Saturday 27 May 2017

Matchplay winners and losers and introducing the 15 Dart Bot

Quiet few weeks in the PDC, with the unranked Dubai tournament that Anderson won which holds little interest, and the unranked World Cup which does little better in terms of interest, although it does have some value in looking at players from far flung territories who might get a look in as a World Championship international qualifier. It also has pairs, which I still think would be an interesting one-off event. So let's look forward to the Matchplay and do some level one analysis of who could be the big winners and losers.

Potential big losers:

1) James Wade. Now we all love to laugh at Wade, but two years ago he made the final following a semi final win over Phil Taylor, but he's not likely to do that this time. It's borderline where he ends up being seeded, being in a race for the 5/6 seed with Dave Chisnall, but neither is good - the five seed could get Ian White in round 2 followed by a quarter against Adrian Lewis, with MvG likely in the semi final, and if anything the six seed is worse - Michael Smith being probable in round 2, then Peter Wright. Not looking good.

2) Gerwyn Price. While Price is playing a lot better now than he was then, he did make the quarter final. While it wouldn't be too ridiculous for him to do that again, beating two seeds to do so may be a tough ask, and there's many first round draws where he would be a substantial dog.

3) Jamie Lewis, Andrew Gilding, Andy Hamilton and Keegan Brown. All in a tie, all won one game at Blackpool two years ago, all nowhere near qualifying.

Potential big winners:

1) Adrian Lewis. Fell to Price in round 2 two years ago, while a current second round opponent of Kim Huybrechts is very much a banana skin, the draw looks fairly kind to be able to blast his way into the semi final.

2) Raymond van Barneveld. Lost in round 1 two years ago, but has less upside than Lewis in that his second round opponent is looking like Phil Taylor, and MvG would then follow.

3) Jelle Klaasen. Drew Whitlock two years ago in the first round and lost, his current round 2 opponent would be Suljovic, which isn't as hard as others might get, Anderson could be trickier but should be able to at least climb the rankings a bit.

4) Michael Smith. Lost to Price in round 1 in comedy fashion, he should do better here and if Wade stays where he is, Smith should have very good chances for at least a quarter final run.

5) Daryl Gurney. Didn't qualify two years ago, and has the game to threaten many of the seeds.

Now I mention 15 Dart Bot. Someone lower down the circuit mentioned in a blog post a few years ago (I think it was Kevin Dowling, but I can't find the post) that the game is at a level these days that you need to play as if your opponent is going to finish in 15 darts all of the time. Well, what if they do? Let's add our bot to the Premier League, and project how he would fare against each opponent. It's pretty simple to calculate - our real life players only break in 12 darts or less, and they only get broken if they can't finish in 15 darts. So I'll take the 12 dart percentage and subtract the 16 or more dart percentage. A positive figure and our real life player is the favourite - a negative figure, and they're an underdog.

Michael van Gerwen: 30.52 - 22.10 = 8.42
Gary Anderson: 23.81 - 25.60 = -1.79
Adrian Lewis: 18.60 - 29.07 = -10.47
Raymond van Barneveld: 18.89 - 29.49 = -10.60
Kim Huybrechts: 18.89 - 30.41 = -11.52
Peter Wright: 15.38 - 29.37 = -13.99
Phil Taylor: 15.84 - 31.68 = -15.84
Dave Chisnall: 16.22 - 34.23 = -18.01
Jelle Klaasen: 12.89 - 40.00 = -27.11
James Wade: 7.66 - 44.68 = -37.02

So 15 Dart Bot is a favourite to beat any player in the world that isn't Michael van Gerwen.

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