Thursday 21 June 2018

Copenhagen preview

Draw is out - no news on the Scandi qualifiers but I'm not thinking any of them are going to be that strong, and none of them have managed to get an easy draw (the Danes have West and Reyes, the others have Evans and North), so while I guess that someone like a Viljanen wouldn't be completely drawing dead, it doesn't look too likely that they'll advance, and the Danes only averaging in the 60's in the World Cup isn't promising. So let's start right away and look at what we've got coming up:

Wright v Lynn/Dobey - Seems like an age ago since Lynn did his UK Open heroics, when it was only two seasons ago - the year that Cross reached the last 32. He didn't pick up a card, only got £250 in the UK Open qualifiers and hasn't done much on the Challenge Tour this year, so Dobey should walk this and not be without chances against Wright, in what'd be a rerun from Gibraltar where Dobey lost 6-1.

Price v Mansell/Klaasen - New experience for Jelle, the old Friday match, the wildly inconsistent Klaasen actually rates to be a tiny favourite over recent Pro Tour winner Mansell, although given we never know which Jelle will turn up we've got to take that under advisement. Price apparently has an injury which should take him off the board betting wise from my standpoint regardless of who he plays.

Suljovic v Joyce/Ratajski - Real high quality first round game between the Pro Tour superstar Joyce and UK Open qualifier winner and World Master Ratajski, one I wish I wasn't at work for. Krzysztof rates to be nearly a 60/40 favourite here, and both will give Suljovic a decent game.

Webster v Reyes/DQ2 - Cristo has shown some occasional glimpses, which he shouldn't need to do in round one as long as he doesn't miss huge batches of doubles in multiple legs, Webster is a different proposition and we'll need to see peak Reyes in a game where Webster has remarkably similar winning shots to Ratajski above. Of course, Webster beat Alcinas in the worlds, who beat Reyes in the worlds, so there is that.

Cullen v de Zwaan/Razma - Big, big set of games for Jeffrey, who is still very close to the Matchplay cutoff line and even a grand extra here would be huge for him. Madars hasn't done badly but this is a tough ask, that said it still should only be around a 4/7 game or there abouts. Cullen's done alright in Europe and nowhere else this year, his weakness domestically being such that I'd have de Zwaan as a tiny favourite to take a second round game between the two - if it happens.

Wade v Rodriguez/O'Connor - Rusty Jake returns! I've only got limited data on him from his not great runs in UK Open qualifiers, while O'Connor is having a third (of a minimum of four) punt in Europe this year. That's he's lost in the first round to fellow youngsters in Humphries and van den Bergh may give RJR hope, but Wade, back amongst the seeds, should be far too classy for either.

Smith v Lewis/Evetts - I like Ted, it's cruel how he missed out on a tour card, and while he's been doing work on the minor circuit since then, grabbing three titles (1 Challenge Tour, 2 Development Tour), I really don't want him to get in the way of what'd be an epic Adie/Smith faceoff where anything can happen. I'm getting Evetts with less than a 1 in 4 win chance, but that's only in ranked events and not on secondary tours, so who knows, maybe he can pull off an upset.

Bunting v Nicholson/Jacques - Should be a good first rounder, Nicholson's been quality all year, while Jacques is hit and miss but did have a good run in Wigan last weekend, a quarter final indicating he could be hitting form. Nicho should get through in around five trials out of every eight, and would certainly be alive against Bunting, whose exploits last weekend in Wigan are a microcosm of his whole season - a semi final one day, lose heavily in the first round the next.

Cross v Beaton/Huckvale - Adam's yet to get a win on the Pro Tour, and will get another two shots in midweek as he still has enough cash from his Challenge Tour win to get up on countback, but this will be his third attempt in Europe, and will face off against Beaton, who's frankly been mediocre this year and is yet to get to a quarter final. He's playing OK - the stats make him nearly a 2-1 favourite, but if he's going to get to a quarter final here, he'll have to get past Cross who broke his season's title duck last weekend, and he'd probably be about a 3-1 underdog to do that.

King v Hopp/Horvat - Interesting all-German matchup in round one, Hopp having won one of these of course, but Dragutin's no mug - this is his third European appearance this year and he beat Alcinas last time out, and he beat van der Voort to get through, although Hopp's got close to an 80% chance by my reckoning. A game against King would be a rerun of their World Championship game from a few years back, and Hopp beat King in their last outing, also on the European Tour back in April. Despite a 4-1 head to head lead, the model gives King a 60/40 shot, and there's no homefield advantage to help the Maximiser here.

Gurney v Evans/NBQ1 - Evans is back in form - three quarter finals out of his last four Pro Tour events, 4/6 in recent European qualifiers, he should be too good for whoever qualifies if he keeps this up, and would be live against the current Grand Prix champion who's still looking for his first European Tour win - Gurney would be the favourite but it's not even 2/1 so this could well end up being a good outside punt on Rapid here.

Whitlock v Wattimena/Jones - Even more in form is Jermaine Wattimena, who as I mentioned in the previous post had the best points per turn of anybody last weekend when he made back to back semi finals. The Wolverhampton veteran wouldn't be without chances, indeed the model has this very close over a full year's stats, but if I filtered down on more recent results I'd expect that to swing in the Dutchman's favour. Whitlock will have his work cut out, the full year has him at about 60/40 in the lead over Jermaine, but if I filter down to May onwards Whitlock becomes the underdog.

Clayton v North/NBQ2 - North hasn't really pushed on this season, he did reach that one semi final on the European stage back in March, but only has a couple of quarters apart from that. Still, he's doing well enough on the figures to be able to push the Ferret if he shows up, the model projecting the Welshman to be about a 60/40 favourite.

White v West/DQ1 - Steve's playing far too well to have any issues with a domestic qualifier, and he's playing having reached the semi final last time out in Europe. A match against White would be an interesting one - Ian's won an event this year, reached a final last weekend and has four semi final appearances, but is only just over a 60% shot against Steve, an indication of how well West is playing (as regular readers should know just how underestimated White is).

van Gerwen v Thornton/Taylor - No, not Phil, Scott, who made a Pro Tour final and will be looking for a second pop at van Gerwen who stopped him that day. He may have a chance to do so, as while neither's been playing that great this season (Thornton is at risk of dropping out of the top 32 before Ally Pally if he's not careful and is nowhere near the Matchplay), it's about a 55/45 in Thornton's favour so this could come down to who pins their chances, which they should each get. Not even going to look at the second round match, such is the level of one-sidedness it'll look like.

Henderson v Schindler/Dolan - Our final matches see Schindler, who is having a really great season statistically without having the real landmark result to show for it (at least on the senior circuit - he has one quarter final, compare that with Hopp's Euro Tour win or Clemens' final, although back to back Development Tour wins on the same day is really hard), against Dolan, who's had a few decent runs - the best probably being last month in Milton Keynes where he pocketed over five grand. The German should be the favourite, in and around the 8/13 bracket, and he'd be the favourite in round two against the big Scot, although so small that it's basically a coin flip. Hendo's only had the one quarter final since April so could use a run.

Be back later with news from the qualifiers and hopefully bets.

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