Monday, 19 October 2020

No way

Jose actually did it! de Sousa binks the title, with it a probable Grand Slam spot (hard to see how he doesn't get in really), and in some style with a 105+ average in the final over the world number 1. Very nice. And in other great news, Deta Hedman was able to get into the worlds (along with Lisa Ashton) from the Women's Series. Hearn must be gutted that Sherrock isn't in. We also saw Boris Krcmar get through his regional qualifier, who'll surely be one for the Pro Tour list to avoid (although as a whole the international list is looking extremely strong as a whole), someone I've never heard of won the Chinese qualifier, of course where the worlds is held is the biggest question right now.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Nathan Aspinall (UP 1)
7 Glen Durrant (UP 1)
8 Michael Smith (DOWN 2)
9 Dave Chisnall
10 Daryl Gurney
11 Gary Anderson
12 Ian White (UP 1)
13 James Wade (DOWN 1)
14 Krzysztof Ratajski
15 Mensur Suljovic
16 Simon Whitlock
17 Joe Cullen (UP 1)
18 Jonny Clayton (DOWN 1)
19 Adrian Lewis
20 Chris Dobey

Smith drops a couple primarily because of his results being more backloaded than Aspinall or Durrant (e.g. his worlds final), although Nathan did need to reach the quarters to get up the two spots. White's semi final moves him above Wade, although a quarter would have been enough, Clayton not qualifying was enough to put him below Cullen.

Lower down, de Sousa reaches a new high of 27, Labanauskas is still hanging around just outside the top 40 after a good run to the quarter finals, Maik Kuivenhoven is up into the top 80 and with him now seemingly locked into the European Championship, stands a great chance of retaining his card, Kleermaker is just a couple of spots behind him. With their first round wins, new card holders Scott Waites and Derk Telnekes have hit the top 100. It's also a sad day in that, now two years after their last cashes, Terry Jenkins and Richie Burnett get taken off the main list.

We head to Riesa next. There's plenty of speculation as to how many players will see that they've got a Euros spot booked and drop out - certainly a possibility. Only time will tell, but it's probably going to be one that domestic qualifiers won't want to miss, although as Kim Huybrechts said on Twitter, maybe they ought to look to rebalance where there's a lot of dropouts opening up existing spots to the qualifiers. At least keep it the same ratio - if three spots come up, give two to the home nations and one to the affiliate. Of course, Kim's brother playing in the associate quali would have nothing to do with it, and they've already played the event for ET4 anyway, so there's not much they can really do. Something to think about for next year, although 2021 surely won't be as much of a clusterfuck as 2020 has been.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

ET3 round 3 analysis

Bit of a disappointing day two that. The one bet we did fire on lost, with Petersen not exactly looking bad, but not quite at the peak level he needed to be in order to trouble Price. On the other hand, all the leans we didn't fire on won - Kuivenhoven took a deciding leg, Mensur looked extremely good against Evans, van der Voort took care of a misfiring Hopp, while Wade was able to edge out Clemens. Needless to say that having half a year to fix things since the last Euro Tour before last week didn't allow sportradar to stop being completely fucking useless, with no coverage of the Cross/Hunt game whatsoever. At least there's always Youtube heroes to pick up and show the actual game. It's really not difficult to do this.

Today we have eight games and I'm going to run through them quickly - Kuivenhoven's first up against Glen Durrant, nothing here as I think Maik's run ends, Duzza being shorter than 1/3 is maybe slightly underrating the underdog, but not enough to consider a bet.

Second is White/Smith - bookies have it fairly close, actually having Smith as a small favourite. This is close to a bet on White, he's 6/5 and I think he has the tiny edge season long, but at only 51%. I can pass on this, White's in need of results and as mentioned yesterday probably isn't at his peak, whereas Smith just murdered Telnekes yesterday.

Labanauskas/Cullen is a tricky one to call, Darius took Dave Chisnall out with an OK performance, whereas Cullen looked very nice in the legs he won against Huybrechts (nice big fish to ice the match as well after Kim made a stupid tactical error going bull second dart on 121 - go first dart or don't go at all), but mediocre in the others. Odds look close to fair, I've got Joe as a slightly better favourite than 60/40, as such 13/8 on the Lithuanian number one isn't value for me.

Game four is Price against de Sousa, the path for Gerwyn isn't getting any easier - we mentioned the Petersen game above, de Sousa had an easy time against Pietreczko but looked extremely ordinary. I'll take 0.1u de Sousa 15/8, Jose's good enough that this is only really 55/45 in favour of Gerwyn, I'd go the full quarter of a unit, but there's so much uncertainty in terms of de Sousa with how he played yesterday. Let's hope it wasn't just Ricardo bringing Jose down to his level?

Suljovic/Hughes next, and the line looks close to right with Mensur at 4/6 and Jamie at 11/8. Maybe it should be a little closer, it looks about 55/45 again, but Suljovic looked so good in round two, Jamie looked good enough that it should be competitive.

Kleermaker/Cross is sixth, Martijn improving massively from game one to take out Ratajski in a decent upset, while a couple of legs apart, Cross looked perfectly fine against Adam Hunt. Can't see any real value here, I've got Rob as winning nearly three games in four, so with him being close to 2/5, we can avoid it.

Seventh is Wade/Aspinall, very close to a bet on James at 13/8 - I'm seeing him as about a 55/45 underdog again, and he looked a little bit better than Aspinall did yesterday, wouldn't blame anyone in going for it, but I think Nathan should be able to raise his game a little bit.

Finally it's van Gerwen against van der Voort. This is about the least interesting game we could see, Vincent just never shows up against MvG, the price looks right, pretty weak game to finish off really.

Just the one bet again, and it's against Price again.

Some other notes, Covid bullshit has seen the Philippines team withdraw from the World Cup which is a huge loss given they'd drawn England, when will this garbage stop, and we've also seen Ashton>Sherrock and Hedman>de Graaf in the first two Women's Series games, leaving everything wide open for today. Probably won't be back for the quarters.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

ET3 round 2 bets

That was beautiful. One of those rare days when nothing can go wrong, even when Nico Kurz tries his best to make things go wrong. All four bets came home, I guess the most surprising one was the Hunt bet - not so much in that it came in by itself, as the only one that was odds against that was always going to be the biggest surprise, it was more the manner in which he did it, Heta didn't get close. Suppose the only other real surprise outside of our bets was Ricardo Pietreczko steamrollering a somewhat out of sorts Luke Woodhouse.

Onto day 2, let's get straight into it:

Gurney/Kuivenhoven - I think if this game was taking place in April I'd have gone with Maik. For now, he didn't do quite enough against Worsley to make me think he's a recommendable punt at 3/1. It's not a bad play per se, I think he's got around a 30% shot, maybe ever so slightly more, I just don't think there's quite the edge there on present form.

White/Waites - This one looks pretty close to the mark. Season long I've got Ian at 65%, Waites is 15/8, so that's as close to on the money as you're going to get. I do wonder though, Scott's looked alright in some of the more recent events, and I get the nagging feeling that White, although still in the world's elite, has possibly already hit the highest he's ever going to get (he is north of 50 after all), and hasn't been at his peak for a while. No bets, but wouldn't be surprised if Scott's able to nick this one.

Smith/Telnekes - That's not quite tempting enough a price on Derk there. Smith's 2/9, I'm seeing the game at around 80/20. Derk's performance was a little sluggish early against Marijanovic, if he does that again he could easily be 4-0 down and out of the running against someone with Michael's quality. Not a great deal of interest in this one.

Durrant/Kurz - Can't recommend a play on this one either. The newest Premier League champion is rated as slightly better than 75/25 in the market, which is more or less where I see the game at as well. It'll be an interesting game for Nico, he's got all the potential in the world, could this be a statement win? It'll be tough against someone with the consistency of Glen to say the least, but he does have the peak game to possibly cause an upset.

de Sousa/Pietreczko - Jose's a huge favourite here, which seems fine, Ricardo got through a tough first round opponent despite only getting the one leg in five visits, but Jose's a step up in class again and I really can't see de Sousa having any problems. 1/6 doesn't tempt me though.

Chisnall/Labanauskas - Line makers are too good right now. I've got Darius as having more or less exactly a one in three shot, he's 21/10. Darius was steady against Unterbuchner, who had all the flashy moments (I think he had a 10 darter in there somewhere?) but couldn't put together the steady legs. Chisnall will know if Labanauskas plays at his best he'll have a game on his hands, but Dave ought to be good enough here.

Cullen/Huybrechts - Kim is someone I should have bet on yesterday on gut feeling, I trusted the numbers, and sure enough Henderson did very little, allowing Huybrechts to coast home without really getting out of second gear. Cullen's a step up in quality but the market is still thinking that Kim has almost a 40% chance to take this. That's pretty much exactly how I see it as well, so yet more no bets.

Hughes/Lennon - Steve looked pretty good against Madars Razma in the opening round, and has been quietly playing alright all season despite not getting the results, so I thought there might have been a bit of value here - I've got Steve as only a slight dog. And he's 13/10 in the market. Move on to the evening session it is then.

Ratajski/Kleermaker - Not a chance I'm betting this one. Kleermaker looked bad yesterday. Buffler you can understand, it's a Euro Tour debut and he's come out of left field a bit but Martijn just couldn't hit doubles. I'm seeing him at under 25% at the best of times, so 3/1 isn't the slightest bit interesting. Should be a comfortable win for Krzysztof even if Martijn does regress to the mean in quality.

Cross/Hunt - Now come on here. Adam was 12/5 against Damon Heta, and he's only 2/1 against Cross? It was a nice performance, but I wouldn't have thought that's enough to make him shorter, unless they actually think Heta is better than Cross at this stage... who knows. In any case, Hunt is underrated, but not betting at 2/1 underrated. Would have stabbed at 3/1.

Wade/Clemens - Apart from installment four of Price/Petersen, this is probably the most interesting match of the night. Wade is 8/11, which feels about right. He's actually coming up as closer to 8/15 in terms of a fair price from projections, but let's factor in that I've got the German Superleague in my dataset (where Clemens didn't play well), Clemens has homefield, and Clemens looked better than he's done for months yesterday. All things combined and I'm fine with not betting this one.

Price/Petersen - I am fine with a bet here though, 0.25u Petersen 13/8. Devon's that good right now that despite Gerwyn winning everything in sight, including a big major title, Devon's got legitimate chances to win this one, as he did on the way to winning the previous Euro Tour event. I've got Devon as just the wrong side of a 51/49, so 13/8? Yes please.

Suljovic/Evans - David didn't let us down yesterday, although Kai followed up that very nice final qualifying game and looked a lot better than he did in the Superleague, so let's see if he can get into ET4 and get a more favourable draw. Suljovic is a huge step up in class, the market however has adjusted to Evans enough that it's only slightly better than 60/40 for Mensur. I think that's a little bit too much of an overreaction, and it's very close - it's only the vig that's stopping me. The prices are 4/7 and 6/4, I've got Mensur at 70%. If someone throws out 4/6, take it.

van Gerwen/King - Think the days of auto-laying MvG are gone. King is only 3/1. He's got course and distance recently, I don't think he should be quite that long, but we're only talking 5/2 being about right, so no real underdog value.

Aspinall/O'Connor - Oddschecker is being a bit funky here, only showing a price for Aspinall, and he's shorter than 1/3 against Willie, who got past Chris Dobey in a scrappy game. That's probably a bit too short, O'Connor has better chances (I'd price around 4/9, maybe 2/5), but his first round display didn't fill me with confidence at all, he only really had a couple of good legs and that's it.

van der Voort/Hopp - Not quite sure how Vincent is a seed, but these are strange times. Hopp was good enough yesterday that, along with the German crowd, I can shy away from a Vincent bet. Can't blame anyone if you want to take 10/11, van der Voort isn't exactly playing badly and is up in the high 50% range season long, but I think there's enough external factors in this match that I can avoid recommending a bet.

So, just Petersen really. Back tomorrow morning, should quickly congratulate Lisa Ashton on getting through the qualifier to the Slam, will be paying a bit of attention to the Women's Series in terms of worlds reads.

Friday, 16 October 2020

ET3 round 1 bets

Qualifiers done, up to six domestic qualifiers with the withdrawal of Wright and someone else, oddschecker is asleep at the wheel so I'll just compare two bookies for the best price:

Kuivenhoven/Worsley - Odds seem just about fine. Maik should probably be a bit of a shorter favourite on season long form but didn't play as well since the restart so can give it a pass.

King/Barauskas - No real read on the Lithuanian, King is probably acca safe at 1/6 but not worth the punt as anyone getting through one of the regional qualifiers should at least be OK.

Pietreczko/Woodhouse - Nothing here. Nothing much on Ricardo, Woodhouse isn't appealing at almost as short a price as King is.

Gotthardt/Evans - 0.5u Evans 4/9, this seems like a very good play for someone who's won two Challenge Tours in the past week against someone on Euro Tour debut, Kai does have a fair bit of experience this year and played very well in the final qualifying round, but David's just playing too good right now.

Waites/Lowe - Tough to call, even enough, market agrees, should be game of the session.

Kurz/Bellmont - 0.25u Kurz 8/15, this is more being a Stefan non-believer than anything, middling 80's in the quali shouldn't cut it against Nico.

Labanauskas/Unterbuchner - Don't have a great deal on Michael outside of the Superleague, if we look just on that it should be a Darius bet, but a lot of players didn't play great in the lollipop arena so happy to ignore this one.

Ward/Petersen - Line seems alright, and don't think it's even acca safe, if Harry brings a decent game then he absolutely can nick this one time in four. Don't think it'll happen, but it's possible.

Huybrechts/Henderson - Is seemingly too tough to call on season long data. That surprises me, John didn't play great after the restart so I thought Kim at just shorter than evens would be worth the shot, I guess not.

Hopp/Ljubic - Long time since we've seen Pero, I can't remember how well he plays, but Max ought to be able to raise his game enough in Germany on a stage that 4/1 isn't too enticing.

Telnekes/Marijanovic - 0.25 Telnekes 8/11, it's been a while since we've seen Robert play, but Derk's looked extremely competent since switching to the PDC and as such this looks like a fair enough play.

Lennon/Razma - Hmm, Lennon actually projects as a small favourite. I'd have thought given the eyetest it'd be the other way around, possibly enough for it to be a bet on Madars. Confusing, when confused, don't bet.

Buffler/Kleermaker - Martijn's 1/7, that should be acca safe against someone on debut who peaked at 82 in the qualifier. But who knows.

Hunt/Heta - 0.1u Hunt 12/5, Adam has played OK since the restart, and while Damon is correctly a favourite, I think it's worth a little bit of a play on Adam, think this is probably still good value up to around 2/1. Should certainly be competitive, we've been waiting on Adam to get a breakout win for a while now, maybe it's today?

Siepmann/Clemens - Yeah, we're not betting against Clemens in this kind of spot, Steffen's simply not in Gabriel's league. Nearly worth it at 2/7 on Gabriel to be honest.

Dobey/O'Connor - Good game to finish, bad game to bet on, Chris is an excellent player, and as such, despite Willie being competent, Dobey being in the 1/2 region looks like a fair assessment.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

OK, so I got delayed

Let's get straight into the new FRH rankings, needless to say I didn't like a bet in the final:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gerwyn Price
4 Rob Cross
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Michael Smith
7 Nathan Aspinall
8 Glen Durrant
9 Dave Chisnall (UP 1)
10 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 1)
11 Gary Anderson (UP 1)
12 James Wade (DOWN 1)
13 Ian White
14 Krzysztof Ratajski
15 Mensur Suljovic
16 Simon Whitlock (UP 3)
17 Jonny Clayton
18 Joe Cullen (UP 2)
19 Adrian Lewis (DOWN 3)
20 Chris Dobey (UP 2)

van Duijvenbode is up to #32 following his final performance, otherwise it's much what you'd expect, Whitlock's got back into the top 16, Lewis' unfortunate situations sees him pretty close to outside the top 20, Noppert is less than 500 points behind Dobey and surprise quarter finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan isn't too far off either.

Not much to say about the final. Dirk just got himself into too big of a hole early. He had some slight chances but I think he'd have needed to take all the ones he missed in order to come out on top which would have been tricky to do.

Challenge Tour is done, thankfully Barry didn't get into the top 2 spots (nothing against Damian Mol, but if someone gets in the top 2 of both secondary tours they should use the card from the Dev Tour), so we've got David Evans and Ritchie Edhouse onto the tour for the next two years, Edhouse getting the win in event 9 and runner up in event 10 to clinch the card. Evans gets the worlds spot and ought to be considered a very dangerous opponent to most card holders.

We've got some weird withdrawals, Wright's out of the remaining two Euro Tour events and also the World Cup, so Scotland will defend the title with Henderson and Thornton which I'm sure will work perfectly well, Sedlacek isn't in the Eastern Euro qualifier along with quite a few biggish names from that area of the world which should give Krcmar a very good chance, strange times. Back tomorrow evening with Euro Tour analysis.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

God damnit Whitlock

Should have punted on Whitlock. Damnit. Oh well, at least Dirk came through for us, although it was a little bit nerve wracking when he missed the shot he had to win it 3-0 in sets (after being 2-0 up in the third set as well), but thankfully Anderson proceeding to take 11 darts to get under way in the next leg was enough to give Dirk the break with a couple of holds from there. Price and Chisnall advanced from the other half as you'd probably have expected, Cullen kept it close at least and had his chances - three clear at tops to go 2-1 up in set 4, incredibly sluggish in the second leg of the decider but still missed two darts for the leg, then was unable to generate a further match dart in a last leg needing 115 for the match. Them's the breaks.

Don't fancy any bets - Dirk looks good value on paper, but I've got the underlying feeling that the size of the occasion will end up getting to him quite a bit - against someone with the experience of Whitlock, someone who should play well in this format and is coming off a statement victory, both those things won't help matters. 13/8 when the numbers say a flip is very close to value. If it drifts further, go with it. Price at around a 2/1 favourite, slightly shorter actually, looks fine, although this'll be the best chance Chisnall will ever have of binking a major title, so maybe he steps his game up? How many times have we said that though...

Challenge Tour continues, David Evans claimed event eight to move into an extremely strong position to claim a tour card and a worlds spot. I can't find the race table someone posted right now, but the second spot is certainly wide open. Elsewhere, in shock news from Japan, Asada will not bink their worlds qualifier after he blew a 3-0 lead in a race to 4 (that short? Seriously?) in the semi finals. Wow. The other guy didn't play badly, but Seigo looked poor, simple as.

Back later probably with a Challenge Tour round up.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Grand Prix quarters

Hmm, bets didn't really go according to plan - Dirk did his bit, but then Noppert didn't show up (at least compared to Ando, who was looking solid enough), Petersen couldn't hit doubles at key moments, then Clayton couldn't hold in a last leg decider. Any of those would make things profitable (Clayton winning would probably have made it break even I guess), oh well.

Quarters sees van Duijvenbode/Anderson, Chisnall/Cullen, van Gerwen/Whitlock and Price/de Zwaan. Ironic that both the last second callups have made the quarters, what can you do. I think Dirk's worth the punt given the price, 0.1u van Duijvenbode 9/2, there really isn't anyone that Dirk should be that long a price against, and it's still only first to three sets so a fair bit of variance. It's only available at this price on Boyles so take it quick. Cullen against Chizzy looks about right with Joe being the small underdog at 11/8, I've got him slightly above 40% so can avoid that one. Whitlock is kind of tempting at the same price as Dirk against MvG, my concern in that one is that Simon couldn't recreate what he did in the first round in terms of quality of play, that and there's a lot bigger difference in quality between the two than there is in the Anderson match. Finally we see Price against de Zwaan with Gerwyn priced up as 75/25, I'm fine with that, it may even be a Price bet on current form, but Jeffrey looked alright in a pretty one sided affair against Clemens, 45% on doubles and a 180 more than every other leg isn't bad at all, so I'm fine passing on it. So just the Dirk punt.

Challenge Tour is rolling on. Keane Barry, who might well be the best player in the world without a tour card right now (yes, I know he's won one for next year), took the first, David Evans took the second and Jim Williams has taken the third. A few impressive plays - Maikel Verberk did a lot of damage in all three, Lewy Williams has hit a final today and was on fire in spots, Scott Mitchell made a semi today which will help in the tour card race (he's 200 quid ahead of Dennant and more than semi final money ahead of Barry), we've also seen some old names like Mark Walsh, Colin Osborne and Richie Burnett make runs. May post more later when event 8 has done. It's pretty tight for who might get Winter Series call ups as we've now had 14 different finalists through 7 events.