Friday, November 20, 2015

T of C report

My favorite philosopher once said that it ain't over until it's over. Jeopardy's Tournament of Champions final ain't over yet. But the scores at halftime look pretty conclusive. offers the grisly details...

Kerry Greene: $3,400
Matt Jackson: $3,000
Alex Jacob: $29,600

Uh, gulp. This looks like Watson's runaway against Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. I thought Matt Jackson was the odds-on favorite. Until he ran into a force of nature and former poker player named Alex Jacob.

Alex (not Trebek) has two big things going for him. He's unbelievably fast on the buzzer, repeatedly beating even the super-swift Jackson. And he's not afraid to go all-in on the Daily Doubles. He used two huge wagers to build his lead. Then he bet nothing in Final Jeopardy and watched his opponents lose big on the tough clue.

Jacob's Wikipedia article features a hilarious picture of him with the Jewish afro to end all Jewish afros. But there was nothing funny about his play yesterday. Of course, his high-wire strategy could backfire in the second half of the final today. I'll update this entry with the results.

UPDATE: Alex (not Trebek) cruised to another big win in the second half of the final to cop the $250,000 grand prize. He nailed one more of his patented all-ins on a Daily Double and left his outmatched opponents far, far behind. Alex (the real Trebek) called it the T of C's most dominating performance ever.


  1. There's buzzer speed, then there is buzzer timing.

    Jeopardy is more about timing than speed. Players are not reacting to the lights off stage for when to buzz in, they are anticipating those lights being turned on by someone who flips the switch when Alex is done reading the question.

    Alex Jacob seems more in tune to the person flipping the switch than Matt and that has been the big difference.

    1. This seems like a distinction without a difference. Let's just say that Alex has been quicker on the trigger.

  2. I almost feel like Contestant!Alex was just pretending to hesitate on those Daily Doubles to build drama.

    I'm pretty sure he didn't get a single clue wrong on the second game (except for his for fun FJ response).