That the competition between Jennings and Holzhauer "has been fierce is actually somewhat of a surprise. Coming into the tournament, Holzhauer was a huge favorite to win," says Jeremy Samuel Faust, in a column published shortly before Thursday's episode. "This is the case for three reasons. First, the format essentially eliminates the biggest potential weakness in Holzhauer’s game: variance. During regular-season play, his large bet strategy came with what statisticians call a high 'risk of ruin'; even though his large Daily Double bets usually paid off, if and when they did not, the downsides could have been potentially devastating. However, in the GOAT tournament, a player can not only lose a match without being eliminated, they can lose big and they’ll still be back for more." Faust adds: "What’s also clear is that Holzhauer’s strategy has changed the game for the better and everyone is benefiting. If Jennings were playing his usual game, Holzhauer would be cleaning his clock right now. Instead, we are watching a dogfight unfold. Jennings is now playing Holzhauer’s game and proving that he can." ALSO: James Holzhauer found a way to honor Alex Trebek on Thursday's show, while Ken Jennings "OK Boomer"-ed the Jeopardy! host.