2017 Tournament of Champions – Finals Predictions

Since the 2015 Tournament of Champions, about 850 Tournament of Champions-eligible players have competed on Jeopardy! (thanks to Matt Carberry for that statistic.)

We are now down to 3: Buzzy Cohen, Alan Lin, and Austin Rogers. Here are their stats and my predictions for the Final.

Thursday, November 16, 2017 & Friday, November 17, 2017:


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

Los Angeles, California
251 correct, 43 incorrect
36.88% in first on buzzer (246/667)
14/20 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $23,600)
8/12 in Final Jeopardy!
Average Coryat: $14,400
QF performance: 21 correct, 3 incorrect, $16,400 Coryat (net +5 low-level clues, net +13 high-level clues)
SF performance: 22 correct, 4 incorrect, $15,400 Coryat (net +8 low-level clues, net +10 high-level clues)

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

Riverside, California
196 correct, 18 incorrect
36.44% in first on buzzer (184/505)
10/14 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $19,205)
7/9 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,800
QF performance: 27 correct, 3 incorrect, $20,800 Coryat (net +10 low-level clues, net +14 high-level clues)
SF performance: 19 correct, 1 incorrect, $19,000 Coryat (net +6 low-level clues, net +12 high-level clues)

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

New York, New York
368 correct, 47 incorrect
40.86% in first on buzzer (344/842)
22/28 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $106,100)
14/15 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,133
QF performance: 14 correct, 3 incorrect, $11,400 Coryat (net +8 low-level clues, net +3 high-level clues)
SF performance: 18 correct, 1 incorrect, $9,200 Coryat (net +10 low-level clues, net +7 high-level clues)

Prediction: The odds of Buzzy vs. Austin in the final wouldn’t have been very long, but the fact that the analytics favors neither contestant is, frankly, shocking. Alan Lin has certainly been the player of the tournament so far. He has certainly come to play. But the interesting thing to me is that each player may very well carry an advantage in a different facet of the game, which makes this is very evenly-matched final. Alan has been a beast on the buzzer, Austin always seems to come up huge in Final Jeopardy, and Buzzy just seems to be able to come through in the clutch, no matter who he’s playing against. I would literally say that if you ran this final an infinite number of times, it would converge to each player winning one-third of the time, it is that close. In this specific case? My analytics are cheering for Alan, my heart is cheering for Buzzy, but I just can’t shake the feeling that Austin will somehow manage to pull a rabbit out of a hat and close out the tournament.


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10 Comments on "2017 Tournament of Champions – Finals Predictions"

  1. I’m for Alan!

  2. Austin played under “mystery guest” status with his games not having aired when the tournament was taped. I don’t have a list of such players and I’m wondering how those players did in previous tournaments and whether any of them ever won the whole thing?

    • Project for another day perhaps but upon my very quick search of the archive.. I would venture that Michael Falk may have been a mystery player when he won the ’06 ToC.. his games aired a month before the tourney did. As for others close to the mystery guest status, Robin Carroll’s games aired two months before she won the 2000 ToC; I’m not sure if she was a known commodity at taping. Brian Weikle was a mystery guest in ’03, and for the 2015 ToC I believe Matt Jackson’s run had started, but was not yet fully aired by the time tape day rolled around.

      • I actually asked Michael about that this morning. His games aired the week before the tournament was taped.

        • Wow that’s a much shorter wait period than I thought! Thank you for correcting my assumption Andy. With that knowledge I’d assume Doug Dorst was then the mystery guest in that ToC. Otherwise, it looks like a lot of my comment is now moot and wildly inaccurate speculation hahah. 🙂

          • Michael Falk | November 19, 2017 at 9:23 pm |

            Doug was indeed a mystery player at our tournament, but so was Bob Mesko. I mean to say, we had seen him play, but it was a mystery why he was there. David Rozenson (3 wins and $76k), Vik Vaz (3 wins and $72k), Doug (3 wins and $67k), me (3 wins and $59k), and Aaron Thompson (3 wins and $57k) were all playing. Bud Humphrey (3 wins and $56k) was the alternate. Bob Mesko (3 wins and $42k, or so we all thought) was there and playing in the tournament, because he was brought back due to an error and won two more games, but those games didn’t air until after the tournament had taped. I think we were given some sort of perfunctory explanation at the time, but we didn’t really understand it until we watch his new episodes the next week.

    • One instance that popped into my mind was Paul Glaser from the 2007 ToC. His loss in regular play was the last game of the qualifying period (Friday, 2007-11-02); he appeared three episodes later in the third quarterfinal. He won that game but lost in the semifinal.

  3. Our local station Channel 11, WPXI in Pittsburgh, did not air the first night of this year’s tournament , 11/16/2017. Can you give me the final scores from tonight?

  4. Alan oozes oompah like an aardvark

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