Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

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CharlieD
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Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by CharlieD » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:23 pm

James Holzhauer is thinking about coming in 2nd place in the TOC on purpose to make more money:
https://twitter.com/James_Holzhauer/sta ... 0140755969

The TOC rule where 1st place gets $250,00 no matter what, and 2nd gets the higher of total winnings or $100,000, should be changed before JH appears in the TOC. He may be joking, but there may be a chance he would bet for 2nd place in the finals 2nd-game FJ if he can win more that way. That would probably upset the Jeopardy staff to have the best player lose on purpose. They should change the rule so the winner gets the higher of winnings or $250,000.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by Golf » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:39 pm

And everything on the internet is true.

Bonjour.


But just for fun, please explain in detail how a contestant would not win with a two game total of over 250k.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by Ironhorse » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:46 pm

James has a dry sense of humor and this should not be taken seriously.

This hypothetical scenario is mathematically possible, and that's as much as I can say for it.
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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by mechamind » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:15 pm

Since I think both games would have to have someone enter Final! in second place with almost $63,000, what would be the odds of this?

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by CharlieD » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:29 pm

I'm assuming the total prize money includes the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, where JH could accumulate $150,000 if he achieves his average of about $75,000 per game. Then he would need over $100,000 for his 2-day final. If this is how the TOC cumulative money works (big if) then it's certainly possible.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by opusthepenguin » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:41 pm

CharlieD wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:23 pm
The TOC rule where 1st place gets $250,00 no matter what, and 2nd gets the higher of total winnings or $100,000, should be changed before JH appears in the TOC. He may be joking, but there may be a chance he would bet for 2nd place in the finals 2nd-game FJ if he can win more that way. That would probably upset the Jeopardy staff to have the best player lose on purpose. They should change the rule so the winner gets the higher of winnings or $250,000.
I'm sure he's mostly joking. But if he has a strategy here, it's to get TPTB to do exactly what you suggest. There's almost no chance he can come in second with $250+K. But if he tricks them into lifting the cap, he's got a good shot at that higher payday.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by jeff6286 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:20 pm

opusthepenguin wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:41 pm
CharlieD wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:23 pm
The TOC rule where 1st place gets $250,00 no matter what, and 2nd gets the higher of total winnings or $100,000, should be changed before JH appears in the TOC. He may be joking, but there may be a chance he would bet for 2nd place in the finals 2nd-game FJ if he can win more that way. That would probably upset the Jeopardy staff to have the best player lose on purpose. They should change the rule so the winner gets the higher of winnings or $250,000.
I'm sure he's mostly joking. But if he has a strategy here, it's to get TPTB to do exactly what you suggest. There's almost no chance he can come in second with $250+K. But if he tricks them into lifting the cap, he's got a good shot at that higher payday.
I don't think "trick them" makes any sense in this context. If he points out to them that it's not very fair to give the actual money earned to 2nd and 3rd but not to 1st, which may be something they'd never considered before, maybe they'll make the change.

If anything it might make them think about the other tournaments, the College, Teen, and Teachers all currently get $100k for winning and as far as I know the question has never come up of would they get more if they won with over $100k. It is certainly more plausible for it to happen there than in the TOC. It did happen in the teen tournament when Elyse Mancuso earned $79,600 as the prize for first was $75k at the time. Odd that they would have the rule set up to give a teen champion >$75k but not to give a TOC champion over $250k. Or more likely they just never thought about it. Maybe the >$75k wasn't even in the rules and they just decided on the spot that it would be reasonable to pay her the full total.

Is there anyone who's been in one of the $100k tournaments that can confirm one way or the other if this was addressed in the rules?

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by CharlieD » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:01 pm

Golf wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:39 pm
And everything on the internet is true.

Bonjour.


But just for fun, please explain in detail how a contestant would not win with a two game total of over 250k.
I am assuming that a player's TOC potential winnings would include the quarterfinal, semifinal and 2-game final totals.
JH averages about $75k, so perhaps he has $160,000 coming into finals, and perhaps another $50k in finals game one, and $24k entering FJ2.
If another finalist has the cumulative finals lead when wagering for FJ2 ($40k in finals 1 and $35k entering FJ2 for a $1k lead), then JH could bet $16k or more to exceed $250,000 tournament-total rather than a $1001 lowball bet hoping for an opponent miss or zero bet.
If the opponent gets FJ2 correct on a bet to win, JH could walk away with 2nd-place and more money than the winner, carrying a huge underbite smile on his face, and the Jeopardy! world turned upside down.

Of course, I may be wrong in assuming that the first two rounds are included in determining potential winnings.
I wonder if anybody has seen these rules in a TOC rulebook?

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by Golf » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:29 pm

CharlieD wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:01 pm
Of course, I may be wrong in assuming that the first two rounds are included in determining potential winnings.
I wonder if anybody has seen these rules in a TOC rulebook?
Only the two game finals count towards potential winnings.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by kprather895 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:29 pm

Hasn't the first place prize always been just a minimum in all the tournaments, same as second and third? Did they change that this year?

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by Robert K S » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:08 pm

kprather895 wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:29 pm
Hasn't the first place prize always been just a minimum...?
I've never heard TPTB publicly say that; if they had, it would be reflected in the Archive prize listing. I don't know if James is reading from the prize listing or from his official paperwork. Someone who has been in a tournament and has paperwork that lists prizes would be able to confirm or disconfirm.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by MDaunt » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:36 pm

CharlieD wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:29 pm
I'm assuming the total prize money includes the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, where JH could accumulate $150,000 if he achieves his average of about $75,000 per game. Then he would need over $100,000 for his 2-day final. If this is how the TOC cumulative money works (big if) then it's certainly possible.
No, that's not correct. The total is for the 2-day final only.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by Bamaman » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:09 pm

They probably don’t say the winner gets more than 250K because it has never occurred to them it is possible. I don’t see him averaging $125,000 in two games against high caliber players. Especially if this scenario involves Clavining FJ one day.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by polaris » Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:29 pm

I always assumed that for any tournament (or, more broadly, any special event) the first-place prize was a minimum guarantee, they only made this explicit in cases where it is reasonable to imagine someone exceeding it. Seeing as how, prior to James, there was a general disappointment in the air that no one has ever hit $100,000 as part of a two-day total-point affair score (and a particular disappointment that the All-Star Games failed to generate such an event), the idea that anyone could hit $100,000 in one game (let alone average $125,000 over two games) was not something anyone seriously considered, and so the fact that $250,000 is the house minimum went unmentioned.

I could be wrong about this, but I don't believe so.

Also, the most obvious way for James to achieve his rather tongue-in-cheek goal is to have an opponent win the theoretical board maximum in the first game (something like $540,000), and then have be in position to do so in the second game, but hold back $1 in FJ! to get $539,999 (or whatever $1 less than the theoretical max is). Obviously unlikely, but certainly within the realm of possibility. This brings up the rather more interesting question of what is the highest theoretically possible second-place score, I don't know what this is off hand but I would be curious to kniw.

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by Robert K S » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:23 pm

First-place prize is a minimum guarantee.

https://uproxx.com/sports/james-holzhau ... ze-fund/2/

James Holzhauer: *calls Jeopardy!* Hi, is the $250,000 ToC prize a set number or a minimum guarantee?
Jeopardy!: Let me check that for you, sir. ... It's a minimum guarantee.
Holzhauer: kthxbye

Any other contestant: *calls Jeopardy!* Hi, is the $250,000 ToC prize a set number or a minimum guarantee?
Jeopardy!: Bwhahahahahah! Hey, Harry, I got somebody on the phone who wants to know if the ToC prize is a minimum guarantee!
[Audible laughter in the background]
[Click]

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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by AFRET CMS » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:40 pm

He's proved it can be done (at least against "regular game" competition). His two best games totaled $261,149.

It would be tough, though. Those are his only two games that total more than 250K. His best game combined with his third-best game totaled "only" $249,943. I don't know how excited he'd be if the minimum prize added another $57.
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Re: Holzhauer betting for 2nd in the TOC to make more money?

Post by John Boy » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:53 pm

Just when I thought I'd seen every last crazy damned conspiracy theory.... :roll:

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