At the outset of my comment I want to warn any potential readers of spoilers. Are you gone yet? Okay.
You seem to be the only reviewer who's noticed and hinted at the possibility that this whole film is supposed to have been a simulation created by an artificial intelligence. There are several things that point to this possibility. One is that the love interest of the junior programmer comes to his room and says he was right that the participants in the tournament were moving like chess pieces. The emcee zig zagged like a bishop etc. I can't explain that within the straightforward narrative so many reviews are recounting. Two, the whole scene where Papageorge goes to his mother's house descends into a "loop" of him looking for a box where he's squirreled away some money.and that's the end of Papageorge's story. This is also the only portion of the film that's in color. My thought is this: that the artificial intelligence failed at its attempt to simulate a more human, more complex scenario - the characters left the self-contained black and white realm of a motel full of over-logical nerds and their logical machines for a messy house simulated in color - and the AI is overwhelmed. It gets caught in a loop much like a chess AI mentioned earlier in the film failed in some previous tournament because it wouldn't stop trying to check the king over and over (in a loop). Perhaps Papageorge's story ends there because that portion of the simulation has been terminated in favor of a return to the calculable simplicity of the tournament.