Saturday, May 20, 2006

Question: Who is Michael Falk?

Congratulations to Michael Falk for winning this season's Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. (In reality, this tournament covered the better part of two seasons' worth of contestants, due to the fact that 144 of my closest personal friends and I monopolized half of last season playing the Ultimate Tournament.)

Michael mounted an impressive charge in the second game of the two-game finals to overcome a seemingly insurmountable lead by fellow competitor Vik Vaz. Michael was also the only finalist to correctly solve the Final Jeopardy! clue. (Yes, I had that one.) For his efforts, he pocketed a cool $250,000.

Congratulations also to Vik and to Bill McDonald, Michael's co-finalists, who both played brilliantly. Mr. Falk was simply not to be denied.

This year's ToC yielded a number of significant surprises, at least for me. I would not have picked any of the three finalists out of the 15-player field. A couple of the players I expected to do quite well in the tournament didn't even advance out of the quarterfinals. So what do I know? I just played the game.

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3 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Anonymous Tom Galloway offered these pearls of wisdom...

Of course, there was also a bit of a delay due to their not wanting the tournament to consist of Ken Jennings and 14 1 and 2- times winners. Which certainly helped Michael; he's the first three-time winner to win a ToC per the boards, and if not for the Ken/UTOC combo might not have made the field in a "normal" year.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous offered these pearls of wisdom...

The joke, of course, is that being the first 3-timer to win the ToC means I'm the worst Jeopardy! player ever to win a ToC. ;-)

Thanks for your kind comments, Michael.

-Michael Falk

9:42 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Don't sell yourself short, Mr. Falk. You marched through a tough field and overcame two excellent competitors in the finals. You deserve your title as much as any ToC winner who preceded you.

Yes, as Tom Galloway suggests, a measure of serendipity had to fall your way to get you where you are, but that's true of every Jeopardy! champion. Had a fellow named Tom Hudak solved Final J! correctly in my first game 'way back in 1988, my J! career would have ended without a single note of fanfare. As it happened, Tom guessed wrong, I guessed right, and 18 years later, I'm still basking in the fading glow of my Jeopardy! fame. In this life, you take what comes.

Again, congratulations, and thanks for stopping by!

4:15 PM  

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