Sunday, 17 February 2019

PC4 results

And Durrant's won one. What a start to his PDC career. Was a very impressive set of results all day, only really being challenged by Gerwyn Price (who Durrant beat in the semi final), Price managing a remarkable 13 twelve dart or better legs to top the points per turn ranking for the day, ahead of Durrant and van Gerwen, who was a surprise 6-1 victim of Nathan Aspinall at the last sixteen stage.

The other finalist was Dimitri van den Bergh, and it's hard to understate how much of an important result this is in his career. He knows that to get to more stage events, he's going to have to perform on the floor - this ought to kickstart things.

The only other semi finalist we haven't mentioned was Rob Cross, who in case anyone was of the opinion that he's still out of form, has the highest points per turn of anyone over the first four Players Championship events - even van Gerwen who's won two. Smith, White and Price round out the top five in that ranking, while Durrant slots in eighth. While he's been fairly quiet in terms of results, Ratajski is in the top ten, so let's not start thinking that his form at the back end of last season was just a flash in the pan.

Whitlock lost in the first round yet again, and is down in the bottom ten of points per turn for the four events we've had so far this season, which is incredibly worrying for fans of the Wizard, he's even below Benito if you want to get really worried. Elsewhere today, McGeeney got a whitewash victory over yesterday's semi finalist Mervyn King as part of a run to win his board before he was stopped by a solid Kyle Anderson, youngster Bradley Brooks made the quarters and was a leg away from knocking Durrant out, while Matt Edgar also reached that stage before losing to Dimitri in a tight game. Adrian Gray had a first real run after a slow start and Stephen Burton continued decent form from Challenge Tour call-ups, reaching the last sixteen.

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
12 Ian White
13 Jonny Clayton
14 Darren Webster
15 Adrian Lewis
16 Joe Cullen
17 Nathan Aspinall (UP 2)
18 Stephen Bunting
19 Phil Taylor (DOWN 2)
20 Steve West

Not a huge deal of movement, although Cross was getting a bit close to Anderson so putting 4k in the bank is useful. Dimitri's firmly in the top 32 now, Edgar's in the top 70, two spots ahead of Durrant, Brooks is in the top 128 and Gavin Carlin from yesterday is safely in the top 200.

There's actually a stream of the Scottish Open linked from the SDA website, check it out if PC4 wasn't enough darts for you - looks like it's Ashton against O'Brien or Sherrock in the ladies, then the mens is Barilli or Harris agaisnt Harms or Caven. Might catch up towards the final. Girvan was able to make the quarters before losing to Harms, so a good run for the youngster.

PC3 and Asian Tour 3-4 thoughts

Will start with the Asian Tour, where Seigo Asada had a great weekend, finishing runner up in the first to Haruki Muramatsu (remember him?), before wining the second, defeating Royden Lam in the final. Wasn't a bad weekend for Lam who made the semi finals in the first event, while Ilagan made two quarters. Other than those, it was mostly inconsistency all round, with few being able to put two performances together in a row.

Onto Players Championship 3, with van Gerwen defeating Ian White in the final, but some other notes:

- Good to see Mervyn King put together a run to the semi, while Chris Dobey was able to do the same. Still a wait for Chris to get the first win, but keeping putting points on the board will get him into the majors, which is something he's missed out on a few times by not much, that'll really push him up the rankings.
- Gavin Carlin did alright, reaching the quarters, while of other new tour card holders, Jose de Sousa won his board, and Andy Boulton was able to do the same.
- Also good to see some European talent return to some floor form, Dimitri getting to the last sixteen before running into MvG, while Zoran Lerchbacher did the same, being edged out by Dobey but after a frankly awful 2018, getting £2.5k in three events so far isn't a bad start.
- Ross Smith is getting some unlucky draws, finding himself against van Gerwen in round two and pushing things fairly close. Will surely just take a decent draw before he goes on a proper run in one of these in the form he has right now.
- Something's clearly not right with Whitlock. Losing 6-2 to Nathan Derry averaging 75 isn't good, and he only got the two because Derry wasn't able to finish either leg in 18 darts himself (edit - having actually checked the score, both of Whitlock's legs were miraculously breaks, so Derry actually had 21 darts to win both of them).
- It's a third straight opening round defeat for Steve Beaton as well, now here he at least averaged over 90, but against Justin Pipe, Conan Whitehead and Andrew Gilding you'd expect him not to lose all three.
- There's some silly losing averages. Hunt losing to Smith with a 104, Nentjes losing to Lennon with a 105, Rob Cross in his board final lost with 106...

A few interesting names in the Scottish Open, which is at the last 32 stage and playing to a finish today - Diogo Portela's there having knocked out Jim Williams, Hogan's a potential last 16 opponent, Montgomery/Barilli is an all-Scottish affair, Cody Harris is in there with a possible last 16 tie against Wes Newton, youngster Nathan Girvan is still alive and could run into Tony O'Shea in the last 16, Mitchell and Harms are still in it, while Dutch Open finalist Ryan Hogarth is in what looks like a winnable quarter, also featuring Jamie Caven, remember him.

Off to put PC3 into the master computer and start on PC4 when that kicks off soon.

Edit - one thing that occurred to me just now that I thought I'd mention. Apparently, according to Twitter sources, Barney isn't here this weekend because he's playing exhibitions in Germany against Taylor. Words fail me.

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.