Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Random PC 1/2 shots

Finally put all the results from the weekend in the master computer. Figured that if I can write down all the stats I need whilst on my phone in a pub in Rotterdam, I can do it just as quickly at home without using the slightly convoluted methods I did last year, so I did. Being not awful at sums (I have pushed the concept of gambling on anything to its limits and played Countdown for money in the past) it makes it pretty easy to quickly sum up the number of darts someone's used when winning and take it off their total darts to work out the visits they used when losing. I think the new method's slightly quicker, although DartConnect getting an API would be much easier obviously. We can only wish.

So, some random thoughts:

- van Gerwen is pretty good at darts.
- How unlucky has Ross Smith been? He got Cross and Wattimena (getting Jermaine in his final run) in the first round and lost them both, but ended up second in the overall points per turn.
- Incidentally, Cross, Wright and White filled out the top five. Bad form my arse.
- Evetts, Ratajski and McGeeney can probably count themselves quite unlucky. All three were putting in losing averages significantly higher than their winning averages - indicating they were playing better than their results suggested, and just ran into good players at the wrong time.
- Barney's stats were fairly similar to Geert Nentjes' stats, except without the nine darter. Shows where he's at right now, and why I'm likely to just keep autopicking whoever he's playing against in the PL in Josh's last man standing. He was also fairly similar to Zoran Lerchbacher. Interesting times.
- I still have no idea how Joe Cullen won as many legs as he did this weekend. Well, he was gifted eleven legs in over eight visits.
- de Zwaan and Mansell were also beneficiaries of great generosity in that respect.
- I've now switched up my filtering system to only include the last year in the master computer, and it's telling me that Durrant has the third highest points per turn of anyone in the world. Also, the player with the lowest points per turn of anyone who's won more than 100 legs is also a three time world champion. Funny how that works.

Andy Jenkins got into the UK Open this weekend. Nice to see him back. I think the deadline for PC5/6 entry (and the first couple of Euro Tour qualifiers) has gone. I hope to god that Barney's entered them and took the middle week of the three off. Then again, it really wouldn't surprise me if he had no idea how much of an issue he might have getting into the worlds if he doesn't start playing the tour. We'll see soon.

Monday, 11 February 2019

PC1/2 quick roundup

So van Gerwen got the first one, and Chizzy got the second - the first was notable for Jermaine Wattimena making a first final, Scott Baker reaching the semi while Harry Ward made the quarters. This may seem surprising to some, but not really - Jermaine's been knocking on the door for a while now, while Ward and Baker were two of the top four players in terms of their averages at Q-School (combining both) that I looked at a while back. In the second, Duzza nearly got the win but lost a deciding leg (I wasn't watching, but scanning through Dart Connect it looks like he must have had a championship dart), while Cullen and Clayton (who beat MvG again) made the semis. A bit of a turn around for Cullen, whose averages in event 1 were terrible, despite him winning his board.

Barney won just 500 quid and isn't entered next weekend, Whitlock busted twice in the first round, on top of that comical result in the Masters he's really not started well, while Dimitri continued to struggle, losing first round both times (although Labanauskas and McGeeney aren't gimmies by any stretch).

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Gary Anderson
4 Michael Smith
5 Daryl Gurney
6 Peter Wright
7 Gerwyn Price
8 James Wade
9 Mensur Suljovic
10 Simon Whitlock
11 Dave Chisnall (UP 1)
12 Ian White (DOWN 1)
13 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
14 Darren Webster (DOWN 1)
15 Adrian Lewis
16 Joe Cullen
17 Phil Taylor
18 Stephen Bunting
19 Nathan Aspinall (NEW)
20 Steve West

Aspinall didn't do much at all, but that semi final money makes up so much of his ranking points and it isn't degrading. Wattimena's reached number 23 and it's got to be an interesting race for who's going to partner MvG in the World Cup (assuming they don't say "invitational ergo Barney). Duzza is already #86, having some Grand Slam money in his account already, while Baker's semi final on its own is good enough to get him into the top 200.

Now to shove all the stats into the master computer - we don't have anything to look at in terms of betting before the UK Open, but with such a huge chunk of that field being from tour card holders, it's important to keep up and get it ready, what with three straight weekends of Players Championship events leading into it.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Quick thoughts on PC1 draw

Currently sat in Rotterdam having a beer, hunting for old Premier League adverts with Anderson still on. No luck yet, but as I have a few minutes, quick thoughts on the first floor event of the year:
Board 1 - Nice draw for de Sousa, MvG aside, seems pretty weak
Board 2 - Barney could get worse draws than Alcinas then West/Searle
Board 3 - de Zwaan/JLewis could be fun, winner of that or Gurney will surely advance
Board 4 - Just seems full of competent players, seems even, could be a lot of 6-5s
Board 5 - Huybrechts gets Wade, nice, Kyle against Humphries in round 2 could be decent
Board 6 - Quite a nice mix of old guard and new faces
Board 7 - Cross with a safe couple of rounds you'd think, but one of Joyce, DVDB or Labanauskas in the final, not so much
Board 8 - Quite a few new names here, but not that exciting
Board 9 - How is Klaasen still a seed? White ought to steamroller this
Board 10 - Odd selection, King and Wattimena are the seeds, but Dolan, Ed House, Burness, RSmith, Perales and Bates is a real mix
Board 11 - McGeeney gets Price first up, welcome to the PDC. That's about it for exciting games
Board 12 - Whitlock could get worse draws in his half, but Dobey or one of three Dutch in the final could clear him out
Board 13 - Pallett/Koltsov could be good, but Smith's to lose.
Board 14 - Three contenders, including Durrant. Cullen and Lennon are the seeds, don't see why Glen can't win this board
Board 15 - Good draw for both Clemens and Wright as seeds. Hard to think of any on this board threatening them.
Board 16 - Somewhat open. Bunting and Ratajski as seeds should be favoured, but there's players in there who can cause upsets

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Contender ready! Gladiator ready!

Now that much of the whining about the Premier League has calmed down, let's actually take a look at who of the nine remaining players is actually the biggest winner and loser. You can't just look at the quality of new opponent, you've got to look at what the change in percentage chance of winning is going to be. So I've taken the nine players, used the existing best of 13 simulator that I have on the master computer (I know it's not exactly the same but for all intents and purposes it is if we pretend the PL has a tiebreaker at 6-6), and then shoved them all in against Anderson and then against their new opponent. Here's the results:

The obvious huge winner is Barney, given that he's gone from the lowest winning percentage of anyone (hence why I bet on him to finish bottom), to having a better than a 50/50 shot of getting the points (hence why I cashed the bet out upon hearing the Anderson out news). Then we've got Price, before a grouping of Smith, Suljovic and Wright, which is understandable given all their opponents are fairly closely bunched together. van Gerwen's the next worst off, if only because he was actually projected to beat Ando in the first place, then you get the easily worst off - Wade, Cross and Gurney all have the worst draws, with Gurney clearly getting no favours - that's just how good Glen Durrant is.

One thing you could look to do if you wanted, and as it's an exhibition I can't be bothered to go into this, is to do the same, but look at the expected points - sure Barney wins a lot more often, but is it actually enough to get him over the line and turn the increased winning chances into points more than, say, Wright would now do, having gone from a 40/60 dog to a 65/35 favourite? A lot of the gains will be from those close ones where you might go from being a break down to being a break up and turning 0 points into 2. Maybe one for the other stats guys to play with.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Seeing how everyone seems to be melting down over the Premier League news

Well, apart from Diogo Portela by the looks of things, here's something completely different. The world of darts is awash with all sorts of statistics, mostly meaningless, and people want to know whether the guys in the BDO are actually any good. So now I have a statistic that the common man can understand - Speedboat%.

This tells you how often the two players in each match would hit 101 or more in six darts to kick off a leg. It's the only real sensible metric in the game, so without further ado, here's the BDO world championships analysed in Bullseye form:

I've also looked at each leg and seen what players have scored with their first six darts, to see who'd have won the Bronze Bully - congrats Jim Williams on your awesome achievement. But yes, even the pros would fail to win the speedboat 4% of the time.

Anderson out of the Premier League

That's a bit of an interesting one. Obviously the back issue that he has is long enough term that they couldn't realistically reorder the schedule to have him catch up games later on in the league - if he were to play twice a night, he'd need to be back in action by week 5 in order to make the games up. That's after the UK Open, so you have to think that the defence of his title is also in doubt. Also have to assume that he'll pull out of the Pro Tour events in the near future, if he hasn't done so already - I've just checked the PDC website and there's no mention of it, but as it does say that Suljovic has withdrawn and Gilding is in, then next on the list would be either Hamilton or Portela - assuming they don't go back and ask Lynskey, Taylor or Askew again who would have had preference over Gilding? As an aside, Taylor won through to the UK Open this weekend so good luck to the lad (Barilli and Newton also got there along with a couple of randoms, not sure who won the Cov one yet but the Rileys Facebook page reckons it's Ian McFarlane who got in three years ago).

What they've done with the Anderson Premier League spot is great. I love the concept. I'd still much preferred for some of the players that they've selected as a rolling opponent to have been in a play-in tournament, but it's a bit of a unique situation and allowing a bunch of the younger players a shot at the big stage is a good idea. It's six of the ten players I selected for Third Division Darts, then de Zwaan (who I'd put straight into the second division), Durrant, which is understandable, then John Henderson, which is the only real odd one out in the concept.

That said, I don't mind the Henderson pick. It's the week that Anderson was due to play van Gerwen, so it is not as if they need to worry about picking someone competitive, it gives them a Scottish player in Aberdeen, which has to have been a big consideration, and there's no other realistic Scot they could have selected.

Will be interesting to see how they do. It'd have been much more exciting if they'd have kept the player's identities a secret and had a "Wait! Could it be? That's Hopp's music!" type of moment, but could they have kept kayfabe for the full nine weeks? It'd have added a little bit extra, but what can you do.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Dutchman wins Dutch Open shocker

Just been watching a bunch of the Dutch Open final day. Congrats to Richard Veenstra on becoming the first Dutch winner since van Barneveld, which should give you an idea of how long ago it was, over Ryan Hogarth in a thoroughly enjoyable final marked with big checkouts. Hogarth has already got a 160 in the books and just missed (I think) 137 for the second set, but Veenstra killed 158 to make it 2-0 in sets. Hogarth got the break back and eventually levelled at two sets each, and was able to take out 141 in the final set to keep it alive, but Veenstra eventually finished 87 to take the title. Good game, was being streamed on Dutch regional TV (a bunch of it was on the NDB's channel, but didn't seem to be working on the Sunday) so should be available on catch up.

Suzuki won the ladies final over Aileen de Graaf, who oddly switched to scoring on 19's after a couple of legs, it seemed to work somewhat but the damage was done at that stage, elsewhere in the other finals I was very impressed with Pim van Bijnen, who won the under-14 boys event extremely comfortably. Quite a few big names went deep in the mens, Parletti and van Egdom were the losing semi finalists while Kenny, Unterbuchner and Warren are well known who made the quarters, don't really know who Kevin Doets is, but he's done the Development Tour last year so could be another one off the Dutch production line?

Elsewhere in the world of darts, the Masters is going on, it's van Gerwen/Chisnall and Wade/Wright in the semis, but as dartsdata keeps thinking today is November and showing me a game between Michael Smith and Adam Smith-Neale from the Grand Slam, it's a hint to ignore it I guess. Razma and Labanauskas have won the first two Nordic/Baltic tour events, with Ulf Ceder, Daniel Larsson, Oskar Lukasiak and Marko Kantele going deep in both of them. Dennis Nilsson, Johan Engström and Kim Viljanen also won their way onto European Tour events, nice to see a new name and it'll be good to see Viljanen again, who's been quiet over the last six months or so. They've also had the first weekend of DPA events, with Damon Heta getting a brace of wins, James Bailey getting one and Steve Fitzpatrick (who he?) claiming the last victory. No sign of Cadby, which is strange.

It's all gearing up to the first Pro Tour events of the year now, with much of the interest being in how the new tour card holders will start their campaign. It's moderately important in that a fast start will see a couple of them grab a first round bye in the UK Open for sure, and maybe if a bunch of them do, they can overtake the stragglers in the Order of Merit from last year - Dootson's only got £1250, and there's another three players on less than four grand which could easily be overhauled - there's three weekends to work with before the cutoff for the UK Open so it wouldn't take that much work to climb into the top 96, even if a couple of players get off to a great start.