Saturday 7 October 2017

World Grand Prix aftermath and other musings

Huge congrats to Daryl Gurney, claiming his first major title, and in fairness congrats to everyone that made the semi finals who can all be happy with their week's work - Simon Whitlock for coming so close to binking, making a first major final in quite some time, John Henderson for two tremendous upset victories, and Mensur Suljovic continuing to solidify a great autumn. Obviously given there were no posts since before the quarter finals I didn't see a great deal of value in the betting, probably should have shot on Suljovic over Wright but I won't be losing any sleep over it.

The result is that Gurney and Whitlock claim Grand Slam places, and it's getting a bit crowded with fourteen players now having spots through the various majors and other events that the PDC calls majors, meaning that once Michael Smith takes one of the remaining spots from his European Tour victory, there's only one slot left from the Pro Tour - currently allocated to Adrian Lewis, which is far too precarious a position to be in. It only takes someone like a Rob Cross, Joe Cullen etc to bink Göttingen (not that unrealistic a suggestion and are in the other half to MvG giving four people shots to take him out before they have to do it themselves), or someone going on a mad run and finalling Hasselt in order to knock him out of it.

BDO update - someone got back to me on email, which is nice, and the last 16 game that wasn't uploaded did get done in the end, although there's still no sign of anything beyond that. I would just grab it manually, it's only first to two leg sets so it wouldn't take that long, but I'm not sure I can be bothered with VPNing in order to manually scrape data that I'm not that likely to use to make bets given it's the BDO. They've also set their worlds field following their qualifiers, I don't know how effective their ranking system is given the quality of the non-seeds looks a fair bit better than the quality of the seeds, particularly the lower ones, I'd take Waites/Adams/Labanauskas/Noppert/Ratajski over Williams/Mandigers/Baetens/Phillips/Hurrell very, very quickly. Ratajski's going to have to make a decision soon, I think it'll depend on how he does at Göttingen, if he wins enough games to qualify for Ally Pally then that seems like a very easy decision, otherwise he's got to assess whether taking the European Championship money is worth it (and if that eliminates him from Lakeside which I assume it would).

Willie O'Connor won the Tom Kirby and thus makes the PDC worlds. I'd guess that he's got enough in the rankings that he gets straight to round 1, and could potentially be a danger to a few seeds. He's really hot and cold but seems to be having a decent enough season.

It's a busy and important week now, with the final Pro Tour events (Jenkins has at least entered these, but if Burton's figures are correct as they usually are, he definitely needs something as he's provisionally out as of right now) before the final European events, after those have finished we'll know the fields for two more majors and be able to work out World Championship permutations with a lot more certainty.

One thing I do want to do is to have a year end awards post, although I'm unsure on what categories to use. Here's what I have in mind as of right now:

- Player of the Year
- Most Improved Player of the Year
- Best Young Player (no real cutoff in mind for top age, am likely to consider everything as a whole and think that someone towards a sensible upper age would have to do more than someone who's barely started)
- Best New Tour Card Holder (not really thinking that best new player is a great category, as nobody's completely new nowadays)
- Best Tournament Win
- Most Disappointing Year
- Favourite Moment of the Year

I could add match of the year, but I'm reluctant to do so, as I could roll that up into the last category which is basically a personal favourite category anyway, and I don't watch extensively enough in order to really think of what to go for, whereas I have ideas for all of the other categories (which would include somewhere between 2-4 runners up for each one). Thoughts for categories that I could add?

New adjusted FRH rankings:

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

Henderson jumps to number 28 following his semi final, one place behind fellow Scot Robert Thornton. Out of second round players, Beaton climbs to number 24, Steve West enters the top 30 while Richard North is up to number 47. Gurney is less than 20 grand behind Gary Anderson for the number 3 spot - who knows what might happen with a good weekend?

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