Monday 11 September 2017

Mannheim round up

Another 25 grand for Michael van Gerwen, as Rob Cross reaches a first European final, continuing his incredible first professional season. Before I give out awards, I'm up for the weekend, but not even a quarter of a unit, van der Voort really should have made it home throwing at 4-1, can't really complain about the positions most of my lost bets got into.

Best player performance: Rob Cross absolutely killed it this weekend. Getting six twelve darters out of 27 legs won, and another eighteen in fifteen darts or less, is quite the solid scoring. Averaged a cool 96 when losing legs as well. Truly elite stuff. Worthy of mention is van Gerwen obviously, some of the Dutch lads did better than expected.

Best single match performance: Michael van Gerwen in the final. Three twelve darters, was waiting on a double in two of the three legs he lost (one having missed a dart at 14's for another twelve) and 25 in the other having missed bull for yet another twelve darter. Amazing stuff, and absolutely needed to handle Cross in this form. Darren Webster came very close to this, with identical winning legs to van Gerwen, although that was in round one. Kyle Anderson against Kim Huybrechts wasn't bad either.

Worst player performance: Most of the seeds got through so this is somewhat limited, Alan Norris probably takes it for his 75 average in going out 6-3 to Darren Webster. Wright and Chisnall both went out by fairly large scores, but weren't playing bad, Norris was. A mention to Richard North as well, while he was never beating van Gerwen, he never even threatened to get close and would have been 9-0 down to 15 Dart Bot in the opener as well.

Worst single match performance: Kyle Anderson was very disappointing against Jelle Klaasen, Max Hopp was gifted a great draw and didn't do it yet again, Andrew Gilding really struggled against Vincent van der Voort. Will give it to Anderson, if only because it was off the back of two fantastic performances to get there - that loss came out of nowhere.

New adjusted FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Gary Anderson
4 Phil Taylor
5 Dave Chisnall
6 Daryl Gurney
7 Mensur Suljovic
8 Michael Smith (UP 1)
9 James Wade (DOWN 1)
10 Raymond van Barneveld
11 Simon Whitlock
12 Alan Norris (UP 1)
13 Ian White (UP 1)
14 Adrian Lewis (DOWN 2)
15 Jelle Klaasen
16 Benito van de Pas (UP 1)
17 Kim Huybrechts (DOWN 1)
18 Gerwyn Price
19 Joe Cullen
20 Mervyn King

Lower down, Rob Cross gains just the one place over Grand Prix make up the numbers merchant Robert Thornton (Taylor's confirmed out, who just has the one competitive event left before the worlds in the Grand Slam), while van der Voort gains no places but has closed a bit of a gap to a clump of people from 31st to 35th.

The Grand Prix seeds make interesting reading - if they all win through we'd have van Gerwen/van Barneveld, Anderson/Smith, Wright/Suljovic and Lewis/Chisnall. The first two have their own tales told for them, while the Wright game features two of the most solid players on the circuit who'll not throw too much bad stuff, while Lewis/Chisnall could be explosive or they could each need three visits to kick off.

Elsewhere, Wayne Jones and Mark Dudbridge have regained tour cards for next year following the end of the Challenge Tour, while the remainder of the top 8 who get free Q-School slots is a right mix of young and old names, with Tabern, Frost, McDine contrasting with Peter Jacques, Luke Humphries and Aaron Dyer.

Next week sees the Champions League exhibition which is only useful for a Taylor form check, before we return to European action in Riesa (as mentioned previously, coverage will be limited to non-existent as I'm at the event on the Sunday and in Germany the whole time) then the Grand Prix kicks off the following week. In terms of the Grand Prix, I've seen an interesting table that Chris Kempf (@ochepedia on Twitter) has made of season-long doubling percentages. Of the qualifiers, it reads (in this order) White, van Gerwen, Reyes, Wright, van de Pas, G Anderson, Cullen, Beaton, Whitlock, King, Henderson, van Barneveld, Lewis, Suljovic, Gurney, Wade, Klaasen, Chisnall, K Anderson, K Huybrechts, West, Smith, Cross, Kist, Webster, R Huybrechts, Price, Bunting, Norris, Thornton, Pipe (Richard North lacking enough stage attempts to feature). These figures swing from 44% at the top end (equating to 82.5% chance of getting away in your first visit) to 26% at the bottom end (or just a 60% chance of getting away in the first visit). I'm not going to bet hard on the event, as it's super high variance, the formats are surprisingly short and I've historically done badly, but having this order will be somewhat useful in terms of tweaking things once the draw is out. Not that I'd be rushing to bet the bottom of the list, but some of those higher up are a bit surprising and may swing no bets to small punts.

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