Game Three Recap...  Mark Lee

I remember Travis jumping right out there quickly, and he really was quick on the buzzer. Jill got off to a slower start, but I knew she was good, and wasn't going to be going away. I got the first DD and it was a question from a John Wayne movie (True Grit!), which was cool. I was doing well and so was Travis in the first round.

It's hard to describe what it's like to be up there during the breaks. It's
pretty intense. You're very alive at those moments, but nothing to keep you
focused or distract you from the nervous tension you're feeling. Probably as intense as when the game is going.

By the end of the first round, I was thinking that the game was between Travis and me --- that Jill was maybe having an off game But in the DJ round she came back strong. I really have to hand it to her, she played a great game. Travis and I made mistakes, taking chances that didn't work out for us. Travis bet on a DD that hurt him. I made guesses on a couple questions that knocked me back a couple pegs. Jill just hung in there, played her game, and let us make the mistakes. And when the round was over, she and I were tied at $7,400 going into FJ.

I didn't know as much about what was needed historically to move on as some of the other people there. I'd seen parts of the recent teen and college
tournaments (i.e., after the doubling of the $ values) and thought I'd
remembered people needing a lot (like mid to high teens) to advance on a
wildcard. So I was thinking I'd need at least $12,000 to advance and probably more. But I knew that if I won I'd advance so I bet based on this reasoning: If I just bet $5,000 to get me to the $12,000 level and got it right I still might not win (i.e.. if Jill bet more or everything), and if I got it wrong I
didn't see any way that $2,400 was going to get me in. So what do I do? You got it. Bet it all. As the Cherokee used to say, "You pays your money and you takes your chances." The FJ question later didn't really seem that hard. I just drew a blank at the time.

I was disappointed that I didn't do better but it was still a great experience,
and one that I wouldn't care to trade.