Has James Holzhauer broken "Jeopardy!"?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by guy incognito, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member Thread Starter

    'Jeopardy' Wasn't Designed for a Contestant Like James Holzhauer

    My mom is convinced the show is being rigged in his favor, FWIW.
    S. P. Honeybunch likes this.
  2. neo123

    neo123 Forum Resident

    Northern Kentucky
    I read about this guy too.

    He's big time sports gambler too. Takes big risks with big payoffs.
    MikaelaArsenault likes this.
  3. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    In every endeavor that involves a certain benefit of "fun", there will always be somebody who rises to the challenge of making it all about cold, fun-sucking profit.

    The radio station that tries to reward demographically-relatable listeners in order to promote something, soon ends up battling with contest pigs who don't even care what station they are monitoring, and are more willing to argue about the rules than make it more fun for the people who actually listen, and like the prizes.

    I had a college roomate who set up a treasure hunt for his friends, and one of his shiftier ones took all the fun out by finishing first, stealing the prize without announcing it, then stealing some of the clues instead of leaving them there for others to play...just to mess with their heads.

    There isn't a "sign up today!" jackpot that won't eventually turn into a controversey about who stuffed the ballot box, who took the signup sheets from the busiest signup locations, or who made the biggest stink about how they got away with breaking the rules "or you'll hear from my lawyer", causing the prize to be awarded quietly and fast to some lowlife...who, even at that moment, is eyeballing the booth at the County Fair, figuring out how do dress strategically so the carnival barker can't guess his weight.

    To these people, the "fun" is only in how they can ruin the fun and excitement for others, if it means they can say "I win" the most times. It's not even about "the prize"...it's about not sharing their little victories.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  4. carrick doone

    carrick doone Whhhuuuutttt????

    Vancouver, Canada
    Did it break Jeopardy? Yes, absolutely. And welcome to the pursuit of money for it's own sake. If the prizes were a washing machine like they used to be in Canada this guy doesn't bust himself to change how the game is approached.

    From an interview with him that I read, he is just exceptionally gifted at gaming the way Jeopardy is played. He approached it with the same intelligence and enthusiasm he approached his internet poker. He also did his homework to learn about things. No different from anyone else. He is just far better. Sir Edmund Hilary was exceptionally gifted at climbing Everest(thanks to sherpas), Jesse Owens was exceptionally gifted at the Olympics events he participated in, Jackie Robinson the same in baseball. Did they ruin their specific pursuits? I doubt it. Jeopardy is still Jeopardy and will be after this guy is gone.
    chilinvilin, Mr. H, jupiter8 and 9 others like this.
  5. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    ken Jennings win record is safe I think, this guy will go bust at some point
  6. Tim Lookingbill

    Tim Lookingbill Alfalfa Male

    New Braunfels, TX
    I'm more interested in Austin Rogers appearances. He's a real showman. Always making faces and pantomimes during the opening of Jeopardy.

  7. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    No, I think Holzhauer just worked exceptionally hard to learn enough trivia and figure out a strategy to win the most money in the shortest amount of time. It's possible they may change the rules to prevent people from doing it, but he's not cheating, it's not rigged, and the guy just worked his ass off to get good at it over a period of several years. Bearing in mind that the guy is a sports gambler, you can say that he's taking advantage of certain aspects of the game, but it's not illegal or immoral.

    Noted Hollywood writer Ken Levine has some thoughts about Mr. Holzhauer and why he's actually livening up the show and doing a good job:

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    chilinvilin, John B, jupiter8 and 9 others like this.
  8. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

  9. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I don't think Trebek would so sully his legacy, given that he probably doesn't have long to live.
  10. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    I also think there's a lot more to lose these days than in the 1950s. It'd be such a massive scandal if it turned out "Jeopardy" was rigged - it'd absolutely crush the show, and for what? To have a little extra excitement for a brief period?

    Can't imagine whatever potential spike in ratings this guy might get the show - and I'd guess it's minor, at best - would be worth the risk...
  11. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Maybe he's not in on it.

    I'm not accusing anyone of anything. Merely stating there is a precedent for this sort of thing.
  12. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    His style of betting means nothing. Completely fair. Knows the answers? He’s smart enough for Jeopardy. You can’t study trivia. Impossible. It’s studying EVERYTHING.
  13. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    I don't see what's so controversial. The guy is obviously very smart, and he's learned to bet aggressively to attain an insurmountable lead to keep his opponents at bay. It's incredible how he gets so few answers wrong, but I certainly don't see why Jeopardy would rig the show for him. He's just an anomaly. Like Ken Jennings. You think they can never lose, but the day will come, eventually. It always does, though the way this guy is playing it's hard to see it happening.
  14. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Senior Member

    They could always make the answers harder, less clues in them. Of course, that may not be fair to the other contestants.
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  15. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    It'd be "fair" in that all 3 would get the same questions.

    But I see no reason to believe that the other 2 would do better than this 1 guy under those circumstances - questions that'll be tougher for him will be tougher for them as well!
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  16. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    A precedent from 65 years ago that the game show industry had to fight hard to overcome.

    The notion that an entity as successful and revered as "Jeopardy" would risk a massive scandal makes no sense - especially because I don't see what they're getting out of it.

    Maybe they get a few more viewers during this contestant's run, but there's a 0% chance that minor gain would be worth the risk...
  17. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy still trudgin'

    Central Canada
    I'm enjoying Holzhauer's run. Very high trivia IQ coupled with lightning fast button reflex and high stake gambler's strategy will hopefully make for a very long run. It would be funny if the network at some point had to stop and announce changes to the rules (or limits) just because Holzhauer is too much for the game. He could in fact break Jeopardy!

    It's my understanding that this season has completed taping so it will be interesting to see how it pans out.
    Billy Infinity and Matthew Tate like this.
  18. Jack White

    Jack White Forum Resident

    As a life long time viewer of the show, I don't find his winning streak exciting or enjoyable to watch. And I don't find Holzhauer likable. There's a creepy quality about him. I'd be surprised if dedicated fans of the show hold him in equally high esteem like they do other Jeopardy champions.
    bmasters9, ted321, kinkling and 5 others like this.
  19. JAuz

    JAuz Forum Resident

    His strategy of starting with the larger amount of clues and betting big on the Daily Doubles is well-known. It's simple math. But when you're under the bright TV lights, the cameras are pointed at you and Alex Trebek is standing right there, the pressure mounts and the average person isn't used to that. This guy, a professional gambler, seems to have the mettle for it. And it doesn't hurt that he knows an incredible amount of the answers.

    I'm less impressed by the money than I am with the winning streak.

    By the way, what's the closest he's been to being defeated so far? Have they all been blowouts?
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    Vidiot and Matthew Tate like this.
  20. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    There's a guy who infamously watched and detailed all of the items on The Price Is Right over a number of years, and actually made spreadsheets and everything based on how often the items were on, price of the items, etc. He would go to the studio and help people guess the price on any number of items. In fact, he helped someone get the only perfect showcase showdown bid in show history. There's even a documentary on it, though I can't remember what it's called right now.
    Shawn, Ghostworld, spanky1 and 3 others like this.
  21. Jim Pattison

    Jim Pattison Forum Resident

    Kitchener ON
    Holhauzer hasn't broken Jeopardy!. He's an outlier - someone who comes along once in a very long time. After all, it's been almost 15 years since Ken Jennings' streak ended. I'm sure that Holhauzer's playing style will influence contestants in the future, but I'm also sure that few of them will be as successful with it as he is.

    In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the ride. I haven't looked forward to each new episode of Jeopardy! this eagerly in years.
  22. MikeT

    MikeT Prior Forum Cretin and Current Impatient Creep

    New Jersey, USA
    My wife and I feel exactly the same. We are watching, and are amazed at how well this guy does, but there is something about him that is "creepy".
  23. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Pontotoc, MS
    Jeopardy contestants have always tried to win and make the most money. It’s fun to watch for viewers at home, but I hardly think this guy is the first guy to try win the game. He’s just better at it than most other contestants.
    Done A Ton and Billy Infinity like this.
  24. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy still trudgin'

    Central Canada
    I'm a life long viewer too and I am enjoying Holzhauer's run as I'm sure many lifers are as well.

    What's not to like about a guy that's smart, wins, and always a shout-out to family and friends? Although he does have those squinty eyes that make him look a little shifty.


    +1 on this^
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  25. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    I don't know about "creepy" but he doesn't give you the warm fuzzies of Austin Rogers or Colby Burnett. I think the fact that he's a "professional gambler" is a turn-off. Seems like a seedy way of life, this coming from a record collector living in a duplex.


Share This Page