Over the past couple of weeks, Cris Pannullo has ruled the Jeopardy! board. According to a fellow contestant, Pannullo means business both on-screen and off. Here’s what Sean Holloway had to say about the latest Jeopardy! super champ.
Sean Holloway Was ‘Afraid’ Before The Game Started
On September 30, Cris Pannullo began his Jeopardy! streak. The former professional poker player from Ocean City, New Jersey, unseated then reigning champion, David Sibley, with his lightning-fast game play and daring betting strategy. He’s now won 11 games—taking home $356,702—and will return to defend his streak as soon as the Jeopardy! Second Chance Competition and the 2022 Tournament of Champions have concluded.
In a new interview with The Sun, one of Pannullo’s fellow competitors dished on the latest super champ. Sean Holloway competed against Pannullo on the October 4 broadcast. Holloway, a software engineer from Kansas City, walked away with $7,000—an impressive sum considering Pannullo has made it hard for his competitors to buzz in.
According to Holloway, Pannullo immediately stood out. “By the time we got to rehearsal, I think we [the other contestants] knew he was returning champion,” Holloway recalled. “He was very nice, very polite but he did sit separately from everyone else… He was quiet and it was hard to get a read on him.”
Apparently, Pannullo takes his pre-game time seriously. “He just sort of was off on his own, across from our section of seating, at the other end of that section of seating,” Holloway illustrates. “I don’t mean to paint him as distancing himself, I think he just was in the zone, as a lot of us were.”
Cris Pannullo Plays With Specific Strategies
Pannullo has been able to wrack up so many winnings due to his seamless use of some long-standing Jeopardy! strategies. Fans have compared Pannullo to another Jeopardy! high roller, James Holzhauer, who also had a history of professional gambling. Both Pannullo and Holzhauer adopted a certain stance—arms crossed for faster access to the buzzer. The stance was heavily touted in Fritz Holznagel’s Secrets of the Buzzer, a Jeopardy! strategy book that Holzhauer has sworn by.
However, his stance isn’t the only strategy Pannullo’s relied on. Since he’s able to dominate the board with his fast buzz-in times, he sets out on hunting down the Daily Doubles. This way, he’s able to put his betting skills to use, setting high bets and raking in the winnings. Yet, we can’t dismiss the fact that none of this would be of any use if Pannullo didn’t have the trivia prowess to back it up.
Pannullo currently has a stellar accuracy of 94 percent. If he keeps playing his cards right, he is on track to set records. However, one bad bet could sink his streak. Along with legions of other Jeopardy! fans, we’ll be tuning in to see just how far Pannullo will go.