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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the comments-must-be-in-the-form-of-a-question dept.

Stats 412

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "USA Today reports that Arthur Chu, an insurance compliance analyst and aspiring actor, has won $102,800 in four Jeopardy! appearances using a strategy — jumping around the board instead of running categories straight down, betting odd amounts on Daily Doubles and doing a final wager to tie — that has fans calling him a 'villain' and 'smug.' It's Arthur's in-game strategy of searching for the Daily Double that has made him such a target. Typically, contestants choose a single category and progressively move from the lowest amount up to the highest, giving viewers an easy-to-understand escalation of difficulty. But Arthur has his sights solely set on finding those hidden Daily Doubles, which are usually located on the three highest-paying rungs in the categories (the category itself is random). That means, rather than building up in difficulty, he begins at the most difficult questions. Once the two most difficult questions have been taken off the board in one column, he quickly jumps to another category. It's a grating experience for the viewer, who isn't given enough to time to get in a rhythm or fully comprehend the new subject area. 'The more unpredictable you are, the more you put your opponents off-balance, the longer you can keep an initial advantage,' says Chu. 'It greatly increases your chance of winning the game if you can pull it off, and I saw no reason not to do it.' Another contra-intuitive move Chu has made is playing for a tie rather than to win in 'Final Jeopardy' because that allows you advance to the next round which is the most important thing, not the amount of money you win in one game. 'In terms of influence on the game,Arthur looks like a trendsetter of things to come,' says Eric Levenson. 'Hopefully that has more to do with his game theory than with his aggressive button-pressing.'"

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3 Day Old News (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155091)

This story has been making the rounds since the weekend, and now slashdot gets around to it?
No wonder this site is going into the toilet and readership drying up.

Re:3 Day Old News (2, Insightful)

jaymz666 (34050) | about 9 months ago | (#46155125)

I thought it was that people were being AC instead of a real username.

Re:3 Day Old News (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155451)

USA Today reports that Arthur Chu, an insurance compliance analyst and aspiring actor, has won $102,800 in four Jeopardy! appearances using a strategy — jumping around the board instead of running categories straight down, betting odd amounts on Daily Doubles and doing a final wager to tie — that has fans calling him a 'villain' and 'smug.'

How to be called "smug" in American culture: be successful and have a method to your success that is more than a matter of opinion or belief.

The number of ignorant, envious people in America who think their articles of faith are equal to demonstrated facts is just staggering. "I have intensely strong feelings about something so it JUST HAS TO BE right!"

Re:3 Day Old News (4, Informative)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46155673)

He's getting booed because he's taking all the fun out of the game for the viewers. It's not the freaking Olympics. It's a tv show, meant to entertain. He's not being entertaining.

Re:3 Day Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155537)

"real pseudonym" is an oxymoron.

-Falos

Re:3 Day Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155827)

Odd. I thought it was because British teens took over the site in 2005.

(The sad part: I'm not joking. Seach some archives if you think I'm making it up.)

MODS! EMERGENCY! DIAL 1011! [MoD PaReNt Up] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155207)

So emergent that you must dial 1011 instead of 911. Mod parent up!

Re:MODS! EMERGENCY! DIAL 1011! [MoD PaReNt Up] (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155327)

Its been changed 0118 999 881 999 119 725 ... 3

Re:MODS! EMERGENCY! DIAL 1011! [MoD PaReNt Up] (1)

rickett81 (987309) | about 9 months ago | (#46155873)

So did you have to look the new number up?

GREG KIHN SAYS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155109)

Don Pardo is in Jeopardy !!

He's Playing To Win (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155121)

He's playing to win, not necessarily to win the most money possible. He's using a strategy that prevents the other players from getting the Daily Doubles and limits their potential earnings while increasing his odds of earning enough to win.

He's not making people happy, but he's playing to win.

Re:He's Playing To Win (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 9 months ago | (#46155319)

He still has to answer the questions correctly. So I'm not seeing the problem.

The first person who got the last question right gets to pick the next block. So even if he is selecting this block, he still has to get it right before the other players.

This is jeopardy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155725)

So he has to questions the answers! Not the other way around :D

He doesn't have to know the answer (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155751)

You're missing one point - if you pick the higher value questions in a category without seeing the first few (to understand the types of answers that are wanted), it makes them even harder. It also means that there's a good chance that no one will want to risk buzzing in to answer. And if no one buzzes in, he gets to pick another random block.
So, that's what's happening, and a lot of the outrage is because he is 'wasting' the questions because no one can answer them out of context and it makes the game less fun for the audience and other players.

Re:He's Playing To Win (2)

mlts (1038732) | about 9 months ago | (#46155475)

It reminds me of how people started kiai-ing in tennis matches. Yes, it startled people at first and provided a competitive edge, now it just makes matches a little bit more annoying to watch... now that everyone does it. Same with having groups blast their vuvuzelas constantly during the Olympics because the side not doing it lost more.

Re:He's Playing To Win (2, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46155527)

I didn't watch either of them, and even I know that was the world cup, not the Olympics.

Re:He's Playing To Win (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 9 months ago | (#46155945)

s/Olympics/World Cup...

In any case, what happens is that someone finds a strategy to win that ends up being along the lines of out-obnoxious-ing the other side, which makes things less entertaining overall.

Re:He's Playing To Win (3, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#46155909)

Kiai provides power and stamina. Research has shown shouting and especially cursing provides additional stamina, strength, and pain tolerance; I even kiai when doing sit-ups because I can pull off 30% more that way, but god damn does it hurt for the next few minutes.

HaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! /goku

Re: He's Playing To Win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155911)

Haven't watched a match since that started.

Re:He's Playing To Win (5, Insightful)

curunir (98273) | about 9 months ago | (#46155535)

He's not necessarily playing to win, because the rules of the game don't encourage him to do that...from his perspective, ties are as good or better than a win. If the rules were changed such that the two tying contestants would split the amount that each of them accrued, he'd most certainly play to win. But a tie means a) he keeps his whole total for himself, b) he comes back to play again and, possibly most importantly, c) he brings with him to the next game an opponent he's fairly certain he can beat. To see why the last one is important, you have to realize that there are a certain number of exceptional players that are really hard to beat (call them a "Ken Jennings"). Until each contestant plays the game, there's a certain probability that one of them will be a Ken Jennings. A typical winner will get two new contestants each game and so doubles the odds that he or she will face a Ken Jennings. Chu, by halving the number of new players he faces, also halves the odds of running into an opponent who's better than he is.

Given all the advantages of playing not to lose instead of playing to win, I'd say he's pretty smart for doing so. He's getting to keep a winner's amount each time, gets to come back to play again and limits the number of untested contestants he has to play against. Basically, he's playing to win money rather than win the game, which are close enough to the same goal that they've historically been inseparable. But he's figured out how to separate them and, in doing so, has angered people who enjoy the game more than the money.

Re:He's Playing To Win (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#46155937)

He's angered people who enjoy their view of the game more than they enjoy his money.

Upredictable WTF? (5, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | about 9 months ago | (#46155131)

How is he unpredictable if he's known to jump categories after knocking off the two hardest questions? Sounds like a storm in a teacup - dumbasses pissed off because the guy isn't playing how they would.

Re:Upredictable WTF? (2)

Altus (1034) | about 9 months ago | (#46155179)

Isn't that basically how Watson went about it as well?

Re:Upredictable WTF? (5, Insightful)

number17 (952777) | about 9 months ago | (#46155401)

This is Jeopardy's nipplegate that keeps them in the news and relevant. Its been on the air for 50 years and this is the first time somebody has "played the game" as opposed to picking random squares or going at it sequentially top to bottom?

Re:Upredictable WTF? (1)

Altus (1034) | about 9 months ago | (#46155499)

To be fair there is something to be said for top to bottom in some categories. May of them are tricky and have a particular pattern to them and usually the top one makes the pattern pretty clear. Sometimes when you jump right in to the middle you end up with a question that you don't understand or that you might have been able to answer if you understood the format better.

Re:Upredictable WTF? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155619)

If you RTFA you'd know that someone else did it in the 80s, whom Chu is copying deliberately.

I'll take A petit Dejunair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155715)

Alex!

Re:Upredictable WTF? (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 9 months ago | (#46155511)

How is he unpredictable if he's known to jump categories after knocking off the two hardest questions? Sounds like a storm in a teacup - dumbasses pissed off because the guy isn't playing how they would.

The phoney "controversy" is merely because he formulated and applied a strategy. The mainstream mind has been conditioned to be subconsciously yet deeply resentful of any kind of preplanned strategic thinking. In a different but related observation, simply suggesting that corporations can and will plan several moves ahead in order to maximize their profits or control of a market, or suggeting that powerful people in government will systematically abuse their sweeping powers (hello Snowden) will often cause the small-minded to emotionally respond by calling you a tinfoil-hatter.

The takeaway is that those who live their own personal lives in a haphazard, unplanned, thoughtless manner really want to believe that there is no other way to do things. It's what "protects" them from taking a hard look in the mirror and asking themselves some pertinent and overdue questions.

Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155703)

Fucking go outside once in a while. Stop masturbating to your bullshit philosophies about how you're the only person left that hasn't been incorporated, as a drone, into some 7-billion-strong hivemind. Someone beating Jeopardy by picking the tough questions first so his opponents can't catch up later is NOT breaking down a fucking NSA-Corporation conspiracy, you stupid piece of shit.

Re:Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155927)

But his mommy says he's the most special snowflake while giving him his daily handjob!

Hugh Pickens is Gay! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155137)

Why are these articles--like 70% of Slashdot articles--submitted by "Hugh Pickens?" They tend to suck! Must be because he is GAY. Soulskill and timmyboy have a conflict of interest in supporting him for his gaydom!
 
-- Ethanol-fueled

"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 9 months ago | (#46155145)

I guess a lot of Americans hate smart people, don't they? I'd have thought it would have been far more entertaining to watch someone do something different, interesting and successful, but what do I know. I'm sure the Idiocracy version will be along any time now.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (2)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#46155237)

I think Japan has had the Idiocracy version of game shows for some time now. Easy questions with humorous punishments for wrong answers seems like the perfect Idiocracy approach - makes you wonder why approach hasn't taken over US TV gameshows.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155301)

Easy questions with humorous punishments for wrong answers seems like the perfect Idiocracy approach - makes you wonder why approach hasn't taken over US TV gameshows.

Liability.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46155757)

Humerous punishments like a shot in the nuts? Thanks no thanks.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155259)

Jeopardy is not about being smart. It is about memorizing a lot of stuff. The sad thing is that so few Americans seem to know the difference. Now we have someone who is either smart or smart enough to listen to good strategies and implement them, and we have people complaining about them. Then again, people in the US complain about commercials in languages other than the native languages of the land (you know like Cherokee).

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (1, Interesting)

causality (777677) | about 9 months ago | (#46155579)

Jeopardy is not about being smart. It is about memorizing a lot of stuff. The sad thing is that so few Americans seem to know the difference.

From a young age, they've been trained for at least twelve years to believe that rote memorization is the be-all and end-all of knowledge and education, and exactly the same thing as having the courage to be a thinking individual.

The pop-culture questions in Jeopardy seem to be an attempt to throw a bone to the majority who don't like thinking and only do it to the extent that it's necessary for getting what they want. They also ensure that some of the very most intelligent contestants can still be defeated, simply because those who have extensive knowledge of science or history tend not to care too much about meaningless things like how many spouses an actress has had.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (4, Insightful)

BlueBlade (123303) | about 9 months ago | (#46155813)

One should not minimize the value of knowledge either. I'm a lot more scared of ignorant smart people than of ignorant idiots. You could argue the point that trivia isn't knowledge, but even then, some basic knowledge of culture, cinema, politics and sports make for better rounded people. Most of the cultural questions have to do with influential people and it's still worth knowing about them, if only to know how they influenced trends or some such.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (1)

cupantae (1304123) | about 9 months ago | (#46155279)

Yeah, I mean, who wants some egghead know-it-all spoiling their quiz shows?
Also, might I be so bold as to suggest that a Chinese name and appearance puts Americans off? Sure, he's American, but couldn't he have an honest name, like Brad Schmidt?

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (4, Insightful)

Huntr (951770) | about 9 months ago | (#46155295)

Or, it's a game show that people watch to be entertained and perhaps they don't find it as entertaining, regardless of whether or not it's a smart strategy.

Ken Jennings won 3 million dollars and something like 75 matches in a row on Jeopardy. But, he did it in an entertaining enough fashion, so people didn't bitch like this. It's not about hating on the smart guy.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (3, Interesting)

NiteTrip (694597) | about 9 months ago | (#46155565)

Ken Jennings used this same strategy.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (1)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#46155311)

A lot of vocal idiots hate smart people.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155479)

A lot of 'smart' people look down on others that do not think the way they do...

Do you have a point or where you just looking to put out insults?

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155411)

Nothing more pathetic than Slashdotters declaring "Huhr, Idiocracy!" at any given time, especially when they're the stupid fucks in the equation. "The audience peoples" are angry that he's disrupting the narrative of the game, not that he's "too smart" to play Jeopardy. Gameshows are supposed to be interesting to watch, but if he kills the tension that builds when bids get higher and questions get tougher, then the show is a complete decrescendo. He's not there to make money anymore than gladiators were there just to kill people. If Rome wanted people dead, they'd just slit their throats and let them bleed out. If Jeopardy wanted to simply award people with trivial knowledge, they'd give them a written test and hand them an envelope with a correct-response-proportionate amount of money inside.

Personally, I'm on Team Chu. He seems as good a guy as any to win a lot of money, but I'm definitely not on Team Tantrum-Throwing-Manbaby (you)

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (1, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | about 9 months ago | (#46155905)

Gameshows are supposed to be interesting to watch

Really? I watched an gameshow on a US network once. The format was something like this

[commercials]
Previously: [recap asking one question for 3 minutes]
Now: ask new question, guy gives new answer, guy founds out if he's right [4 minutes]
Next: [preview guy being asked more questions for 2 minutes]
[commercials]

And so on. If you trim it down you get about 15 minutes an hour of new material. That's not interesting.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 9 months ago | (#46155427)

Most of the people I know who watch Jeopary! (including myself) do so because they like to 'play along'. The normal method of playing lets you do this - the low-value questions let you see what they mean by the categories, etc. This guy's style of play (prevent others from winning) effectively takes the audience out of the game also. At that point, it just becomes another sit-and-watch game show, and I have as much interest in watching that as any other game show - none.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (2)

klui (457783) | about 9 months ago | (#46155573)

No, some people don't like it because Chu would have smoked them with his style of play. People watching wouldn't be able to feel "superior" even though playing along has advantages.

Re:"Looks like we got ourselves a thinker!" (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | about 9 months ago | (#46155923)

They don't hate smart people. They hate people who are smarter than they are. Which, for half the American people, is the other half.

Ratings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155157)

He's only a trendsetter as long as the ratings are good. If the audience is bored and viewership plummets, the producers will engineer his loss and move on. This is a show after all, ratings are key.

However, if he can play up his "heel" performance a bit, it could be good for the show which will keep him on. But if he challenges the Jeopardy formula that hurts the show he'll lose in the long run. Playing the meta-game of pleasing the producers is just as important as playing the trivia game.

Re:Ratings (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about 9 months ago | (#46155455)

The shows are taped months in advance. None of what you said applies.

Whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155185)

which are usually located on the three highest-paying rungs in the categories (the category itself is random).

Something tells me this will change fast.

Otherwise, if he's in the rules of the game, just the audience whining like bitches.

Re:Whine (1)

The_Dude (26374) | about 9 months ago | (#46155501)

If Daily Doubles were 100% random, they would be located in the 3 higher slots more than 50% of the time because those slots make up 60% of the board. Of course the real article http://www.mentalfloss.com/art... [mentalfloss.com] states that when IBM's Watson analyzed Jeopardy it discovered that Daily Doubles actually were more likely to be placed in the highest 2 slots indicating non-random placement.

Re:Whine (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46155557)

It could still be random, just over a subset of the board and not the entire board.

Re:Whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155885)

weighted random can still be random.
For example:

random = rnd()*10
if (random <= 3) { row5 }
else { row6 }

the rows are still determined by a random function, but row 6 is about twice as likely to be chosen over row 5.

They'll stop him (5, Interesting)

The_Star_Child (2660919) | about 9 months ago | (#46155227)

They'll stop him somehow. Playing like that will decrease ratings. And ratings are, obviously, all they care about.

Re:They'll stop him (5, Insightful)

pseudofrog (570061) | about 9 months ago | (#46155273)

Playing the way he is will lead to news stories, which will lead to better ratings.

Re:They'll stop him (4, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | about 9 months ago | (#46155289)

Nah, it could actually increase ratings. People love to have something to be righteously indignant about. They'll watch him just so they can bitch about him.

Re:They'll stop him (1)

causality (777677) | about 9 months ago | (#46155665)

Nah, it could actually increase ratings. People love to have something to be righteously indignant about. They'll watch him just so they can bitch about him.

Do you ever listen to talk radio? The key is not to take it too seriously. The fact is, if I have complete control over the topic, I decide exactly which questions will be asked, which answers will be accepted, and I can mute you anytime I want, I am going to "win" the "debate" every time. A talk show host is like that. There's a reason proper debates have neutral moderators and time limits that are equally applied.

Within the boundaries of that understanding, it's entertaining. What I truly find amusing: the guy who calls the show (probably waiting on hold for 30+ minutes) to bitch about how horrible it is and how offended he is, yet he's intimately familiar with the content of the last several shows.

"I'm offended!" is always a smokescreen for "you need to let me control who you are and how you act". Personally, if I dislike a show, I stop listening to it. For some, this carries the disadvantage of nothing to bitch about.

Re:They'll stop him (1)

dcollins (135727) | about 9 months ago | (#46155719)

It's the professional wrestling/Andy Kaufman strategy.

Re:They'll stop him (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 9 months ago | (#46155899)

Not only that. Imagine the water cooler conversations. Imagine the publicity that Jeopardy will get. They'll probably see ratings that haven't been so high since Ken Jennings.

Assuming this guy keeps playing.

Re:They'll stop him (3, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 9 months ago | (#46155339)

Game shows have been pretty heavily regulated since the scandals in the 1950s. They'd have to do something obvious like change the rules, which could also hurt ratings.

Re:They'll stop him (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155363)

Bring Trebek's mustache back.

IBM's Watson will take him down (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46155407)

IBM's Watson will take him down

Re:They'll stop him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155467)

It's their show and they have a perfect right to do that. Reminds me of the PGA Senior Tour, which decided to go to the "Champions" format when they realized that folks were tuning in to see Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, and nobody cared if Dennis McConklin D.D.S., a fitness buff actually improved his game to the point into his early '60s to the point where he could compete against the old tour pros.

Re:They'll stop him (1)

paiute (550198) | about 9 months ago | (#46155717)

It's their show and they have a perfect right to do that. Reminds me of the PGA Senior Tour, which decided to go to the "Champions" format when they realized that folks were tuning in to see Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, and nobody cared if Dennis McConklin D.D.S., a fitness buff actually improved his game to the point into his early '60s to the point where he could compete against the old tour pros.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Re:They'll stop him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155539)

No shit, it's an entertainment show, not some divine ritual.

Play for the tie (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 9 months ago | (#46155231)

I've wondered for years why more players don't play for the tie instead of the win. For one thing, doesn't that mean that the person who would have been in second place but who tied instead also gets to keep their money? Seems to me like it's kind of a dick move to not play for the tie, unless you just don't like the person for some reason. For another, wouldn't it be to your advantage to take someone with you into the next game that you already know you can beat? I mean, I'd feel safer going up against Steve from Montana who I was a few thousand ahead of going into Final Jeopardy than risk facing Watson and Ken Jennings on tomorrow's show.

Re:Play for the tie (1)

Gabrosin (1688194) | about 9 months ago | (#46155365)

I've wondered the same thing. What's more, if you intentionally play for the tie with another player, and they succeed, they may very well reciprocate the favor if they're in the lead on the next show. Won't last forever without some sort of collusion, but it's another marginal increase of your odds of sticking around and winning more money, at little cost to you (just the EV of your additional bet).

Re:Play for the tie (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#46155483)

I don't know this gameshow but wouldn't playing for a tie put you closer to losing if the other guy isn't doing the same? Winning by some margin seems safer.

Re:Play for the tie (1)

swillden (191260) | about 9 months ago | (#46155711)

I don't know this gameshow but wouldn't playing for a tie put you closer to losing if the other guy isn't doing the same?

You play to tie assuming the other guy is playing to maximize his winnings. You bet so that if both of you get the correct answer, you tie.

Re:Play for the tie (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 9 months ago | (#46155947)

Except in theory that shouldn't work for very long, if we go with a theoretical 1:4 chance of both of you getting the question right (otherwise you win and eliminate them, they win and eliminate you, or the third player eliminates you both). And it only works if most people bet everything on Final Jeopardy, which seems like a rather poor idea tactically.

Re:Play for the tie (1)

khasim (1285) | about 9 months ago | (#46155509)

Probably because too much of it rests on the final question where you get to bet any amount of your winnings.

So in order to go for the tie ...
a. you're in the lead - you bet $0 and hope that all other players with the chance of winning also play to tie.

b. you're behind - you hope that the person in the lead bets $0 because he is relying upon you to play to tie. And that the other player isn't in a position to bet enough to exceed both your scores by $1.

And that your opponents get the answers right or wrong as needed. Betting $X to tie the lead who bet $0 won't help if you get the answer wrong.

Awes0me 7p. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155235)

'Yes' to any If you don't share. FreeBSD is aacounts for less bombshell hit than this B`SD box, Java IRC client 80s, DARPA saw BSD of HIV and other 'You see, even

User doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155241)

>Contestant jeered for playing correctly

If the hammer in your new Rock-Paper-Scissors-Hammer game beats rock AND scissors, don't blame the fucking players when they all pick it. They didn't "ruin" anything; your design already did.

Re:User doesn't matter (1)

causality (777677) | about 9 months ago | (#46155753)

>Contestant jeered for playing correctly

If the hammer in your new Rock-Paper-Scissors-Hammer game beats rock AND scissors, don't blame the fucking players when they all pick it. They didn't "ruin" anything; your design already did.

That would require a whole moment's reflection on how the situation actually got to be that way. The average person doesn't look even that tiny little bit beyond the most superficial layer of thought. Rather, they decide based on emotion that they like this person or don't like that other person, and then go back and look for ways to justify their stance.

Why people hate it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155261)

People hate it because they can't understand whats going on, and the questions being so hard.
People don't usually watch these shows to root for a contestant, but to 'feel intelligent' by knowing answers, which is more likely with the easier questions.

Very little "game theory" here (3, Insightful)

SensitiveMale (155605) | about 9 months ago | (#46155293)

Just common sense. Don't bet big on daily doubles if you don't know the subject. Hit the big numbers first. I'm always stunned when two contestants are $4k back and they keep picking the $200 questions.

Winning via riff on Nash equilibrium? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#46155321)

When I read the into it made me think of the Nash equilibrium [wikipedia.org] . I wasn't the only one apparently.

'Hero-villain' Jeopardy! contestant returns to game show Feb. 24 [go.com]

In the movie "A Beautiful Mind," actor Russell Crowe plays John Nash, the mathematician behind the "Nash equilibrium." There's a scene in the film where Nash realizes that he and his friends should avoid simultaneously trying to win the heart of the most attractive woman in the bar. He urges them, instead, to confer and woo her less attractive friends. Therefore, everyone leaves the bar happy. In some sense, Chu is John Nash allowing his fellow contestant to leave the bar happy, too.

Re:Winning via riff on Nash equilibrium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155471)

The situation in that movie wasn't a Nash Equilibrium.

Re:Winning via riff on Nash equilibrium? (1)

causality (777677) | about 9 months ago | (#46155789)

When I read the into it made me think of the Nash equilibrium [wikipedia.org] . I wasn't the only one apparently.

'Hero-villain' Jeopardy! contestant returns to game show Feb. 24 [go.com]

In the movie "A Beautiful Mind," actor Russell Crowe plays John Nash, the mathematician behind the "Nash equilibrium." There's a scene in the film where Nash realizes that he and his friends should avoid simultaneously trying to win the heart of the most attractive woman in the bar. He urges them, instead, to confer and woo her less attractive friends. Therefore, everyone leaves the bar happy. In some sense, Chu is John Nash allowing his fellow contestant to leave the bar happy, too.

Heh that's an excellent contribution. The only winner of that scenario is the most attractive woman. Everyone else loses. Even a man who gets her loses, because a woman who accepts being a prize or object of a contest like that is not going to have much beauty beneath the surface.

Re:Winning via riff on Nash equilibrium? (1)

paiute (550198) | about 9 months ago | (#46155801)

He urges them, instead, to confer and woo her less attractive friends.

They were mathematicians. No woman was going to leave with them no matter what game strategy they played.

Game theory? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155331)

Interesting strategy, and makes sense. But unless I've missed something, this doesn't seem to be applying Game Theory, which is about conflict and cooperation between competitors in order to succeed. His strategy is simply a statistical approach to playing in order to create a better likelihood of success.

More trivia about the contestant (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155357)

In another tidbit, Chu has been providing the voice acting for some short story clips on erfworld.com . The author there notes that Chu's disruptive and intelligent gaming is similar to the protagonist of the comic there; it's interesting to see this. A comic about a shrewd strategist who makes waves and steps on toes with his unconventional warfare and leveraging minutiae has a vociferous fan who reads it aloud for other fans before appearing on Jeopardy where he's a shrewd strategist...

And hey, that's some trivia about a contestant on a trivia show.

What a contradiction! (4, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | about 9 months ago | (#46155383)

Jeopardy is all about intellectual competition (and money, and marketing, and Hollywierd...). So one player used his academic understanding of the science known as game theory and applied it to this game, and the viewers are unhappy? I guess the player is smarter than the viewers - hardly surprising, I guess.

Re:What a contradiction! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155835)

Jeopardy is all about intellectual competition (and money, and marketing, and Hollywierd...). So one player used his academic understanding of the science known as game theory and applied it to this game, and the viewers are unhappy? I guess the player is smarter than the viewers - hardly surprising, I guess.

Perhaps these viewers would be happier with something more mindless like professional sports.

Professional sports are like watching a bunch of Fortune 500 CEOs play football. No matter how the game goes, they're all multimillionaires. It's just cool to be a multimillionaire by embracing jock culture, and not cool to get there by embracing business culture. Even though most CEOs don't make the kind of salary the average NFL quarterback makes.

Stupid people confused (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 9 months ago | (#46155419)

by smart strategy, news at 11. We will use small words.

Re:Stupid people confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155585)

What is this "strategy" you speak of? Such a big word...

Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155549)

This is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. Jeopardy has been around for what? 25 years or so? If the audience doesn't like this, the network will respond, this will undoubtedly force change. It will either adapt or die.

Renaissance man (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155577)

Arthur Chu is a bit of a renaissance man, like Leonardo da Vinci, albeit on a much smaller scale. He's a trivia buff, game theorist, and voice actor. I first heard of him through his work on Erfworld. I wish him well as he makes history on Jeopardy!

He isn't the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155643)

Hunting for Daily Doubles isn't new. I watched Jeopardy daily for a few months last year and a few people were doing it. It is very jarring for the viewer. Is it smart? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean I want to watch it. I actively rooted for Ken Jennings because he was fun to watch. I eagerly awaited the loss of the Daily Double hunters because it ruined my experience.

Same as Wheel of Fortune? (5, Funny)

tompaulco (629533) | about 9 months ago | (#46155655)

In the old days of Wheel of Fortune, in the last round, they had you select a certain number of consonants and a vowel, and then you had to guess the phrase. After awhile, people started always picking the most common consonants and vowels. Was there similar controversy? I don't recall. At any point, after this got boring, they changed the game to where they gave you these letters automatically and then let you guess some more. I'm not sure if they have now started always receiving the same secondary list of letters or not. Maybe eventually it will get to the point where they give you all of the characters and just see if you can manage to read it.

News flash! (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 9 months ago | (#46155669)

Typically, contestants choose a single category and progressively move from the lowest amount up to the highest, giving viewers an easy-to-understand escalation of difficulty. But Arthur ... begins at the most difficult questions. [then] quickly jumps to another category. It's a grating experience for the viewer, who isn't given enough to time to get in a rhythm or fully comprehend the new subject area.

Most people too dumb to appear on Jeopardy and get annoyed at player who makes them realize this. Film at 11.

[In addition, I've seen many cases where contestants don't run a category top to bottom.]

Re:News flash! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#46155829)

Hold it, there are people who are too stupid to appear on Jeopardy? And we still let them vote?

Now the whole shit in D.C. starts to make sense...

Dumb motherfuckers (5, Insightful)

satan666 (398241) | about 9 months ago | (#46155671)

Mr. Arthur Chu is too polite to say it but I'm not.

Gee, I'm sorry that he plays to win and in a new and smart way.
I'm sorry you are all a bunch of dumb motherfuckers.
I'm sorry that he interrupted your sorry-ass motherfucking lives.
I'm sorry that he didn't play by your imaginary rules.
I'm sorry for your sad existence where a game is all you
live for.

Why don't you go eat your microwave dinner and drink for your
miserable excuse for a life. Then cry yourself to sleep
over the universe's cruelty.

Boo-fucking-hoo!!!!

Fucking losers...

Screw the idiot viewer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46155677)

Good for him. Break the bank, Chu!

That's a good thing! (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 9 months ago | (#46155743)

So..everyone in the history of the show has followed a linear, easiest to hardest, one line at a time strategy to try and win? Of course not. It is incredibly odd to me that people would be upset over this and call him smug and a "villain"...really!?!?

This kind of reminds me of that show Battlebots (4, Interesting)

DRMShill (1157993) | about 9 months ago | (#46155791)

On Comedy Central. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org] . One of the most effective designs, the wedge was also the most painfully uninteresting to watch.

Did we get that far with "everyone's a winner"? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#46155807)

Is it politically incorrect now to play to win? Guess what, when people go on game shows they aim to win. What a novel concept.

Smart dude, we should celebrate him (1)

marcgvky (949079) | about 9 months ago | (#46155837)

Why are innovators always trashed. Good for him. Hope he blows everyone out of the water. But still, I thought game theory was like Monte Carlo simulations that run multiple simulations to determine the most likely outcome.... did he do that before the game and decide a new strat?

I think his own comments about how he... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 9 months ago | (#46155871)

...would press the button for ANY daily double that popped up and then simply bet a trivial amount of money to deny it to the other players if he didn't think he could answer the question is an example of violating the spirit of the game without violating the law.

That's the kind of thing that people didn't like as far as I can tell.

It comes down to what kind of person you are: does the end justify the means?

This sort of conflict is common in society; i.e., should you screw other people over when it isn't illegal even if it is immoral? Anyone seen "Suckers"?

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