Wednesday 14 June 2017

Challenge Tour

While Hamburg was going on last weekend, we had the penultimate weekend of Challenge Tour matches, notably Mark Dudbridge won one and finalled another to open up over an £800 lead in second place, with Wayne Jones still leading the way in the race for a tour card. Matt Edgar won another from seemingly nowhere, it's not unexpected given what we know of him (he did after all make the Players Championship Finals last year) but his form this year, when he's been playing, has been iffy, while Kevin McDine and Warrick Scheffer grabbed the other two events, climbing to sixth and tenth respectively, while Luke Humphries kept in touch with a £1500 weekend. Will be interesting to see what happens on the last week, which isn't until September.

The main point of this post is re: Lisa Ashton, who's played three of the four weekends (I think the fourth clashed with a ranking BDO event), and didn't do too badly at all, making a quarter final and picking up £550. There was a suggestion that the BDO should use one of its wild card slots for the Grand Slam on Ashton on account of being back to back world champion, with Durrant having two of the automatic spots from being both the world champion and World Master. I'm not so sure.

While I don't track the women's events, it was pretty easy to look up Ashton's results in the two most recent ranking events (the BDO site doesn't keep news older than that, so if there were stats for the World Masters, I couldn't find them). She's won 30 legs and lost 13, what are her numbers like?

Out of the legs lost, she's averaging 83, which is in the same ballpark as Kevin Painter, James Richardson, Devon Petersen and Mark McGeeney, so not too shabby. Bear in mind that nobody in my whole database even averages 98 on this stat.

In terms of twelve darters, she did this twice, so 6.66%, which again isn't sloppy. There's a possibility of sample size issues, but this is a better number than Alan Norris, James Wilson, Brendan Dolan and Mark Webster. However, it becomes a bit unstuck when you look at other stats. Another eight of those legs were in fifteen darts, which makes fifteen darts or fewer weigh in at 33.33%, i.e. one in three. This is a similar number again to McGeeney, but of those with any sort of sample, the only ones who are really much worse are BDO players - the only PDC player with any sort of sample that's this poor is Martin Schindler, who's down below 25%.

It doesn't get better looking at eighteen dart legs - this is only 70% overall. There's a few players from the PDC down this sort of level - Jamie Caven, Devon Petersen and Andrew Gilding are less than three points higher, Andy Hamilton's basically the same, but there is nobody with a sample size as large as Ashton's that is below 70%.

So how would she actually do in the Slam? Let's recall the selection - it's 16 players from winning or finalling PDC events, 8 players from a PDC qualifier and then 8 players from the BDO, of which she would be one. Let's say she gets the easiest draw she can from the automatic qualifiers, which given the selection methods, we'll call James Wade and Mark Webster, and that she also draws someone who's down on the cusp of the top 64 in the PDC who's binked the qualifier. We need someone with a sample, let's go with James Richardson. We'll mix it up a touch and say that it's actually played under Premier League rules rather than a race to five, only so I don't need to tweak a spreadsheet, and we play all 12 legs so we can say a most likely result without worrying about stopping at 7 legs:

vs Wade: 8.53% win, 13.89% draw, 77.57% loss, most likely result 8-4 Wade
vs Webster: 14.29% win, 18.08% draw, 67.64% loss, most likely result 7-5 Webster
vs Richardson: 14.61% win, 18.13% draw, 67.26% loss, most likely result 7-5 Richardson

Should she get a bad draw and end up in van Gerwen's group: 0.63% win, 2.44% draw, 96.93% loss, most likely result 9-3 van Gerwen.

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