2022 Tournament of Champions – Semi-Finals Preview

We started with 21 and are now down to 9 players in the 30th Tournament of Champions. Over the next three days, these nine players will battle it out for three spots in the finals.

One note about pairings: Much like how the quarterfinals were paired in an orderly fashion, the semifinals were also paired in an orderly fashion. The quarterfinal winners were reseeded 4 through 9, based on their pre-tournament seeding (to give an example, Eric went from 8 to 4, Andrew from 11 to 5, Tyler from 12 to 6, and so on), and then matched up 1–6–9, 2–7–8, and 3–4–5. I very much think that this is the best way of matching up players for a Jeopardy! tournament, as it allows for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th best remaining players to battle it out for a spot in the final in a match that will make for very compelling television.

Wednesday, November 9:

Amy Schneider on Jeopardy!
Amy Schneider
Oakland, California
1352 correct, 83 incorrect
63/75 on rebound attempts (on 163 rebound opportunities)
52.10% in first on buzzer (1242/2384)
66/76 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $210,200)
28/42 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $26,481

55.289% to win the semifinal
19.211% to win the tournament

Maureen O'Neil on Jeopardy!
Maureen O’Neil
Cambridge, Massachusetts
88 correct, 16 incorrect
10/14 on rebound attempts (on 32 rebound opportunities)
25.77% in first on buzzer (84/326)
1/1 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $2,000)
4/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $7,333

14.987% to win the semifinal
0.743% to win the tournament

Tyler Rhode on Jeopardy!
Tyler Rhode
New York, New York
151 correct, 15 incorrect
11/12 on rebound attempts (on 26 rebound opportunities)
36.18% in first on buzzer (144/398)
3/3 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $11,000)
5/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $15,543

29.724% to win the semifinal
4.117% to win the tournament

Andy’s Thoughts: Amy is the first player in this tournament who the prediction model gives a greater than 50% chance of winning—this match’s odds would be Amy -140, Tyler +220, and Maureen +530. Of course, Maureen already has one upset victory under her belt—who’s to say she can’t take a second one? Tyler is slightly stronger than Amy in terms of “Daily Double bet size” and “Final Jeopardy! percentage” (though Amy has a much larger sample size in that department), but I don’t think that’s going to be enough for Amy to pull down an upset. This pairing—which I stress is a result of the seeding—certainly worked in Amy’s favor.

Thursday, November 10:

Matt Amodio on Jeopardy!
Matt Amodio
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1323 correct, 133 incorrect
56/65 on rebound attempts (on 126 rebound opportunities)
55.79% in first on buzzer (1262/2262)
78/88 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $308,000)
29/40 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $27,270

44.734% to win the semifinal
23.091% to win the tournament

John Focht on Jeopardy!
John Focht
originally El Paso, Texas
140 correct, 13 incorrect
6/8 on rebound attempts (on 16 rebound opportunities)
37.72% in first on buzzer (129/342)
9/10 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $31,300)
3/6 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,133

29.046% to win the semifinal
9.172% to win the tournament

Sam Buttrey on Jeopardy!
Sam Buttrey
Pacific Grove, California
136 correct, 11 incorrect
8/9 on rebound attempts (on 22 rebound opportunities)
45.26% in first on buzzer (129/285)
3/4 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $3,000)
3/5 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,920

26.220% to win the semifinal
7.479% to win the tournament

Andy’s Thoughts: In my opinion, Matt definitely got a more difficult matchup than Amy did, with John and Sam both on an upswing, having dominated their respective quarterfinals. The odds for this game would be Matt +110, John +220, and Sam +260. One important consideration, though: Jeopardy! is very much a game of confidence. I certainly hope that Matt will be able to bounce back from his recent form not being as strong as either of his challengers. If Matt can keep the Daily Doubles away from John, and beat Sam on the buzzer, he should be able to take victory and find his way to the finals.

Friday, November 11:

Mattea Roach on Jeopardy!
Mattea Roach
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
680 correct, 66 incorrect
35/43 on rebound attempts (on 103 rebound opportunities)
45.43% in first on buzzer (641/1411)
30/37 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $60,000)
18/25 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $20,120

29.970% to win the semifinal
9.136% to win the tournament

Eric Ahasic on Jeopardy!
Eric Ahasic
Minneapolis, Minnesota
192 correct, 23 incorrect
14/17 on rebound attempts (on 38 rebound opportunities)
37.94% in first on buzzer (173/456)
15/17 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $65,000)
3/8 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $19,275

35.591% to win the semifinal
13.992% to win the tournament

Andrew He on Jeopardy!
Andrew He
San Francisco, California
182 correct, 21 incorrect
12/13 on rebound attempts (on 26 rebound opportunities)
42.61% in first on buzzer (170/399)
8/13 on Daily Doubles (Net Earned: $32,800)
3/7 in Final Jeopardy
Average Coryat: $21,429

34.439% to win the semifinal
13.059% to win the tournament

Andy’s Thoughts: One thing that I don’t think is controversial: The player who I believe to be the third-best player in this tournament is in this semifinal. Who that third-best player is, though, is a topic seriously up for debate; hopefully, this match will at least partly settle that debate. The odds from the prediction model have Eric at +160, Andrew at +170, and Mattea at +210. Mattea did put up a very strong exhibition game performance and should have some confidence going into this match. However, the prediction model favors Eric very slightly because of his ability to find and convert Daily Doubles. Eric has not lost a game where he has found at least one of the Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy. Keeping them away from Andrew or Mattea will be crucial to Eric’s path to victory. However, Andrew—who likely would have gone on a much longer run himself had it not been for Amy Schneider—is more than capable of joining in this fight, and Mattea showed in the exhibition game that they can certainly acclimatize well to the tougher material. I suspect that this will be a semifinal that people will eventually rank as one of the best Tournament of Champions matches ever—and regardless of whether your pick is Mattea, Eric, or Andrew in this match, I would be hard-pressed to call you incorrect.

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2 Comments on "2022 Tournament of Champions – Semi-Finals Preview"

  1. Thanks for the fantastic preview.

    It’s been awhile, but my recollection is that Mattea never really adopted a strategy of aggressively hunting for Daily Doubles, as we know that both Eric and Andrew do.

    I’m going with Mattea if she switches up her style. That Final Jeopardy aptitude is a huge plus.

    Really hoping Amy and Matt hold serve. The first-to-three format really demands the presence of the big names, I think.

  2. If I’m doing the math right (I just multiplied the three semifinal prediction percentages together), based on Andy’s numbers, the probability that the final three will be Matt, Amy and Mattea is about 7.41%. Right?

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