You think you know how to play Jeopardy!, don’t you? Answer in the form of a question, study your butt off, capitalise on anything that feels trendy, and press the buzzer when Trebek stops yapping, not before. It’s worked for hundreds of people. But a new champion is showing that there’s a better way, using game theory to get an edge on the other folks playing against him. People hate it.
So far Arthur Chu’s won three episodes of the long-running game show, which doesn’t exactly put him in Ken Jennings territory. But it’s not just about him winning, according to The Wire. It’s Chu’s method for beating other contestants that has audiences rooting against him. He relentlessly hunts for the Daily Double clues in each round, clearing out the bottom three rows of the board so that he can get to them before anyone else. Once he gets a Daily Double, he either bets really big or really small. The point is to keep the game-changing opportunity out of oppnonents’ hands. This, of course, undercuts the tension of the game.
Couple Chu’s unorthodox style with incessant buzzer pressing and an odd set of quirks and you’ve got Jeopardy!-holics trashing him for ruining their favourite answer-with-a-question pastime. But if he winds up racking up a hot streak for the ages, chances are we’ll see a lot more players trying out this model on the air.