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  #1  
Old 04-16-2019, 04:05 PM
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Default Anybody watched Jeopardy lately?

The current reigning champion is the most dominant player I've ever seen. I imagine there will be a lot of players trying to copy his style in the near future. The guy at #7 below is the one. That's how much he's earned so far in 8 days. He could move up a few more spots tonight.

Total Jeopardy! earnings
1 Brad Rutter 4,888,440
2 Ken Jennings 4,223,414
3 Roger Craig 530,200
4 Matt Jackson 511,612
5 Jerome Vered 499,102
6 Julia Collins 478,100
7 James Holzhauer 460,479
8 David Madden 432,400
9 Ben Ingram 426,534
10 Dan Pawson 420,902
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:00 PM
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I have not watched it recently, but I did see where this current champ won his first 2 games and won quite a bit in just those games. A poker forum I read also mentioned this guy is a poker pro of some sort, so he knows about gambling and game theory.

I'm familiar with Ken Jennings, of course. How did Ken and the #1 guy get over $4 million, by winning the tournament of champions?

I don't recall his name, but there was a really quirky bartender from New York that went on a nice run awhile back. He was very entertaining. There's a YouTube montage of his highlights.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2019, 06:24 PM
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Everyone in the top 6 has a good chunk of money from the various tournaments. That's almost 99% of Brad's prize money. Ken is the only one who made anywhere close to a million dollars in his initial run. It ended up being over 2 million. The shaggy guy from a couple of years ago is Austin Rogers. He's a lot of fun to watch.

The current guy is always announced as "a professional sports gambler," but I don't know if that includes playing poker or just wagering on sporting events. Anyway, he clearly knows what he's doing, in addition to knowing pretty much everything that comes up in the game.

Last edited by darwinbulldog; 04-16-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2019, 07:22 PM
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He won another $106K today and is now in third place all-time.

It took Ken Jennings 77 shows to win $2.1M on Jeopardy.

James (yes, we're on a first-name basis) has taken only 9 to amass $566K

I just hope Alex will be around as long as this guy might be.


Interesting as this is happening, Charles Van Doren, who won $129K on the game show 'Twenty-One' in 1956 & 1957 after being given the answers beforehand, died this past week.

This scandal was the basis of the movie, 'Quiz Show'.


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  #5  
Old 04-16-2019, 09:05 PM
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Haven't watched today's episode yet (on DVR), but that's only a slightly surprising outcome. He's now got the top 3 paydays in the history of the show. It's...Ruthian.

And the quiz show scandal was supposedly the inspiration for the answer and question format on Jeopardy. (Hey, what if we give the contestants all the answers as part of the game?)
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2019, 09:38 PM
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Brad Rutter played on Jeopardy when you could only win 5 games. He has won every tournament of champions he has played in, including multiple wins against Ken Jennings. It will be interesting to see James and Brad go head to head one day.
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2019, 10:14 PM
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Hes got guts with the way he plays.
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2019, 07:45 AM
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My wife is addicted to Jeopardy. She is amazed this current champ keeps doubling down on daily doubles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clydepepper View Post
He won another $106K today and is now in third place all-time.

It took Ken Jennings 77 shows to win $2.1M on Jeopardy.

James (yes, we're on a first-name basis) has taken only 9 to amass $566K

I just hope Alex will be around as long as this guy might be.


Interesting as this is happening, Charles Van Doren, who won $129K on the game show 'Twenty-One' in 1956 & 1957 after being given the answers beforehand, died this past week.

This scandal was the basis of the movie, 'Quiz Show'.


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  #9  
Old 04-17-2019, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinbulldog View Post
Everyone in the top 6 has a good chunk of money from the various tournaments. That's almost 99% of Brad's prize money. Ken is the only one who made anywhere close to a million dollars in his initial run. It ended up being over 2 million. The shaggy guy from a couple of years ago is Austin Rogers. He's a lot of fun to watch.

The current guy is always announced as "a professional sports gambler," but I don't know if that includes playing poker or just wagering on sporting events. Anyway, he clearly knows what he's doing, in addition to knowing pretty much everything that comes up in the game.
Interesting. Thanks, Glenn. I just spent a few minutes on Wikipedia fully educating myself on Jennings' and Rutter's gameshow careers.

And, yep, the player I was trying to recall was Austin Rogers. It would be one thing to be quirky and funny, but combine that with being a sharp contestant and it makes for good entertainment. Here's a montage of his run on the show:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTjPoz7MMKs

Last edited by CW; 04-17-2019 at 08:02 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2019, 06:30 PM
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He set the all-time one day record tonight with over $137,000 and his ten day total is just shy of 700K. He has the top four single day totals. Wow, what a machine.

This is the first night I've seen him, and I am amazed at his speed. You need to be young to bring up information so quickly, and you have to be smart, well read, and fearless. He may be the best Jeopardy player ever.

Last edited by barrysloate; 04-17-2019 at 06:31 PM.
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2019, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
He set the all-time one day record tonight with over $137,000 and his ten day total is just shy of 700K. He has the top four single day totals. Wow, what a machine.

This is the first night I've seen him, and I am amazed at his speed. You need to be young to bring up information so quickly, and you have to be smart, well read, and fearless. He may be the best Jeopardy player ever.
If he's really smart he'll invest his winnings in PSA 10 cards.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2019, 11:19 PM
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I haven't watched but read about him. The same strategy that has allowed for his big wins will probably do him in when he gets a couple daily doubles wrong. Unless he knows everything.
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2019, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokerplyr80 View Post
I haven't watched but read about him. The same strategy that has allowed for his big wins will probably do him in when he gets a couple daily doubles wrong. Unless he knows everything.
No doubt that is how he's going to lose eventually. He likely knows over 90% of the questions in a typical game though, and the way he wagers he'd have to miss two large wagers in a row (both Daily Doubles in the 2nd round, or the last Daily Double and the Final) for someone else to beat him. That might only have about a 1% chance of happening each game. Even then he'd have a decent chance of winning since his opponents usually can't break $10,000.

It's a good strategy for him, and it would probably be a good strategy for most other Jeopardy contestants (almost all of whom, as Ken Jennings has said, know almost all of the questions almost all of the time). It's just a testament to how loss-averse humans are that it took 35 years of the show (and something like 14,000 different contestants) for someone to come along and wager so heavily so reliably. Jennings himself did slightly better in terms of number of correct responses per game but played with the goal of winning each game rather than maximizing his expected earnings.

At this point I'd guess he'll sail past $1,000,000 but that he won't win 74 in a row. The question then is whether he'll have earned more than the Jennings number (something like $2.5 million) in his 20 or 30 or 40 game streak or whatever it ends up at.

The other thing I keep thinking as a viewer is that none of the other contestants so far seem to have taken him into account in deciding how they should play. They're just hoping he makes a big mistake rather than trying to copy him so they can stay within range for the final wager. Not that they're getting many opportunities with the Daily Doubles, but when it has happened they've wagered far more conservatively than they should.
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2019, 09:44 AM
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I mean, you probably won't win anyway, but if you're down by 3 TDs in the middle of the 4th quarter and are facing a 4th and 18 you need to air it out, not punt away your slim chance of a comeback.
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  #15  
Old 04-18-2019, 02:07 PM
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I agree with Glenn that the way he will eventually lose is by wagering big on daily doubles and getting them wrong. I don't think he can be beaten by trying to get more answers right than him. He's too quick, too knowledgeable, and really very intimidating.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:07 PM
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His other major advantage seems to be his timing with the clicker. Lesser skill with that is the downfall
for many otherwise highly knowledgeable contestants. Others may know 90% of the answers as well,
but if they're not first in with the clicker, they're skunked. This guy gets the first answer correct,
and then owns the board thereafter because he's always first in.
Apropos of nothing, he also creeps us out. There've been thousands of bland or eccentric or likeable
or annoying contestants over the years, but we just find this guy creepy.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:31 PM
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Another $74,000 tonight for an 11-day total of $771,000.

I've watched the last two nights and he did not answer a single question wrong. The depth of his knowledge is incredible. It doesn't matter what the category is.

And as far as his being creepy, he's a very cocky type-A personality, and that could rub people the wrong way. I am so impressed with his skills that I can overlook his quirks.
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  #18  
Old 04-19-2019, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
I agree with Glenn that the way he will eventually lose is by wagering big on daily doubles and getting them wrong. I don't think he can be beaten by trying to get more answers right than him. He's too quick, too knowledgeable, and really very intimidating.
Last night was the first one I watched. In the second round he was more cautious with the daily doubles, only risking about 40% of what he had. He got them both right. I can see why he bothers some people. He should at least let Alex finish talking before asking for the next answer.
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Last edited by pokerplyr80; 04-19-2019 at 09:20 AM.
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  #19  
Old 04-19-2019, 11:01 AM
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He is hyper and likes to keep the small talk to a minimum. I still don't know how he can know so much about so many diverse categories, and pull out the answer so quickly. I can do that with a handful of questions every night, but the breadth of his knowledge is many multiples of mine. There are particular ones he doesn't know, but no category is off limits for him.

For example, I got all five last night on movie actors first roles, but there are others I can easily go oh for five. You can't be an expert in everything.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch7999 View Post
but we just find this guy creepy.
He is creepy, its his smile, looks very forced.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:48 PM
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I like him so far. I'm hoping he breaks a million.
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  #22  
Old 04-19-2019, 03:29 PM
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OK, now I have Jeopardy set on my DVR.

YouTube has a video montage from a few years back when James appeared on the game show The Chase on GSN. He was a standout on that show as well, often giving the correct answer before the hostess even finished the question. He led his team to win $175,000, with the hostess mentioning she had never seen anyone do so well on the show.

After watching clips of James on both shows, I don't really get the impression that he's cocky at all. He actually seems soft spoken and unassuming.

Last edited by CW; 04-20-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:29 PM
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Another $80,000 tonight for a 12 day total of almost $852,000. And he was actually struggling early and got a bunch wrong.
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:05 AM
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I watched today as well. Assuming this board is anything like the rest of the country, which is also assume isn't always the case, this guy is probably good for ratings. I will probably keep it on the DVR until he loses. I was surprised to see him get a couple wrong, including the first daily double.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:51 PM
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Yes, a bit of a slow start on Sunday, but ended up being another blowout for James. This was the first episode with James that I was able to watch and it was quite entertaining.

I see what Barry means about him keeping the small talk to a minimum. He's definitely all business, and occasionally seems to interrupt Trebek in an effort to move onto the next answer.

This was also the first episode I've watched since Alex Trebek's cancer announcement, and while his situation is saddening, I give him so much credit for continuing on with his work. It's no doubt that he loves his job and I'm guessing it's the one "normal" part of his day when he can forget about the treatments and can simply be alive. I really hope he can beat this!

And, of course, it seems like Trebek is enjoying James' run as much as anyone, based on Friday night's closing words:

"Go home, enjoy the weekend, but come back again on Monday. I like having you here."
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Old 04-22-2019, 06:29 PM
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Another $90,000 today for a 13-day total of $942,000. Tomorrow he shoots for a million.
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  #27  
Old 04-23-2019, 08:14 AM
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Barry, thanks so much for your daily reports. Now I donít have to watch.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:57 PM
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If the categories were:
PSA graded cards
Beckett graded cards
SGC graded cards
1967 Topps Baseball
Sandwiches by State
then I could wipe the floor with that guy! 😆
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  #29  
Old 04-23-2019, 06:07 PM
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^^^

So, by now it's almost impossible to check out a news or pop culture site and not see an article about Holzhauer. ESPN had an excellent article on James and his history in trivia and sports betting (link).

From that article and others I've read, it's all about the buzzer. Someone even wrote an eBook called Secrets of the Buzzer, to which James attributes some of his success. This online article about James and his mastery of the buzzer was also interesting (link here). A few quotes, in case nobody is in a clicking mood:

Quote:
It’s not all luck, of course—far from it; you still need the far-flung know-how and the wagering gumption to make it count. But what sets apart the really, truly dominant players like James isn’t just luck, smarts, or betting strategy: It’s the buzzer, and James is very, very, very good at using it.

“He had a lot of questions about the subtlety of the buzzer right away,” says Jeopardy! producer Maggie Speak, who oversees contestant coordination and leads an hourlong group orientation for new players each taping day. “Before he ever hit the stage, it was: ‘Well, what if I do this?’ He had a lot of very specific questions about the timing of the buzzer.”

“And clearly my answers must have helped him,” she says, laughing.
...

Quote:
The most obvious way you can tell James is good with the buzzer is that he keeps winning. The average Jeopardy! contestant is no slouch: By the time a player is onstage, he or she has passed the show’s famously rigorous entry test twice—once online and once in person. Jennings puts it this way: “Almost all of the contestants know almost all of the answers almost all of the time,” he says. Which is to say that more often than not, all three players know a given clue’s answer, and all three are attempting to ring in—meaning buzzer timing is hugely important. James, who has lately shown off knowledge about subjects including the Book of Daniel and Tammy Wynette, says he took the online tryout test 13 times—every year that it was offered—and had two in-person auditions before he was finally invited on.

“If you put random people up there on Jeopardy!, the most important thing would be who knows the answers,” says Jennings. “But with players that good, buzzer timing really becomes what tends to separate the winner from the non-winners.”
And finally, for those into stats, here's a site that tracks James' progress and compares it to Ken Jennings epic run from years ago.

Last edited by CW; 04-23-2019 at 06:10 PM.
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  #30  
Old 04-23-2019, 06:29 PM
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Another $118,000 tonight for a 14 day total of $1,061,000. It doesn't seem like he will ever lose, but of course he will.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:30 PM
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Barry, thanks so much for your daily reports. Now I donít have to watch.
The fun is watching. I get a fair number of answers but my old head doesn't work as fast as it used to.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:33 PM
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And yes, it's clear that being skilled in buzzing in is a huge asset. But I don't believe that all three contestants know nearly all of the answers all the time. Even James failed to ring in at least a dozen times tonight because he didn't know the answer, and if he doesn't the others don't either. That seems like a bit of an exaggeration.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:43 PM
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Buzzi.jpg

Do you know why?
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:52 PM
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Attachment 350920

Do you know why?
Ruth Buzzi....buzz in?
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  #35  
Old 04-24-2019, 10:42 AM
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Time to make some predictions. How much is he going to earn in total during this run, and over how many games?

I say $1,880,000 in 26 games.

And I'll pick him to beat Jennings and Rutter at a tournament in a couple of years. I'd like to see a week long contest with just the three of them.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:44 AM
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One more: Whoever finally beats him will not go on to win 5 games in a row.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:48 AM
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A couple more:

He'll own the top 10 spots on the single-day earnings leaderboard before the end of his streak.

Someone else is going to put up a $100,000 day next season.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:59 AM
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Have they made Final Jeopardy a lot easier over the years? I'm seeing that Ken Jennings only got it 68% of the time (51/75). James Holzhauer is 13/14 so far (93%). I realize it's a slightly different skill set from the rest of the game since it usually involves figuring out something that none of the contestants actually know but where there's one possible response that totally makes sense once you think of it. Still, it seems like Jennings would be doing a lot better than 68% these days, no?

edited to add: I found the data on % correct FJ responses by all players. I guess the answer is maybe. Probably 68% compared to 56% is fairly representative of Jennings, but 93% compared to 62% for Holzhauer is not something he could keep up in the long run (e.g., over 75 games).

Season 20: 56%
Season 25: 53%
Season 30: 49%
Season 35: 62%

Last edited by darwinbulldog; 04-24-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
And yes, it's clear that being skilled in buzzing in is a huge asset. But I don't believe that all three contestants know nearly all of the answers all the time. Even James failed to ring in at least a dozen times tonight because he didn't know the answer, and if he doesn't the others don't either. That seems like a bit of an exaggeration.
Yes, even though I included that Jennings quote from the article, I have to agree with you here. It's too much of a blanket statement.

Once again James takes it down in beast mode. So impressive. How the hell does one know that the queen of Hawaii in the late 1800s was Queen Liliuokalani, let alone remember how to pronounce it?
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:10 PM
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Once again James takes it down in beast mode. So impressive. How the hell does one know that the queen of Hawaii in the late 1800s was Queen Liliuokalani, let alone remember how to pronounce it?
That one and the Magyar Hilyap really showed how extensive his knowledge is. Anybody who goes on Jeopardy can tell you who Lincoln's first VP was or what the capital of Botswana is or what Shakespeare play some famous phrase comes from because that's exactly what you'd study if you're planning to go on the show, but he seems to know an astonishingly high proportion of things that seem just a little too obscure for Jeopardy.
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:31 PM
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I watched the last two episodes last night. Very impressive. Maybe like Babe Ruth with his homeruns this guy will change the way Jeopardy is played in the future.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:01 PM
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Another $73,000 tonight and yes, I think they may be making final Jeopardy a little easier. I'm sure they want to keep him as long as possible despite his huge winnings. Ratings must be very high right now, and as soon as he loses they will plummet back to earth.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:21 PM
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This is a lot of fun watching and it almost makes us forget how sick Trebek is.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:00 PM
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Another $90,000 tonight. The beat goes on.
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Old 04-25-2019, 09:43 PM
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He now has the top 8 games. Another 2 over $77,000 (which is below average for him) and he'll have the whole leaderboard to himself.

Here's the crazy thing. Given the leads he's taken into Final Jeopardy, he needed to get all of 1 (count it, 1!) of his 16 Final Jeopardy responses correct in order to win all 16 games so far. He got 15 of them.
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:29 PM
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In his 18th game, James won by...$18! Great match, very competitive.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:06 AM
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I am not a Jeopardy watcher and have not seen this gentleman but today on mlb.com there is an interview with him and he explains that he is a huge Cubs fan.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:46 PM
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I read today that when James was four years old, he appeared in an article in the Chicago Tribune about gifted children. So his skills were recognized a long time ago.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:38 AM
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I've also read that he didn't make it on the show until his second time auditioning. Not sure if that inspires or dashes the hopes of other prospective contestants, but it's an interesting footnote, reminiscent of the stories about Michael Jordan getting cut from his high school basketball team.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:13 PM
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On the mlb network interview he also said he had read many books on various subjects geared towards children. He focused on a basic knowledge of many subjects, not an in depth study.
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