. So, Ken's record plus one, then quit?

On jeopardyfan.com, the oddsmakers are already figuring out James' odds of winning the rest of the season, computing each and every remaining game till he picks up the mantle once again in the fall.

Mind boggling what people do in their spare time.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 5/23/2019 (17:54)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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5/23/19 7:11 A

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Phebe, I doubt very much that the rules will be changed and applied to James mid-stream. If change comes to be, it will apply to the time known as After James. [That would be around 2021.]



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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/23/19 6:00 A

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I think James is gunning for the Ken Jennings 74-win record.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/23/19 1:24 A

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If he does, I, for one, will be very disappointed.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 44,804
5/23/19 12:44 A

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He definitely has played on his own terms - so he may opt to go out on his own terms as well. Who knows.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/22/19 9:30 P

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There is speculation that James will get to a certain point, satisfied that he has achieved all his goals, and will throw the game and walk away.

I hope not.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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Dare to dream.
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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 44,804
5/22/19 8:30 P

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I'm just waiting to see when Jeopardy changes the rules and tells him he's won enough, and that he's now on the list for the tournament but off the daily show.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/22/19 7:48 P

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I overslept. Phooey! Saw the tail end tonight just to see him win. (He already knocked off one contestant before FJ.)

GO JAMES! Tomorrow, he breaks the $2MM mark. So thrilled for him. (The sponsors are grousing that they have to pay out so much, I am sure.)

Interesting side note: While James was "vacationing" during the Teachers' Tournament for two weeks, ratings dipped, and Judge Judy got her crown back in this category. He has boosted ratings like Jeopardy has not seen in years. So there is a trade off there for sure.

Now to see how he won tonight...

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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SYLPHINPROGRESS's Photo SYLPHINPROGRESS SparkPoints: (107,602)
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5/22/19 7:46 P

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Yippee!

I won't be able to watch tomorrow. It would be fun to see him pass $2 million. It's a good thing that the final jeopardy segment is on the show's website.

It would also be sporting for the show to give all the vanquished opponents another, fair chance once James has been bested. The world doesn't work that way. As Trump said, there are no do-overs.

The closest thing to a do-over:



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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/22/19 7:25 P

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Quite so

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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5/22/19 6:10 P

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Tell me he's still in the game. I missed the last two evenings and don't want a nasty surprise.

James, James, James...

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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/4/19 5:13 A

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A deep knowledge of trivia may carry him for awhile. We have to wait and see. It's tournament time.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/3/19 11:33 P

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James is playing chess now (against the Jeopardy producers), not Jeopardy.

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/3/19 11:25 P

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I think that is exactly what will happen.

They have already installed a new rule that shout outs to friends and family will no longer be permitted for the Final Jeopardy answer. If included it will be taken as part of the final answer.

Killjoys!

Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 44,804
5/3/19 10:50 P

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Do you think the producers would introduce some new kind of rules, such as after winning $2 million you're out until the championships?

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/3/19 10:03 P

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There is also the question that if he tires of playing, he just may throw the game and throw the towel in. Especially if he sees that they are stacking the deck against him. He is known for studying the odds and the statistics involved. Be interesting to see what the final outcome will be not just a question of whether he will lose. The game has definitely changed in the last couple of days on both sides.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 5/3/2019 (23:30)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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BOSS61's Photo BOSS61 Posts: 6,640
5/3/19 8:52 P

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we saw that too and thought the very same thing.

"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/3/19 8:03 P

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I always thought that statistics, given the right framework of the hypothesis, can prove just about anything to be so.

James gets to rest up for two weeks since it is now the Teachers' Tournament. Yesterday, he seemed a bit fatigued. I also noticed that Jeopardy is stacking the deck by putting the Daily Doubles in the highest category which I have never seen before, just to catch him early on with no cash on hand. I think he's catching on because he's starting to play the game slightly differently tonight and is working his way up a column. Which is definitely different than his usual plan of attack.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 5/3/2019 (22:01)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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PHEBESS's Photo PHEBESS Posts: 44,804
5/3/19 5:42 P

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There was an episode of "The Simpsons" where Lisa, the brainy kid, uses statistics to help her brother's (Bart) baseball team. Made me sort of think of that situation.

I love pure math - but statistics baffles me a bit.

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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NUMD97's Photo NUMD97 Posts: 10,076
5/2/19 4:06 P

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I had read the second article elsewhere. Holzhauer is a class act. He never gloats and lauds it over his opponents. He plays with grace, and when he loses the Daily Double (rarely), he takes it in stride.

To Phebe's comments sbout statistics, this reminds me of the premise of the movie "Moneyball". Based on a true story (aren't they all, those with any depth to capture our attention) a mathematician showed that a baseball team could leverage the statistics of each ball player to create the ideal team. When he started, they scoffed. Now statistical analyses is part and parcel of the team's repertoire to create a winning team.

That's math for you. May James continue his winning streak. I, for one, find it captivating, no matter for however long he can play.

Edited by: NUMD97 at: 5/2/2019 (16:06)
Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.
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5/2/19 11:01 A

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The second article made me laugh. I'm not a baseball watching fan, but I appreciate Holhauer's application of math and statistics to real life situations.

I can picture math/stats teachers and professors everywhere forgoing homework, and assigning students to watch Jeopardy just to see statistics in action!!!

"Dance as if no one is watching."


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5/2/19 8:45 A

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Two articles this morning. First on "The Athletic", which is the foremost sports journalism, paid web site. And then in the Washington Post. Decoded, because I am the janitor on the rebel moon...

****

In&“Jeopardy!” begins airing right about the same time; as the first pitch is thrown during a typical Major League Baseball game. And if James Holzhauer would have had his way, he might be sitting at a ballpark, high above the playing field in some fancy luxury suite, scrolling through statistics on an iPad while obsessing over strategy with his top lieutenants. This is what he saw for himself as a boy.

Instead, things unfolded a bit differently for Holzhauer, a 34-year-professional gambler whose newfound fame has come by bringing his version of the sabermetric revolution to “Jeopardy!”. He has essentially eschewed small ball for the three-run homer, choosing the highest values on the board so he can place enormous bets once he hits game-changing Daily Doubles. It has worked, even impressing the Babe Ruth of “Jeopardy!,” Ken Jennings.

Entering play on Wednesday, Holzhauer has run his winning streak to 19 days, with cash winnings of $1,426,330. He’s made that money with a blend of guts and ingenuity — which he had hoped to bring to a baseball front office.

“I applied for a number of entry-level positions with teams, but never got anywhere,” Holzhauer said. “I’m not sure if this is the case now, but when I was fresh out of college, MLB teams were not paying their entry-level employees a living wage. I’ve thought about going to the Winter Meetings, but I feel that my lack of networking experience would be a serious drawback.”

Holzhauer traces his love for baseball back to his childhood, growing up near Chicago, where he said his options for after-school television viewing came down to the Cubs and “Jeopardy!”.

“I’ve always been a math guy and I was hooked on all the statistics that baseball offered,” he said.

As an 8-year-old, in the days before Baseball Reference, Holzhauer remembers trading for baseball cards so he could input all of their statistics into Excel spreadsheets he had created. As a teenager, his favorite author was Bill James, and he’d read the annual Baseball Prospectus guide cover-to-cover. Eventually, he’d design his own simulations to calculate the odds for individual games and futures bets.

Holzhauer’s love would eventually translate into fantasy baseball, which opened up a potential career path, one that he realized could be monetized.

“When I discovered I could make real money by applying the same statistical techniques, I knew it was the life for me,” he said.

Once he reached college at the University of Illinois, his heroes were a pair of baseball executives: Billy Beane and Theo Epstein.

But baseball’s statistical revolution was still in a relatively early phase. It would be years until teams found themselves having to outbid others by attracting top-tier talent. When Holzhauer graduated from Illinois in 2005 with a degree in mathematics, his initial attempts to break into the sport led him to discover meager salaries.

“Baseball was my goal from a young age, but gambling had significantly fewer barriers to entry,” he said.

So Holzhauer parlayed his math skills in an entirely different arena.

“I’m not sure I have the interpersonal skills to be a GM, but I could certainly see myself as a consultant,” said Holzhauer, who preferred to conduct this interview via email.

But just because Holzhauer never made it into the executives’ suite doesn’t mean that he hasn’t had a chance to upend the establishment. His success on “Jeopardy!” has triggered an intense debate about the strategies of the game, not much different from what sabermetrics revolution has done in baseball. In some circles, he’s even being portrayed as the bad guy, with his newfound methods sucking some of the charm from the game. Sound familiar?

And while Holzhauer doesn’t believe he would have the people skills to run a baseball team, he seems to possess a bit of the maverick streak required to do so. On Tuesday, in response to a column criticizing his methods, he fired back on Twitter: “I always dreamed of working in an MLB front office and ruining baseball, but I have to settle for ruining @Jeopardy instead.”

I always dreamed of working in an MLB front office and ruining baseball, but I have to settle for ruining Jeopardy instead. Of course, things are changing in baseball all the time. The landscape Holzhauer found more than a decade ago has been radically altered. Executives come from all kinds of backgrounds. And gambling, which once brought the sport to a reckoning, has become accepted by the league. So even his association with betting would likely be a minimal factor.

Besides, analytics already figure heavily into his current gig.

“Ten years ago, I definitely found myself betting more frequently on statistically-savvy teams,” Holzhauer said. “Now that virtually every front office is doing most things right, I’m not sure it makes a difference. The big problem is that all the bookmakers are using advanced statistics now, which makes my job a lot harder.”

Clearly, Holzhauer has done well for himself as a “Jeopardy!” champion. But dreams can be deferred, and he won’t rule out making another run for that seat in the luxury box high above the playing field.

“I love my job and the freedoms it entails,” he said. “But part of me always wonders what it would be like to realize that childhood dream. I would have to at least consider the right offer if it came along.”

****

Night after night for more than two weeks, “Jeopardy!” champion James Holzhauer has crushed two opponents on the venerable game show like a pair of bugs. By the time you read this, his streak may have ended, but it doesn’t seem likely: As of Monday, he had won 18 games in a row, amassing more than $1.3 million , including the top five one-day scores in “Jeopardy!” history.

To the multitudes who have rooted Holzhauer on, I have just one question: Do you not see that this guy is a menace?

The only thing more troubling, as a commentary on American culture, than his grinning, relentless march to victory — regardless of when, or if, it ends — is that millions celebrate it.

People seem not to care that Holzhauer’s streak reflects the same grim, data-driven approach to competition that has spoiled (among other sports) baseball, where it has given us the “shift,” “wins above replacement,” “swing trajectories” and other statistically valid but unholy innovations.

Like the number crunchers who now rule the national pastime, Holzhauer substitutes cold, calculating odds maximization for spontaneous play. His idea is to select, and respond correctly to, harder, big-dollar clues on the show’s 30-square gameboard first. Then, flush with cash, he searches the finite set of hiding places for the “Daily Double” clue, which permits players to set their own prize for a correct response — and makes a huge bet. Responding correctly, Holzhauer often builds an insurmountable lead before the show is half over.

Dazed and demoralized opponents offer weakening resistance as his winnings snowball. And, with experience gained from each new appearance on the show, Holzhauer’s personal algorithms improve and his advantage grows.

In short, this professional gambler from Las Vegas does not so much play the game as beat the system. What’s entertaining about that? And beyond a certain point, what’s admirable?

Full disclosure: I am a “Jeopardy!” failure, so feel free to accuse me of sour grapes. In the Sept. 17, 1991, episode, I finished third behind returning champion Randy Kaplan, who racked up $21,000 to win again, and Maureen Fernbacher, a school librarian from Salisbury Township, Pa. Kaplan’s haul was at or near the all-time single-game record for the era, but a far cry from Holzhauer’s top score (as of Monday): $131,127.

Losing on “Jeopardy!” was unforgettable, nightmarish — like being trapped inside a pinball machine for 22 minutes, as lights flashed, bells rang, and Randy, always Randy, barked out one correct response after another until host Alex Trebek, through his then-trademark mustache, purred “no” at my non-response to Final Jeopardy (“What is ‘?’ ”) and a production assistant ushered me out to the parking lot, where I blinked in confusion under the hot California sun.

I took comfort not only in the consolation prizes (scented trash bags and a pair of jeans) but also in knowing that late-20th-century “Jeopardy!” was an amateur event, open to everyman and everywoman, governed by rules both written (a five-show limit for returning champions prior to 2003) and unwritten (contestants started by selecting the easier, low-money questions first, and worked their way up).

Of course, Holzhauer’s strategy could not work without his freaky-good knowledge of trivia, just as baseball’s shift requires a pitcher skilled at inducing batters to hit into it. The old rules, though, would have contained his talent within humane channels. As it is, he’s set a precedent for the further professionalization of “Jeopardy!,” a trend which began 15 years ago with 74-time winner Ken Jennings.



If you enjoy watching nine batters in a row strike out until the 10th hits a homer, you’re going to love post-Holzhauer “Jeopardy!”

Okay, okay: There are more of you than there are of me. Viewers like “Jeopardy!” prodigies, which is why the show advertises them even as they drain its prize-money reserves. The show’s Nielsen ratings were 22 percent higher during Jennings’s 2004 run than during the same period in 2003.

Consider, however, a historical irony of Holzhauer’s run. He hit the airwaves shortly after Charles Van Doren’s death at 93. Van Doren was an unassuming New York academic until 1956, when he made a Faustian bargain with the ratings-hungry producers of “21,” a network quiz show: They’d feed him the answers, and tons of cash, in show after show, as long as he kept the secret. The inevitable scandal revolutionized TV games and disgraced Van Doren.

Among its repercussions is the quirky, backward Q&A format of “Jeopardy!” itself. Creator Merv Griffin sold the show to NBC in 1964 by pointing out that there could be no repeat of the “21” scam if the object of the game was to come up with the right question.

Decades later, it’s a contestant who might be getting a game show to sell its soul. There’s nothing illegal or dishonest this time, to be sure. It’s just not fun. It’s just not “Jeopardy!”

Edited by: BOSS61 at: 5/2/2019 (08:47)
"Some day we will look back on this, and it will all seem funny" - Bruce Springsteen (The real BOSS, as opposed to me.)





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