Tuesday 3 January 2017

So what's better than averages?

Looking at how many turns a player needs to finish. That gives you a good idea. The object of the game is to score 501 points in as few turns as possible. Nobody should care if you're hitting 13 darters when 15 darters count the same. So as we've just had a major tournament, and we've just had a major exhibition series announced, let's look at how the competitors in the latter did in the former:

12 darts or less:
Michael van Gerwen 39%
Gary Anderson 26.88%
Adrian Lewis 23.53%
Raymond van Barneveld 22.39%
Jelle Klaasen 21.88%
Peter Wright 20.59%
Dave Chisnall 18.64%
Phil Taylor 11.54%
James Wade 9.8%
Kim Huybrechts 9.38%

15 darts or less:
Michael van Gerwen 81%
Gary Anderson 77.42%
Peter Wright 76.47%
Adrian Lewis 73.53%
Raymond van Barneveld 70.15%
Kim Huybrechts 68.75%
Phil Taylor 61.54%
Dave Chisnall 59.32%
James Wade 58.82%
Jelle Klaasen 56.25%

18 darts or less:
Raymond van Barneveld 98.51%
Michael van Gerwen 98%
Peter Wright 97.06%
Gary Anderson 96.77%
Phil Taylor 96.15%
Adrian Lewis 94.12%
James Wade 92.16%
Dave Chisnall 91.53%
Kim Huybrechts 90.63%
Jelle Klaasen 87.5%

But what about the legs players didn't win, you ask? Well, here's their averages in losing legs:
Michael van Gerwen 103.14
Gary Anderson 102.61
Peter Wright 98.47
Raymond van Barneveld 95.58
Phil Taylor 95.52
James Wade 95.03
Dave Chisnall 94.35
Adrian Lewis 89.08
Kim Huybrechts 88.3
Jelle Klaasen 84.43

So what do these tell us? A few things I guess. MvG is a literal god for one. But it also indicates how players win and how they can get beaten. I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but you do wonder how Wade, who didn't exactly have a bad tournament according to conventional stats, is as high as number five when he rarely hits 12 dart legs, and will let anyone break him in 15 darts over 40% of the time.

What we can also do is use these sorts of figures to simulate matches. If we make some assumptions to eliminate rare outliers, such as someone hitting a 12 on throw and losing to a nine darter, or someone on throw not finishing in seven visits and getting broken, then we just look at, for player A on throw:

P(A hits a 12) + P(A hits a 15 and B doesn't hit a 12) + P(A hits an 18 and B doesn't hit a 15) + P(A doesn't hit an 18 and B doesn't hit an 18 either).

The Premier League is probably the best thing to do this sort of thing for - it's leg play, and it's an even number of legs with a draw possible, so you don't need to faff around with variables like who's throwing first and would have the darts in a deciding leg. I'll shove everyone against each other later this week and find out some expected points lines. Will make for interesting reading to see if Klaasen hits enough 12's to overcome for being god damn awful at everything else.

Quick sample size note - these have just come from the worlds so far. Will see if the PDC site goes back further. Everyone here's got at least a 30 leg sample size as far as legs won, van Gerwen is up at 100.

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