2019 Tournament of Champions – Semifinals Predictions

Fifteen players are down to nine in the 2019 Tournament of Champions. The Jeopardy! Fan has taken its initial data from before the quarterfinals, combined it with quarterfinal performance, and has come up with the following rankings:

1) James Holzhauer
2) Francois Barcomb
3) Emma Boettcher
4) Dhruv Gaur
5) Steven Grade
6) Lindsey Shultz
7) Gilbert Collins
8) Kyle Jones
9) Rachel Lindgren

500,000 iterations were run of the Tournament of Champions prediction model in order to create the predictions below for the semifinals.

Monday, November 11, 2019:
Emma Boettcher
Chicago, Illinois
Emma Boettcher on Jeopardy!

127 correct, 7 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 13 rebound opportunities)
38.52% in first on buzzer (109/283)
7/7 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $29,200)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,200
Wins SF: 52.465% of the time.
1st: 6.165% of the time.
2nd: 24.667% of the time.
3rd: 21.633% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: After a very strong performance on Thursday, Emma is in a position where she’s a favourite to make the finals (and a probable rematch with James Holzhauer). Beating Dhruv will prove to be a challenge, though.

Dhruv Gaur
Gainesville, Georgia
Dhruv Gaur on Jeopardy!

107 correct, 12 incorrect
6/8 on rebound attempts (on 17 rebound opportunities)
34.04% in first on buzzer (96/282)
7/9 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $16,600)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,560
Wins SF: 38.784% of the time.
1st: 2.485% of the time.
2nd: 17.409% of the time.
3rd: 18.890% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: Dhruv is the first College player to win a quarterfinal since Terry O’Shea in 2014; now, Dhruv gets to compete against one of Terry’s college pub quiz trivia teammates from Princeton. Dhruv has a very good chance of pulling off a second win in this game.

Kyle Jones
Aurora, Colorado
Kyle Jones on Jeopardy!

193 correct, 21 incorrect
11/11 on rebound attempts (on 39 rebound opportunities)
36.22% in first on buzzer (180/497)
11/15 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $9,400)
6/9 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,733
Wins SF: 8.750% of the time.
1st: 0.105% of the time.
2nd: 1.682% of the time.
3rd: 6.963% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: “Kyle isn’t out of it, as Emma and Dhruv have to bet against each other in Final Jeopardy.” That typical quote from Alex might be Kyle’s best chance here of advancing. You never know what could happen in Final Jeopardy!

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: Emma and Dhruv fight tooth and nail, with Emma holding a slight advantage going into Final; Emma converts Final Jeopardy to book the first spot in the finals.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019:
James Holzhauer
Las Vegas, Nevada
James Holzhauer on Jeopardy!

1,220 correct, 37 incorrect
35/38 on rebound attempts (on 70 rebound opportunities)
57.71% in first on buzzer (1108/1920)
73/77 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $655,525)
33/34 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $30,594
Wins SF: 90.242% of the time.
1st: 82.386% of the time.
2nd: 5.711% of the time.
3rd: 2.146% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: James certainly put the field on notice with an incredibly strong quarterfinal performance that was the highest ToC quarterfinal score since Joon Pahk in 2011. (Of course, that held for all of two episodes.) If he plays as well as he did in the quarterfinals, he should have no issue making the final.

Steven Grade
Atlanta, Georgia
Steven Grade on Jeopardy!

169 correct, 15 incorrect
5/6 on rebound attempts (on 19 rebound opportunities)
41.27% in first on buzzer (163/395)
5/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,000)
5/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,714
Wins SF: 7.070% of the time.
1st: 1.201% of the time.
2nd: 2.454% of the time.
3rd: 3.414% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: Steven’s reward for doubling through Final Jeopady (and the top Wild Card score) is a matchup with James in the semifinals. An upset is always possible and Steven, who has averaged ringing in first 23.5 times a game during his Jeopardy! career, might be able to do it through beating James on the buzzer and a well-timed Daily Double.

Rachel Lindgren
Bend, Oregon
Rachel Lindgren on Jeopardy!

117 correct, 16 incorrect
7/11 on rebound attempts (on 28 rebound opportunities)
28.65% in first on buzzer (110/384)
3/6 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $4,400)
3/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $12,143
Wins SF: 2.688% of the time.
1st: 0.142% of the time.
2nd: 0.551% of the time.
3rd: 1.995% of the time.

Andy’s Thoguhts: Rachel’s good fortune likely ends here, as playing against two strong buzzers in James and Steven might see her struggle to get in. We might see shades of Brennan Bushee against Alex Jacob in 2015 (Brennan did not get in first until the 42nd clue of the game).

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: Steven gives James a good run, but James barely makes it a runaway and advances to the finals.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019:
Francois Barcomb
New Paltz, New York
Francois Barcomb on Jeopardy!

121 correct, 10 incorrect
9/10 on rebound attempts (on 24 rebound opportunities)
37.59% in first on buzzer (106/282)
5/9 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $7,500)
4/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $22,400
Wins SF: 68.442% of the time.
1st: 6.677% of the time.
2nd: 38.879% of the time.
3rd: 22.886% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: Francois surprised a lot of people with his quarterfinal performance, which was the 3rd-highest ToC quarterfinal score of all time. If he comes anywhere close to that performance in the semifinals, he should have no issue making he final.

Gilbert Collins
Princeton, New Jersey
Gilbert Collins on Jeopardy!

121 correct, 19 incorrect
3/3 on rebound attempts (on 30 rebound opportunities)
31.43% in first on buzzer (121/385)
7/9 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $6,800)
5/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $11,857
Wins SF: 10.595% of the time.
1st: 0.175% of the time.
2nd: 2.596% of the time.
3rd: 7.824% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: Gilbert has had the least buzzer success of the three players in this match; this could prove to make things difficult against Francois and Lindsey. Gilbert will likely need a favorable Final Jeopardy! in order to advance to the finals.

Lindsey Shultz
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Lindsey Shultz on Jeopardy!

136 correct, 10 incorrect
1/1 on rebound attempts (on 17 rebound opportunities)
38.87% in first on buzzer (131/337)
7/8 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $18,000)
3/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $18,567
Wins SF: 20.963% of the time.
1st: 0.663% of the time.
2nd: 6.052% of the time.
3rd: 14.248% of the time.

Andy’s Thoughts: Out of the frying pan, into the fire? After having to play James in the quarterfinals, Lindsey has now drawn Francois in the semifinals. Unfortunately, only one player can advance out of a semifinal; Lindsey will need to have buzzer mojo in Double Jeopardy! to have a shot.

Andy’s “Roll it once” prediction: Francois is a force again in this game and qualifies for the final; going third, Francois may be able to snipe the champion’s lectern from James in the final.

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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4 Comments on "2019 Tournament of Champions – Semifinals Predictions"

  1. Wow! Somewhat amazed Jeopardy producers actually picked the same SF matchups I envisioned on Friday, with two tweaks of what Robert had proposed.

    Some interesting takeaways from the latest simulation and QF results:
    Francois boosted his stock the most, his chances of making the finals now 68% from 22%, while Emma’s chances rise from 22% to 52%, and Dhruv’s from 23% to 39%. James front runner status for finals only slightly increases from 87 to 90%. His overall chances to win it all actually dip slightly (83.5 to 82.4) mostly because of Francois’ winning finals chance rocketing from 1.4 to 6.7% and Emma’s from 2.9 to 6.2%.

  2. Sarah Webster | November 11, 2019 at 1:59 pm |

    Wasn’t there a Male contestant on this summer or early fall with last name Boettcher?
    If so, any connection to Emma?

  3. Ahead of the finals, I was looking at luck over the games. Given how James’ presence has fundamentally changed the strategy, and there being a floor to winnings I think we’ll see some interesting bets coming up in the daily doubles over the next two games.

    Per data in last 3 games’ posts of overall stats:

    Emma is 149 right/9 wrong in answers and 7/7 in here DD answers. So, she’s gotten 94.53% correct overall, 100% DD correct, and 4.43% of her ring-ins have been a DD.

    James is 1247 right / 39 wrong in answers and 75/79 in DD. So, he’s gotten 96.97% correct overall, 94.94% on DD, and 6.62% of ring ins have been daily doubles.

    Francois is 140 right / 11 wrong in answers 8/10 in DD. So he’s gotten 92.72% correct overall and 80% on DD and 5.3% of ring ins have been on DD.

    I know you need to subtract out rebounds from this, but forgot until now. However, given that 5% of clues are DD, seems they’ve all run hot here — which again is tough to cancel out those where the first clue or the game is a DD, and James pulled the $1k.

    — feels like Emma was relatively unlucky in getting DD, but lucky w getting them right (too small of a sample size)
    — James feels like was on his averages, but might have been “lucky,” getting them, although seems as if he was more in control of areas more likely to have them.
    — Francois was lucky in hitting DD, but unlucky in answering (again smaller sample)

    Prediction: betting skill and DD luck will be a deciding factor.

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