Horse latitudes

FLS directed me to a site I really enjoy–The Final Wager, by Keith Williams, a Jeopardy! champion who analyzes the wagering in each day’s Final Jeopardy! round in both a post and a short video.  Once I watched his basic introduction-to-wagering videos, I was able to follow his strategy in the daily posts, and it’s definitely improved my understanding of what a good wager is.  I don’t always get to see the show, but I’ve been reading Keith’s posts for several weeks now.  In the videos, he stands before a small whiteboard (we can hear the TV offscreen) and calculates the wagers with colored Expo markers before un-pausing the TV and playing the FJ question along with the players.  Although his demeanor is typically pretty even-keeled, it’s fun to see how much he is still engaged with the show, more than a decade after winning the College Championship–how fresh the enjoyment of it still is.  (Which I guess is true of all of us who have been watching the show for decades, even if only intermittently.)

Friday’s game featured some truly terrible strategy on the part of the returning champion, who was behind, had a chance to catch up on Daily Doubles but bet very small, and then all three players made completely wrongheaded bets–like, even could tell they were bad.  They didn’t change the outcome from what it would have been if they had all made good bets, but all three of them bet badly, and it hit Keith hard.  Here’s the whole thing, but this is what happened: When one of the bets was revealed, he threw the remote across the room.  When the leader’s bet–which didn’t even cover a correct answer by the second-place person–was revealed, he sighed deeply, capped the green Expo marker, dropped it on the floor, capped the red one, dropped it, and turned to the camera: “OK, well, I think tonight I officially announce my retirement, ’cause no one is paying attention to me, and, uh, you know…I don’t know how much I can deal with this anymore.”

This is how teachers feel in March before spring break.


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