Wednesday 30 May 2018

Clarity of thought

Something that I'm a bit lacking in, having delayed by commute home due to Northern Rail going full Northern Rail and not fancying two train journeys today in conditions that would make animal rights activists lose their shit if we were transporting chickens in such conditions, and the only way to properly wait an hour for a later train is in licensed premises.

So anyway, suppose we're stepping up to take on a fairly high outshot, where there's possibilities of routes we can take. It's important to know what we're doing when we step up and how to adapt to each dart in the sequence. Let's say we've left ourselves on 132 for whatever reason, and the opposition is on a low score so we really want to go out in this turn. We've either done our maths and, somehow, the maths on our particular skill set suggests going bull first is optimal (or, more likely, we use conventional bad wisdom and just fire away at bull because keep visit alive at all costs aaaaaargh). We hit the bull. Now we go for bull again.

NO NO NO. Why are you doing that? You have 82 left, and the premise of the visit is to go out in this visit. It had better be a fucking great marker on the smallest target on the board to justify going for the smallest target in the board again, rather than going for treble 14 to leave tops.

But wait FRH Towers, why do we start on bull on 82? Because we have three darts, and doing so will allow us a dart at a double assuming we hit a minimum of 25 with the first one. Similar if we have one dart in hand, we either return on double 16 or big number for tops. We do not care what we might leave ourselves with two darts on 82, because the whole purpose of the visit is to go out - we are not expecting to return. If you're solely interested in finishing in six darts, just try to hit a straight ton.

There's similar applications on something like 121 or 161. Let's say the opponent is not really in range to kill, so we just want to not mess up setting it up, so in the first instance we'll go for bull if we hit two singles and leave 81 (if we stay upstairs) or 84 (if we switch, because we might go for it, who knows). 161's a similar discussion if we hit one treble.

Now this line of thinking to leave yourself an easier two darter when we return is fine. I've no problem with it. But if you're going to do this, there's two things you could do. Let's just consider the 121. On our second dart, why don't we switch to 19's if we're not fussed about going out this visit? If we hit, we're on 44, we've got a choice of singles to leave a preferred double. If we miss, we leave 82 - now this makes no real difference if we hit 25, it's still a single for tops. But it makes a huge difference if we hit bull - we're now on double sixteen, rather than on 31 (not ideal, we have to waste a dart), or 34 (not the best double in the world).

Or why not just shoot at bull on the second dart? We're then leaving 51 if we hit, easy single for a choice of whatever double, if we hit 25 we're leaving 76, which can set up double 8 or double 14, depending on whether you're Mensur Suljovic or a normal darts player. Or even on the first dart? 71 or 96 in two is fine and sets up pretty well whichever way you want to look at it. The general point is that if you're going to go for the bull to take advantage of leaving an easier shot if you hit 25, then do so at such a point in the visit where it doesn't leave you with more troubles than you need to when you return if you don't hit exactly 25.

Couple of events going on today. The World Trophy has started in the BDO, looks like they're posting up Darts for Windows PDF's so I can get some lovely data. Deta's already out, sigh. I didn't actually realise until today that this is actually a five day event, which seems incredibly excessive. I'm sure they could have trimmed it down to four and had a Friday afternoon session - surely the players that are playing today that wouldn't return until Saturday would appreciate being able to work a hotel schedule better, there's one less day's venue rental and it's not as if you're going to get noticably smaller crowds on a Friday afternoon than a Wednesday evening at a BDO event. Could even give them away to local schools or something, have them learn maths by doing the scoring for them. It's also a couple of Euro Tour qualifiers tonight, the second one is either still going strong or the results aren't on Twitter yet, but it looks as if Wattimena, Hopp, Reyes and van der Voort have got through the first one amongst others, surprising again that de Zwaan didn't get through, but we'll wait and see if he can make it through the second one.

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