Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion [SPOILERS]

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gnash
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by gnash »

Rex Kramer wrote:
seaborgium wrote:
Bamaman wrote:I agree. Unless one player breaking a lock can enable you to win on a sole solve in FJ, there is no reason to put down your buzzer.
And if one player breaking a lock can enable you to win (assuming first place is going to make the "cover by a dollar" bet), then you yourself can break the lock on the same clue.
We had a long discussion about the ethics of this exact situation about 4 years ago on the old Boards, and at some point someone pointed out that it's not all about math -- that allowing your co-trailer to break the leader's lock might give you a non-zero chance of winning not because it puts you in mathematical contention, but because there is always the small possibility that the leader might bet unwisely after losing the lock.
That's a good point, but if the leader can make an irrational wager in a crush game, he or she can also make it in a lock game (and we've seen that happen, too). So I am skeptical that taking that into account changes anything in practice - unless you know something about the leader's peculiar betting propensities.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by goforthetie »

I wonder how many scenarios there are in which the 3rd place player is advantaged by allowing an opponent to get the last clue rather than taking it himself. I can only think of one very specific one - a scenario like $17K/$15K/$4K in which player 3 hopes player 2 gets the last $2K clue in order to earn a tie with the leader. If player 3 earns the $2K he's in a bad spot, needing a single solve on FJ combined with an unsavvy wager from 2nd place; if player 1 earns the $2K player 3 is no worse off; but if player 2 takes the clue, a single solve on FJ is (almost always) the only requirement.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by KellyJ! »

goforthetie wrote:I wonder how many scenarios there are in which the 3rd place player is advantaged by allowing an opponent to get the last clue rather than taking it himself. I can only think of one very specific one - a scenario like $17K/$15K/$4K in which player 3 hopes player 2 gets the last $2K clue in order to earn a tie with the leader. If player 3 earns the $2K he's in a bad spot, needing a single solve on FJ combined with an unsavvy wager from 2nd place; if player 1 earns the $2K player 3 is no worse off; but if player 2 takes the clue, a single solve on FJ is (almost always) the only requirement.
In the case of tied leaders, even a single solve is not a requirement for the trailer; if everyone misses FJ! and both leaders bet it all the trailer can win (provided he/she did not bet it all). Depending on the exact position of 1st and 2nd place and how well 2nd wagers, a TS win is possible for 3rd anytime he/she has at least twice the difference between 1st and 2nd's score (with at least the difference but less than twice the difference a correct response for 3rd is needed, and with less than the difference 3rd can't win unless the leader bets more than what is necessary to cover).

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by goforthetie »

KellyJ! wrote:
goforthetie wrote:I wonder how many scenarios there are in which the 3rd place player is advantaged by allowing an opponent to get the last clue rather than taking it himself. I can only think of one very specific one - a scenario like $17K/$15K/$4K in which player 3 hopes player 2 gets the last $2K clue in order to earn a tie with the leader. If player 3 earns the $2K he's in a bad spot, needing a single solve on FJ combined with an unsavvy wager from 2nd place; if player 1 earns the $2K player 3 is no worse off; but if player 2 takes the clue, a single solve on FJ is (almost always) the only requirement.
In the case of tied leaders, even a single solve is not a requirement for the trailer; if everyone misses FJ! and both leaders bet it all the trailer can win (provided he/she did not bet it all). Depending on the exact position of 1st and 2nd place and how well 2nd wagers, a TS win is possible for 3rd anytime he/she has at least twice the difference between 1st and 2nd's score (with at least the difference but less than twice the difference a correct response for 3rd is needed, and with less than the difference 3rd can't win unless the leader bets more than what is necessary to cover).
You're right, I wasn't thinking straight. Even more reason to let player 2 take the money!

Although I guess in my scenario it'll be worse for player 3 if the leader takes the last clue, since he would then need a sole solve plus a poor 2nd place wager, as opposed to just needing 2 misses plus a poor 2nd place wager if he took the clue himself. Hmm, not as clean an example as I'd like...

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Mark B
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by Mark B »

This was a sensational game for many reasons.

Before the first clue was revealed, I think all J! cognoscenti were in agreement that this was as robust a “threesome” as could be hoped for. They’re up there with any ToC final three that I can recall. The board itself was strong, with many clues available for excellent players to distinguish themselves, and unlike last night’s boards, in the right boxes for value.

To me, what set the game apart was Roger’s strategy. It may have been unlike any strategy I’ve ever seen. Facing what he was facing, I think it made perfect sense. But what was it, exactly? Here’s my guess:

So. You’re Roger Craig and you’re approaching this game. You’ve had a long time to prepare, and you are as thoughtful and careful in preparation as can be imagined. There’s even a chapter in a book about your prep, for goodness sake! You know that it is unlikely that you will face a player with a broader knowledge base than yours. This isn’t ego, surely others will know things you don’t, and perhaps there are a couple of areas where opponents will have greater strengths, but you’ve been around the block enough to know that you will have the greatest coverage of the board. If the 61 clues were presented as a test, you’d like your chances. But. The buzzer. The DD’s. The luck factor. Your chances of winning this game start to slide down to 50% or lower when you consider the exceptional quality of your opponents and the possibility that, excellent buzzer that you are, you’ll be beat on the signaling device. What’s your best approach to take advantage of your strengths and maximize your chances?

Ring in on everything. You’re going to shoot first and ask questions after. KJ is the best example we’ve ever seen of this, but Roger knows just as much as he does. Hunt for the DD’s and go huge on them. If you go down, you’ll go down in flames, but it’s the best way to use your biggest strength: you know the correct responses to more clues than anyone else, and you are as trained as can be.

In practice, and combined with what looked like nerves, this led to some really weird phenomena. All those negs! The long response times! It may have been harder to pull off his strategy than Roger intended. And, as it turned out, he needed some help from his hunting-averse opponents. It almost blew up in his face. Amazingly, he didn’t seem to know FJ, despite the fact that it was straight out of the headlines about computer technology today, so a late fj get wouldn’t have saved him.

Fair disclosure, I was pulling for Roger, though Joon seems like a really great guy and Mark really impressed. Maybe my interpretation of events is colored by my hopes for RC. He’ll probably chime in and say I’m way off base, but this is how I imagine how it all went down.

I got FJ right away, ‘pi’, but figured that either formulation would be fine. It’s a bit of a silly clue for this level, but not the worst one ever. It did bring to mind the FJ that downed our old buddy Stijl, after she knocked off Madden.

I expect Roger will still be aggressive in the final, but with so much more room to maneuver, I'd guess he felt much more comfortable than he did here. As good as Tom and Buddy are, their best hopes for the overall win, I bet, were dimmed when Joon and Mark couldn’t pull off the victory last night.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by dhkendall »

Mark B wrote:Ring in on everything. You’re going to shoot first and ask questions after.
May I just pipe in and say I love this term? I hope it catches on in boardie parlance,
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by HugoZ »

Mark B wrote:Ring in on everything. You’re going to shoot first and ask questions after. KJ is the best example we’ve ever seen of this, but Roger knows just as much as he does. Hunt for the DD’s and go huge on them. If you go down, you’ll go down in flames, but it’s the best way to use your biggest strength: you know the correct responses to more clues than anyone else, and you are as trained as can be.
Mark B wrote:All those negs! The long response times! It may have been harder to pull off his strategy than Roger intended. And, as it turned out, he needed some help from his hunting-averse opponents.
If there are three sure bets in the J! Universe, they are that 1) Alex will be wearing a tie when he comes through the sliding door, 2) Maggie will be a bit more loud and animated than you're used to at 8:00 AM in the morning, and 3) Roger Craig will go DD hunting at some point in the game.

(I'm sure someone will provide evidence to the contrary for #1 and #3. Good luck with #2.)

With Roger's track record with DD's (love Gnash's nuke analogy), the only option an opponent has is to find them first, and as early as possible. For better or for worse, get them off the table, then hope for the best in the slugfest that ensues. Better to fight it out in $200 to $2000 increments than to have Roger unilaterally drop a cool 5 figures into his till.

This is still a Herculean task given Roger's normal batting average. But this game was different. As much as I hate early DD-hunting as a spectator (it can ruin the flow of the game and, as pointed out, some categories), if it wasn't a pre-game requirement, it probably should have been made one as soon as it was evident that Roger's accuracy was off.

I'd also like to see the stats of Mark and Joon's rebounds from Roger's misses. Seemed like a high number of TS's (whether by multiple wrong answers or by not ringing in). Not only missed opportunities for points, but also missed opportunities to control the board.

For me, this match is right at the top of the "interesting" (as in "out of the ordinary") scale, but if speed and accuracy are among the elements one might expect in a great TOC match (which is the case for me), then it was disappointing.

- HackenVito

PS: While I welcome torches and pitchforks, fair warning, the drawbridge is up. I will, however, accept a free trip to the Sanitarium if it is provided.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by LinusT08 »

so very sorry you (joon) are out of the TofC -- so so so typical of Alex Tre-jerk to mess a game up!!!! he is soooooo full of himself and his (NOT witty) lame comment/commentary. You are a true 'champion' and always will be!!! Who do you see in winning the tourney???

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by dhkendall »

Part 3 in the Esquire series on the semis and finals of this year's TOC:

http://www.esquire.com/the-side/feature ... -3-6555316
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by dhkendall »

LinusT08 wrote:so very sorry you (joon) are out of the TofC -- so so so typical of Alex Tre-jerk to mess a game up!!!! he is soooooo full of himself and his (NOT witty) lame comment/commentary. You are a true 'champion' and always will be!!! Who do you see in winning the tourney???
Perhaps I'll let Joon reply (he can probably do so more politely), but I can guarantee you that none of the 15 TOCers, or hardly any player at all, harbour any "jerky" feelings towards Trebek, or any glitches that may arise. Alex and the crew did their best with the glthces that came up (which arise a lot more frequently than the casual viewer may suspect, I'm sure it's jarring for the first time studio audience member when they inevitably see a glitch in the taping). Alex is also a very good host and while he may have his amusing quirks (which are required for the job of host), he always wants the focus to be on the players, never him (after all, he gets way more airtime than they do anyways, the players deserve attention a lot more than him and he knows it).

(I know, I know, don't feed the trolls and all ... )
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by opusthepenguin »

Mark B wrote:This was a sensational game for many reasons.

Before the first clue was revealed, I think all J! cognoscenti were in agreement that this was as robust a “threesome” as could be hoped for.
To me, this felt more like the Finals than the semi-finals. If those three had been in separate semi-finals, I would have expected to see each of them advance. Unless Mark Runsvold had gone up against Tom Nissley. Then I'd give a slight edge to Tom.

With all due respect to Buddy, I think Roger's toughest game is behind him. (Buddy, if I'm wrong, I hope you're enjoying a well-earned smirk at this point.)
Mark B wrote:So. You’re Roger Craig and you’re approaching this game. You’ve had a long time to prepare, and you are as thoughtful and careful in preparation as can be imagined. There’s even a chapter in a book about your prep, for goodness sake!
Seriously? Which book?

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by Suze »

dhkendall wrote: Perhaps I'll let Joon reply (he can probably do so more politely), but I can guarantee you that none of the 15 TOCers, or hardly any player at all, harbour any "jerky" feelings towards Trebek, or any glitches that may arise. Alex and the crew did their best with the glthces that came up (which arise a lot more frequently than the casual viewer may suspect, I'm sure it's jarring for the first time studio audience member when they inevitably see a glitch in the taping). Alex is also a very good host and while he may have his amusing quirks (which are required for the job of host), he always wants the focus to be on the players, never him (after all, he gets way more airtime than they do anyways, the players deserve attention a lot more than him and he knows it).
How on earth can you guarantee how 15 other people feel? Even if they did have a slight problem with how Trebek handled something, most contestants forgive it easily enough and don't speak publicly of it, but Alex isn't perfect. For example, he has this tendency to be condescending on occasion, especially to women. It doesn't make me hate him, personally, since I'd be a cocky bastard if I were a star, too.

I don't automatically assume someone is a troll for having a negative opinion of Alex Trebek. You should see the commentary out there on twitter and the like. The poster was pretty mild here.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by JoshuaRQI »

opusthepenguin wrote:
Mark B wrote:This was a sensational game for many reasons.
Mark B wrote:So. You’re Roger Craig and you’re approaching this game. You’ve had a long time to prepare, and you are as thoughtful and careful in preparation as can be imagined. There’s even a chapter in a book about your prep, for goodness sake!
Seriously? Which book?
I believe it's called Final Jeopardy. There's a chapter talking about Roger training for his first appearance and using software like Anki to brush up on his worst disciplines. They mention how most people wager too low on daily doubles, the importance of FJ wagering, signaling, etc., if I remember correctly.

EDIT: And of course daily double hunting.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by markrunsvold »

I'll preface some meatier thoughts by saying that this game was one of the biggest thrills of my life. The competition was so good that I could hardly expect to win, so I just focused on playing as well as I could. Roger deserved to win (it's not luck that he hit all three DDs), but Joon and I gave him more of a game than anyone else had to that point. It didn't even occur to me to fault Joon for that last correct response, and I still maintain that he did the right, sporting thing.

Anyway, here's my view on Roger's superiority (over me at least): We talk a lot about buzzer speed and knowledge, but at this level, any advantage a player holds in either of those areas is probably going to be marginal. It's with ring in/don't ring in strategy, clue selection (including DD hunting) and wagering where someone can really create separation. In all three facets, Roger was the better player. I got something like 7 negs over the course of my Jeopardy! career, which is almost certainly too few. My natural embarrassment-aversion tended to take hold and make me buzzer shy when I was wavering on a response. I left all sorts of money on the board because of this (Tron: Legacy being the most proximate example). I was also superstitiously unwilling to DD hunt. By the time I set my mind to doing it in this game, Roger had already made his move. As far as my wagering was concerned, I felt it was good, but far from optimal.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by dhkendall »

Suze wrote:
dhkendall wrote: Perhaps I'll let Joon reply (he can probably do so more politely), but I can guarantee you that none of the 15 TOCers, or hardly any player at all, harbour any "jerky" feelings towards Trebek, or any glitches that may arise. Alex and the crew did their best with the glthces that came up (which arise a lot more frequently than the casual viewer may suspect, I'm sure it's jarring for the first time studio audience member when they inevitably see a glitch in the taping). Alex is also a very good host and while he may have his amusing quirks (which are required for the job of host), he always wants the focus to be on the players, never him (after all, he gets way more airtime than they do anyways, the players deserve attention a lot more than him and he knows it).
How on earth can you guarantee how 15 other people feel? Even if they did have a slight problem with how Trebek handled something, most contestants forgive it easily enough and don't speak publicly of it, but Alex isn't perfect. For example, he has this tendency to be condescending on occasion, especially to women. It doesn't make me hate him, personally, since I'd be a cocky bastard if I were a star, too.

I don't automatically assume someone is a troll for having a negative opinion of Alex Trebek. You should see the commentary out there on twitter and the like. The poster was pretty mild here.
I do suppose I was as harsh as the original poster, but I think it's the tone of someone coming in on their first post and taking a condescending attitude towards someone that got my ire up.

By the way, I do agree completely with your first paragraph, and this was what I was trying to get across, but failed miserably.
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by HugoZ »

HugoZ wrote:If there are three sure bets in the J! Universe, they are that 1) Alex will be wearing a tie when he comes through the sliding door, 2) Maggie will be a bit more loud and animated than you're used to at 8:00 AM in the morning, and 3) Roger Craig will go DD hunting at some point in the game.
No sooner do I make that statement (for which I had considered using "Vanya will have a photo of a beautiful woman as an avatar"), do I go over to Guesstimania and see that Vanya has changed avatars and made me a liar....

Maybe....

Depends.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by dhkendall »

HugoZ wrote:If there are three sure bets in the J! Universe, they are that 1) Alex will be wearing a tie when he comes through the sliding door, 2) Maggie will be a bit more loud and animated than you're used to at 8:00 AM in the morning, and 3) Roger Craig will go DD hunting at some point in the game.
That last one gives me this as a mental image:

Image

"Shhh! Be vewwy vewwy quiet! I'm hunting daiwy douboes! Hahahahaha!"
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by Vanya »

HugoZ wrote:No sooner do I make that statement (for which I had considered using "Vanya will have a photo of a beautiful woman as an avatar"), do I go over to Guesstimania and see that Vanya has changed avatars and made me a liar....

Maybe....

Depends.
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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by jpahk »

markrunsvold wrote:I'll preface some meatier thoughts by saying that this game was one of the biggest thrills of my life. The competition was so good that I could hardly expect to win, so I just focused on playing as well as I could. Roger deserved to win (it's not luck that he hit all three DDs), but Joon and I gave him more of a game than anyone else had to that point. It didn't even occur to me to fault Joon for that last correct response, and I still maintain that he did the right, sporting thing.

Anyway, here's my view on Roger's superiority (over me at least): We talk a lot about buzzer speed and knowledge, but at this level, any advantage a player holds in either of those areas is probably going to be marginal. It's with ring in/don't ring in strategy, clue selection (including DD hunting) and wagering where someone can really create separation. In all three facets, Roger was the better player. I got something like 7 negs over the course of my Jeopardy! career, which is almost certainly too few. My natural embarrassment-aversion tended to take hold and make me buzzer shy when I was wavering on a response. I left all sorts of money on the board because of this (Tron: Legacy being the most proximate example). I was also superstitiously unwilling to DD hunt. By the time I set my mind to doing it in this game, Roger had already made his move. As far as my wagering was concerned, I felt it was good, but far from optimal.
thanks for posting this, mark. somehow i hadn't managed to mention anything like this on here, though i certainly had similar thoughts and expressed some of them in various other places (facebook—which, honestly, i don't have an endorsement deal with even though now 3 of my best friends work there). playing in this match was an unbelievable thrill and i'll never forget the experience. being able to share it with two guys as awesome as mark and roger—not just as jeopardy champions but as human beings—only added to the experience.

and yes, roger fully deserved to win. you make your own luck in this game, and he was really the only one of us who deserved to find those daily doubles. i can honestly say i wasn't even thinking about them, when it was obvious to all of you (and should have been obvious to me, especially given the 20-minute breather we had in the middle of DJ when both DDs were still uncovered) that they would decide the game. so yeah, when i went from ethics $1200 back to art, that was the single biggest mistake anybody made in the game. i'm not kicking myself for it, because that's not really my personality, but certainly i was naïve. in none of my 10 matches did i ever take a category out of order (except after hearing "less than a minute to go") or go DD-hunting. that's just not how i played. i don't love it when it happens during a game i'm watching, and i never felt the need to do it in my regular games... or even in my ToC QF. but it's an obviously superior strategy, and i bow to the master. if for some reason i should ever play jeopardy again, i will be on the lookout for DDs. (and i apologize in advance to my fans who will not like it.)

now, given that i do think it makes for worse TV, there are a few things that the show could do to discourage it—make the placement uniformly random, for starters. make all the category titles inscrutable/punny, so that jumping into a category in the middle is more of a risk. or even (and this would be a huge change, obviously) don't reveal the category name until the top clue has been called. but you guys have been around these boards a lot longer than me; maybe i'm rehashing an old, tired discussion.

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Re: Friday, November 11, 2011 Game Recap & Discussion (SPOILERS)

Post by RCraig »

Firstly, I just want to say how lucky I am to have A) gotten to this point at all and B) squeaked by two amazing players and gentlemen, Joon and Mark.

I believe this is the first time I haven’t had the highest coryat, so extremely big ups to Mark for doing that. And if just one question had gone the other way, Joon would’ve been first in coryat. Definitely one of the tightest games.
boson wrote:Congrats to Roger on the win! Great gutsy use of the daily doubles. Congratulations also to Mark and Joon for your great Jeopardy runs - I was rooting for all three of you, and wish could have NHL-style 7 game playoffs for the TOC.
And yeah, it would’ve been great to play a multi-game series. But even 7 game series aren’t statistically significant (far from it) for two teams that are ? and ? likely to win. I shudder to think how many games we’d have to play to get a statistically significant result. The randomness of Jeopardy! (and almost all forms of h2h, and especially h2h2h, competition) cannot be overstated. As a probabilist, I'm very much aware how my number came up this time.

Secondly, I’d like to thank everyone who said congratulations. It’s nice to read friendly comments when other places on the ‘net aren’t so congratulatory :) I hope everyone will tune in for the Finals and root for me, Tom, or Buddy, or even better: all 3. I guess if we mapped the taping of the shows onto the airing of the shows, right about now is when the three of us and Robert are having lunch, unable to talk to anyone else.

Thanks also to Rex, NJCondon, Raghuveer, and John Krizel for coming to my watching party. In addition to watching with loved ones, it was great to see grizzled veterans noticing some of the more subtle aspects of this game in real time.

And finally, if anyone has advice on how to make a non-crappy gif avatar, I’m all ears!

I’ll post some more in a bit.

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