Warning: There may be spoilers in the post below at any point after 8:00 PM Eastern.
Tonight’s the night for Match #4 of the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time! Here’s tonight’s game recap (for Tuesday, January 14, 2020):
|Brad Rutter, currently on 0 wins
|Ken Jennings, currently on 2 wins
|James Holzhauer, currently on 1 win
This is currently a placeholder post which will be updated with Final Jeopardy! information and a game recap once it is known.
Preview: Ken is one win away from taking this tournament going into this absolutely crucial Game #4. Ken is running slightly better than James right now, and Brad may have some confidence after finally getting a pair of Daily Doubles at the end of Game #3. This game will definitely come down to the Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy; the player who does the best on those will likely have the upper hand. With Ken on 2 wins, you might see James and Brad gang up (one player possibly laying off the buzzer if the other has a better chance of prolonging the tournament).
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Part 1, Final Jeopardy! category: IT’S ALL GREECE TO ME
Part 1, Final Jeopardy! clue: This area of Greece, home to Pan, is synonymous with a rural paradise; it’s a setting for Virgil’s shepherd poems the “Eclogues”
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Part 1, Final Jeopardy! correct response: What is Arcadia
Part 2, Final Jeopardy! category: SHAKESPEARE’S TRAGEDIES
Part 2, Final Jeopardy! clue: He has 272 speeches, the most of any non-title character in a Shakespeare tragedy
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Part 2, Final Jeopardy! correct response: Who is Iago?
Since Alex Trebek’s diagnosis of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, many community members have been raising money. The Jeopardy! Fan Online Store is as well! All proceeds from any “Keep The Faith And We’ll Win” shirt sold will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. To date, over $440 has been raised.)
Game 1 results:
Brad 2,000 – 2,000 = 0 (What is Bucolia?)
James 22,800 + 11,381 = 34,181
Ken 32,800 + 32,800 = 65,600
Game 2 results:
Brad 1,400 – 0 = 1,400 (You’re the best, Alex!)
Ken 23,000 + 0 = 23,000 + 65,600 = 88,600 (Win #3)
James 44,000 – 44,000 = 0 + 34,181 = 34,181 (Who is Horatio?)
Daily Double locations:
1) THE GOOD DOCTOR 1000 (10th pick)
Ken 3800 +3800 (James 2200 Brad -400)
2) BRITISH STUFF 2000 (7th pick)
Brad 4800 -4800 (Ken 14000 James 9600)
3) THE ARTS 1600 (11th pick)
Ken 15200 +15200 (James 13200 Brad 0)
4) MATH TO ROMAN NUMERALS TO INITIALS TO NAMES 800 (3rd pick)
Ken 1000 -1000 (James 800 Brad 0)
5) VICE PRESIDENTS 2000 (5th pick)
Ken 8800 +5000 (James 9800 Brad 1000)
6) SURPRISE ME, TREBEK! 1600 (19th pick)
James 20200 +20200 (Ken 19800 Brad 1000)
Overall Daily Double Efficiency for this match: 157
Game 1, J! round: None!
Game 1, DJ! round: None!
Game 2, J! round: None!
Game 2, DJ! round: None!
Total Points Left On Board: 0
Ken 37,400 Coryat, 44 correct, 3 incorrect, 35.96% in first on buzzer, 2/2 on rebound attempts (on 2 rebound opportunities)
James 48,200 Coryat, 53 correct, 1 incorrect, 45.61% in first on buzzer, 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Brad 8,200 Coryat, 14 correct, 2 incorrect, 12.28% in first on buzzer, 1/1 on rebound attempts (on 3 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: 93,800
Lach Trash: 9,400(on 7 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): 4,800
Cumulative Tournament Stats:
Ken 146,000 Coryat, 179 correct, 13 incorrect, 37.50% in first on buzzer, 11/13 on rebound attempts (on 20 rebound opportunities)
James 141,800 Coryat, 188 correct, 14 incorrect, 41.45% in first on buzzer, 6/7 on rebound attempts (on 18 rebound opportunities)
Brad 61,400 Coryat, 81 correct, 14 incorrect, 17.11% in first on buzzer, 7/7 on rebound attempts (on 22 rebound opportunities)
Combined Coryat Score: 349,200
Lach Trash: 34,200(on 24 Triple Stumpers)
Coryat lost to incorrect responses (less double-correct responses): 48,600
James Holzhauer, stats to date:
1,501 correct, 61 incorrect
44/48 on rebound attempts (on 94 rebound opportunities)
54.14% in first on buzzer (1379/2547)
83/90 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $716,588)
41/45 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $27,818
Ken Jennings, stats to date:
3,118 correct, 309 incorrect
118/146 on rebound attempts
57.14% in first on buzzer (3009/5265)
150/181 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $505,999)
60/91 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $25,864
Brad Rutter, stats to date:
777 correct, 94 incorrect
45/48 on rebound attempts
36.85% in first on buzzer (734/1992)
46/58 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $56,300)
18/32 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $16,886
- Ken’s ability to dominate in his original play style in 2004 combined with his ability to best adapt to match the modern play style of James Holzhauer makes him very deserving of the title of Greatest of All Time. Congratulations to Ken on a well-deserved victory.
- Kudos for Brad for staying out of the way in Game 2 to give James a chance to come back.
- Kudos to James for his Game 2 comeback to make Final Jeopardy! matter.
- Daily Double stats for the tournament: Ken 7/8 (+51,600), James 5/6 (+39,600), Brad 4/10 (-14,800).
- Credit to Pam Mueller for digging up this interesting fact: Iago is a variant name of James.
Contestant photo credit: abc.com
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I believe there’s an extra digit it Ken’s stats to date.
I can’t believe what I just saw in final.
Ken is the absolute goat amazing his performance I believe he is now the biggest money winner in game show history again.
According to the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame page, before this tournament Ken’s all-time winnings were $3,370,700. Brad had won $4,688,436 before this tournament, so eve with Ken’s million dollar prize, Brad is still #1.
Well, I’m not surprised Brad was so happy at the end. He got 250.000 w/o winning a single game or match, was not in one of the FJ!s and got the money basically for showing up. I was very impressed with Ken though, basically beating James withy his strategy he displayed during the “regular ” games. I wonder if we will have another “James-like” player for the next ToC.
Did Ken bet $0 in FJ to prolong the tournament?
No, he didn’t; James was leading because of his massive Game 2 score. James’ chances of victory hinged upon whether or not James was correct in Final Jeopardy!, no matter what Ken did or wagered.
James had to bet everything he had in the second Final to stay in the game and possibly win a second match. Even if Ken bet it all on the second final, his two-game total would still be about 10k less than James’ two-game total. It clearly seemed to be pointing to a victory for James, and Ken’s one hope was if the final was just tough enough that James may not have the answer. Ken knew James would bet it all so whether he bet all, or nothing, he would not overcome James if James had a correct response. Shakespeare is one of the favorites for Final Jeopardy in big tournaments, and it can prove to be either a king-maker or a dream-breaker, and it was a little bit of both last night. Yes, Ken got a million and moved closer to Brad (I think they are now both between $ 4.5 and $ 5 million in total earnings). James would have passed Ken if he had won the million, but he is now around $3 million in total earnings. Together, the three of them have won over $ 10 million over about 20 years, and they have truly guided Jeopardy! into the new millennium and the 21st century with their style of play and their style, period.
This Tournament should be archived as a true Master-Class in how to play this game! Congratulations to all involved!
could not have said it any better. it came down to whether james knew Shakespeare.
And during the last commercial break, after the Final subject has been revealed, contestants can be given scratch paper to figure out what they need to wager for Final. Their respective scores are displayed on the other side of the stage, so they can see what the other players have, and then figure what the other players might wager, and what they would need to secure a victory. I think this was where Ken knew that he could not overtake James in total points, if they both had the correct answer, so then he opts for the next stage, to wager nothing so that he loses nothing if he is wrong. James, similarly knew that he might be able to win a second match and keep things going, and his nature is to “go big or go home” anyway, so he was naturally going to bet it all.
And, yeah, they all got at least a quarter of a million for about two days’ worth of taping work, so not bad work for Brad. And, although he can no longer claim that he has never been beaten by a human being (having lost only to IBM’s Watson computer, but he did finish third, behind Ken in that contest), he still can claim to be the biggest earner in game show history, and if he did lose, he at least lost to the “Greatest” player in the show’s history.
Good work to everyone involved!
Sad it had to end so soon. Heartbreaking that James missed, but he is still GOAT in my heart. If indeed Alex is correct and this was Ken’s last tournament, he needs to be made host when Alex leaves.
Ken as host? Ouch. I think he’d make a terrible host. A good player does not mean that player would also make a good host.
James must not of understood that final jeopardy
Or maybe he just didn’t know it.
I guessed Falstaff…(That whole A&Q seems to have been on a show from the distant past, or something very similar…)
it’s “have” not “of”.
Prior to the GOAT tournament, I was very confident that James would dominate. He did not. I felt that Ken and James had parity, but Ken won the tournament with the good fortune of finding significantly more DDs than James. Nonetheless, Ken is most deserving of the GOAT title. Congratulations to Ken, James, and Brad for their talent, spirit, and wit! I really enjoyed this tournament.
Ken saw 8 DDs and James 6, which isn’t that huge a difference (James was up 5-4 in this respect before Ken hit 4 and James 1 tonight). Interestingly, Brad had 10 despite making far fewer selections than the other players.
James saw 6 DDs but they were not evenly distributed. 4 of them he found in his match 2 victory day. Tonight he only saw one despite dominating in both games (and really 3 out of 4 rounds – Ken and James were neck and neck in game 1 single jeopardy but it was all James from then out) and it took him forever to find the one DD tonight, hunting all over the board for it.
James saw more DDs than Ken in matches 2 and 3 (3-1 and 2-1), Ken saw more in 1 and 4 (2-0 and 4-1). That the final DD took so long to be found was what allowed James to make a large enough wager that he was able to have the virtual lead going into the 2nd final.
I don’t think he was hunting all over the board for the DD. I think he was trying to build up his cash to have a chance to win before THEN trying to find the DD. The risk was that Ken would find it in the meantime, but it’s a risk he had to take – and he got that answer correct.
As I have said before, Daily Doubles add a huge luck factor: who finds them? Are they found early or late? And of course, since the player only knows the category of the answer before he bets, will he know the answer? According to Andy’s stats, James and Ken knew about as much stuff as the other. With all this said, Ken was a very, very deserving winner. Ken used this opportunity to once-and-for-all cement his legacy as Jeopardy’s GOAT! Congratulations to Ken Jennings: The greatest Jeopardy player ever. Brad and James should deservedly feel honored to be just a little behind Ken. No shame there!
Congratulations to Ken, remarkable performance, most definitely greatest of all time. Hopefully we have seen the last of James. I was overjoyed when I knew Iago and he didn’t!
Rude. Most everyone wants to see more of James. Crawl back under your rock.
I’m happy Ken won too. He’s confident without being cocky, like James. As for being rude, I didn’t like James’ remark regarding Brad’s zero score. Talk about kicking a man when he’s down.
I don’t recall the comment you’re referring to, but I feel like everything in this tournament was in good spirits.
When resetting the scores for Game 2, James pointed out that Brad’s Game 1 score (0 points) was still up.
I don’t agree at all with you on this, John. James has rubbed quite a few of us in the J! alum community the wrong way with his demeaning smack talk and tone-deaf comments. While there’s no disputing his excellence at the game, there have been more than a few instances in the past with James and other contestants off-camera that you’re not aware of, along with instances he’s had with others well before he ever appeared on J!.
As you’ve already seen here, John, I don’t think that it’s as unanimous as you think it is.
@Andy I agree — although I feel like it’s a generational or gambler/academic divide. People have hated James prior to this because he made the game “no fun” by having blow out scores. We saw that, when they started jumping around the board too, and the old guard got angry at that too!
I think this tournament also has 2 different types of watchers — those on twitter and those same old guards. If you’ve been on Twitter the past few weeks, you’d know all of these jabs are totally in jest and that they’re all super friendly with each other.
I feel like James’, and Ken and Brad’s reactions after it all prove the latter. I think it really is a difference between how people in 2 different worlds react to things.
SO mean. Ken had a remarkable performance, but James was AS remarkable in that he changed the game and provided a much greater challenge to Ken to be his best which Brad was not able to do in this performance.
They’re all better sports than your comment.
I agree with you 100% Elizabeth. But please let me elaborate to say that I don’t agree with this so-called “old guard” perspective at all. I think what James has accomplised this past year is literally phenomenal, and elite players like Buzzy Cohen, Brad Rutter, and Ken Jennings himself are all on public record saying exactly this. This “old guard” perspective hating on James comes across as stuffy and elitist. Look at it this way: by bringing something both novel and remarkable to Jeopardy!, James has singlehandedly managed to draw a huge number of new viewers to your favorite game show. And if at least a decent portion of that new viewership stays (despite the fact that daily gameplay has regressed to the previous mean given the overwhelming majority of contestants lack of combination of the elite trivia knowledge and aggressively risky betting instincts James brought) that translates to increased ratings and revenue. This new reality has a good chance of increasing the number of entertaining tournaments in the near future, and inspiring a next generation of people training to become the next Jeopardy! elite. Don’t be so emotionally short sighted.
With regard to the comment James made on Brad’s 0 score, I too found it a bit cringey at the time. But not because I thought James was actually attempting to callously kick Brad when he was down, but because of how some people might perceive it who were not completely tuned in to the atmosphere of fun banter they each were having at the others expense both in Jeopardy! GOAT advertising on TV, and on social media. I think James was simply trying to be funny and to use humor to manage the obvious psychological stress he was feeling about being so far behind Ken again with his performance in the next game meaning the entire competition for him. I agree it fell a bit flat, but so do a lot of attempts at humor by most people without great comedic skills and timing. James has always come across to me as a bit socially awkward like an aspie or a very high-functioning savant, and these folks notoriously have a slightly off sense of humor.
But with all that said, I congratulate Ken Jennings on the victory last night. He is the Jeopardy! GOAT hands down. He’s brilliant, enormously talented, and an all around wonderful guy. He deserved the title and winnings, and I’m very happy for him. But based on his own public statements, Ken would be among the first to admit that if he had not adopted James aggressive all-in betting strategies, his chances of winning the tournament against James who also clearly excels in the trivia competition were poor. Now this folks is praise for your elite competition.
Finally I’ll end by saying I wish James had gotten last night’s FJ question right. He would have won the match and taken the exciting tournament to at least one more night. I’m sad and disappointed he missed it because that’s one less night of drama watching super-elite players battle for the title. It ended too quickly for me.
Jeff, I actually was replying to Richard’s comment that he was overjoyed when James didn’t remember Iago. One unfortunate aspect of this blog is that the comment to one person often is way down from what it is responding to. I didn’t find James mean at all. I don’t necessarily think he has “a filter,” but he is – BY FAR – my favorite player and will always be MY GOAT for the way he made the game much more exciting IMHO. Just look at the games they’re showing now – mostly very easy clues and a bit of a letdown from watching the masters play!
Jeff, I definitely think James is both a polymath and probably on the spectrum as many brilliant people are. What I loved about him in addition to all he knows is his absolute honesty (“I never really studied in school but cut classes to play poker, etc”) and all the causes that he has already given so much money to – libraries (because they meant so much to him personally) and the homeless teens in Vegas. I also liked the way he made many of his wagers based on his relationships (daughter’s birthday, etc.) which showed he was not the heartless person some made him out to be. However, that class cutting probably meant he didn’t read all of Othello when he was in high school and maybe reading the Cliff notes he didn’t realize how much Iago never really shut up in that play!
My hat’s off to all of them to be able to answer that many trivia questions about so many diverse categories at lightning speed. If anyone saw James on The Chase 5 years ago, they would know he was a force to be reckoned with. He interviewed for Jeopardy numerous times – 11 I think – and they told him he did not “interview well.” How ironic that he proved to be the person that really made the GOAT championship possible. There have been others who could have been the third player, but I don’t think anyone wanted to risk their reputations to come up against Ken and Brad. James was willing to put himself out there and he will always be the hero to me for actually making this competition possible that so many of us have enjoyed. Just my opinion.
I apologize for my laziness in posting. I wanted to reply to you because I wanted to second your sentiment on taking the kind of pleasure Richard did not just of Ken winning but of James losing. That came across as far more crass and mean than the playful trash talking James, Ken, and Brad have which was clearly meant in jest. But I also wanted to address the “old school” sentimentality expressed above by others in the “Richard” thread that was very down overall on the Jeopardy! James phenomenon as well as some commenters not liking his teasing of Brad between games 1 and 2. I instead should’ve taken the time to reply directly to those posts, so I’m sorry for the confusion. You and I are clearly on the same page regarding James.
Go Ken! So happy he won.
Confused as to why 2nd and 3rd get the same prize?
They established the prize structure knowing there was a very reasonable chance that the two non-winners would have won the same number of matches. Having no tiebreakers makes it clear that the players should wager only with the idea of winning each individual match.
Could someone please recap the final wagers in the final game? Like what did Ken need to wager to ensure an overall win? I’m not good a final wager strategy in tournaments. Thank you.
So James controlled his own destiny if he was right he would of won knowing this ken bet 0 to force James to get it right which he did not and Ken won.
Ken’s win hinged on James so it honestly didn’t matter what he wagered. His $0 wager was justifiable since James was pretty much guaranteed to go all in. If James was right, it wouldn’t have mattered if Ken went all in.
“…was pretty much guaranteed to go all in.” Mathematically, not quite. Ken’s highest possible score going into FJ was 2×23,000+65,600=111,600. To get to 111,601, James needed to bet at least 33,420. But there really wasn’t any downside to wagering more than that, and knowing James’s tendencies, I think it surprised no one that he went all in.
That was sweet when Ken “out-Jamesed” James with that 1st FJ! wager. You’re right Andy…Ken took his already considerable Jeopardy! skills and adapted them to compete with James, especially with the wagering. I don’t think there can be any credible doubt he’s the G.O.A.T.!
yeahhh given that ken doenst play like james , he definitely had to adjust
I think Brad wanted to win so bad but just knew after the first few matches that he was simply no match on the buzzer to Ken and James.
Brad is standing in Ken’s slot when Ken goes to get his trophy.
My heart goes out to brad. Partway through the first game I started focusing on him. He buzzed in constantly, and simply could not win the buzzer battle, almost ever. Must have been a very frustrating and humbling experience for him. On the other hand, he’s now 250k richer, so that probably eases the pain a bit.
yeahhh unfortunately, when it’s an elite game like this….it will come down to mechanics of the game like the buzzer
Brad had the good fortune of finding the most DDs, yet was incorrect on 6 of 10, I believe. Therefore, being slow on the buzzer was not the only reason that Brad was not more competitive. I wish to say here that Brad is a classy man, and showed great sportsmanship. Andy had a keen insight that Brad deserved kudos for not ringing in, in the ladder parts of match #4; so as to give James the opportunity to perhaps gain enough points and find the second DD–which he did. I have great respect for all three of these men.
James’s -44000 swing in game 2 FJ is surely the biggest wager ever by a player who got it wrong (and the fourth largest wager overall, capped by his +60013 in the one-day record game). Can anyone find stats on the previous high freefall?
He had to do it – he had no choice.
Of course–the point isn’t “why would he risk so much in a non-wheelhouse category?”, but “chalk this down as one more record he holds now–the real question is by how big of a margin does he hold it?”
First, congrats to Ken!
Also, I LOVE his $0 bet in FJ in the second round of today’s game! Given a Shakespeare category, the 4 scenarios (Ken and James get it right, Ken or James get it right, but not both, and neither Ken or James get it right), his 2-1 lead, and how he has been playing verses both Brad and James in the middle of the game, I think he can take the chance of a Ken right/James wrong and both wrong risk, especially with Ken’s history of FJ.
If Ken views James’ history of betting from second, he’d see that James is likely to bet 0 as well, hoping Ken bets to cover and go for the win and misses. Ken’s bet, in my opinion, have him the best chance to win, despite putting the fate of the game in James’ hands.
There are essentially 8 scenarios, and in this case, 6 go for Ken to win and 2 for James. So, while he gives up control to win, he knows he has slack and can lose the match, and James does not.
Obviously this scenario is so unlikely to ever happen again, given that this is the first type of this tournament, but I’d love for it to be called the Holtzhauer dilemma. To bet, or not to bet, hoping your opponent will bet to cover in a 2 game match, where (s)he has room to lose the match, but you do not.
Ken couldn’t bet to cover. James had a big enough lead that he was the one betting to cover. So it didn’t matter what Ken wagered.
Agh you’re right I used a wrong score for Ken (29 not 23 bad vision late at night). 29k would’ve made for the interesting dilemma. And in that case, if I’m Ken, I go for the tie — easy questions are cadence based, and tiebreaker qs are notoriously easy. And ibid.
I love Jeopardy! and I was very impressed with Ken’s performance in this tournament. But this tournament did NOT determine the GOAT. Based on mathematics, the Jeopardy format is flawed when you have two players, James and Ken, who are this elite and play at such an incredibly high level. Given how many answers (I know, questions) they get right, it is a very high probability that whoever gets luckier with finding the Daily Doubles (and perhaps the timing of finding DDs) is most likely to win that game/match. In short, the winner of each game/match disproportionately comes down to the luck and randomness of finding the DDs. Based on their full body of work, James has a slight edge over Ken as the GOAT (higher Coryat and significantly better performance (i.e., % correct) on Final Jeopardy. A much better test to determine the GOAT would be to have a head to head match between James and Ken with no Daily Doubles.
Then it wouldn’t be Jeopardy! The trophy is for GOAT at Jeopardy! Not best Coryat or Trivia Bowl. Jeopardy has never been a perfectly subjective test of best trivia knowledge so would everyone stop trying to make Jeopardy! something it is not or ever has been.
No Daily Doubles? If there are no Daily Doubles then it’s not Jeopardy, now is it?
No it’s not.Why is this so hard for some people? I guess you could plop them both down in front of a camera with a bunch of written tests and a proctor and have them go at it. Still not Jeopardy!
Throw in some essay questions for Ken and James (with blue books to write in) and it would be like my finals in college. That is most definitely not Jeopardy!
I can’t believe that nobody is talking about Ken’s failing to go “all in” on his DD where he left $3800 on the table. At the time, he even remarked, something to the effect that it might be time to consider a smaller wager (considering his huge lead). I sort of agreed with that strategy, but also had an uneasy feeling, thinking that if James got the other DD late, he would certainly double up, and could possibly shut Ken out, assuming they both would bet everything, AND get FJ correct. Well, close, but no cigar. Had Ken bet a true DD, he would have had enough to shut James out, and since he got FJ correct anyway, it is all a moot point, but he could have gone into FJ with a lock. Ironic in that it was the only DD that was not bet as a true DD and it almost cost him the game.
Having said all of that, I still do not like the two game format in these tournaments; it changes the strategy too much. Maybe make tournaments a hybrid of this one; two games in one day for a set number of days. First player to win a specific number of games is the winner.
If Ken had gone all-in there and all the other clue outcomes were unchanged, James still would have been in the driver’s seat for this particular final; his double-up would have been enough to stay about 3000 points clear of the best Ken could possibly do if he also doubled up.
I stand corrected; I credited him with the $3800 that he DIDN’T bet twice, and then of course had him betting THAT amount in FJ; totally blew that one- my bad.
On the other hand, I was surprised at the relatively small amount that James bet in FJ in Game 1; not too sure of his level of confidence in the category maybe?
You’re preaching to the choir with me, Milton. To me, this tournament proved that Ken and James clearly stand alone as the two greatest players ever. Kudos to Ken for a well deserved win. But over the course of the tournament James had 8 more correct answers and only one more incorrect answer. To me, they are basically even. We have all been wondering how james and ken would stack up, and we got our answer.
You bet we got our answer. The winner was the first to 3 wins…Ken got there in 4. He is clearly the greatest at Jeopardy!….kinda what they were there to determine.. Not who has the highest iq, or who knows the most stuff, or who got the best grades in school, or who has the nicer car…..but who is the greatest at a very specific thing…the game of Jeopardy! What am I missing?
The biggest bomb to me was Alex saying this would be the last time these three great champions would play in a Jeopardy! game. Alex must know there will no more tournaments bringing back previous champions, at least after their initial TOC. And more than anyone, he knows his own destiny as host and quite possibly the next host, who could very well be one of these three, since they wouldn’t be playing in any future tournament.
A great decisive match 4! Though James lost, his 53 correct answers, 1 incorrect and 48,200 Coryat in themselves were easily the best two-game numbers of the GOAT tournament , albeit losing because of the 2nd FJ, as was the combined 93,800 Coryat topping the 92,800 in match 1.
I took Alex’s comment to mean that it would be the last time HE would be together with those three. But it is hard to say how much they may have talked about during any off-time. During regular play, Alex and the contestants do not interface except during what you see on camera, with the interviews after the first break, and the conversation at the end of the game, but once taping is done, the champ and Alex go change clothes, the other two contestants fill out some paperwork, and everybody resets for the next show. but, with only three contestants, all veterans, and basically hand-picked for this ‘experiment’ I wonder if they might have had some more time to chat a bit with Alex. They have known each other for 15 to 20 years, and so they are like old friends. Plus, I don’t think there would be as much ‘prep’ time, as with regular contestants, to go over the rules, what to watch for on stage, how to hold the buzzer, etc. so there would be a different atmosphere in the green room for this tournament.
So I think Alex’s comment was his own bittersweet farewell, and thank you, to those three, for what they each brought to the game, and how they have each enriched the show through their style of play and their character.
Does anyone know if tonight’s match was filmed over two days? Multiple times during the last FJ, Alex referred to the Game 2 scores as the scores “today”—seeming to imply that the Game 1 scores were attained on a prior day. (Although that might just be Force of habit from all other two-game totals being accumulated over two “days”…)
It appeared that each hour-long match was taped in real-time, just like the daily syndicated half-hours, as no one seemed to change clothes between game 1 and game 2 and because Ken alluded to the challenge of playing 60 minutes of Jeopardy! instead of the standard 30 minutes they have all been used to. They are very aware of ‘date’ references as they are taping, since shows can be taped up to three months ahead of the air date, but certain shows will be set to air on or near holidays or events, like Thanksgiving, Christmas or movie or TV premier dates. I think the continuous 60 minutes of play was the new wrinkle added to give these three a new challenge of endurance. Once you are past regular play and start getting invited back for tournaments, you only have to expect to play 4 games at the most, usually 1 on the first day of taping, and up to 3 on the second day, so this is not too different from what a new champ might face starting out, so these guys could especially get used to another round of 4 30-minute shows, so extending them to 4 60-minute games (or more) might start to prove exhausting. Given that format, I don’t think they would have taped more than 3 matches in a day, so the taping was probably over about 2 days. I think these were taped in December, after regular taping stopped for the holidays, and probably with a select audience of friends and family of the 3 contestants to maintain some secrecy about the outcome.
That was great entertainment! Ken was all out to win, and as Alex noted, his habit of intensely thinking about his DD response and sounding like it was a guess and getting it right over and over just made things more dramatic.
I thought Ken had it salted away, but James was poised to pull himself out of a 30k hole. He has been so good at FJ! (what is he, like 95%?) that a Shakespeare question didn’t seem like too tough an obstacle. When he didn’t answer Iago I almost fell out of my chair. I thought for sure we were looking at a 5th match. Like I said, amazing entertainment.
I know Alex will try to finish out the season, but I’m glad he was able to host such an event before he calls it quits. It’s a great note to go out on (even if it’s not his last game.) The accolades the three guys gave him during the matches (including the great one at the end there by Brad) were touching and well deserved. Great job all around.
Not sure whether James told Alex during Tuesday’s match if he wanted to or will work in the media in the future, but would anybody be surprised if he shows up on ESPN in some capacity on a gambling show? The nightly Daily Wager features personalities based in Las Vegas (James’ home) and ESPN has been ratcheting up its coverage of gambling since restrictions on it in this country were lifted by the Supreme Court. He’s also gained a fair amount of publicity on several of ESPN’s non-gambling shows, and the ESPN app is always adding new content.
From what I have heard James has fielded numerous offers to do sports gambling shows and has turned them all down. So far, anyway. I would imagine that a successful sports bettor doesn’t bet every day and doesn’t always bet that day’s big game. I’m guessing James doesn’t feel like wasting time giving out picks that he wouldn’t really bet big himself and also have people lose cash on his say so. That said, he will probably end up on TV in some capacity. Maybe teaching money management (something sadly ignored by most sports bettors.)
ESPN was formerly owned by ABC (which broadcasts Jeopardy! in most markets) until they were both acquired by Disney. Accepting a job from ESPN would presumably have precluded him from appearing in the GOAT games and any future Jeopardy! tournaments. The fact that Alex referenced the contestants not appearing again and James hinting he might do something in the media during the interview may indicate that he intends to consider offers made in the future. Now that the shows have aired those offers and negotiations can take place without affecting the perception of the shows integrity.
Despite the GOAT shows airing on ABC, Jeopardy! Is owned by Sony. As far as I can tell, after his shows aired, there was nothing stopping James from appearing on ESPN or FS1 or some online platform if he so chose. Jennings has appeared on “Best Trivia Show Ever” on GSN which is also owned by Sony, with no apparent conflict. (Working for Sony would disqualify you as a regular contestant, but this is obviously a special case.)
My prediction, following up my previous post, is Alex will announce his retirement before the end of the season and Ken will be the new host. If he’s interested, I’’d say the job is his. He’s universally loved and now respected more than ever.
Though Alex definitively declared that Ken, James and Brad had played their last Jeopardy! game, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any super tournaments going forward but anyone participating in one prior to GOAT likely won’t be invited, so Emma could be invited back or qualifiers like Jason Z, who hasn’t even been to a regular TOC yet.
We shall see!
To my great surprise, Ken is not universally loved. He is on these pages, but not on some of the social media and newspaper sites reporting on the GOAT tournament. I was shocked at the amount of venom directed his way and the attacks on his personality.
I’m not surprised….when someone’s the best there ever was at anything the knives always come out..it never fails…Nicklaus, Woods, Brady, etc.
Jealousy, pure and simple.
I seriously doubt we’ve seen the last of James. He’s got too much left in the tank plus he’s really popular. It will be a long time but I really think he’ll be back eventually.
They’ve created so many different tournament formats (Ultimate ToC, Million Dollar Masters, Battle of the Decades, and last years team tournament) that there is no doubt we’ll have some future event that will bring back James and a bunch of the usual suspects. These tournaments are popular, and Jeopardy! fans clearly enjoys seeing some of their favorite champions again.
What a great Tournament! Amazing game 2! As Alex cautioned, “it ain’t over til it’s over” and boy, did that Final ever prove him right. Shakespeare has often been a staple for Final in tournaments and can be either a king-maker or a dream-breaker and this was a little bit of both. Again, it’s not really if you know the answer, but rather how quickly can you recall it, and I could not come up with the answer, but when Alex confirmed it, you tend to say, “oh, yeah, that.” Would be intrigued to know if Brad actually knew the answer. They provide the contestants with scratch paper and a marker in case the telestrator pens ever quit working during Final, so that contestants could still write down an answer; kinda wish the producers could tell the contestants, especially in big events, to still write down a guess if they are going to write another message for their ‘answer’.
Also loved how long Ken and Brad hugged at the end of the game. Those two have really been through a lot together. I think they have probably faced each other in various tournament plays about 5 or 6 times, so they must have developed some kind of friendship over the years. Plus, they are, basically, the 21st century faces of Jeopardy! contestants, and the style of play now can in part be attributed to them. Nice, too, to see Ken start to adapt James’ “all-in” style of wagering, even if he seemed uncomfortable at times, or unsure if it was the right thing to do without hearing the clue. And good to see James loosen up a bit as this tournament progressed.
Still would have liked to see Brad win a game, and maybe a match, but he is still a big part of the games’s history, even if it may seem like he might be done with tournament play after this. Best of luck to all three of them in whatever new endeavors they find from this experience. It has been fun to watch you all play!
And, another thing to consider. Last year, at this same time, James may have just been getting his phone call to go to LA and tape an episode of the show! I think his shows were taped last March and April. What a whirlwind year it has been for him! Amazing cash windfall and instant celebrity status. And an amazing shot in the arm for the show, too.
Harry Friedman, who is leaving as EP at the end of this season, is responsible for both Ken and James’ success, because Harry lifted the 5-game cap on winners that had been in place, even from the old version with Art Fleming. Brad played his first games under the old system, so he only won about $ 50,000 during his initial 5-day run and won all the rest in Tournaments, including one big payout of $ 2 million that really boosted him ahead of the others.
So we have had most of this century to watch Brad and Ken through the years. Best of luck to all three of them in whatever new adventures await each of them.
During the 2nd half of the final game, Ken got the first daily double. Surprisingly, Ken did not select clues that could have gotten him the second daily double. Why did Ken allow James to take the second daily double?
James ended up taking the daily double, doubled his score and then had a chance of winning the game! Ken should have looked to pick up the daily double and then put a modest wager on it.
I was thinking about Andy’s “kudos to Brad for staying out of the way” thought. He was clearly aware that his finding a DD in match 3, game 2 was beneficial to Ken because it limited James’s ability to accumulate enough points to overcome Ken’s large lead from game 1 (made the “you’re welcome” aside to Ken after finding it). It’s an interesting quirk of the format that a player in Brad’s position of having no chance in the match because of the size of his deficit is incentivized get involved or get out of the way in order to benefit the player who hasn’t already won 2 matches in order to extend the contest. My initial thought was that this was a flaw because it creates a situation where all the contestants might not be fully competing, but considering the ratings that ABC was garnering I suspect that they would consider it a feature that a contestant might attempt to extend the competition by helping a particular opponent.
I think that Andy was sharp to discern this; and is probably correct. It would be equivalent to folding in poker with a good hand, to help out someone else at the table who really needed a win. All three of these players have class to match their talents. I wish them, all the best in their futures!
Going into the tournament, James had been dominant, doing things we had never seen before. Although a very good player (such as Emma) might occasionally be able to beat him in a single game if things broke right, I thought it improbable that anyone would defeat him in an extended competition format. But Ken responded to the challenge, raising the level of his game and adopting a more aggressive betting strategy. It took his very best to overcome James, and he was up to the task. Most impressive!
Despite his past successes, this was not a good tournament for Brad. He only buzzed in first 17.11% of the time. Even so, he drew more DDs than Ken or James, giving him an opportunity to build some points. But he only got 4 of 10 correct. He also was only 3/7 in FJ.
In the end, a remarkable and memorable clash of the titans. It’s great that Alex was able to host it, given his medical difficulties.
when will the statistics page be updated?
One more thing: Who remembers Adam Levin and Nate Scheffey??? For those who may not remember, Adam and Nate played against James during his run. Either could have prevailed, but James was fortunate enough to escape with a timely find of a DD, and the correct response. It makes me wonder how they–and others who may have been close to topping Ken and Brad–may feel. It’s sad that great players only get obscurity for having the misfortune of meeting one of the GOATS when they were picked to appear on the show. WOULDN’T IT BE GOOD IF NATE, ADAM, AND 13 OTHERS COULD HAVE A TOURNAMENT? (credit here for Andy for maintaining the recap archive, which helped me to remember Adam and Nate)
I am trying to come up with the rationale for James’ bet of 11,381 (just under half his total) for Match 4, Game 1. He’s trailing in the match and the game. He has to be way above 50% to get the question right (even if doesn’t love the It’s all Greece to Me category). He doesn’t need to worry about finishing 3rd rather than 2nd (payouts are the same for both). Doesn’t he need to go all in?
He doesn’t “need” to go all-in, but he knows that Ken likely will. Thus, if Final Jeopardy! is a Triple Stumper, James ends up significantly better off than if everybody’s scores resets to 0.
Also, for what it’s worth, even if James had gone all in, James still would have lost the match, as James would not have had a runaway match. going into Final Jeopardy! in Game 2.
Thanks Andy. I am not sure it’s likely that Ken is going all in (despite his fun in trying to copy James’ all in gestures). Ken could have wagered 15K or 20K and still maintained a lead if James doubled up. You are correct that it wouldn’t have mattered in the end (as James missed FJ in Match 4, Game 2), but the point remains that it’s a peculiar bet size for the situation (especially in light of James history of making big bets). James got out-Jamesed by Ken, no?
I suppose that James may have been confident about his ability to make up ground in Game 2, which he did (but based on the other 3 matches, that wasn’t a given).
I’d rather see James some day take over as MC of Jeopardy. He is very courteous and polite and has a good sense of humor. He doesnt brag about his winnings like the other guys. And he is young enough to be on the show for a very long time. GO JAMES!!
Can anyone explain why the Jeopardy! website has not updated the stats in their Hall of Fame page regarding amount of winnings of these three greatest players ever? This should have happened weeks ago.
There’s a contact section of their website where you can send them an email. I’d suggest trying that.
Thank you. I actually did that approximately 2 weeks ago, but got no reply. I assume that this tournament is going to count with respect to the contestants’ all time winnings. I notice the Watson tournament did not count even though Ken won $300,000 and Brad won $200,000. I’m not sure why it didn’t.