2019 Tournament of Champions – Predictions

It’s finally time. The 28th Tournament of Champions begins November 4. The Jeopardy! Fan has taken into account knowledge of board material, performance on Daily Doubles, Final Jeopardy, and even whether they played in Season 34 or Season 35, and has ranked the 15 players accordingly:

1) James Holzhauer
2) Eric R. Backes
3) Josh Hill
4) Emma Boettcher
5) Lindsey Shultz
6) Dhruv Gaur
7) Francois Barcomb
8) Steven Grade
9) Alan Dunn
10) Kyle Jones
11) Rob Worman
12) Ryan Fenster
13) Gilbert Collins
14) Anneke Garcia
15) Rachel Lindgren

34,639 iterations were run of the Tournament of Champions prediction model in order to create the predictions below.

Monday, November 4, 2019:
Kyle Jones
Aurora, Colorado
Kyle Jones on Jeopardy!

173 correct, 18 incorrect
9/9 on rebound attempts (on 36 rebound opportunities)
36.82% in first on buzzer (162/440)
10/13 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $11,400)
5/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,200
QF win chances: 34.99%
SF advancement chances: 50.29%
Final advancement chances: 7.19%
Win chances: 0.14%
2nd chances: 2.24%
3rd chances: 4.81%

Andy’s Thoughts: Kyle got a favorable draw in getting to play Gilbert and Anneke, which helps his chances of advancing. If he reaches the semifinals, he might have more trouble pulling out a W on Week 2.

Anneke Garcia
Salt Lake City, Utah
Anneke Garcia on Jeopardy!

110 correct, 16 incorrect
3/4 on rebound attempts (on 13 rebound opportunities)
40.36% in first on buzzer (113/280)
1/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$3,000)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,360
QF win chances: 33.43%
SF advancement chances: 45.09%
Final advancement chances: 7.00%
Win chances: 0.17%
2nd chances: 1.93%
3rd chances: 4.89%

Andy’s Thoughts: Anneke’s only one of two players in the field with a negative Net Earned on Daily Doubles, which hurts her ranking a bit. She’ll be very competitive in this opening match, though.

Gilbert Collins
Princeton, New Jersey
Gilbert Collins on Jeopardy!

106 correct, 17 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 27 rebound opportunities)
32.32% in first on buzzer (106/328)
6/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $5,000)
4/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $12,533
QF win chances: 31.58%
SF advancement chances: 45.89%
Final advancement chances: 6.32%
Win chances: 0.16%
2nd chances: 1.72%
3rd chances: 4.43%

Andy’s Thoughts: Gilbert’s raw numbers have been deflated slightly by the fact that he played in Season 34 (as opposed to Season 35). I think Gilbert is stronger than those numbers indicate and may surprise a bit in this tournament.

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: Kyle takes the opening match of the week after a solid performance performance start-to-finish. Both Gilbert and Anneke spend the tape day on pins and needles as they both pick up good scores and have to sweat out whether or not they’ll hold up, but the second-place Gilbert gets through (and third-place Anneke does not).


Tuesday, November 5, 2019:
Rob Worman
Edina, Minnesota
Rob Worman on Jeopardy!

123 correct, 22 incorrect
7/10 on rebound attempts (on 47 rebound opportunities)
33.99% in first on buzzer (120/353)
9/9 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $36,200)
4/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $12,029
QF win chances: 30.55%
SF advancement chances: 47.94%
Final advancement chances: 10.66%
Win chances: 0.51%
2nd chances: 3.47%
3rd chances: 6.69%

Andy’s Thoughts: Another of Season 34’s players, Rob was very strong on the Daily Doubles. His tournament fortunes may rest on his ability to convert them, which means that a quarterfinal matchup against Dhruv might not work to his advantage.

Dhruv Gaur
Gainesville, Georgia
Dhruv Gaur on Jeopardy!

86 correct, 11 incorrect
5/6 on rebound attempts (on 12 rebound opportunities)
34.67% in first on buzzer (78/225)
7/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $19,600)
2/4 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,300
QF win chances: 52.30%
SF advancement chances: 74.16%
Final advancement chances: 23.32%
Win chances: 1.74%
2nd chances: 12.03%
3rd chances: 9.55%

Andy’s Thoughts: Dhruv was very good on Daily Doubles as well in winning his College tournament; much like Rob, he will probably live or die by those three clues a game.

Rachel Lindgren
Bend, Oregon
Rachel Lindgren on Jeopardy!

101 correct, 15 incorrect
6/10 on rebound attempts (on 24 rebound opportunities)
29.05% in first on buzzer (95/327)
3/6 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $4,400)
2/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $12,500
QF win chances: 17.15%
SF advancement chances: 33.13%
Final advancement chances: 4.56%
Win chances: 0.08%
2nd chances: 1.00%
3rd chances: 3.47%

Andy’s Thoguhts: Rachel was ranked 15th by the prediction model; I suspect that her advancement chances will rely on doubling through a favorable Final Jeopardy! to secure a wild card.

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: Dhruv finds those Daily Doubles he’s talking about in the promos en route to winning this quarterfinal. Rachel doubles through Final Jeopardy! to take second and a wild card, and Rob finishes in third but doesn’t advance.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019:
James Holzhauer
Las Vegas, Nevada
James Holzhauer on Jeopardy!

1,186 correct, 36 incorrect
33/36 on rebound attempts (on 68 rebound opportunities)
57.81% in first on buzzer (1077/1863)
72/76 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $654,416)
32/33 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,576
QF win chances: 89.45%
SF advancement chances: 97.24%
Final advancement chances: 87.07%
Win chances: 83.45%
2nd chances: 2.96%
3rd chances: 0.66%

Andy’s Thoughts: In the question of “James or the field”, the prediction model says the answer is a resounding James, with him winning 5 out of every 6 iterations of the model. In fact, with James’ strategic knowledge, I think that the model actually underestimates James’ chances of making it to Week 2. The best chance to take him down will come in the semifinals.

Alan Dunn
Johns Creek, Georgia
Alan Dunn on Jeopardy!

127 correct, 15 incorrect
6/6 on rebound attempts (on 24 rebound opportunities)
36.23% in first on buzzer (121/334)
7/9 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $11,000)
6/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,633
QF win chances: 2.18%
SF advancement chances: 58.64%
Final advancement chances: 11.87%
Win chances: 0.41%
2nd chances: 4.80%
3rd chances: 6.66%

Andy’s Thoughts: Alan did not get a particularly favorable draw for this tournament, being drawn against James and Lindsey (both of whom were stronger than him on the buzzer). Much like Rachel, his advancement chances are probably predicated on doubling through a favorable Final Jeopardy.

Lindsey Shultz
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Lindsey Shultz on Jeopardy!

122 correct, 10 incorrect
1/1 on rebound attempts (on 14 rebound opportunities)
42.50% in first on buzzer (119/280)
6/7 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $16,200)
2/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $20,320
QF win chances: 8.37%
SF advancement chances: 63.52%
Final advancement chances: 21.62%
Win chances: 2.03%
2nd chances: 10.37%
3rd chances: 9.22%

Andy’s Thoughts: I think Lindsey will fare better than Alan, but having to play against James, it feels as though her advancement chances are probably going to require her doubling through Final Jeopardy.

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: James wants everyone to know just how much of a force he is, dominating so comprehensively that both Alan and Lindsey can’t pick up enough of the leftovers to qualify as a wild card.


Thursday, November 7, 2019:
Josh Hill
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Josh Hill on Jeopardy!

191 correct, 29 incorrect
4/7 on rebound attempts (on 22 rebound opportunities)
43.82% in first on buzzer (195/445)
7/10 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $24,195)
4/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,250
QF win chances: 33.02%
SF advancement chances: 66.81%
Final advancement chances: 24.87%
Win chances: 2.94%
2nd chances: 12.54%
3rd chances: 9.39%

Andy’s Thoughts: Josh is a very strong player; if he can make it through the Eric/Emma gauntlet to start, I really like his chances in a semifinal.

Eric R. Backes
Oviedo, Florida
Eric R. Backes on Jeopardy!

135 correct, 15 incorrect
3/4 on rebound attempts (on 10 rebound opportunities)
47.35% in first on buzzer (134/283)
4/7 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $4,000)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $21,560
QF win chances: 32.16%
SF advancement chances: 77.81%
Final advancement chances: 30.50%
Win chances: 3.17%
2nd chances: 17.68%
3rd chances: 9.65%

Andy’s Thoughts: Eric drew the Jeopardy! equivalent of the World Cup “Group of Death” having been drawn against Josh and Emma. Again, if he makes it through the quarters, I like his chances of making the final.

Emma Boettcher
Chicago, Illinois
Emma Boettcher on Jeopardy!

103 correct, 6 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 9 rebound opportunities)
38.50% in first on buzzer (87/226)
5/5 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $24,200)
2/4 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,900
QF win chances: 34.82%
SF advancement chances: 60.62%
Final advancement chances: 22.19%
Win chances: 2.92%
2nd chances: 9.68%
3rd chances: 9.59%

Andy’s Thoughts: Emma will very much prove that she is deserving of a space in this tournament, battling very strongly in this match. If she makes it through the quarterfinals, I really like her chances of making the Final.

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: The match of the week here as all 3 players battle closely and fiercely. Unfortunately, Eric gets an unlucky Final Jeopardy! for him, decided to go aggressively to play for first, and ends up going home. Josh wins and Emma takes second to both advance.


Friday, November 8, 2019:
Ryan Fenster
SeaTac, Washington
Ryan Fenster on Jeopardy!

178 correct, 50 incorrect
16/19 on rebound attempts (on 38 rebound opportunities)
37.45% in first on buzzer (188/502)
7/12 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,000)
8/9 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $13,289
QF win chances: 15.24%
SF advancement chances: 40.97%
Final advancement chances: 5.51%
Win chances: 0.12%
2nd chances: 1.65%
3rd chances: 3.73%

Andy’s Thoughts: Ryan’s propensity to give incorrect responses (and be bailed out by great escapes) are not as likely to happen here, especially against ToC-level opposition.

Steven Grade
Atlanta, Georgia
Steven Grade on Jeopardy!

149 correct, 12 incorrect
4/5 on rebound attempts (on 14 rebound opportunities)
42.01% in first on buzzer (142/338)
5/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,000)
4/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $17,967
QF win chances: 37.99%
SF advancement chances: 60.97%
Final advancement chances: 15.31%
Win chances: 0.80%
2nd chances: 6.59%
3rd chances: 7.91%

Andy’s Thoughts: In a tournament where one’s advancement chances are much easier when you finish first or second, it’ll be much easier for Steven after being paired with Ryan. I like Steven’s chances of getting to the semifinals.

Francois Barcomb
New Paltz, New York
Francois Barcomb on Jeopardy!

96 correct, 10 incorrect
4/5 on rebound attempts (on 16 rebound opportunities)
39.56% in first on buzzer (89/225)
4/7 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: -$3,000)
3/4 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $21,600
QF win chances: 46.77%
SF advancement chances: 76.91%
Final advancement chances: 22.02%
Win chances: 1.37%
2nd chances: 11.32%
3rd chances: 9.32%

Andy’s Thoughts: Francois played very well in his Teachers Tournament, and this draw will help him get through the quarterfinals. He may need another favorable semifinal draw to make the finals, though.

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: Ryan gives too many incorrect responses and it comes back to bite him. Francois edges out Steven for the win, but Steven scores enough for a wild card.

Andy’s Predicted Finalists: James Holzhauer, Josh Hill, Emma Boettcher.

Andy’s Predicted Winner: James Holzhauer.

Here you’ll find Matt Carberry’s analysis, updated weekly, of the media markets that this season’s Jeopardy! contestants represent!

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7 Comments on "2019 Tournament of Champions – Predictions"

  1. Robert Hyman | November 3, 2019 at 2:50 pm |

    Ok. James will conquer all.

  2. Matthew Yothers | November 4, 2019 at 9:52 am |

    I’m just wondering, how did you come up with those predictions, Andy?

  3. My predictions:
    Monday: Anneke
    Tuesday: Dhruv
    Wednesday: James
    Thursday: Josh
    Friday: Francios

    Wild Cards:
    Kyle or Lindsey or Ryan

    This is what I think will happen, not exactly what I want to happen.

  4. Christopher Denault | November 4, 2019 at 7:22 pm |

    Andy’s predictions are always a fun read!

  5. I think Emma or Francois will beat James in the semis or finals. I will root for Rachel to do well and win. I really wish Jason the Math teacher was in this TOC, probably the best challenge for James.

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