Saturday 31 March 2018

Munich preview 2

Praise the sun, oddschecker has actually collated the lines so I can look at multiple books at the same time, it probably actually had them last time but I couldn't see the European Tour link on the desktop site as it needed some sidewards scrolling that I couldn't see. Then again, I wouldn't have thought to check the unranked tournaments tab, but there you go. The matches are as follows, thankfully all the domestic qualifiers are ones that I've got good data on (please note that the matches involving Goedl have no data so I've put in a dummy win chance of 50/50 - in the absence of actual data, he either wins or he doesn't):

Annoyingly it's sorted things in alphabetical order of player 1 rather than the draw order, but I can't be bothered to fix that right now, so here's what my takes are:

- Lewis has a good spot to make a deep run here, with the winner of his pod getting the Huybrechts pod, Meeuwisse's one of those names like a Vincent Kamphuis that we've seen around for a while and is in the low end of the FRH top 100 or just outside that we don't know a huge deal about, so to see him in what's effectively a low pressure game should be useful. Cullen looked alright last week so it should be a good test.
- European special next, Noppert and Ratajski have both had good starts, the pressure's on Ratajski as he's not quite high enough to get up into the Pro Tour spots from the Challenge Tour, at least for the weekend just announced. The bookies have it such that it's marginal Ratajski value but this has a bit more importance so I'll pass on it. That Suljovic win chance is, as mentioned previously, a bit misleading as we have limited recent data on Mensur and he's playing better than it suggests.
- Two players who had good worlds, Webster being a bit better than Dekker who's reverted to maddeningly inconsistent again, the bookies have it closer than I think so first bet here, 0.25u Webster 4/5, Chisnall is more of the same in the next round.
- Wilson's been doing great so far early this season, with a semi final run in the last Pro Tour where he was playing excellent stuff. Alcinas not so much following his worlds exploits, annoyingly the market has adjusted correctly enough. Norris could well be in trouble whoever he plays.
- Wattimena has put together quite a few solid runs this year as he tries to crack the top 32, and here's a potential good chance, but Tabern has more chances than the market suggests, this being the first of three European Tour events he's qualified for and he's already won his board twice this year. Good punt option here, 0.25u Tabern 9/5. Anderson ought to have enough but his early season has been a bit ropey.
- Clayton has struggled a bit so far this year, only getting five wins in six Pro Tour events, so Berndt, who's played the UK Open qualifiers and given us some information, could be live here. I think that his chances could be falsely inflated, but with a home crowd, who knows? 0.1u Berndt 10/3. Cross should steamroll either opponent unless it's Clayton that does come through and he picks up his game from late 2017.
- Payne has won a couple of boards on the floor this year as he looks to put the disappointment of the world youth behind him, Rasztovits had one good run in the UK Open qualifiers and has made both of the European Tour events so far, he isn't a complete mug and probably is worth tiny value at nearly 2/1, but Payne's a classy operator when needed and has shown it in Europe within the last year. Wright is under pressure in the Premier League but looked incredible last weekend and should have taken the title, and I can't see him not making the final day.
- Humphries and O'Connor both made the worlds last year and this one looks incredibly tight. We've seen a bit more of Humphries and it'll be good to see if he can push on in the senior ranks, something O'Connor has been doing but nowhere near frequently enough to really start threatening for the majors. Price is now officially done from the Premier League and the question is whether he is mentally gone or can now put it behind him and rebuild in ranked events.
- Wade's good start to the year continued last weekend and Razma should provide little trouble for the now veteran lefty. Klaasen's a very good draw for Wade, ironically the same draw as he had last weekend, and I think it would go the same way assuming the Latvian doesn't pull off what would be a big upset.
- Langendorf has done the double of domestic qualification so far, but really hasn't been good in mostly UK Open qualifiers - winning 64 legs but not winning a single one in twelve darts. Brown should easily destroy him and then have chances against Whitlock, who was gifted a couple of wins last weekend before running into Michael van Gerwen.
- Schindler and Dobey had a fairly similar 2017, both sneaking into the worlds as one of the last few Pro Tour spots, Schindler having a good debut season with the card while Dobey regressed after 2016 but is rebuilding well on the floor so far this year. Line looks perfect and the winner will run into another youngster having a great season in Michael Smith, who is doing great in the Premier League but, while rightly being a favourite, cannot afford to take any liberties against whoever he faces.
- Aspinall and Lennon are kind of similar to the two above - both young talents, Aspinall just missing the worlds last year but making the European Championship (incredible how he didn't even have a tour card last year), while Lennon had a good debut season and will look to consolidate and secure his card for another year. The bookies have this real close but I've got Nathan having enough of an edge to bet, 0.25u Aspinall evs, while van Gerwen should have no troubles it's not hard to see a situation where either player can get to 3-3 or so then anything can happen.
- Rodriguez and Hopp are two real similar players again - both capable of brilliance but both equally likely to throw junk for long periods, it wouldn't surprise me if we see multiple legs won in 22+ darts here. Bookies have it even, I can barely split them, King should be OK off the back of his road trip - if his nerve (physically, not mentally) holds out. Oddly, while I have Hopp as the tiniest of tiny favourites, King projects to beat Max more than he would Rowby. Strange.
- Meikle and Taylor is one I want to watch, I know little about Scott who didn't make a European event in 2017, while Meikle is incredibly young and capable of throwing some great arrows if needed. I think Ryan's a bigger favourite than the market suggests, 0.25u Meikle 8/11. Gurney can't be displeased with this fresh of a hugely confidence boosting win in Belfast on Thursday.
- Goedl is on debut and I know next to nothing about him, with dartsdatabase reckoning he had no more than £150 career earnings before today. No bets but Bunting should come through comfortably and then face White, who was very disappointing in Leverkusen and this will be a good marker for both players, White as he looks to threaten the top ten in the world while Bunting will want to get back into the seeds and show he's still relevant in the modern darts world.
- Finally we have Steve West on his first European runout of the year, with another two booked in for later this month. He's done alright so far but cooled a little bit since the UK Open, and faces Rowley, who we saw three times in Europe last year and he lost three times. He's done nothing so far this season that makes me think he can threaten West, who would have a very winnable second round match against Kim Huybrechts, not drawing dead even if Kim is in good Kim mode.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Munich preview

The European Tour continues with a vengeance, as we get the second event just the one weekend after the first, rolling on into Munich. With the UK and European qualifiers already in the books, it gives the opportunity to drop a bunch of stats using our sexy new analysis tools. In order to give a good selection of potential German qualifiers, I've set a sample size to around the start of last June, which is as far back as I needed to go to get sixteen - was originally going to have three columns of 20 and post on Twitter, but then thought that nobody reads Twitter anyway so will post it here as one column, which allows it to be in full width technicolour. What we've got here is all the qualified players, their overall points per turn, their legs won (not so much for any real use, more to indicate where there's a really small sample size on a lot of the home nation players (and Goedl, where there's no values and the FRH ranking is a dummy value to allow the column to be conditionally formatted). Some things to note:

- The seeding order is, unless I'm very much mistaken, the exact same order as last weekend. So there's plenty of possibilities for rematches, although as only six out of a possible fifteen matches were seed on seed violence, and only three of those were in the last sixteen, there's only so much that might actually rematch.
- Note the players that are pretty high up in the overall average that aren't seeds. Ratajski and Lewis you might expect, but Aspinall and Wade are doing pretty solidly, with Wade pushing his five visit percentage back up towards 60%.
- Note the seeds who are low down. Klaasen and Norris have been pretty average for quite some time now.
- Some of the players lower down have very, very limited samples, so take care if using this for anything important.

Keep an eye out on Friday once they've had the qualifier for bets. It's Easter so I can get straight down to analysis.

Monday 26 March 2018

Leverkusen aftermath

Congrats to Michael van Gerwen, let's throw out some thoughts:

- van Gerwen obviously took the title, but Wright was probably the best player statistically speaking. It wouldn't be until the final where his average visits to win his legs went over five, it's a pity he couldn't nail that bull for the title, and that he seemed to miscount (at least according to dartsdata) in the deciding leg to not leave a shot - and then throw two trebles.
- Wade is looking really quite good. Even in his loss to Wright he still managed three twelve dart legs, the only other player to do that in a match this weekend being Michael Smith - which was also in defeat. If he keeps going like this he'll be back among the seeds before too long.
- Good run for Richard North, while he didn't produce astounding darts, he should at least get a bit more confidence from a good stage run, six grand in the the bank to go with the money made from a couple of floor quarters should set himself up nicely for the majors and really start to move up the rankings.

In other news we had the next weekend of the Challenge Tour, the big thing being Michael Barnard picking up a title to put him well clear at the top of that ranking having made two finals in the first weekend. He'll be dangerous in Austria next month, and if he keeps playing like this he'll be able to do some damage on the Pro Tour as well. Ratajski had a good weekend there as well, I don't know if it's quite enough for him to be in consideration for upcoming Pro Tour events, but if not he should hopefully be able to pick up some more next time around and get a bit higher up. It's also kind of odd that the other three winners this weekend only picked up £250 between them in their other seven events (admittedly Nilsson was playing Euro Tour qualifiers on the first weekend).

Updated FRH rankings:

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

White takes advantage of Barney not qualifying to move up a spot, the same with Wade and Klaasen. Cullen's less than a grand behind Benito, but van de Pas seems safe for a while with around a seven grand cushion back to Mervyn King, John Henderson and Jamie Lewis who are just outside the top 20. Lower down, Richard North's semi final sees him move to one spot outside the top 40, Ron Meulenkamp is up inside the top 50, while Danny Noppert is finally inside the top 100 with Gabriel Clemens just a few spots outside there.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Leverkusen quarter finals - stats galore!

That's all the stats you could need. Obviously annoyed that Chisnall didn't show up at all, has 21 darts to hold in the second leg, and couldn't, does hold at the second time of asking, but is now needing two breaks - can't leave better than 121 after five visits in leg 5, gets broken again in leg 6 to end it as a contest, then is offered eighteen darts to try to extend the match and can't do so. At least he used Die Toten Hosen for his walk on music to salvage something from the day's efforts.

Things to note from the charts - Peter Wright is in red hot form this weekend, averaging five visits per leg where he's winning, and only second when he's losing to James Wade, who as you might expect is really putting the pressure on his opponents. van Gerwen is obviously the favourite, but isn't playing fantastically well this weekend, but then again neither is Whitlock, so it's hard to see who's able to stop him before the final. Whitlock's got the third best chance mainly because he gets van Gerwen in the shortest format, and would then have a winnable semi final against either Meulenkamp or North who have a great opportunity here. The bottom half is a bit more of a mess, it looks like Wright against Wade (King would not be without chances but seemed to be really struggling against Suljovic before getting home), although Cullen threw some great stuff to come from behind against Dobey including a twelve darter to win the deciding leg.

I don't see any bets that I like, King would be if he didn't look to be struggling, and the consistency stat of Wade throwing really well in all legs doesn't translate to winning projections, the market has everything else fairly close. I should bet Whitlock but he's apparently unwell, not that it showed against Chisnall. North's at evens in places which is worth considering I guess. Check back later for a round up and new rankings, I doubt I can get any prices up for the semis and finals, but you can work out rough projections from the visual at the top of the page.

Leverkusen round 3 bets

Couple of disappointing results yesterday, most notably the White one where he never really got going and missed some doubles, Kanik wasn't allowed to do much which we expect to happen fairly often and is factored into the bet, Hughes was disappointing, having two legs in succession on the Suljovic throw when 3-1 up where he had eighteen darts to break and couldn't (not even getting a dart at double in one of them) and it was all over once he couldn't hold in eighteen. Henderson and Dobey I'm happy with, Clemens wasn't given a chance to break really, King holding three of his four throws in fifteen or less with the other one being a six visit leg, sure Clemens letting King break in six visits twice didn't help at all.

Today we've got the last sixteen, here's what I like:

Nothing on van Gerwen/Norris, MvG is rightly a big favourite and the line looks spot on.
0.25u Chisnall 10/11, I've got this as around 60/40 and while Whitlock looked a lot better than recently yesterday, it probably won't be enough if Chisnall can pull his game up slightly, against Kantele he was a bit sluggish but still won easily.
Meulenkamp/Pipe I have pretty much as a flip and as nobody is offering better than evens on either I'll avoid it.
There's very nearly tiny value on North but we're talking about a percentage point or two, if someone had gone silly and offered 10/1 then I'd think about it a bit more, and then still avoided it as Cross looked magnificent yesterday, last leg aside.
Very nearly a bet on Henderson against Wright, I've got him at just better than a 1 in 3 shout and we're getting slightly better than 2/1, both looked good yesterday which is the worrying thing - Henderson played as he has been doing but Wright looked better than he has been playing, so factoring that in I'll pass.
Bookies have Cullen/Dobey straight down the line, I've got Dobey as a tiny (not even 52%) favourite, the best I can see on a quick check is evens so I'll miss, if there's a 6/5 rogue line anywhere I'd grab it.
Suljovic/King I think is almost worth a tiny bet on King, the data I have on Suljovic this season is limited and still reckoning he's better when losing than winning, so I'm not willing to trust it too much. I actually have King projected as a 55/45 favourite, oddly enough.
Smith/Wade line looks fine to me. Wade's playing well enough that I've got him winning just more than one in three, there's 8/13 Smith out there which is very close.

Saturday 24 March 2018

Leverkusen round 2 predictions

Quick run down of today's games in draw order, will list overall points per turn for each player when winning and losing, i.e. John Smith (55 when winning/45 when losing) as well as the FRH master computer win chances, dataset is 2018 PDC worlds onwards to give a better sample for Kantele amongst others, briefly on yesterday there were a couple of surprises, I thought van den Bergh would give Meulenkamp more of a game, letting him win three legs in seven visits (one of them being a break of all things), Dekker seemed to be in bad Dekker mode but Kanik was solid enough to capitalise on it, Hopp was his typical infuriating best, Darren Johnson looked very good against Humphries. Thought de Zwaan might have done more, Edhouse has to be kicking himself needing only to finish in 18 darts on throw to beat Lewis, and only managing to get one shot at the bull. Without further ado, the previews:

Michael van Gerwen (99/95) v Cameron Menzies (91/85) - 84/16 van Gerwen

Tough task for the Scot who looked pretty solid against Mark Wilson in rolling out to a 4-0 lead then holding out from there, but this is a big step up in quality and I don't know if he can hold consistently enough or generate doubles to break the van Gerwen throw if needed.

Alan Norris (90/83) v Jermaine Wattimena (90/88) - 52/48 Norris

Jermaine had a tricky draw against Johnny Clayton, but won out easily enough without needing to throw particularly well at all, only getting the one leg in fifteen darts (against the Clayton throw) but still winning 6-2. Norris hasn't looked great so far this year and the lack of consistency may allow the Dutchman to get home if he ups his game slightly.

Simon Whitlock (93/85) v Tytus Kanik (89/84) - 70/30 Whitlock

As mentioned above, Kanik looked decent against a very dangerous opponent in Dekker, Whitlock may be a bit similar in that he can throw unstoppably but at the same time chuck some complete trash. Whitlock should have enough if he plays similar to how he has been doing in the Premier League, but if he takes his foot off the gas the Pole will be there or there abouts.

Dave Chisnall (95/91) v Marko Kantele (86/83) - 90/10 Chisnall

Marko obviously has a small sample size, he did pretty well against van der Voort in a game I thought he'd lose, apart from a spell in the middle where van der Voort fired in three straight legs Kantele was getting the job done. Chisnall, off the back of a Pro Tour final, is a different proposition entirely and I'd expect Dave to clean this up fairly easily unless he has his usual can't hit a double streak.

Rob Cross (98/94) v Adrian Lewis (93/91) - 77/23 Cross

Amazing that this is a round of 32 game, but there you go. Edhouse should have dealt with Lewis but didn't, so Adie's got another life and it's a first real chance to see how he's doing against a top level player who's on a five game win streak in the Premier League without ever really being troubled in it. Lewis can obviously produce the goods but Cross will take this every time if he isn't doing for a large chunk of the match.

Gerwyn Price (95/89) v Richard North (91/86) - 70/30 Price

A Premier League player with contrasting fortunes now, Price seems to be lacking confidence, and that could be costly against North, who's always been a dangerous floor player. A 6-0 win yesterday should boost him, but that was honestly Atkins being bad rather than North playing well, three of the six legs won in more than six visits really shouldn't happen and won't happen against Price.

Daryl Gurney (97/88) v Ron Meulenkamp (90/87) - 84/16 Gurney

Gurney might now have done enough to survive for now in the Premier League with a big win on Thursday, but is still horribly inconsistent - his speed when winning legs is top 5 level but that's a huge gap when he's not winning. Meulenkamp can equally hit purple patches where he finishes in twelve darts for fun, he didn't show it against van den Bergh but didn't need to - he may need to today.

Ian White (95/91) v Justin Pipe (90/87) - 76/24 White

Pipe got through yesterday against Rasztovits, but will really need to step up his consistency, Michael had legs where he had six, seven and eight (!) visits to break the Pipe throw and couldn't. White, fresh off a title, will walk all over that and probably not allow Pipe too many chances to break his throw.

Peter Wright (95/91) v Luke Woodhouse (91/84) - 72/28 Wright

Peter's really been struggling in the Premier League, and has had some rogue results on the floor as well. Woodhouse overcame the decent youngster Ryan Meikle yesterday with a couple of twelve dart legs, if he can find one of those on the Wright throw and keep solid on his own there's upset possibilities.

Kyle Anderson (93/89) v John Henderson (92/87) - 54/46 Anderson

A potential tight game between two players in the twenties in the FRH rankings, this looks close on paper although Hendo's probably got slightly better floor form of recent. His game yesterday against Langendorf was of a good standard and should put him there or there abouts today if he keeps it up.

Joe Cullen (93/87) v Danny Noppert (92/88) - 54/46 Cullen

Another potentially close game, Cullen's been very good on the floor and in Europe for the past year or so, but occasionally has bad games which his opponent can take advantage of. Noppert's the sort of player that will do so, and came from 2-0 down against the red hot Jeffrey de Zwaan yesterday to get here, a four leg from five burst of good darts being enough to break his compatriot and he held out from there. Should be good.

Kim Huybrechts (92/90) v Chris Dobey (93/89) - 57/43 Dobey

Real tough draw for the Belgian, as Dobey's back to playing his best stuff and is the first match where the seed is projected to go out. Kim needs to start making some moves on this tour, he's done little on TV and if he continues to bust at the first hurdle (with no ranking points as a result) he'll continue to slide down the rankings. Dobey won six straight yesterday after losing the first leg against the veteran Wayne Jones, scoring well enough that he's definitely in with a chance, although I don't think Kim will let him break him in six visits twice like Jones did.

Michael Smith (96/92) v Darren Johnson (89/87) - 81/19 Smith

Michael's been playing extremely well so far this season, and the section of the draw looks good for him, if not without some banana skins. Johnson's one of those, and played probably his best game this season in seeing off Luke Humphries, including two twelve darters. He'll probably need to do the same here to give himself a chance, and while it's a big ask he did do similar in Europe once last year and likely did the same when he made a tour final in 2017.

Jelle Klaasen (92/84) v James Wade (93/91) - 59/41 Wade

The maddeningly inconsistent against Mr Consistency here, the difference between the usual match is that Wade's picked up his finishing speed when he is finishing enough that he's outperforming Klaasen on that metric to slightly edge the winning average. It's going to need Jelle to hit his best stuff and keep doing so, Wade only really had one bad leg against Beaton yesterday, so if Klaasen throws nails he'll lose.

Mensur Suljovic (92/93) v Jamie Hughes (93/87) - 57/43 Hughes

We're actually lacking a bunch of data on Suljovic given he missed all of the UK Open and went out fairly early in the worlds, but it looks like he's been unfortunate, a losing average being higher than his winning average is unusual and indicates a bunch of bad running really. See also having the second highest conventional average in the Premier League right now while being out of the drop zone on goal difference. Hughes has done OK after surprisingly not getting a card, and overcame Hopp yesterday with a good display against what'll have been a hostile crowd, at least the dozen or so that looked to be there in the afternoon, and the same will be in play today.

Mervyn King (92/86) v Gabriel Clemens (92/89) - 51/49 King

Arguably the best German player right now, Clemens took care of Thomas Junghans with minimal fuss yesterday, with three legs in five or less visits (one a four visit kill) and nothing over eighteen darts. King on his game will win this, but we don't see his game often enough these days and if he has a bunch of legs where he starts 60-100-60 or the like then Clemens will be all over that.

Oddschecker annoyingly isn't collating the lines for this so I'll just look at three books and go from there for the best:

0.5u White 2/5 v Pipe
0.25u Henderson 6/4 v Anderson
0.25u Dobey 11/8 v Huybrechts
0.25u Clemens 6/4 v King
0.1u Kanik 9/2 v Whitlock
0.25u Hughes 23/10 v Suljovic

Will update the Second Division Darts later today, and come back with last sixteen projections once this round is done.

Thursday 22 March 2018

Leverkusen preview

Draw done, qualifiers done, although finding the results of the qualifiers was made much harder due to the PDC, in their infinite wisdom, creating a second version of their PDC Europe Facebook page for the English audience. And forcibly redirecting any attempts to view the existing page to the new one. Then only posting the results on the old one. Thanks Barry. Still, at least we have Twitter to find out who's got there and that Benito's string of bad form continues, and that Schindler somehow didn't qualify. Let's have a look at each of the first round matches and why you should watch them, and also a rough prediction where we have data (taking post worlds onwards) - I can't see any odds yet so I won't suggest anything until round 2.

Mark Wilson/Cameron Menzies - both on debut, both having switched, Wilson getting the tour card but Menzies didn't, but Cameron's more well known and has been doing a bit more on the circuit, this being the first of three European Tour events he's made already having hit a nine in one of the qualifiers, and making a Challenge Tour final to push into the Pro Tour proper. FRH prediction - Menzies 69/31

Jonny Clayton/Jermaine Wattimena - interesting domestic/European duel, Clayton having a great end to 2017 but in somewhat of a sluggish start to the year, while Jermaine's fresh of the back of a win over MvG and a decent outing at the UK Open. FRH prediction - Clayton 60/40

Jan Dekker/Tytus Kanik - first chance we get to see the Pole who's keeping Ratajski out for a bit which is no mean feat, he's not done a huge deal on the tour after winning a card yet but I'd imagine it's a big shift for him. Dekker's had a bit of an upturn of recent and we know when Dekker fires he can be dangerous. FRH prediction - Dekker 52/48

Marko Kantele/Vincent van der Voort - the second of our regional qualifiers who only get one spot, Kantele made the worlds but didn't do too well and failed to get any traction in the UK Open qualifiers, van der Voort meanwhile had a good worlds and has done a bit better but not really done anything notable so far this season. FRH prediction - van der Voort 70/30

Ron Meulenkamp/Dimitri van den Bergh - this should be explosive, Dimitri's had a great start statistically but not had the results to show for it, while Meulenkamp had a good UK Open qualification run and tournament proper until he choked, and has had a good Pro Tour run to go with it, this could easily be one where both average 95 or it's complete garbage. FRH prediction - van den Bergh 78/22

Michael Rasztovits/Justin Pipe - hmm, after the second UK Open qualifier Pipe's been pedestrian, Rasztovits made it there and put up an OK show against Cadby but seems to have been making up the numbers for a while, this isn't too inspiring. FRH prediction - Pipe 61/39

Adrian Lewis/Ritchie Edhouse - Lewis is needing to do work on the tour and this is a good chance to do so, at least until he runs into Cross in the second round. Edhouse won his board two weeks ago on the Pro Tour but has done little since so this may be a bit dull. FRH prediction - Lewis 67/33

Martin Atkins/Richard North - the other Martin Atkins is making his debut here against North, who's really looking to put something together in front of a crowd, as he continues to put good runs together but fails where it matters. Maybe a potential match against a faltering Gerwyn Price will see him kick on? FRH prediction - North 87/13

Luke Woodhouse/Ryan Meikle - Woodhouse is starting to put things together a bit more frequently, and this is an interesting game against Meikle, who is incredibly hot and cold. FRH prediction - Woodhouse 53/47

Maik Langendorf/John Henderson - Hendo's been real solid, cashing everything since the worlds, while Maik only really has one good UK Open qualification run to his name, and couldn't make the event proper. Maybe on warmer closer soil he can have a better showing? FRH prediction - Henderson 80/20

Jeffrey de Zwaan/Danny Noppert - Noppert's just moved over and has been solid if not spectacular to date, pumping in several board wins. de Zwaan has made two tour finals already this year and eliminated the world number 1 from a major tournament so is clearly in some form, but has had some very early busts as well, so who knows? Cullen seems hugely vulnerable to either. FRH prediction - de Zwaan 56/44

Wayne Jones/Chris Dobey - Dobey's remembering how he was playing 18 months ago with a run to the final on tour recently and also getting the numbers to match, Jones is rolling back the years a bit with some isolated good arrows but not punching through to the business end of a tournament yet, but the draw looks good if he can get something going this weekend. FRH prediction - Dobey 69/31

Jamie Hughes/Max Hopp - Hopp's managed to get through the qualifiers, which is more than what he's been able to do most of last season, and comes up against Jamie Hughes, who had a good bunch of UK Open qualifiers and was the beneficiary of a controversial bye to make the last 32, and he'll look to get some money on the board until he can get into Pro Tour events, while Hopp will have the crowd on his side as he, being realistic, looks to retain a tour card this year. FRH prediction - Hughes 74/26

Gabriel Clemens/Thomas Junghans - Clemens has been blisteringly hot and now has a great chance of pocketing some big cash to head up the rankings. Junghans managed to get past Schindler and Marijanovic to get here, but Clemens should probably have too much. No data on Thomas so can't predict a thing.

Luke Humphries/Darren Johnson - Luke's done real well in European qualification, not missing a single one to date, but hasn't converted his Development Tour win into cash on the main tour particularly well to date. Darren's a veteran who was a bit unlucky to not qualify for the worlds last year, and has been more down than up to date this year. FRH prediction - Humphries 62/38

James Wade/Steve Beaton - these two need no introduction, Wade's actually been playing pretty damn well so far this season, getting deep twice on tour. Beaton's been fairly consistent in getting money on the board but hasn't been able to punch through past the board final/win the board final then go out level, so James should be favourite here. FRH prediction - Wade 59/41

Good luck to you all if you punt based off this, hopefully see you tomorrow evening for actual bets in round 2 where there's time in the morning to work.

Tuesday 20 March 2018

It's alive!

Quick follow up on a couple of things I mentioned yesterday. Firstly, of course Barney won't be showing up to Leverkusen, because he took part in the UK qualifier to take advantage of the Raymond van Barneveld rule following a clash with the Premier League and lost to Ross Twell, oops. Secondly, Power BI works well enough without a log in to kick serious ass. It can't import .ods files (lol) so I've needed to export my data to .csv in order for it to work, but it does, so I can very quickly enter a table of players that are playing Leverkusen, relate it to my main sheet, set a date slicer to "the worlds and onwards" (in order to get some data on Kantele), and it does this:

I'm not embedding it directly into the blog, as it's quite a wide file and it's hard to retain the level of data you get within a standard blogger template sizing (even after I've made it wider than usual to incorporate some of the other images I've made), but take a look. It's a similar scatter plot of average when winning legs to average when losing legs that I've done before, some things you might note:

- It's quite clear who the best two players in the field are
- Players to the top left of the trend line (if there was one there, which there isn't, I guess imagine a line between Atkins and van Gerwen) are doing somewhat better than the field when losing than winning. This may often be an indicator of running bad/running into good players, as arguably Suljovic has done a few times, or just generally being consistent, as you'd expect Wade to be (although he's much closer towards the main pack).
- If you look at Ian White you can see why he managed to win on Sunday, but if you look at Peter Wright you can see that talk of him having had a poor start to the season is a bit exaggerated.
- Wade seems to be playing a lot better this year so far, and of the unseeded players, look at Chris Dobey - that final run on Saturday may end up being the norm (perhaps not as extreme) rather than an extreme outlier.
- You may be able to win on the Challenge Tour but it doesn't mean you can play that well on the main tour.
- Alan Norris is not playing very well.

I'll need to see if I can incorporate a bunch of my match prediction algorithms into it. If so, that'd be incredibly sexy, but knowing how the software works it may be harder than you'd think. Expect a quick update once we know the European/home nation qualifiers, even if there's no bets should the linemakers be slow, which they often are.

Monday 19 March 2018

Players Championship 6

Congrats to Ian White, I've highlighted a few times here and there that he's been playing some good stuff, and he showed it yesterday by claiming the title. Bit of a surprise that van Gerwen went out to Wattimena, hopefully that gives Jermaine some confidence heading up in a season where he could push towards the top 32. Elsewhere, Dave Chisnall made the final, slotting in four twelve darters and two fifteen darters against Bunting, which I think is the best I have on record for anyone, while James Wilson was playing some very solid stuff, throwing seven twelve darters across the day. A good run for van den Bergh, this is the sort of thing he needs to be doing more regularly if, like Wattimena, he wants to push up towards the top 32. It'll be a key set of European qualifiers for them and a few others like de Zwaan, Dekker etc as this is where you can really start to accumulate ranking points. Will Barney show up?

Of those that didn't do well this weekend, it was a bit mediocre for Wright with two second round exits, Smith brought home no money, same as Price, Norris and Cullen.

Updated FRH rankings:

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

Exactly the same as two updates ago with White reclaiming #13 from Webster.

Ahead of Leverkusen this weekend, I'm going to see what a bit of software called Power BI can do with my stats. It's something I use at work and I don't know quite how badly it'll be crippled without a licence (it's free, but Microsoft in their infinite stupidity won't allow Gmail etc accounts to register), but if it can work even remotely it should be amazing for producing some real nice looking stats. Will be having a play with it in the upcoming days to see what works and what doesn't.

Saturday 17 March 2018

Nation Wars

Just thumbing through some of the Players Championship results, which seemed to be very much a tournament of two halves - quarter finalists of van Gerwen, Anderson, Wade and Suljovic you might expect in the top half, but in the bottom half you have Dobey, Clemens, Searle and O'Connor? Interesting one to say the least, with Dobey getting back to form and making the final, Searle hitting back after a mediocre start to the season, while Clemens continues a great start as a tour card holder - it's now about getting into the multitude of European Tour events for him. Quite a few surprising early exits which helped open up that bottom half - Wright out round 2 to Dolan, Darren Webster falling to Joyce at the same stage, Dobey dealing with Chisnall in the third, Jamie Lewis losing to Simon Preston in the opener, not sure which of Alan Norris and Steve West has dropped enough that they draw each other in round 1, but West won that then lost to Stephen Burton in the board final, Price lost round one to Mansell and has gone off on Twitter which is most unlike him, O'Connor eliminated the other Lewis in the third, Cross out round one to Luke Woodhouse, complete carnage.

To the title of the post, it's been somewhat suggested in the past on a different scale and Hearn's not been interested, but the concept of a country vs country battle in the style of the Ryder Cup ought to be potentially interesting. Have teams of ten, go with England, the Netherlands, the rest of the UK and the rest of the world. Just play singles, captain of a team decides the orders, quick six leg matches, TV break after each, it's made for TV. If you go on FRH rankings you'd have these lineups:

England - Cross, Smith, Chisnall, Webster, White, Wade, Norris, Cullen, Bunting, Lewis
Rest of the UK/Ireland - Wright, Anderson, Gurney, Price, Lewis, Henderson, Clayton, Thornton, Webster, Dolan
Netherlands - van Gerwen, van Barneveld, van de Pas, Klaasen, van der Voort, Wattimena, Kist, Dekker, Meulenkamp, de Zwaan
Rest of the world - Suljovic, Whitlock, Huybrechts, Anderson, Reyes, van den Bergh, Cadby, other Huybrechts, Lerchbacher, Ratajski

Tell me that isn't money?

Wednesday 14 March 2018

RIP Jim Bowen

Pretty sad day. I'm of the age where Bullseye was essential viewing as a kid, and I don't think it's unfair to say that it helped to populate the game beyond what it was outside of the limited TV coverage the sport was getting in the 80's. The comically bad arrows, the hilarious prizes (shame, that speedboat would have been a lot of use in Wolverhampton), the catchphrases, it probably helped to make a name of many of the pros that appeared back in the day. RIP Jim.

Answer to previous question: Dean Winstanley

Monday 12 March 2018

Gary Anderson - what form is he in?

In ranked events so far this season, Gary Anderson's played eight tournaments and won four of them, including the only major to date, only being stopped by Corey Cadby (a loss which he of course avenged in style in the UK Open), Benito van de Pas (er, I guess that's a thing?), Danny Noppert and Adam Hunt. He's raked in over a hundred grand in prize money during that period, but exactly how good is he playing? Let's take a look, but first, a quiz question - which former major finalist, on his way back from an event this weekend, opted not to park at the airport, get a cab or even take the train, but took the same bus as me? Answers on a postcard to FRH Towers, reveal next post.

The raw figures of legs won is 233-125 for a solid 65% win rate. In comparison, Michael van Gerwen is not up at 70%, Cadby is down at 63%, Cross is even lower at 58%, Wright is down further still. Michael Smith's the only other player above 60%. That's five of your top ten, for bonus points, guess the other five (assume a minimum of 30 legs won, although everyone in the list has 100+ legs won so it's not some obscure random that won some early rounds of UK Open qualifiers 6-0 and then went out 6-5 or similar). Answers at the end of the post.

How quickly is he winning the legs? Pretty fast. 15.88% of those legs won have been in four visits or better. That said, it's not hugely quicker than what he was doing throughout last season, and of those with a decent sample size of legs won it's not even top five - Cross leads the way just breaking 20%, but van Gerwen, Smith, van den Bergh, Gurney and Cadby are all ahead of him on that count.

That's your explosive scoring, but what of the bread and butter, getting your legs in fifteen to force the opponent to do something special to break, and limiting his margin for error if he wants to hold? He's just a fraction of a percentage point under two thirds, indeed if he wins his next leg in fifteen darts or better it will be precisely a two out of three ratio. But again, it's not even top five - van Gerwen leads the way being the only player to break 75%, while Cross is at 73% and Gurney is over 70% by the tiniest of margins. van den Bergh, Goldie and White are all also above Anderson. If we look further and consider the overall points per turn when you're winning legs, Anderson barely breaks the top ten with a 95.14 average. van Gerwen and Cross are ahead in the 98 bracket, Gurney and van den Bergh are on 96 and change, while Smith, White, Goldie and Wright are all ahead by fractions. Cadby only trails by 0.04 points per turn.

So, you might ask, what happens if Anderson was allowed to convert more chances? What about when he's losing legs? Here he's nearly top, with Cross ahead by less than 0.2 points per turn, and van Gerwen so close behind that less than a quarter of a point separates them all in the mid-93's. Only fourteen players with a decent sample (Suljovic is there but has barely played) even break the 90 barrier here, it's a tricky one to do - of the top 32, Klaasen, Reyes and Norris are below 85, van de Pas is sub-80.

It'd be interesting to see what'd have happened if the legs were allowed to be played out and how Anderson would have converted them? As stated earlier, there's 125 legs lost, so let's have a look at what he had left.

There's only actually five occasions where he was denied a possible twelve dart leg, and only eight legs where he wasn't allowed a fourth visit to the board. On three occasions he wasn't on a finish, and where he was on a finish there wasn't too much easy left, only being left sitting on a two darter once, the rest being big three darters where as a minimum you need either two trebles or need to use the bull, so if we're kind then maybe he hits one of those?

The biggest chunk were where Gary had four visits to the board. Now here, there's 55 legs, of which six weren't an outshot, but there were quite a lot better opportunities here. Nine times he was left sitting on a double, another seven times he only needed a single for a double, there's another ten legs where he's on a two darter needing a treble, but can get there with two singles if he misses, and then another twelve legs where he just needs one treble as a part of a three dart combination.

Now we get to the legs where Anderson's already had five visits to the board, so isn't going to be improving his stats that much. Oddly, it's more or less a 50/50 split where Anderson's had five visits and lost. Seventeen of these legs were real bad ones where he'd used six or more visits (four of these he'd had seven visits and still not checked out), on all but four occasions he was on a double, the others being either pulling a previous attempt into an odd number (double fives, bull etc) and one rogue leg where he was left on 64. You'd think the vase majority of those disappear next visit, but you never know. The legs where he'd had five visits look mostly similar, but not quite so clear - of 45 legs, 30 saw him waiting on a single darter (excluding a couple where he'd left 50, because he's not Royden Lam), and another ten were sub-100 asks. As all he's been denied was a six visit leg, it's not the greatest deal in the world.

In overview, Anderson's playing a solid game, but it's kind of what we would expect him to do anyway - that he's managed to win some titles, three of which van Gerwen didn't even enter, is perhaps overstating his current level of play.

Re: the fifteen dart leg kill stats. You were looking for Ratajski, Stevenson, Joyce, Clemens and Beaton. Bet that surprised you?

Players Championship 3/4 quick roundup

Just back from overseas and have put the results in to do the new rankings, yet to pull everything out of dartconnect but I'm going to come back and look at Gary Anderson's ridiculously hot start to the season once I've done so. Obviously a great weekend for him, but some great performances lower down the order - there seemed to be quite a lot of players making the board final on both days.

Wright's got to be happy with another final, although a first round loss in the second event has got to be a bit disappointing. Whitlock going 0/2 is a bad one, Chizzy getting a semi final and a board final gives him a bit more of a buffer to Gerwyn Price for the last FRH top 10 spot. A few players in the lower half of the top 20 lost potential ground - Barney didn't play, White, Wade and Huybrechts got two wins over the two days between them, Norris was barely better, I'm not even sure at this stage that you can call making a board final a bad result for Benito. Just outside, Lewis and Bunting each won over three grand to close the cap slowly to Cullen, whose quarter final keeps things safe for now, Dekker and Brown's quarters move them nicely into the top 40, of which Mark Webster is no longer a member (he might have been outside after the UK Open, but he's definitely out now). Outside the top 50, de Zwaan's final keeps him moving up and is within six grand of that, Caven managed a quarter final to halt a slide, de Graaf's good weekend keeps him inside the top 64, while Stevenson, Johnson, Hudson and Clemens all managed two four figure cashes. Noppert is less than one win from the top 100 as his solid start to the season continues.

Updated FRH rankings:

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

Not much movement as you'd expect, but Anderson is now within two grand of Taylor for fourth place, but with the world final still two months away from starting to lose value, Anderson probably won't get it automatically without continuing to put money in the bank.

Monday 5 March 2018

UK Open aftermath

A disappointing event for many reasons, feeling for the fans that were able to get there and weren't allowed in, and the players that had qualified to get there but weren't able to reach the venue, the whole event lost a bit of the magic around it, but still, congrats to Gary on his first major since (I think) the last worlds he won, and also to Corey on breaking through on the big senior stage, both playing some cracking darts over the weekend.

Betting was disappointing but I've gone over that already, we now move on to a couple of European Tour qualifiers followed by two Players Championship events, with another couple following the weekend after, so big chances for players to build towards the Matchplay and look to stockpile ranking points for the other majors later on in the year - it's now literally non stop until the week before the World Cup at the end of May, there's ranking events every single weekend, so with DartConnect in full flow we'll quickly accumulate a lot of data on the full set of tour card holders and others on the periphery of the full pro scene.

Updated FRH rankings:

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

The obvious movers are Anderson and Price following their deep runs (Cross is a clear 140k ahead of Wright but nearly 400k behind van Gerwen so wouldn't have moved whatever he did), while Norris bricking the event saw a group of players edge ahead in what is a congested second half of the table. Lower down looking at those which made runs to the last 16, King is now back up to 21 but a good eight grand behind Cullen, West climbs to 29, Wattimena and Dobey are separated by one spot in 36 and 37, while Cadby is already into the top 40 at number 39. Ratajski continues to solidify a top 50 spot at 46, our semi finalists Owen and Pallett close in on that ranking as well at 57 and 58 respectively, but are still both five grand away, John Part climbs back into the top 100 at 97, and Paul Hogan is up at 113 despite only having money from the UK Open.

Don't expect to see any immediate ranking updates following the next weekend as I'm overseas watching football and getting drunk, look at Monday/Tuesday for that.

Sunday 4 March 2018

UK Open semi finals

Very disappointed that West couldn't capitalise on the break chance he had in the first session, then went completely to pieces after Pallett broke in the last leg of the second session (highlight being with 92 left, if you're going to play it safe, start on 20's, but to go bull first and then set up tops after going 25-17? What the hell?), but Owen dominated Part to salvage something.

Ando came through and should be the hot favourite, but he's drawn Pallett while Cadby has Owen, so the two biggest names that are left are separated. Odds are only just trickling through, but the tournament sponsors have Cadby at 1/4 and Anderson at 1/10, while I have Anderson winning at an 87.67% clip (on all darts since the worlds) and Cadby at 83.69%, so I don't think I'll be betting on these at all unless oddschecker shows me more lines (I'm not trawling through every site) and someone has the Cadby/Owen line as a lot closer.

Have projected the potential finals as well, and I have the following winning chances:

Gary Anderson - 54.64%
Corey Cadby - 39.85%
Robert Owen - 2.85%
Dave Pallett - 2.66%

Seems to be a case of lay the hell out of Gary Anderson and/or just back Cadby with Ando being shorter than 1/2. 3/1 Cadby outright seems to be a huge price.

No pyro no Party - UK Open quarter finals

Nice of King to miss eleven darts at double over the space of three legs that Part won, while White played probably his worst game of the season so far when it mattered. If you're going to let the opponent break you, at least force him to throw a fifteen darter - Owen twice won legs in six visits on the White throw, could have been a third if White's worst leg in terms of speed (a 21 dart hold) saw Owen not even get to a finish after five visits. Oh well, we go again now:

The draw, unlike the last round, has given us some real interesting games, including throwing the two best players left in the tournament against each other, the next two best players against each other, so if we hit the one in three shot of Cross/Ando drawing Price/Cadby in the semi final someone is getting a real cheap pass through to the final (and, as a result, the Grand Slam).

For our bets we're just going to look at the graphic above, which'll tell you everything you need to know. Pallett's legs in par is a little bit better in this tournament than overall, but nothing spectacular, it's still five points lower than West's overall score, and his points per turn are a remarkably consistent 90 across the board. West has managed a solid 60% clip of legs won in par, including four twelve darters, although his points per turn are a bit down and a bit more inconsistent than in the overall sample, with the overall points per turn being pretty much the same as Pallett's. West seems to have got the whole play mediocre on TV thing behind him, so I'll go for a bet here - 0.5u West 8/11.

Part against Owen is a quarter final nobody would have called before the tournament, the bookies have this quite close, but Owen's figures are superior on every metric, having beaten White and crushed Jamie Lewis, while Part's not beaten a single player in the FRH top 20 to get to this stage. Part's par legs won in this tournament alone are comparable to his overall stats, and his points per turn when losing (and thus overall) are a couple of points better than the full sample. Owen's overall numbers are also very similar to his numbers just for this tournament, the only way I can see him losing is if the occasion gets to him and Part, having done everything before for 25 years, is able to hold his nerve having kept it close. I doubt this happens, Owen's demeanour when I've seen him on the European Tour is one of a confident player and I think he pulls through - 0.5u Owen 4/6.

Price against Cadby won't be a quiet one, the bookies have this as the second closest match while I have this as the closest match, barely able to separate them. Price is the better player overall on par legs, but in this tournament he's been able to get by with much lower figures, finishing less than half in fifteen darts, Cadby's is down a bit as well but only about five points lower. The winning averages overall are similar, while Cadby is more consistent resulting in a small edge in overall points per turn, but in this tournament it's the other way around - Price is actually averaging more when he's losing (over 94) than when he's winning (91 and a bit). There's enough conflicting information in a close match that I can't bet on this one.

The main event will set the clear favourite for the tournament, the bookies have it evens, while the percentage win chance calculated by the secret FRH master computer reckons Cross is a solid favourite. Ando's par legs is a bit better in this event than overall, but not quite up to 70%, while he's been very tight on all points per turn stats, everything when rounding to a whole number being 95. Cross has been more explosive, with five twelve dart legs to Anderson's three, par legs won being less than a point down from the overall sample (so higher than Anderson), while his points per turn are basically the same as the whole sample. The only worry is head to head, with Cross being 0-3 against Anderson, including most recently in the semi final of the qualifier Anderson won. I think that may be enough to not make this a bet, there'll be a bit more added pressure given that this may end up being a virtual final (I'm sure the winner of Price/Cadby at least would have something to say about that) so I'll pass this one and probably regret it.

Saturday 3 March 2018

UK Open round 5 bets

Follow up from the previous post:

- no bet on Smith/West, might be some fractional value on Steve but nowhere near enough for me to recommend it as a bet.
- no bet on Wattimena/Anderson, again I think the favourite is a bit too short but Jermaine isn't quite long enough to recommend a play, Ando looked clinical earlier.
- Cadby line again looks OK, I thought this might have been a bit longer and we could speculate on Dobey but only 5/2 isn't the edge that we need.
- 0.5u King 1/4, both my line and the Elo line (whose stats do take match length into account by the way) have King at 88% in a match where we're being offered an 80/20 line, that's good enough for me. Would fire stronger, but Part's game seems better this weekend than the stats going in so won't go crazy.
- 1u White 1/3, the Elo stats look on the money but I've got him at over 88%, hitting 8/10 legs in under fifteen darts in both games so far (including three four visit legs earlier) and good consistency stats make me think Owen can't keep this close enough.
- Pallett line looks close to perfect, when I have it 70/30 and Huybrechts is 2/5 I can't go here.
- No bet on the Hogan game, we're on fairly limited info with him and while Betfair offer an outlier price that'd be tempting I think that gets palped.
- Cross/Ratajski line looks very close to accurate, if I'm going on Elo then Ratajski could be worth a minor punt, but I'm not, so he isn't.

UK Open round 5

That didn't go as planned, special thanks to Ron Meulenkamp for missing match darts when 9-7 against Part, changed what would have been more or less a break even afternoon into a three quarters of a unit loss, overall down 0.85 units for the tournament so far. Such is the closeness of how things go, but then again we got out of jail a couple of times in earlier games - Meikle going 5-0 down, letting Mansell have nine visits to win the match where he only gets a dart at the bull (although I guess he had a dart where he bust 136), and then reel off the rest of the legs to win 6-5 is my favourite.

The odds for this evening aren't out yet, but due to the usual lag between the TV stage finishing and the outer boards finishing mean that I've been able to project the matches already, and here's the stats:

Not exactly the most awe-inspiring set of games, with every single match having someone with a better than two in three shot, and five of the games having someone with a better than three in four shot. The guy doing the Elo ratings is almost as lacking in optimism, although he only has Cross at 65% and Huybrechts at 62%, so there is that. I don't know whether his model adapts for greater lengths of match or not.

Will post shortly when odds are released, but with the above you can at least look to punt yourself.

UK Open round 4

Quick bets as time is of the essence:

Dobey/Lowe - Dobey should be favourite but not by as much as this I think, 0.25u Lowe 21/10

Hughes/White - White looks to be more than a 2/1 favourite here in my book, 0.5u White 8/13

Part/Meulenkamp - Meulenkamp seems an even bigger favourite than White but the odds are about the same, 0.5u Meulenkamp 4/7

West/Edgar - line looks about fine, West not quite a 2:1 favourite

Gurney/Huybrechts - Gurney's actually been playing decently well on the floor of late and Kim's not really been up to his level, 0.5u Gurney 8/15

Brown/Ratajski - this looks close with Ratajski having the minor edge, which is how the bookies see it as well

King/Clayton - Seems pretty much even money to me, Clayton not being quite long enough odds against to punt against someone who beat Barney just yesterday

Owen/Rafferty - Even closer to a flip than the previous game. Bookies also have it even closer to a flip, so no bets here

Bunting/Wattimena - Bunting close, but not quite at, a 2:1 favourite, we're being offered 4/6 which is nearly enough but not quite

Anderson/Evans - Anderson is a big favourite, seems a bit too big, should be more like 1/3 than 1/5, Evans is a tempting outsider but I'll pass

Pallett/Wade - Line looks close to OK, Wade almost a value punt at just the right side of 1/3, looks safe for acca chasers

van Duijvenbode/Price - This looks a good Price bet, seems a much bigger favourite than the line suggests, 0.5u Price 2/5

Hogan/de Zwaan - Big story either way here, with limited Hogan knowledge of recent I can't suggest a bet

Meikle/Smith - Smith is a big, big favourite and rightly so, no real underdog value on Meikle here, who can certainly play but it's too big an ask against Smith in this form

Cross/Anderson - Similar analysis to the Wade game. Cross is rightly favourite and should get this home around the amount the line suggests, perhaps a little bit more often

Cadby/Schindler - Schindler might be a live punt, but given the trip he's made just to be here he might not be 100% which is what he'd need to realise his equity

Friday 2 March 2018

UK Open round 3 bets

Less than an hour to go and I've not looked at any individual stats (other than seeing Reyes missed three clear at double sixteen to win, bastard) so I'm going to be very brief and very cautious on tipping, and look in depth at lines that look :

- Stevenson looks close at 3/1, especially given a big run in the last Pro Tour weekend, but Wade also had one and was actually playing good darts for a change.
- Would have fired on Wattimena against Beaton at slightly odds against, but he didn't play well today even though he won 6-0, Beaton's misfiring but Wattimena will need to do better to clean up.
- Aspinall is kind of tempting at 10/1 against Cross, I've seen weirder things happen - what the heck, 0.1u Aspinall 10/1
- Pallett's kind of tempting at around 6/4 or so, but Thornton looked OK in the second of last weekend's Players Championship events so will pass.
- Part of me wants to go for de Zwaan against van Gerwen at even longer odds than Aspinall against Cross, but I'll avoid that.
- White over Whitlock looks to be decent value, Ian was playing incredibly in the second Pro Tour event in a run to the semi final that'll walk all over Whitlock, 0.25u White 11/8
- Would go for Keegan Brown over Joe Cullen, but Keegan managed to get through and not throw one good leg (see also Wattimena, Jermaine), Cullen had a good four run spurt that put Perales away and seems to be on it today to a large enough extent that I'll avoid it.
- Ward looks an OK punt against Dobey. Dobey's getting a bit better but Ward's won 12 of 13 legs today, while his first game he didn't need to do much, against Evetts he looked to be putting in enough decent darts that he could cause damage often enough to get home given the line, 0.25u Ward 23/10

Nothing more, I'm going to enter today's matches so far then brave the winds and go down the pub. Expect a round 4 preview tomorrow morning.

Edit - this afternoon was effectively break even at down a tenth of a unit, had two matches voided.

Thursday 1 March 2018

Oh the weather outside is frightful

But that means great news - our game Saturday is off, which'll allow for proper analysis of round five, assuming the UK Open goes ahead - the weather's already taken care of the Premier League and Minehead's not that far away from it, but hopefully it should be OK.

The unfortunate news is that a few players have apparently withdrawn - Wiki's indicating that Berndt is out due to illness, while apparently O'Connor, McGowan, and Goldie are also out, although there's no sources and until I hear anything from the PDC or the horse's mouth I'm assuming nothing (for example, some guy on Twitter says James Wilson is out, whereas James Wilson says he's in Minehead - bookies are also still taking bets on van Duijvenbode). Will wait and see, none of our bets have been affected at this stage, but if something's a scratch beforehand it'll be void should anything else develop.