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Erfworld’s Voice Talent Arthur Plays Jeopardy! Like Parson Would

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

So at the time of this post, your narrator and ours (the voice for all the Epilogues and Summer Update Redux posts) Arthur Chu is the current 2-Day champion on Jeopardy!, with a combined total of $64,000. He is kicking ass, and you should watch him again tonight!

But the really interesting thing besides all the Twitter hate he's generating is how he is playing the game: jumping categories, leading with $800/1600 questions, clicking in with obvious (some say obnoxious) ferocity. There's some real Parson/Charlie gamesmanship going on here.

Balder_Arthur_Cake

But it's yesterday's Final Jeopardy! bet that was completely Parson-worthy. Arthur was in the lead, and made a bet intentionally to tie the second-place contestant Carolyn (Parson Gotti vs GLaDOS?). They both ended the game at $26,800. Both of them kept that sum, and both will return tonight.

Arthur apparently learned this strategy by watching 2003 Jeopardy! College Champion Keith Williams's videos on YouTube. Here, Keith explains the bet in detail:

I saw Parson's thinking in several things about this play.

1) He turned the game from zero-sum to positive-sum. The total amount of money won by all players went from a maximum of $36,400 (if he'd bet it all and played the normal defector strategy) to the maximum possible $53,600 (based on his cooperative strategy). That's a truly rational player's approach to what is a form of the Prisoner's Dilemma. Plus it's just nicer behavior. He put $26,800 in someone's pocket when he had the power to send her home with nothing. I am certain that is what Parson would do.

2) He guaranteed that one of his opponents tonight is someone he proved once that he could beat. This improves his chances of winning tonight, versus two entirely random opponents, either one of whom could be a better player than he is. Carolyn might be a better player—you can't judge that from one outcome—but one winning outcome makes it more likely that Arthur is the better player of the two.

3) As Keith Williams says in his video, having established himself as someone who plays for the tie, he may make his opponents change their strategy to a less rational one. I would add that it might even make Carolyn play for the tie if their positions are reversed tonight, and she is in the lead.

So besides wanting to say I am really proud of Arthur's performance on the show so far, I wanted to call that out in the context of Erfworld. Great strategy, Arthur! Hope to see you win again tonight and win through the run!


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