Emma Redux

Emma Boettcher, UChicago librarian extraordinaire and Jeopardy giant-slayer, has been tapped for the fifteenth and final slot in the 2019 Tournament of Champions, which will air in November. This is unusual in that that honor is normally accorded to winners of at least four games in the regular Jeopardy year, whereas Emma won only three. However, it was the first of these that made all the difference - her defeat of that phenomenal force of nature and Los Vegas aplomb, James Holzhauer. Was she lucky or good? She better be both those things when she faces Holzhauer again. Go, Emma!

@marlowe1 When I first looked at the title of your thread, I thought you were talking about some Court Theater play of the Jane Austen’s novel :slight_smile:

yup, I thought of Austen as well…

For an Emma Redux nothing beats “Clueless” . . .

Let’s say “Emma Victorious and Glorious”. Yesterday she convincingly disposed of two of the 15 champs competing in this year’s “Tournament of Champions”. She looks even more confident than last time around. Another showdown with James Holzhauer may be coming (he utterly annihilated the two he was facing the previous day).

In the chat section Emma mentioned a clever little confection of some sort that her boss in the library had made for her - depicting all the squares on the board that she had given right answers on in the big game with Holzhauer earlier this year. So, with all her colleagues at the mighty U of C Library at her back how can she fail against a mere Vegas gambler?

Go, Emma!

Emma update: she won again last night. One challenger looked like he was going to be formidable early on, but he faded. She took over about midgame, began to dominate and finished with a comfortable lead going in to Final Jeopardy, which she answered authoritatively. It was not quite a Holzhauer obliteration of the opposition, but she looked strong and seemed to be enjoying herself.

She must be licking her chops in expectation of dining on James once again.

Marlowe please make sure to give us an update on the big matches. We can get the scores, but you provide the color.

It would be a hoot if Francois ends up being the Grand Champion!

The two-day format of the Final will favor Holzhauer in that he is so clearly the dominant player of the decade, if not of all time. There will be less chance of a fluke result over that longer span. Yes, he is playing two other really good players who also have convincing records, so it won’t be the slaughter of the innocents as it was in most of his regular-season matches.

I agree that Francois may be a sleeper, and Emma has also looked sharp. The wild card is James’s propensity to find Double Jeopardies, bet big and answer correctly, as he almost always did in his regular season run. Emma is far more cautious. Will the Double Jeopardy questions be harder in this final round of the Tournanent of Champions and might Holzhauer, putting all his chips on the line, actually be stumped by one of them? If I were James I would alter my strategy, bet more cautiously and depend on my general mastery to assert itself over two days. Emma and Francois will, however, probably need to take some risks and get a bit lucky.

Go Emma!

@marlowe1 Remember last year’s Final Round. At the end of the first day Buzzy had $0! He rebounded on the second day to become Grand Champion. Anything can happen.

Grateful for the updates and commentary because I feel like watching the actual match would be too stressful for me (yes, I’m a wimp).

First game just completed. Poor Francois never got it rolling, put most of what he had on the line in Final Jeopardy, and gave a wrong answer. He was reduced to around $1,000.

Emma played solidly, especially in the later part of the game, but she turned up no Double Jeopardies. She did answer correctly in Final Jeopardy: A librarian should know that the longest book of the Bible (which has given its name to a kind of denunciation) is the Book of Jeremiah. She knew it, put all her chips on the table, and ended with around $26,000.

James was his usual robotic self. Of the dozen or so questions prior to the chat section he rang in for all but two. He misfired on the first Daily Double, a very tough one, and briefly lost everything, but after the break he pulled away, finding both the two remaining Daily Doubles (which were easy ones), betting big on both, and coming into Final Jeopardy with over $37,000. He too answered the Jeremiah question and ended the game at over $49,000.

Is it all over for Emma? Probably. But if she only had some luck in turning up the Daily Doubles. She has shown a willingness to bet big. If she were to find both the doubles toward the end of the game and bet the house on each… but James won’t let her do that. He will find them as he always does, and it will be game over. He won’t even have to bet big, which he has no incentive to do in any event given that the prize is in a fixed amount. A little deadly nightshade administered just before gametime might do the trick, but I fear Emma is too civilized to resort to such means.

Unfortunately I will not be able to get to a television tomorrow. Probably just as well in light of the certain catastrophe in the making. Perhaps @TomSrOfBoston will give us all a summary and write the post mortem.

Go, Emma.

From the reports of it I have seen Emma accounted well for herself in the second game - in fact, won it. Of the three games she has played with Holzhauer she has won two. She even had a shot at winning the 2-day tournament. In order to win he had to answer the final question correctly, which he did.

I hope we will see her back in a future tournament. However, there is a strange hostility to her in some of the comments I have read. Many are on the lines of, “She didn’t really beat James fair and square in that regular-season game - he threw it because (a) he is a gentleman, or (b) he got tired of winning, or © he wanted to return to the bosom of his family.” In any event she is not, they say, in the same league as him nor even of several other champs of the past year and shouldn’t even have been invited to the TOC.

Why such hostility? Several take a run at her too-librarian-like appearance. One fellow, calling himself “c***swagger” (asterisks NOT supplied) does a particularly vile riff on this theme. Who would have thought that the mild-mannered watchers of a quiz show that rewards general knowledge would harbor these rétrograde passions and resentments. Could UCDS be spreading beyond the confines of this board?

Perhaps it’s sour grapes raised to a new and particularly vile level.