If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

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Assume you have $8400, it's your first game, and it's a strong category for you

Go for it - bet $8399!
29
41%
Bet $1600 for the round number (or less)
21
30%
Bet something in between
21
30%
 
Total votes: 71

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triviawayne
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by triviawayne »

BobF wrote:
BigDaddyMatty wrote: Some of the other posts on here have made me think of another interesting thing. My wife likes a show called "Let's Ask America". At the end of the show, the winner (who typically has about $2-4,000) basically plays a solo Final Round. The twist is, if they bet it all, they can win 5 times their initial amount. The final question is multiple choice and there are 4 choices. If they bet anything less than their full amount, it's a straight 1 to 1 bet. Every contestant skypes in from their home, so no travel costs are involved. Yet, almost nobody bets it all!
Probably because of the types of questions they have; they're not betting on actual knowledge of a question, but on what they think other people will answer.

As far as WWTBAM, $100,000 is the big risk/reward question of the game; risking maybe 25-30k on a question that allows you a look-see at the $250k question. Risking $225,000 for $500,000 and a look at $1m is huge risk when you have even a 50/50 shot; not something many will do as $25k is certainly nice, but not life changing. Even though I have a 53% success rate on level 2 questions over the past three years, and a 61% rate on the current season as they've made the questions easier, I would have a very difficult time taking that type of risk.

Back to the real question of this thread, I would have to say only in super rare situations can you win a life changing amount of money on a regular game of Jeopardy; and that is why I would have no problem betting all but $1 on a wheelhouse FJ. Overall on FJ, I have the same 42% success rate as the contestants have; but I don't track my performance by category, yet I figure if it is in my wheelhouse, my odds are much higher to get it correct, and that is why I would go for it.
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by MDaunt »

triviawayne wrote:
Back to the real question of this thread, I would have to say only in super rare situations can you win a life changing amount of money on a regular game of Jeopardy...
Depends on your life. I suspect it's a lot more common than you think. When I was first on, $8000 would have constituted about 200% of my net worth.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by triviawayne »

MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:

Depends on your life. I suspect it's a lot more common than you think. When I was first on, $8000 would have constituted about 200% of my net worth.

Not that I know your situation, but I would have to say $8000 might get you a decent used car after taxes; or it may pay some bills so you can say "whew" I don't have that monthly debt of a credit card or two hanging over me now. But I don't know how many would believe that amount is life changing.

Win enough after tax money to buy or pay off a home so you don't have a monthly rent/mortgage to pay, which typically eats 30% or more of your monthly income...I would have to say THAT is life-changing.
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Sherm »

I argee with the $8400 not being a life changing amount. I think it would be a lot better question if the amount in question is closer to $25,000, while not being a life altering amount you are starting to look at a wager that could give someone a years worth of income. I have to say my answer to $8400 or $25000 would be the same. If I felt good about the category, I'm going all but a dollar, If I felt sure unsure I bet zero. I used to play a lot of poker, if the odds are in your favor you push, if they are not, you don't.

I really don't see sense in wagering part of it, unless you had an amount in mind that you wanted to win.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by Volante »

alietr wrote:
BobF wrote:I would go use the bathroom and hope that the host writes the (in)correct answer on the mirror.
Good one.

There's a host of factors that would go into the decision. It's not just a high expected value that's the determinant. You have to look at the persons' risk profile, the category (keeping in mind the category isn't always testing your knowledge in that category), how much they've already won, their financial situation, and their ability to handle stress. I can imagine someone totally freaking out after they realized they'd bet it all. I know there are gamblers out there who would jump at the opportunity with very few other considerations, but I, for one, would take a much more measured approach.
So I couldn't help but compare/contrast this hypothetical to Chris Borland leaving the 49ers (and the NFL). (That's what humans do...we look for patterns...)
http://deadspin.com/everyone-wants-chri ... 1691882456

Obviously he got a decent chunk of change for his rookie year, but it was a four year contract...
He's completed one year of a four-year, $2.9 million rookie contract that included a signing bonus of more than $617,000. The 49ers have the right to recover three-fourths of that signing bonus, though it's not clear if they will do so.
So leaving ~$1.5 mil on the table.

Not exactly maximizing EV...
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by opusthepenguin »

lieph82 wrote:Obviously Golf is right about maximizing EV, but humans aren't EV-maximizing robots.
Conclusion: Golf is not human.

QED

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by alietr »

opusthepenguin wrote:
lieph82 wrote:Obviously Golf is right about maximizing EV, but humans aren't EV-maximizing robots.
Conclusion: Golf is not human.

QED
This from a bird?!?

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by MDaunt »

triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:

Depends on your life. I suspect it's a lot more common than you think. When I was first on, $8000 would have constituted about 200% of my net worth.

Not that I know your situation, but I would have to say $8000 might get you a decent used car after taxes; or it may pay some bills so you can say "whew" I don't have that monthly debt of a credit card or two hanging over me now. But I don't know how many would believe that amount is life changing.

Win enough after tax money to buy or pay off a home so you don't have a monthly rent/mortgage to pay, which typically eats 30% or more of your monthly income...I would have to say THAT is life-changing.
You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?

Edit: ignore taxes
Last edited by MDaunt on Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by BobF »

MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:

Depends on your life. I suspect it's a lot more common than you think. When I was first on, $8000 would have constituted about 200% of my net worth.

Not that I know your situation, but I would have to say $8000 might get you a decent used car after taxes; or it may pay some bills so you can say "whew" I don't have that monthly debt of a credit card or two hanging over me now. But I don't know how many would believe that amount is life changing.

Win enough after tax money to buy or pay off a home so you don't have a monthly rent/mortgage to pay, which typically eats 30% or more of your monthly income...I would have to say THAT is life-changing.
You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?
In this scenario, I'm guessing you are talking about tax-free? If you pay taxes, it becomes a completely different scenario as you can't really write off your losses (except to deduct other gambling winnings).
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by MDaunt »

BobF wrote:
MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:

Depends on your life. I suspect it's a lot more common than you think. When I was first on, $8000 would have constituted about 200% of my net worth.

Not that I know your situation, but I would have to say $8000 might get you a decent used car after taxes; or it may pay some bills so you can say "whew" I don't have that monthly debt of a credit card or two hanging over me now. But I don't know how many would believe that amount is life changing.

Win enough after tax money to buy or pay off a home so you don't have a monthly rent/mortgage to pay, which typically eats 30% or more of your monthly income...I would have to say THAT is life-changing.
You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?
In this scenario, I'm guessing you are talking about tax-free? If you pay taxes, it becomes a completely different scenario as you can't really write off your losses (except to deduct other gambling winnings).
Edited for clarity. Yes, ignore taxes.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by triviawayne »

MDaunt wrote: You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?

Edit: ignore taxes
You're comparing the spin of a roulette wheel linking my current total net worth to my confidence in being able to answer a trivia question in a category I love which is only linked to money I didn't have 20 minutes prior?

Casinos and lotteries are investments for people who can't do math.
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by MDaunt »

triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote: You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?

Edit: ignore taxes
You're comparing the spin of a roulette wheel linking my current total net worth to my confidence in being able to answer a trivia question in a category I love which is only linked to money I didn't have 20 minutes prior?
Yes.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by gnash »

lieph82 wrote:
Vanya wrote:
Golf wrote:
zakharov wrote:I realize you don't think this way, but not everyone approaches the Jeopardy experience in the Golf-approved manner.
Has nothing to do with my manner, has everything to do with game theory.
Please explain how game theory applies to a one person game.
I've spent about 8 minutes of my life thus far considering whether you're trolling or just don't get math, and I think I'm gonna retire after this next sentence. If you're not trolling, consider auditing a math course at your local community college; you might be surprised how useful it can be.

Obviously Golf is right about maximizing EV, but humans aren't EV-maximizing robots.
While I generally agree with Golf's recommendations, Vanya's comment is correct (if nitpicky) - Golf is misusing the term "game theory".

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by triviawayne »

MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote: You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?

Edit: ignore taxes
You're comparing the spin of a roulette wheel linking my current total net worth to my confidence in being able to answer a trivia question in a category I love which is only linked to money I didn't have 20 minutes prior?
Yes.

Well then my answer to you is "fish don't eat ice cream"
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by BobF »

MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:

Depends on your life. I suspect it's a lot more common than you think. When I was first on, $8000 would have constituted about 200% of my net worth.

Not that I know your situation, but I would have to say $8000 might get you a decent used car after taxes; or it may pay some bills so you can say "whew" I don't have that monthly debt of a credit card or two hanging over me now. But I don't know how many would believe that amount is life changing.

Win enough after tax money to buy or pay off a home so you don't have a monthly rent/mortgage to pay, which typically eats 30% or more of your monthly income...I would have to say THAT is life-changing.
You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?

Edit: ignore taxes
Considering that since the housing crash my net worth has been negative, I guess I would have to wager the maximum amount of a clue on the board for that round. :-)
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by MDaunt »

triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote:
triviawayne wrote:
MDaunt wrote: You lack imagination.

Imagine this scenario:

You are in a casino. You are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity. You can wager any amount up to your total net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel. You can bet red or black and you get the house odds (you win if it lands on 0 or 00).

How much do you wager?

Edit: ignore taxes
You're comparing the spin of a roulette wheel linking my current total net worth to my confidence in being able to answer a trivia question in a category I love which is only linked to money I didn't have 20 minutes prior?
Yes.

Well then my answer to you is "fish don't eat ice cream"
I'm sorry you didn't understand the question. The question was:

If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by BigDaddyMatty »

triviawayne wrote:Well then my answer to you is "fish don't eat ice cream"
Au contraire!
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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by gnash »

The argument that some people have a target minimum amount they want to take home only makes sense if one owes some money to the Mafia, or at least the local loan shark who will break their knee caps if they can't repay the debt. If that does not apply, you should compare the amount to your expected lifetime earnings, not your current net worth (which is low or negative for most young people, so you can get absurd conclusions). And then the amounts involved are small enough for most people that risk aversion doesn't rationally apply.

Anyway, even if risk aversion applies, I still don't see how one could rationally bet anything between zero and (max-1). It just increases the number of situations in which you would choose zero.

ETA: I should perhaps clarify that I am talking about the original question, with a relatively small amount involved. If you are entering FJ with, say, $40,000, additional considerations become significant. Not only may it be a sizeable chunk of your lifetime income (especially in PV terms), but also the progressivity of income tax brackets needs to be taken into account.
Last edited by gnash on Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by lieph82 »

gnash wrote:
lieph82 wrote:
Vanya wrote:
Golf wrote:
zakharov wrote:I realize you don't think this way, but not everyone approaches the Jeopardy experience in the Golf-approved manner.
Has nothing to do with my manner, has everything to do with game theory.
Please explain how game theory applies to a one person game.
I've spent about 8 minutes of my life thus far considering whether you're trolling or just don't get math, and I think I'm gonna retire after this next sentence. If you're not trolling, consider auditing a math course at your local community college; you might be surprised how useful it can be.

Obviously Golf is right about maximizing EV, but humans aren't EV-maximizing robots.
While I generally agree with Golf's recommendations, Vanya's comment is correct (if nitpicky) - Golf is misusing the term "game theory".
It's nitpicky to the point of being wrong in any meaningful sense. Decision theory, the theory of one-person games, has many similarities to and is generally considered to be under the umbrella of game theory. One-person games can also be considered two-person games in which the second player is nature.

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Re: If you were alone on FJ, would you bet all but $1?

Post by gnash »

lieph82 wrote: It's nitpicky to the point of being wrong in any meaningful sense. Decision theory, the theory of one-person games, has many similarities to and is generally considered to be under the umbrella of game theory. One-person games can also be considered two-person games in which the second player is nature.
See, I think your description, while logically correct, is highly misleading, because the whole point of game theory is that it is a theoretical foundation for study of interaction between strategical agents. So yes, one can think of decision theory as a degenerate case of game theory, but that's not a way of thinking that is likely advance one's understanding of either.

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