Saturday, 15 December 2018

Day 2 roundup and day 3 thoughts

We'd just finished with the Nicholson game when I last posted and were being very brief, so here's a bit more on the whole day 2 - we kicked off with the Barnard/de Sousa game, which basically came down to missed doubles, de Sousa had darts to win every single set - four in the first, two in the second and then six for the match in the final set. It's alright outscoring someone, but if you both hit twelve doubles and you need an extra 24 attempts to do so, there's only so much outscoring you can do. It seemed very weird where, if you go back to the leg where de Sousa was on the nine darter, after seven perfect darts he doesn't go for treble fifteen to leave double 18, which is what he was leaving at every single possible opportunity, and exactly what he did when he returned the very next visit needing 52 - a number that gives you the choice of any of the 20s/18s/16s breakdown. Maybe he likes double 12 even more, who knows, but he's shown enough that I think we were well on the right side of the bet. Would be great to see him try Q-School again, even if he doesn't outright get in then to see him try some Euro Tour qualifiers would be fun.

Tabern/Smith was up next, it was an alright match but not really with the quality from Smith that we might have expected, a missed double cost him the second set and more should have cost him the third (and hence the match there and then), but he got back into it, fourth set was good then he just couldn't score enough early in the decider and got into a hole, missing more doubles to let Tabern back in. Could be a common theme this.

Nicholson/Burness, I'm really not sure what was going on here. Neither player was scoring that well, outside of hitting nine 180's between them in three sets, just too many straight tons and mediocre checkout percentages. Scoring just really wasn't there for Paul and it basically allowed Kevin into the game. Oh well.

Lewis/Harris closed off the afternoon and Jamie was made to work for the win, was a decent display from Jamie with him getting eight of the thirteen legs he won in par, and forcing Harris to win a deciding leg in the two sets that Cody did end up taking, although in fairness Jamie was nowhere near in those two legs. Cody wasn't exactly playing badly, although it seemed too often that if he had slightly better scoring, even if it was just one extra treble at some point in the leg, that he'd have got more than one dart at a double, or for that matter got a dart at a double, there were several legs where he's been left waiting to come back on sixty-something or has only got a shot at the bull, just get that little bit extra scoring and you turn those lost legs into wins, or at least give yourself the chance to do so. Still, not a bad outing for the New Zealander who's got plenty to build on in after what was always going to be a transitional season.

Evening started with Noppert/Lam, and after Royden got the first leg, Noppert won the next nine to sweep it in straight sets. This is sort of what I thought might happen, Lam simply didn't score enough to really compete at this level - he only had four shots at double the whole game, the one he hit then three he missed. It seemed like every single leg he was having multiple visits where he's not hitting a treble - if you're then trying to break a Noppert level player you're then putting yourself in a hole where you need to clean up the high 300's in nine darts, which is not an easy thing to do - if you're going to put in two visits of 60 somewhere, the others need to be 140-140-101 out or similar. That's really tough. While we're on Noppert, that's one of the two second round games today, and he's the marginal favourite over Hopp, 5/6 to Hopp's 6/5. That's more or less the line I was looking at before yesterday's game, where I had Noppert at 53%, Noppert's decent performance has improved that slightly, if I drill down more recently then it starts to favour Hopp a fair bit, oddly enough, around 59% Hopp after the Matchplay, and even more since the Grand Prix at 63%. I'm more inclined to stick with the larger sample and no bet the thing, Hopp really still doesn't convince me and the eyetest makes me think Noppert is the better player.

Second up we had Stevenson/Evetts, and Ted won this 3-0 with the first two sets going to a decider before Ted broke a real sloppy fourth leg in the third set to close it out. First thing that jumps out is the Stevenson checkout rate, which is down at 21%, this cost him the first set where he had two darts to win the decider, which could have been more if he'd not opted to go what I think is a suboptimal route on 121 purely because Evetts hit a max the turn before to leave an even larger out. Similar in the second set, he missed one for shanghai on 20's earlier in the set before choosing what I think was the wrong route again on 85 - go bull first and give yourself a dart at tops. He missed four doubles earlier in the set in one leg but it didn't cost him, then it all showed in the last leg where he missed six more to make it 2-2 - although he only got all those because Evetts was missing as well. Shame really, a bit more thought on routes and he may well at least nick one of the first two sets and it still be game on.

Dobey/Koltsov was surprisingly one sided, Boris averaging sub-80 and only getting two legs in the whole match as Chris cruised 3-0. Boris simply couldn't get his scoring going at all in the first set, it improved in the second but he then missed multiple darts at double in the last two legs. Koltsov finally got on the board with a good fifteen dart break to start the third, then the scoring disappeared and Dobey did the same, Koltsov didn't threaten the scorers much as Dobey went within a leg of the match, Koltsov competently held leg four hitting a maximum, but then despite Dobey needing seven visits to hold out the match Koltsov was still needing over a ton if he'd have got a seventh visit himself. Shame, I guess if it clicks for Boris he looks good, as it has done when he's put up silly averages on the Challenge Tour, but that's four legs and not three sets.

Finally we had Anderson against Burness, I think this was just Ando in second gear if anything, he didn't play that great in the first couple of sets apart from a couple of spots, Burness was just about keeping up and probably value to take a set, then the game became a bit sloppy and while Anderson won every leg, if he wasn't being tidy like in the first leg of set three and the first two of set four, it's because Burness was letting him off the hook, Kevin having darts at double in every leg outside of those three.

So on to today - I've already given the lines for the first round games and mentioned the Hopp/Noppert game above, the other second rounder is van Gerwen/Tabern which is one where 22/1 Tabern actually looks like a correct line based on what my projections say, so I'll ignore that one - given how they played against each other in Europe twice this year, maybe there's tiny value in laying the 3-0 scoreline? Probably not, it was earlier in the year on both occasions where Alan was playing better stuff. Mansell/Long and Payne/Smith I'll be interested in as I want to see how those bets do, now 0/2 after Stevenson lost but should hopefully push back into profit with those, I know there's a lot of North American readers so I'm interested for their sake as well (couldn't they have put these two on an evening session so it's not a breakfast tee time?) and to see the general state of Canadian darts. First we've got North/Marijanovic, this should be competitive, the Noppert/Hopp game closes the session, we then have our third bet of the day on Alcinas against Ross, always fun to see how someone who's a late replacement does, Searle/Burton should be a slugfest and surprise a lot of the crowd who probably don't know a great deal about them, Brown/Sedlacek may not be that close, but if Karel is actually a bit better than what the limited data I have shows and if Keegan has an off day, which isn't unheard of, who knows, then we've got the van Gerwen game which I'll probably ignore and just go to the pub instead.

The fantasy scoreboard is up to date, I'll use this bit of time I have now to update the Second Division Darts through to the end of the season, I don't know how deep everyone would need to go to get any more matches in it though.

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