Poker’s Alex Jacob wins Jeopardy Tournament of Champions

by Jeremy Olson on November 23, 2015

Earlier this year, former poker pro Alex Jacob was turning heads with his impressive run on the game show “Jeopardy!”. He won on six straight episodes, before finally losing on the seventh try, and accumulated $151,802 in the process. This qualified him for the Tournament of Champions, which he recently won along with the $250,000 grand prize.

The Chicago-based currency trader beat Matt Jackson and Kerry Greene in a two-day final, with Jackson earning $100k for second and Greene collecting $50k for third.

Entering the final of the Tournament of Champions, Jackson probably would have been the favorite, given that he has the fourth-longest winning streak in the show’s history at 13. Only Ken Jennings, Julia Collins and David Madden have won more times in a row than Jackson.

Nevertheless, Jacob absolutely dominated the Tournament of Champions and impressed Alex Trebek in the process. “This was the most dominant performance by anyone in any of our tournaments,” Trebek told Jacob afterward.

The poker pro earned $29,600 on the first night of the two-day final, giving him a huge lead over the other two competitors. Jacob would cap off his glorious run by earning $48,300 overall; this gives him over $298,000 in total winnings during the Tournament of Champions, and almost $450k in total Jeopardy! winnings.

Following his epic win, Jacob said that his poker experience helped him deal with the pressure on Jeopardy’s biggest stage.

“The most challenging aspect was probably just dealing mentally with the high stakes and the knowledge that I could win the tournament if I played well. The one thing I had going for me is that I’ve played for a lot of money on national TV before,” he explained. “The thing that makes ‘Jeopardy’ different than poker, though, is that there’s always another poker tournament, but you only get one Tournament of Champions.”