Thursday, May 18, 2023

Update on Jeopardy! Masters Tournament

The Jeopardy! Masters Tournament is heating up and I'm enjoying it immensely. It's been a treat to watch the show's six highest-ranked champions competing against each other, but I have to declare my bias.  I am cheering for the Canadian contestant, Mattea Roach.  Mattea, who is only 24 years old, hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but now lives in Toronto.  She won 23 consecutive games last year, the fifth-longest streak in Jeopardy! history. 

Mattea has secured a spot in the next round of the tournament, which begins on Monday.  However, she has her work cut out for her.  She has some formidable opponents, especially James Holzhauer, who is the frontrunner.  James seems to be coasting along. It's going to be quite an upset if someone defeats him.

Mattea Roach

 Here are the total winnings of Mattea and the other five contestants.  

  • James Holzhauer – Total winnings of $2,964,216.
  • Amy Schneider – Total winnings of $1,634,800.
  • Matt Amodio – Total winnings of $1,529,601.
  • Mattea Roach – Total winnings of $572,983.
  • Andrew He – Total winnings of $259,365.
  • Sam Buttrey – Total winnings of $150,000.

James Holzhauer 

James Holzhauer is a professional gambler.  James, 38, is the third-highest-earning game show contestant in American TV history.  He is best known for his 32-game winning streak on Jeopardy! from April to June 2019.

James is a self-proclaimed game show villain  It's his persona and he seems to relish his bad guy role.  Since he's such an outstanding player, it's easy for him to appear arrogant and self-absorbed.  I'm not sure how much is the real James and how much is an act.  I suspect much of it is an act, although he appears supremely confident.  He's still undefeated in the tournament.

In Final Jeopardy!, James has been writing messages rather than responses because he has been so far ahead in the games.  He has written messages to Ken Jennings and he even quoted a line uttered by Brad Pitt as Achilles in the film Troy.  After killing a fearsome warrior, Achilles asks, "Is there no one else?'"  James certainly knows what eventually happened to Achilles', due to his weak spot - his heel.

It would be a tremendous upset if James Holzhauer lost this tournament, but I'm not expecting that to happen.  James is good for ratings because so many viewers want to see him lose.  It's very unlikely, but not impossible.  Matt and Andrew and Matteavand the others are strong players.

Yesterday, Sam and Amy were eliminated from the tournament.  Amy had a lot of second-place finishes, but she failed to accumulate enough points to advance to the next round.  As for Sam Buttrey, he's a classy guy, well-liked and a good contestant.

The remaining four- James, Andrew, Matt and Mattea, will compete next week for all the marbles.  I'd like to see James go up against Ken Jennings because he is probably the only one who can defeat him in a tournament.  It won't happen, though, because Ken has hosting duties.

- Joanne

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