He has, although, tailored his recreation. If the person participant matchups don’t attraction to you—in the event you by no means cared what may occur if Koufax pitched to Bonds—know that in these Jeopardy! GOAT video games you can too discover the strategic evolution of a decades-old competitors.
WIRED took a deeper dive into Holzhauer’s Jeopardy! recreation concept throughout his preliminary run, however it facilities round just a few core ideas: Begin on the backside of the sport board to stockpile money. Bounce round classes looking for Day by day Doubles, to place that cash to work. And all the time, all the time wager huge.
Holzhauer readily admits that he didn’t invent that playbook. “I believe most individuals who hassle to review Jeopardy! recreation concept are going to reach at comparable conclusions about methods to finest play the sport,” he instructed WIRED final spring. “Not everybody goes to take that step, in fact.”
Within the GOAT event, Jennings and Rutter have taken that step. Throughout their preliminary runs years in the past, every man largely performed like, properly, you may in the event you have been there: working from the simplest clues to the toughest, clearing out one class earlier than shifting to the following, and wagering a portion of their complete on Day by day Doubles reasonably than going all in each time. “I used to be enjoying a recreation present like I had on my sofa,” Jennings instructed WIRED final yr. “My prime precedence wasn’t maximizing winnings; it was to really feel comfy and have enjoyable yelling solutions at Alex [Trebek], like I do at house.”
Now all three gamers are maxing out their Day by day Double wagers, and darting across the board like hummingbirds looking for extra. In equity, you would see this play out in final fall’s All-Stars workforce event, as properly. (Once more, Holzhauer wasn’t the primary to do it, simply one of the best.) However the GOAT event reveals what occurs when this fashion of play unfolds on the highest stage. It’s as a lot a celebration of the way forward for Jeopardy! as it’s the previous.
To not get sentimental, however that future will likely be markedly totally different in additional methods than simply technique. Alex Trebek has hosted the present since 1984. He’s now 79, preventing preventing stage four pancreatic most cancers since late 2019. He says he has no instant plans to step down, however it’s unsure whether or not he’ll have a possibility to take the rostrum in such grand style—primetime, to an viewers of hundreds of thousands, guiding contestants that by now “really feel like household”—earlier than he settles right into a well-deserved retirement.
It’s not simply Trebek, although. Harry Friedman has produced each Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune for 1 / 4 of a century. He’ll go away each reveals when his contract runs out in March. Trebek has been the face and coronary heart of Jeopardy!, however Friedman has spent the final 25 years because the connective tissue, making crucial modifications—lifting the five-game cap, rising clue values—whereas preserving the present true to its unique imaginative and prescient. Friedman is producing the GOAT event, and got here up with its format. You’ll by no means see him onscreen, however you’re watching a legend exit on prime.
And if all that also doesn’t persuade you, will you at the very least belief the knowledge of crowds? Round 15 million individuals on common watched the primary three installments, greater than any present this yr apart from the Golden Globes. Extra individuals watched the primary three video games of Jeopardy! GOAT than did the primary three video games of each the NBA Finals and the World Sequence.
Sure, subsequent yr might carry a primetime rematch. Or possibly one other Jeopardy! champion will emerge who places Jennings, Holzhauer, and Rutter to disgrace. (That is… not going.) However don’t accept the rerun. There’s by no means been something just like the Jeopardy! GOAT. There by no means will likely be once more.
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