Season XXIII Playoff Recap!

playoff flyer

Eight venues hosted simultaneous regional postseason games this past Saturday in order to qualify 50 of 173 playoff teams into the Season XXIII Pour House Trivia World Series.


Early in the first round, we took a trip to Vegas:

  • Located near the southern end of the Las Vegas strip, which casino will close in one month, eventually to be replaced with a baseball stadium?

About 38% of the field correctly named the soon-to-be-doomed Tropicana. The final question in the round dealt with a certain chemical element:

  • A pronunciation of the Japanese word for Japan is also the namesake for this chemical element. You can either identify that element or its chemical symbol.

As the Japanese word for Japan is Nihon, that element is nihonium, which is Nh on the periodic table. Only 19% of teams earned their wager here, with 16% submitting both answers for bonus points. Other topics in this round included ingredients in traditional Canadian poutine, a three-parter in which answer had two sets of double letters, and a Mork and Mindy shoutout at the end of AC/DC’s song Night Prowler. This was the only round with any perfect scores, as seven teams got through this part of the game with all 36 points.


Another playoff round came and went with a difficult audio question! This game’s audio clue played a trio of songs that mention the word trivia: Lazy Sunday by The Lonely Island, Foolish Behaviour by Rod Stewart, and Splash Turn Twist by Jimmy Eat World. Just over 10% of the field knew at least two of those three musical acts, but El Duderinos and Creamm Teamm named all three for two important extra points. After questions on Disney’s Goofy, the nations involved in Europe’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc ultramarathon, and pets owned by comic strip icon Dennis the Menace, we reached the last question of the first half:

  • Focusing on fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam, what 1990s film was the first collaboration between director Spike Lee and Denzel Washington?
  • Bonus: Which future Oscar nominee played the small role of Madlock in this film?

Mo’ Better Blues was identified by 30% of teams, with 8.67% tacking on bonus points for knowing Samuel L. Jackson portrayed Madlock. There were no perfect scores in this round.


The halftime page was a 24-point affair, featuring 12 film screenshots. Teams earned one point for naming the featured movie and another point for identifying the U.S. state in which that exact pictured scene took place. The average score was 13.9 out of 24, and high score honors went to a 21-point page submitted by No Child Jeff Behind. We reached the halftime intermission with these top-scoring squads:

  • No Child Jeff Behind: 88
  • Stink Floyd: 87
  • Dave Martinez School of Management: 86
  • Future Single Dads: 86
  • I Think, They Drink: 86


A question on the inspiration behind the title of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men kicked off second-half action. From there, things got difficult. The hardest non-audio query was a scientific affair:

  • What is the three-letter trustful acronym for the theoretical framework in particle physics that combines the strong force and the electroweak force?

The acronym GUT (for the Grand Unified Theory) was identified by only 17% of our teams. The game’s Three Clues came next, this time about a singer:

  • She was born with the real name Eilleen Regina Edwards.
  • She appeared as herself in the film I Heart Huckabees.
  • She returned to the Billboard 200 chart last year with the album Queen of Me.

Edwards is better known as Shania Twain, who was named by 26% of teams for their wager and 9.82% early enough for bonus credit. Finally, we had a rare sports-and-war naming crossover:

  • The codename for the Dunkirk Evacuation from World War II is found in the name of which Major League Soccer franchise?

About 29% of the field correctly named Houston’s MLS team, the Dynamo. The round concluded with Seattle and Madison, America’s two most populous cities located on an isthmus.  Dave Martinez School of Management posted the only perfect score in this round.


A playoff 6-4-2 about the first name Adrian saw seven teams receive all six points. We discussed the aardvark to begin the final round, followed by an NHL query:

  • During the 1990s, which NHL team set the current league records for the longest regular season winning streak and the longest postseason winning streak?

Just over a third of the field knew the Pittsburgh Penguins are able to boast both of those feats. A Triple 50/50 about real and fictional modern TV subjects and artist Paul Gauguin preceded the last question of the round:

  • Which private liberal arts school in Ohio became the nation’s first coeducational college after accepting four women as full-time students in 1837?
  • Bonus: Their athletic teams are known by which nickname?

Oberlin was identified by most teams, but only six received bonus points for knowing their athletic teams are the Yeomen and Yeowomen. As with the two previous rounds, no team got through this round with all 36 points. However, we reached the final question with these teams in the lead:

  • No Child Jeff Behind: 162
  • Dave Martinez School of Management: 161
  • Donner Party People: 155
  • What Would Snake Do?: 154
  • Team Pizza: 152

FINAL QUESTION (12.14% success rate):

  • With a worldwide box office of over $450 million (not adjusted for inflation), what is the highest-grossing R-rated film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

There were many guesses of movies from the 1990s and early 2000s, but only about an eighth of the field were right with the movie Gladiator! No teams recorded a Perfect 21 in this game, though. These were the highest scores across all playoff venues:

  • What Would Snake Do?: 166
  • Dave Martinez School of Management: 161
  • Demolition: 157
  • No Child Jeff Behind: 157
  • Donner Party People: 155
  • Billy Crystal Balls: 154
  • Heavy Metal Parking Lot: 151
  • Peanut Butter Jelly Time: 150
  • Not the Doctors You’re Looking For: 149
  • Smart on the Avenue: 149