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Old 11-18-2019, 07:11 PM   #1
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Default Jeopardy's GOAT battle: Ken Jennings v. James Holzhauer v. Brad Rutter

Hold your loved ones close and start praying for mercy, because the gods (of trivia) are going to war and there’s no telling what sort of horrific destruction will be left in their wake. This comes from USA Today, which says that ABC has announced a new primetime Jeopardy! event called The Greatest Of All Time that will feature three of the quiz show’s most powerful combatants going head-to-head-to-head for the first time ever—and in a testament to humanity’s resilience, none of them are a robot this time. The three competitors in question are recent Tournament Of Champions winner James Holzhauer, 72-game winner Ken Jennings, and all-time prize money record-holder Brad Rutter (with Jennings and Rutter having previously competed against IBM’s Watson computer in 2011).

The special tournament is going to air on ABC in primetime, starting on January 7, and it’s going to involve an unusual structure. Rather than a one-off winner-take-all episode (or even a regular week-long event), each episode will have two back-to-back games, with the contestant who has the highest total prize money winning the match. Play continues until someone wins three matches, so it could last for anywhere between three and seven episodes—depending on if it’s a shutout or a more protracted battle where they each manage to win two before necessitating a final playoff game. The winner gets $1 million and the other two get $250,000, but the real prize is that the winner will become the master of all space and time (at least when it comes to trivia knowledge).

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Old 11-18-2019, 07:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Jeopardy's GOAT battle: Ken Jennings v. James Holzhauer v. Brad Rutter

If only actual knowledge was the deciding factor on who wins. Straight from Ken Jennings mouth:

If you watch Jeopardy! casually, it's easy to assume that the player doing most of the answering is the one who knew the most answers, but that's not necessarily true. All three contestants, after all, passed the same very hard test to be there. Most of the contestants can answer most of the questions. But Jeopardy! victory most often goes not to the biggest brain; it goes to the smoothest thumb. Timing on the tricky Jeopardy! buzzer is often what separates the winner from the, well, non-winners.

Here's how it works: the buzzers don't get activated until Alex is finished reading each question. If you buzz in too early, the system actually locks you out for a fifth of a second or so. But if you're too late, the player next to you is going to get in first. Somewhere between too early and too late is a very narrow sweet spot, like swinging a tennis racket or a baseball bat.
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Jeopardy's GOAT battle: Ken Jennings v. James Holzhauer v. Brad Rutter

The strategy for all three guys, buzzer first no matter what.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Jeopardy's GOAT battle: Ken Jennings v. James Holzhauer v. Brad Rutter

Curious about the clue difficulty. The usual Tournament of Champions always features a noticeably harder board, and should be interesting to see if this is a notch even more difficult.

Holz will probably win, unfortunately. His recall is immediate. Jennings has age against him as far as competing on buzzer timing. Rutter is good enough to clean up if Holz and Jennings mutually destruct eachother.
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