In the waning moments of the 2015 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, Alex Trebek looked at Alex Jacob and said, "this was the most dominant performance by anyone in any of our tournaments." An impressive compliment to be sure, but it's important to consider TOC champions before Alex Jacob in order to understand the gravity of Alex Trebek's statement. He is now in the same company as Roger Craig, Colby Burnett, and Ben Ingram, to name a few.
Let's break down the gameplay strategy that got Alex Jacob to the 2015 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, because it's similar to the strategy that put $250,000 in his pocket and allowed him to lock every game in which he played before Final Jeopardy! began – a goal he set for himself before the TOC started.
As he did in regular season play, Alex employed what looked to be an adapted version of the "Forrest Bounce" – a strategy made famous by 1987 Tournament of Champions winner Chuck Forrest – where a contestant selects clues from various categories, rather than answering in a linear fashion, in order to throw the competition off balance and slow their reaction times.
Using this strategy, Alex luckily uncovered some Daily Doubles. He capitalized on these opportunities and was able to slingshot himself into locked games. His poker background may have played a part in his bet-big, win-big strategy, too, which allowed him to amass an impressive total of $146,598 during his regular season winning streak and rack up high totals throughout the TOC.
Another key to his consistency was his calm demeanor. Not letting emotions take control or prematurely shouting out answers made him self-assured and, thus, allowed him to collect more money. With a lot of pressure riding on his every syllable, maybe it's a testament to his experience at the poker table that he can make calculated decisions under extreme pressure.
None of this would have been possible, however, had Alex not been the first to buzz in regularly. Arguably the most important aspect of being a Jeopardy! champion is buzzer timing, and Alex was lightning quick when it counted. Both Matt Jackson and Kerry Greene commented that Alex's buzzer game was what put them at his mercy.
Let's review some of Alex Jacob's gameplay throughout the Tournament of Champions below and get his own insight on a few key moments and strategies.
But wait! That's not all! If you weren't one of the lucky people in attendance during the tournament's final day, you can now relive Final Jeopardy! as though you were. Below is a full 360-degree view of Stage 10, so it's almost like you were there. Have a look around, and welcome to our home:
Congratulations to our champion, Alex Jacob, on a dominant run in the 2015 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. And congratulations to all of our champions who competed in this year's TOC. It was a pleasure to have you back.
For more coverage around the 2015 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, check this out.