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'Jeopardy!' Champ Chu Optimistic After Defeat

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Arthur Chu‘s reign as “Jeopardy!” champ has come to an end. The 30-year-old Ohio resident lost to Diana Peloquin of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Chu racked up 11 wins and nearly $300,000. Some fans called him an evil genius for his unorthodox way of playing the game — he jumped around the board trying to ferret out the Double Jeopardy clues early in the game.

We spoke with Arthur Chu last month about his strategy, and he joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson again for an update. As far as the future goes, if Chu has any say, this won’t be the last time you see him on “Jeopardy!”

“I hope to be on the next Tournament of Champions, and I’m definitely gonna be studying for that,” he said. “I am looking forward, very much, to facing against other champions, you know, and seeing if my game can continue to improve to the degree it needs to.”

As far as reality TV goes: “If it doesn’t interfere with my contract with ‘Jeopardy!’, you know, I’d definitely consider that — hopefully not a dating show, because I’m happily married, but a different reality show concept, maybe.”

Interview Highlights: Arthur Chu

On the competitor who bested him

“I’ve made some jokes about being angry that I lost, but really, I couldn’t be happier to have lost to such a great contestant. She actually watched all of my previous games, because she was an alternate contestant, and so she was spending that whole time figuring out how to beat me, which I admire and respect. And she actually came up to me after one day of taping and shook my hand and said, ‘You know, whatever happens, it was an honor to be in the studio with you,’ so she was very gracious. And, you know, I wish her all the best in future games.”

“I think the best way to play against someone who’s using my strategy, like bouncing around the board, is to do the same thing. But a lot of people aren’t ready to do that, and if they didn’t practice that way, they have a hard time adjusting to it, and she managed to adjust to it, you know, pretty well. You know, she was coming in fresh and I was obviously totally, you know, brain-fogged in that game, and she got the better of me.”

On why his winning streak ended

“Over many games, you have a higher probability of, you know, winning if you bet big, because that big lead is so important to winning the game in the end. But sometimes you make a big bet and it doesn’t go your way, and that can kill you, and that whole cynicism-egoism thing got me. But in general, I mean, one thing that I would remind people is you’re watching the show spread out, you know, one game every night. When we tape it, it’s all in one day. One week is taped in one day of actual taping.”

“I was coming off of having played five games in a row the previous day, then I had, like, one night to rest up and then start over. So the reason people’s runs peter out, you know, is just fatigue, I think. It’s really hard to play lots of games in a row, and that’s why there’s this kind of wall that you hit when you get to having played two days in a row, you know? I think I’m the first person in almost 10 years to go past nine games, and so that just shows you even more what a mutant Ken Jennings is, that he could do that, you know, for, like, 74 straight games. I don’t know if anyone will ever do that again. Maybe they will. I hope maybe Diana will.”

On the “perfect storm” that was his run

“I’ve said my strategy on the game wasn’t that new, but somehow, it seemed to attract people’s attention more this time around. And also, I’m certainly not the first person to live tweet an episode. You know, I didn’t even have that idea. I’d seen, like college players do it in the past or younger players do it. But for whatever reason, it was like a perfect storm of different factors: the fact that my run was stretched out by those hiatuses, by the tournament they were running; the fact that there was this really strong negative reaction to me. So it wasn’t just that I was on Twitter, but that I was, you know, facing down a horde of critics and, you know, getting in dialogue with them. All of those things, I think, made it more interesting for people. And maybe it’s also because I am funnier or more interesting than other people on Twitter, or maybe it’s because I’m much more obnoxious and annoying.”

Guest

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Source: NPR

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