Monday, 19 November 2018

Farewell Barney, we barely knew ye

So Barney's announced he's going to retire, and, per the PDC website, "explained his decision and his plan for 2019 following his penultimate World Championship".

Whoa. Hold on a minute right there. Let's look at this table:


That's the current order of merit from Barney down to the edge of the top 32 (I had a Comic Sans moment, I do apologise). Now you'll note that Barney's defending an absolute packet in the next two months. It's around 40% of his current Order of Merit ranking. If Raymond is to make this year his penultimate World Championship, he's going to need to qualify.

Now, of course, he could defend a huge chunk of what he wins at the worlds, and he's fine. But he's down at number 29 in the FRH rankings for a reason. So much of his money is loaded in the back end of 2016 and 2017. Everyone on that list, while they're all defending some money at Minehead, are all at Minehead. Barney isn't. If Barney doesn't get a huge wedge at Ally Pally, he's out of the top 16. With that, he's out of the Matchplay and the Grand Prix - and to get back in he'd need to do well in the Pro Tour, and as of right now he has £500 in the rolling Matchplay qualification race. From 2017, he'd have £20k disappearing from the UK Open and its respective qualifiers - while he doesn't have to qualify this time, he'd still need to defend some of it. He'd have a further £11k from the Matchplay, £15k from the Grand Prix and then another £15k from the Grand Slam and Players Championship Finals - all he has counting towards the 2020 worlds right now is the £40k from the 2018 worlds, and any ranking money he's won this year. Which is about £31k. With Barney being in a seeding spot where he's extremely likely to face a high level seed in the last sixteen of the worlds, let's give him last sixteen money of £35k. That's still barely six figures - which is a clear 30 grand off what Hopp is currently on for the last seeding spot. Where's that shortfall going to come from? Unless he binks the UK Open or goes deeper in the worlds than his seeding would suggest, then he's simply going to have to play the Pro Tour somewhat extensively. His best bet would be to hit the European Tour early and hit it hard - get in there, get a couple of Sundays and then get into the finals event.

A couple of other things - I guess that makes the decision of whether they're going to select Barney for the Premier League very obvious, and was it a two year visa that Kyle got? I'm guessing it didn't start until after the worlds so he should be OK, but with a couple of free hits incoming, it's a real chance for him to push up the rankings.

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