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Preliminaries: Falk/Madden/Mesko - May 11

Fifteen of the best Jeopardy! players this year have returned for one more shot at $250,000. In the next two weeks, three will play in a two-day final to determine who will walk away with the grand prize.

Another standard two-week affair awaits with an increased minimum guarantee of $100,000 for second place and $50,000 for third.

Semifinalists are guaranteed at least $10,000, while quarterfinalists are guaranteed $5000 for participation. As always, any and all winning accrued depends on how far up the ladder a player goes.

So far, Maria Wenglinsky, Kevin Marshall, and Vik Vaz have their hands stamped, but for many, this is the marquee match up today...
 
MICHAEL FALK
Milwaukee
Meteorologist
Three days, $59,403
DAVID MADDEN
orig. from Ridgewood, NJ
Student
20 days, $430,400
BOB MESKO
Denver
Arts administrator
Five days, $68,599

Jeopardy! categories: The New York Times Business, Love Songs in German, First In Our Hearts, It's Not Alex Trebek, Science Briefs, Rated "R".

Daily Double: $800 Science Briefs. Michael ($600 to David's -$600) bets the max of $1000. The clue: this symbol for the element mercury is downright Wellsian. Michael's response: "What is Hg?" Correct for $1600.

End of round:
Michael: $6400
David: $5400
Bob: $4000

Double Jeopardy! categories: World Capitals, Off-Broadway, Riddle Me This, "T" Birds, Authors in Their Youth, Quotations.

Daily Double #1: $1600 World Capitals. Sticking to his basic strategy of eliminating the Daily Doubles first, David ($5800 to Michael's $8400 and Bob's $2800) bets $3400. The clue: Guyanese capital named for a Hanoverian monarch. David's response: "What is Georgetown?" Correct for $9200 and the lead.

Daily Double #2: $1200 Quotations. David ($12,800 over Michael's $8400 and Bob's $5200) fronts $2200. The clue: Oscar Wilde called his 4-letter word "the curse of the drinking classes". David's response: "What is work?" Correct  for $15,000.

End of round:
Michael: $14,000
David: $23,000
Bob: $10,400

Final Jeopardy! category: Historic Names. The clue: a silent movie title includes the last name of this 18th Century statesman & favorite of Catherine the Great. Correct response: Who is Potemkin?

Bob's response: Who is Potemkin? RIGHT. Wager: $4000. Total: $14,400.
Michael’s response: Who was Boris Gudenov? WRONG. Wager: $0. Total: $14,000
David’s response: Who is Potemkin? RIGHT. Wager doesn't matter.

David proves that his championship run was no fluke as he stuck to what got him there (a broad range of knowledge and a core strategy) to finish off his two opponents.

Now let's talk playoffs. With a score of $16,401, Aaron Thompson has clinched a playoff spot alongside Bob Mesko. Meanwhile, Michael Falk and Kerry Breitenbach are on the outside looking in. They'll make the semis if the two losers of tomorrow's match fail to, Michael first, Kerry second.

The final quarterfinal tomorrow. Incidentally, it's also, according to our friends at J-Archive.com, the 5000th match.

 

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