Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by Bamaman » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:05 pm

I knew Phelps is from Maryland but for some stupid reason I put California.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by Johnblue » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:45 pm

hbomb1947 wrote:
morbeedo wrote:
Johnblue wrote:As TPH noted, we're all Cindy fans! I was worried that the anti-car lady was going to win so Cindy's win was doubly sweet. Phelps is the greatest Olympian ever & ive read about him previously. Plus one of his previous girlfriends is friends with my niece who lives in Columbia.
I don't think she's anti-car, rather anti pedestrians and cyclists getting killed by reckless drivers. #VisionZero
Yeah, it was Alex who brought up the idea of getting rid of cars, and Julia went along with it, which could have just been out of a reluctance to trigger the curse of disagreeing with him. So that's a really silly reason for anyone to have rooted against her (aside from the fact that many people who actually live in Manhattan, like me, would think that getting rid of cars on this island -- with exceptions, of course, like taxis, Ubers, and delivery trucks -- would be a good thing. Very few residents use personal motor vehicles to get around, anyway; those who have their own cars largely use them to drive out of the city on weekends and for similar purposes. At the very least, reducing automotive traffic in Manhattan, such as with former Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing initiative that deserved to do better, would be a worthy goal. So now that I've said that, JohnBlue can root against me if I ever get on the show. :) ). But in any event, Julia never said she was working to ban cars from the borough, just that she was trying to make roads safer for people who aren't in cars. I would like to see her do something about all the cyclists who disobey traffic laws (driving the wrong way, riding through red lights, etc.), which puts pedestrians at risk; but I digress.

Aw, I'd root for you! (I can't remember if you're in the contestant pool if not.) My reaction might've been somewhat based on Alex's statement but it was also based on driving in Manhattan in May. The last 2 mayors have screwed it up badly. And yes, the cyclists are worse than the drivers. And taxis are usually worse than civilian motorists.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by BigDaddyMatty » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:49 am

IronNeck wrote:
rpg wrote:
IronNeck wrote: 1. If Julia misses the last DD while betting $5,001, her chances of victory are much higher than 55%. In fact, I'm not sure where you're getting the 55% figure from.

Are you assuming that unless Julia gets the FJ correct from the lead, she automatically loses? That's incorrect.

As you noted yourself, when 1st place gets it wrong, 2nd place gets it right a mere 18% of the time. Now, yes, without a crush, there is also a scenario where Cindy can bet small and win in the case of both getting them wrong. But that's assuming both the small bet by Cindy and a cover wager from Julia, neither of which is close to a certainty.

In reality, with 3rd place a distant memory, Julia's chances of victory are between 55 and 82%. Based off some previous calculations, I would say it's about 70%.
Yes, I'm assuming that if she gets it wrong, she loses. That's true with a rational wager from second place. Julia is pretty much always making the covering bet (and we're analyzing this from her POV anyway); I mentioned the possibility of a suicide wager in my post as a mitigating factor.
A small bet from second place is not "rational". There are no Nash equilibria here and neither the small wager nor the "suicide" wager dominate the other. Both are valid options.
Not if the object is to win the game.
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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by IronNeck » Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:02 am

BigDaddyMatty wrote:
IronNeck wrote:
rpg wrote:
IronNeck wrote: 1. If Julia misses the last DD while betting $5,001, her chances of victory are much higher than 55%. In fact, I'm not sure where you're getting the 55% figure from.

Are you assuming that unless Julia gets the FJ correct from the lead, she automatically loses? That's incorrect.

As you noted yourself, when 1st place gets it wrong, 2nd place gets it right a mere 18% of the time. Now, yes, without a crush, there is also a scenario where Cindy can bet small and win in the case of both getting them wrong. But that's assuming both the small bet by Cindy and a cover wager from Julia, neither of which is close to a certainty.

In reality, with 3rd place a distant memory, Julia's chances of victory are between 55 and 82%. Based off some previous calculations, I would say it's about 70%.
Yes, I'm assuming that if she gets it wrong, she loses. That's true with a rational wager from second place. Julia is pretty much always making the covering bet (and we're analyzing this from her POV anyway); I mentioned the possibility of a suicide wager in my post as a mitigating factor.
A small bet from second place is not "rational". There are no Nash equilibria here and neither the small wager nor the "suicide" wager dominate the other. Both are valid options.
Not if the object is to win the game.
You should have included the rest of my quote, which mentioned expected value. While individual valuations may vary, an 18% chance of winning $20,000 does in fact have a higher EV than a 30% chance of winning $10,001. (Obviously, not counting future plays)

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by BigDaddyMatty » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:40 am

IronNeck wrote:You should have included the rest of my quote, which mentioned expected value. While individual valuations may vary, an 18% chance of winning $20,000 does in fact have a higher EV than a 30% chance of winning $10,001. (Obviously, not counting future plays)
The latter EV should be calculated at a ~45% probability since a second-place player in that position wins whenever first place makes a cover wager (~100%) and misses FJ! (~45%). Given that, the EV of going small is higher than that of the suicide wager.

However, my point is that EV is not the right lens through which to view this question. I think that for the vast majority of J! contestants the goal is to stay champion for as long as possible, so a play that reduces a contestant's win probability by 60% can properly be considered irrational even if it happens to increase EV. Even for the rare contestant who is making his decision based on EV, it is necessary to, as you suggest, include the EV from future appearances, which will of course tilt the scale in favor of the option that maximizes the probability of winning the game.

Having said all that, I agree that a proper wager from second place is far from a given.
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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by IronNeck » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:19 am

BigDaddyMatty wrote:
IronNeck wrote:You should have included the rest of my quote, which mentioned expected value. While individual valuations may vary, an 18% chance of winning $20,000 does in fact have a higher EV than a 30% chance of winning $10,001. (Obviously, not counting future plays)
The latter EV should be calculated at a ~45% probability since a second-place player in that position wins whenever first place makes a cover wager (~100%) and misses FJ! (~45%). Given that, the EV of going small is higher than that of the suicide wager.
No, it shouldn't. Second place doesn't win 45% in that case, since first place doesn't always make the cover bet in a non-crush situation. I already explained this to rpg on the last page.
BigDaddyMatty wrote:However, my point is that EV is not the right lens through which to view this question.
Nor did I state it was. I merely brought it up as a relevant metric while noting both the small wager and "suicide" wager are "viable options".
BigDaddyMatty wrote:Even for the rare contestant who is making his decision based on EV, it is necessary to, as you suggest, include the EV from future appearances, which will of course tilt the scale in favor of the option that maximizes the probability of winning the game.
That's actually debatable, too. The mode of wins among Jeopardy champions is 1. And only about 5% of contestants ever win 3+.

Incorporating a $2,000 second place prize with an additional 12% chance of winning still lends itself to a higher EV for the "suicide" wager, under the numbers I used.

On a general note, this also lends itself to enormous DD bets, even from a lead, which slightly diminish one's winning chances.

For instance, if you're in the lead with $15,000 with two players trailing at $12,000 and $10,000 and you get a DD, what do you do? Going for the true DD sounds good, although I do believe one's actual winning chances are slightly less that way than betting $5,001.

Edit- I actually started a topic about this very question a few months ago. Some people chose number of wins on Jeopardy while others favored money.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by periwinkle » Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:42 pm

You can add me to the Instagetters who live in DC-area Virginia.

Phelps and Ledecky are very well known here as being from Maryland and they got a fair amount of coverage in the Washington Post in the run-up to the Olympics, and then tons of coverage during the Olympics. And we all got it when Phelps started laughing during the National Anthem because his friends shouted "O!" for the Orioles (though we're not fond of that tradition, particularly when it happens at Nats games).

My sports-enthusiast son knew the exact piece of trivia being asked, however, from seeing it on ESPN and other sports sites. So the fact that so many medals were won by Marylanders was publicized outside the DMV area.

On a separate note, Cindy was amazing and incredibly impressive as a champion.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by BigDaddyMatty » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:33 am

IronNeck wrote:
BigDaddyMatty wrote:
IronNeck wrote:You should have included the rest of my quote, which mentioned expected value. While individual valuations may vary, an 18% chance of winning $20,000 does in fact have a higher EV than a 30% chance of winning $10,001. (Obviously, not counting future plays)
The latter EV should be calculated at a ~45% probability since a second-place player in that position wins whenever first place makes a cover wager (~100%) and misses FJ! (~45%). Given that, the EV of going small is higher than that of the suicide wager.
No, it shouldn't. Second place doesn't win 45% in that case, since first place doesn't always make the cover bet in a non-crush situation. I already explained this to rpg on the last page.
The percentage of games in which the leader does not make the cover bet is very small. Even if we were to assume it only happens 90% of the time, my conclusion stands.
IronNeck wrote:
BigDaddyMatty wrote:However, my point is that EV is not the right lens through which to view this question.
Nor did I state it was. I merely brought it up as a relevant metric while noting both the small wager and "suicide" wager are "viable options".
It's not a relevant metric, though. Again, nearly all contestants, in the words of Herm Edwards, play to win the game. A wager that reduces one's chances of winning the game by over 50% is therefore per se irrational.
IronNeck wrote:
BigDaddyMatty wrote:Even for the rare contestant who is making his decision based on EV, it is necessary to, as you suggest, include the EV from future appearances, which will of course tilt the scale in favor of the option that maximizes the probability of winning the game.
That's actually debatable, too. The mode of wins among Jeopardy champions is 1. And only about 5% of contestants ever win 3+.

Incorporating a $2,000 second place prize with an additional 12% chance of winning still lends itself to a higher EV for the "suicide" wager, under the numbers I used.

On a general note, this also lends itself to enormous DD bets, even from a lead, which slightly diminish one's winning chances.

For instance, if you're in the lead with $15,000 with two players trailing at $12,000 and $10,000 and you get a DD, what do you do? Going for the true DD sounds good, although I do believe one's actual winning chances are slightly less that way than betting $5,001.

Edit- I actually started a topic about this very question a few months ago. Some people chose number of wins on Jeopardy while others favored money.
This is relevant if we are talking about the actions of a multi-day champion. Challengers are in more or less every case trying to do whatever is necessary to win that first game. I would venture that nearly all instances of the suicide wager in the situation we're discussing come from a lack of wagering savvy rather than a rational EV (or similar) calculation.
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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by IronNeck » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:46 am

BigDaddyMatty wrote:
IronNeck wrote:
BigDaddyMatty wrote:
IronNeck wrote:You should have included the rest of my quote, which mentioned expected value. While individual valuations may vary, an 18% chance of winning $20,000 does in fact have a higher EV than a 30% chance of winning $10,001. (Obviously, not counting future plays)
The latter EV should be calculated at a ~45% probability since a second-place player in that position wins whenever first place makes a cover wager (~100%) and misses FJ! (~45%). Given that, the EV of going small is higher than that of the suicide wager.
No, it shouldn't. Second place doesn't win 45% in that case, since first place doesn't always make the cover bet in a non-crush situation. I already explained this to rpg on the last page.
The percentage of games in which the leader does not make the cover bet is very small. Even if we were to assume it only happens 90% of the time, my conclusion stands.
It's not 90%, though. Even ignoring 3rd place (which is very relevant), making the small wager from 2nd in a non-crush situation is not going to give you a 45% chance of being ahead of 1st after FJ. Or even a 40% chance, for that matter.
BigDaddyMatty wrote: It's not a relevant metric, though. Again, nearly all contestants, in the words of Herm Edwards, play to win the game. A wager that reduces one's chances of winning the game by over 50% is therefore per se irrational.
Just because you don't consider EV doesn't mean other people don't.

Among contestants who clearly considered EV, to the point of making DD decisions slightly reducing their winning chances, a certain Alex Jacob and Roger Craig instantly come to mind.
BigDaddyMatty wrote: This is relevant if we are talking about the actions of a multi-day champion. Challengers are in more or less every case trying to do whatever is necessary to win that first game. I would venture that nearly all instances of the suicide wager in the situation we're discussing come from a lack of wagering savvy rather than a rational EV (or similar) calculation.
Maybe? I don't know what's inside a player's head, nor does it really matter. Whatever the reasoning, a suicide wager is not necessarily "wrong", as you seem to be arguing.

In fact, the only thing that makes a small wager so attractive is the preponderance of cover wagers from 1st, which is because of psychological reasons, not mathematical ones.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by rpg » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:20 am

It's not 90%, though.
In fact, it was 90% in seasons 32, 28, 27, 25, and 23; it was 85% in seasons 26, 24, 22, and 21; and it was 80% in seasons 31, 30, and 29.
Among contestants who clearly considered EV, to the point of making DD decisions slightly reducing their winning chances, a certain Alex Jacob and Roger Craig instantly come to mind.
Yes, I'm sure those two were trying to maximize their EV, since that's the only logical thing to do. But if you're sufficiently skilled (as these players were) then this is basically equivalent to just maximizing your probability of winning since the potential future winnings dominate whatever smaller variation you can pick up in one game. In fact, reviewing Alex's games, his DD bets to me look like he was purely trying to win, though perhaps he will see this and speak for himself.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by IronNeck » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:40 am

rpg wrote:
It's not 90%, though.
In fact, it was 90% in seasons 32, 28, 27, 25, and 23; it was 85% in seasons 26, 24, 22, and 21; and it was 80% in seasons 31, 30, and 29.
Source? And averaged out, that would make the average about 86%. Which is still less than 90%.

And then, when we consider the 3rd place bettor in conjunction with a small wager, the "suicide" wager isn't necessarily so bad at all.
rpg wrote: Yes, I'm sure those two were trying to maximize their EV, since that's the only logical thing to do. But if you're sufficiently skilled (as these players were) then this is basically equivalent to just maximizing your probability of winning since the potential future winnings dominate whatever smaller variation you can pick up in one game. In fact, reviewing Alex's games, his DD bets to me look like he was purely trying to win, though perhaps he will see this and speak for himself.
This isn't true at all. Here is one example where a bet by Roger Craig clearly lowered his chances of victory but was a positive EV move;

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3460 (The $10,000 DD bet)

Here is Alex Jacob lowering his chances of victory with a positive EV move in his first game

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4868 ($8,600 DD bet)

and in another in his last game

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4876 ($12,600 DD bet)

There are other examples, but those readily come to mind.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by rpg » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:03 am

IronNeck wrote:
rpg wrote:
It's not 90%, though.
In fact, it was 90% in seasons 32, 28, 27, 25, and 23; it was 85% in seasons 26, 24, 22, and 21; and it was 80% in seasons 31, 30, and 29.
Source? And averaged out, that would make the average about 86%. Which is still less than 90%.
Sure, they're here: http://www.j-archive.com/finalstats.php?season=32 and similarly for other seasons.

This isn't true at all. Here is one example where a bet by Roger Craig clearly lowered his chances of victory but was a positive EV move;

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3460 (The $10,000 DD bet)

Here is Alex Jacob lowering his chances of victory with a positive EV move in his first game

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4868 ($8,600 DD bet)

and in another in his last game

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4876 ($12,600 DD bet)

There are other examples, but those readily come to mind.
I'm not sure how you're so confident that these bets "lower their chances of victory". The first two cases are ones where getting it right leaves you looking good for a lock while getting it wrong still leaves you plenty of time to make up the relatively small deficit you're facing against the now-leader. The third case is probably a pretty good category for us where getting it right gives us pretty good chances of putting the game away right then and there, although I'd agree that this is probably less clear-cut.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by IronNeck » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:38 am

rpg wrote:
IronNeck wrote:
rpg wrote:
It's not 90%, though.
In fact, it was 90% in seasons 32, 28, 27, 25, and 23; it was 85% in seasons 26, 24, 22, and 21; and it was 80% in seasons 31, 30, and 29.
Source? And averaged out, that would make the average about 86%. Which is still less than 90%.
Sure, they're here: http://www.j-archive.com/finalstats.php?season=32 and similarly for other seasons.
Ah, THERE is your mistake. You're just taking the number of times 1st covered 2nd, without taking into account whether it's a crush situation or not.

Obviously, in a crush situation, 1st should always cover 2nd.

But we are specifically examining non-crush situations. So if it's 86% for crush and non-crush situations, it should be even lower for the latter case.
rpg wrote:
This isn't true at all. Here is one example where a bet by Roger Craig clearly lowered his chances of victory but was a positive EV move;

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=3460 (The $10,000 DD bet)

Here is Alex Jacob lowering his chances of victory with a positive EV move in his first game

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4868 ($8,600 DD bet)

and in another in his last game

http://www.j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=4876 ($12,600 DD bet)

There are other examples, but those readily come to mind.
I'm not sure how you're so confident that these bets "lower their chances of victory". The first two cases are ones where getting it right leaves you looking good for a lock while getting it wrong still leaves you plenty of time to make up the relatively small deficit you're facing against the now-leader. The third case is probably a pretty good category for us where getting it right gives us pretty good chances of putting the game away right then and there, although I'd agree that this is probably less clear-cut.
I will explain the first instance for you.

Dollar amounts when Roger hits that DD;

Roger Kevin Katie
$13,400 $5,000 $1,600

Roger is already in a lock situation, and by a huge amount at that. If he were only maximizing his chances of victory, then, even assuming confidence with the category and a significantly above-average DD get rate, he would bet $2601-$6601. $6601 is such a monstrous bet that that even if Kevin manages to find the other DD, goes all-in, AND gets it right...he is still locked out. Notice that he maintains a healthy lead through any value in that range in the event of a wrong answer.

Instead, Roger bet $10,000, which lowers his pure chances of victory, BUT increases his expected value.

Ergo, Roger isn't only considering chances of victory, but heavily factoring in EV, too.

Edit- Slightly off-topic, but is there a way to get BBboard to recognize multiple spaces between strings? I've tried multiple times to make the list of scores more readable, to no avail.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by GoodStrategy » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:55 am

Another factor to remember is the exact ratio between the player's scores. Between 2/3 and 3/4, if 2nd feels that the leader is likely to bet to stay above any 2/3-rule wager, then going big is justifiable (since if both go small then the leader wins no matter how FJ! turns out). Between 3/4 and 4/5, there is still some justification if the leader decides to bet just enough to cover the maximum "small" bet from 2nd, but it's not as strong because 2nd can still guard against the WR (but not RR) outcome by covering the leader's current total within the 2/3 rule. Above 4/5 the term "suicide wager" becomes more accurate, since at that point 2nd can cover against a "small" wager by the leader without falling below the leader's cover bet if wrong (at this point, unless 2nd is in Stratton's Dilemma, there's really no justification for such a big bet*). *Historically another exception in regular play would be if 2nd thought the leader might offer the tie (provided that 2nd bet everything and not a dollar less), but that no longer applies with the tiebreaker rule change.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by seaborgium » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:36 am

IronNeck wrote: Edit- Slightly off-topic, but is there a way to get BBboard to recognize multiple spaces between strings? I've tried multiple times to make the list of scores more readable, to no avail.
I use

Code: Select all

 tags when I'm entering scores and potential scores for tournament finalists so the columns line up evenly despite varying name and score lengths. See this thread for repeated usage: http://jboard.tv/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by merica » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:54 pm

MarkBarrett wrote: I got to Ledecky and Phelps as the two and had a blank on where they were from. I wrote California in thinking I was sure that Ledecky went to Stanford. Trying to think of a college for Michael Phelps was not happening since I could only remember him from the Olympics.

When Cindy's response of Maryland was shown my reaction was, "Baltimore sports teams, of course! I know that!" A very annoying miss. Phelps has thrown out the first pitch at Camden Yards. Phelps and one of his races was shown on the scoreboard at a Ravens exhibition game holding up play. Phelps's friends attending in Rio yelled out "O" during the national anthem.

August was not that long ago and very quickly things I learned during the two weeks of watching the Rio games do not stay in my head long enough to register. Grrr!
The Olympics were 4-plus months ago for the viewing audience. But when was the taping? If it was within a month or two of the Games, I would think this clue would be a bit easier. As it is, those tidbits slip away pretty quickly, even for a sports-minded person like myself.

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Re: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by IronNeck » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:10 pm

GoodStrategy wrote:Another factor to remember is the exact ratio between the player's scores. Between 2/3 and 3/4, if 2nd feels that the leader is likely to bet to stay above any 2/3-rule wager, then going big is justifiable (since if both go small then the leader wins no matter how FJ! turns out). Between 3/4 and 4/5, there is still some justification if the leader decides to bet just enough to cover the maximum "small" bet from 2nd, but it's not as strong because 2nd can still guard against the WR (but not RR) outcome by covering the leader's current total within the 2/3 rule. Above 4/5 the term "suicide wager" becomes more accurate, since at that point 2nd can cover against a "small" wager by the leader without falling below the leader's cover bet if wrong (at this point, unless 2nd is in Stratton's Dilemma, there's really no justification for such a big bet*). *Historically another exception in regular play would be if 2nd thought the leader might offer the tie (provided that 2nd bet everything and not a dollar less), but that no longer applies with the tiebreaker rule change.
Yes, this is an excellent consideration, too. Of course, in all such instances, one has to seriously take into account where 3rd place is.
seaborgium wrote:I use

Code: Select all

 tags when I'm entering scores and potential scores for tournament finalists so the columns line up evenly despite varying name and score lengths. See this thread for repeated usage: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=274[/quote]

Thank you!

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