2017 Tournament Of Champions – Semifinals Predictions

15 players have been reduced to 9. It’s the Tournament of Champions semifinals. These are the three most crucial single games on the Jeopardy! calendar to win. The expected value of a victory: $133,333. What you get if you are defeated: $10,000.

Here are the semifinal matchups, some stats for each player, and my predictions!

Monday, November 13, 2017:


Andrew Pau on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Andrew Pau

Amherst, Ohio
188 correct, 13 incorrect
37.53% in first on buzzer (170/453)
11/11 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $32,800)
5/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,975
QF performance: 22 correct, 2 incorrect, $20,200 Coryat (net +7 low-level clues, net +13 high-level clues)

Austin Rogers on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Austin Rogers

New York, New York
349 correct, 46 incorrect
41.48% in first on buzzer (326/786)
22/28 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $106,100)
13/14 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,700
QF performance: 14 correct, 3 incorrect, $11,400 Coryat (net +8 low-level clues, net +3 high-level clues)

Lilly Chin on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Lilly Chin

Decatur, Georgia
102 correct, 12 incorrect
34.28% in first on buzzer (97/283)
8/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $17,200)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,200
QF performance: 14 correct, 3 incorrect, $9,600 Coryat (net +6 low-level clues, net +5 high-level clues)
Prediction: I think it’s safe to actually say that after watching their respective quarterfinal performances, that Andrew Pau is at least a slight favorite in this match against Austin Rogers and Lilly Chin. Alan Lin absolutely demolished Austin in the quarterfinals, whereas Andrew had a much easier time of things (though Justin Vossler did give Andrew a bit of a challenge). Austin’s going to have to make some adjustments (his reticence in bouncing around compared to the rest of the field in the quarterfinals may work against him), but you can never really feel like you can count him out. I can’t see him being locked out two games in a row, and considering his record in Final Jeopardy, that could end up saving him. I’d consider it at least a moral victory if Lilly had enough money to have a chance of winning going into Final Jeopardy. If you could play this game 20 times, I would say that Andrew wins 12, Austin 7, and Lilly 1.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Buzzy Cohen on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Buzzy Cohen

Los Angeles, California
228 correct, 39 incorrect
36.72% in first on buzzer (224/610)
13/18 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $21,600)
7/11 in Final Jeopardy!
Average Coryat: $14,309
QF performance: 21 correct, 3 incorrect, $16,400 Coryat (net +5 low-level clues, net +13 high-level clues)

Jason Sterlacci on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Jason Sterlacci

Somerset, New Jersey
116 correct, 11 incorrect
37.54% in first on buzzer (107/285)
4/5 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $8,400)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,560
QF performance: 17 correct, 0 incorrect, $17,400 Coryat (net +3 low-level clues, net +14 high-level clues)

Lisa Schlitt on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Lisa Schlitt

Berwyn, Pennsylvania
172 correct, 20 incorrect
37.75% in first on buzzer (168/445)
9/12 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $17,100)
6/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $14,150
QF performance: 20 correct, 1 incorrect, $10,600 Coryat (net +12 low-level clues, net +7 high-level clues)
Prediction: The analytics here say that Jason is the clear favorite, but the analytics doesn’t keep track of “strength of victory”, as it were. Buzzy’s best game came against Andrew Pau, which tells me that the bigger the game, the better Buzzy plays. Lisa’s strength is definitely the top of the board, whereas Buzzy and Jason may be fighting for the bottom, which could make for an interesting game chart when this semifinal is done. As much as I think that Jason is awesome, I really don’t think that I can bet against Buzzy here. If you were to play this 20 times, I’d say that Buzzy wins 10, Jason 7, and Lisa 3.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Alan Lin on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Alan Lin

Riverside, California
176 correct, 17 incorrect
37.11% in first on buzzer (167/450)
9/12 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $18,205)
6/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,525
QF performance: 27 correct, 3 incorrect, $20,800 Coryat (net +10 low-level clues, net +14 high-level clues)

Pranjal Vachaspati on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Pranjal Vachaspati

Urbana, Illinois
182 correct, 39 incorrect
42.11% in first on buzzer (184/437)
14/16 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $40,410)
5/8 in Final Jeopardy!
Average Coryat: $16,325
QF performance: 16 correct, 2 incorrect, $11,200 Coryat (net +7 low-level clues, net +7 high-level clues)

Tim Aten on the 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions
Tim Aten

Vermilion, Ohio
162 correct, 13 incorrect
29.29% in first on buzzer (145/495)
7/9 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $6,000)
5/9 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $12,355
QF performance: 21 correct, 1 incorrect, $14,000 Coryat (net +12 low-level clues, net +8 high-level clues)
Prediction: Both Alan and Pranjal are buzzer fiends. Alan absolutely demolished Austin Rogers on Wednesday, and I would imagine that Pranjal and Tim are hoping that doesn’t carry over, though I would say that Alan is definitely the most likely of any of the nine players to have a runaway in the semifinals, as his recent form is just that dominating. Pranjal may be forced into catch-up mode, and that may not bode well for him, especially considering that he has been known to make a lot of unforced errors. As for Tim? Considering his general style, though he was definitely better in the quarterfinals compared to his regular run in those matters, I think that Tim’s best chance may well be to hope Pranjal takes a lot of negs and cleans up the rebounds to stay in contention. If you play this 20 times, I say that Alan wins 14, Pranjal 4, and Tim 2.

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3 Comments on "2017 Tournament Of Champions – Semifinals Predictions"

  1. I think with the way the brackets for the semifinals are placed seem doable. I mean, you’re right on one thing about the first semifinal match. Austin really does need to step up and from the way he played against Alan Lin was unacceptable. It’s just a matter of who executes better in the game and finishes strong for this one. Game two, likeable for Jason for a couple of reasons. One, he’s not the type to make unforced errors. And two, he plays with confidence, hoping that he can sneak under the radar, which we witnessed in the QF match. Game three, not so much for Tim’s case. He’s facing two young competitors, Pranjal (24) and Alan (25) and they’re really fast with buzzing ((I seriously can’t tell how old Tim looks)). If there’s one thing that needs to be warned, younger players can be intimidating because of how much knowledge they could possibly have and make old players look like scrubs. We witnessed that in Kirby’s 3rd game where Taylor and Christen did more work. They were faster on the buzzer and Kirby sort of fell short, despite what could have been a valiant comeback had his two young competitors got FJ wrong. Overall, it’s just gonna be more Alan’s possibly because, like you said, Pranjal does make a habit of making unforced errors. Good thing in the QF match, Pranjal did limit his errors, which he knows what needs to be addressed to face Alan.

  2. I think that a single game in which Buzzy defeated Andrew, especially coming as it did at the end of Andrew’s run, is an insufficient sample size to conclude that Buzzy is at his best in big games or should be favored against Jason, who isn’t Andrew and is a stellar player himself. I’m going with Jason, who has been my pick to win the tournament from the start. Of course, Tuesday’s result won’t prove either of us wrong, since if that semifinal match were played 20 times, we don’t know who would actually win a majority of the iterations. (And as your “20 games” hypothetical shows, it would’t be shocking if Lisa were to win tomorrow. 🙂 )

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