Sunday, 13 October 2019

BDO worlds

That post I mentioned on the BDO seedings - that's coming up, but first, van Gerwen beat Chisnall, might have been a bit closer, but oh well, probably more of interest is that Keane Barry came from behind to take advantage of Liam Gallagher missing many, many match darts to claim his worlds spot. New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Michael Smith
4 Gerwyn Price
5 Daryl Gurney
6 James Wade
7 Nathan Aspinall (UP 1)
8 Gary Anderson (DOWN 1)
9 Dave Chisnall (UP 3)
10 Ian White
11 Peter Wright (DOWN 2)
12 Mensur Suljovic (DOWN 1)
13 Joe Cullen
14 Simon Whitlock
15 Jonny Clayton
16 Krzysztof Ratajski
17 Adrian Lewis
18 Glen Durrant (UP 1)
19 Jermaine Wattimena (UP 1)
20 Stephen Bunting (DOWN 2)

Not quite as much movement as you'd expect - Chizzy cracks the top 10 and is actually less than 5k behind Anderson and only 10k behind Aspinall, so with a couple of other good runs, maybe he can go higher? Wright's out of the top 10, but is less than a thousand points behind White so could reclaim that soon. Durrant's semi only cains him one spot, but Ratajski is less than 4k ahead. Dobey's semi final sees him rist to #23, King's quarter wasn't quite enough to get him into the top 20.

OK, the BDO. I'll talk mostly about the men's side, as there's not a great deal to talk about at this stage on the women's side other than that the Ashton side seems a heck of a lot easier than the Suzuki/de Graaf/Greaves/Dobromyslova side. First, the non-seeds - Bennett's the most exciting name, it's great to see new countries represented in France and Romania from the regional tables, Adams getting back is nice to see, the likes of Unterbuchner, Steyer, Landman, Hogan, Thompson, Chaney and Herewini could all cause damage. We'll know more once they've done the draw, but let's look at the seeding sections:

(1) Harms, (16) Waites, (8) Mandigers, (9) Mitchell

That's hard. That's potentially really hard for Harms, you've got the previous year's finalist, and also another previous winner meeting in consecutive rounds. I don't think Waites plays anywhere near the full tour, and I doubt Mitchell plays everything either, so these could well be underseeded. Harms has picked up quite a few wins this year, so fair enough that he gets the one seed. That leaves Mandigers - he had a nice purple patch in May where he picked up a large percentage of his qualifying points, but he does seem the odd one out here.

(4) Parletti, (13) Evans, (5) Warren, (12) Hamilton

This doesn't appear that strong really. Parletti seems to do alright on the circuit, but goes missing in the major events, but is anyone else stronger? Evans at least got two of his three biggest events last month, and has done decent work on the Challenge Tour and looked good in the couple of Pro Tour events we've seen him in, so might fancy his chances of a run. Warren's a pretty consistent performer and can't be taken lightly, then we've got the Hammer, whose qualifying performances are a bit underwhelming, lots of last 16 performances and his highest single event was back in 2018.

(3) Veenstra, (14) Robson, (6) Kleermaker, (11) Vandenbogaerde

Veenstra looks like the class of this section, having claimed the Dutch Open and made the World Trophy final, he should be way too strong for Robson, who's a bit like Hamilton in that his points to qualify haven't come from any real deep runs, it's certainly not been as good a year as his 2018 was but at least he's done enough to get in the seeds. Kleermaker has come along a lot in 2019, taking the Welsh Open and several other lower tier events and can certainly be considered a threat to Veenstra, while the Belgian claimed his biggest points haul winning the German Open back in May, but everything else seems a long time ago, or in much lower ranked events. Can't look past a 3/6 quarter final here.

(2) Williams, (15) Hogarth, (7) Kenny, (10) Smith-Neale

Williams has grabbed the first BDO major of the year, and has a string of other very good performances which makes him the clear favourite to advance to the semi finals from this part of the draw. Hogarth had a great run to the Dutch Open final but has been quiet apart from that, I don't know if he'll have enough to pressure Williams if they were to meet up. Kenny is back from a down year where he didn't even qualify and is putting together his best scores in the last couple of months, so is certainly trending in the correct direction, then we have Smith-Neale, who I don't think is playing anywhere near as well as he was twelve months ago when he was able to claim the World Masters out of nowhere, this looks for all the world like an all-Welsh quarter final.

I'll update the Second/Third Division Darts rankings shortly, with not long left to go it'll be interesting to see who can claim the titles there.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Grand Prix final

I didn't post about the semis, mainly because it seemed obvious what was going on - Chisnall and Durrant ought to be tight, and given every set from 1-1 onwards went the distance, it was, while Dobey put up a good fight but was a little bit outmatched by van Gerwen, he got five legs on the board in the first three sets, but I think that third set broke him - if he could have slotted in a 140 after the 180 he hit in the deciding leg to leave a two darter he'd have been very live, van Gerwen getting 108 is something you'd expect to get maybe one in three goes so certainly not a gimmie, as it was a visit of 58 effectively handed the Dutchman the set. Losing the second set as he did as well had to have been horrible, you're throwing for the match and by the time you finally get away, your opponent then steps up and is on a double to force a decider.

So, can Chizzy win it? I want to say yes and no. He's one of the players that is playing well enough that he can threaten, but will he start to have some of the Terry Jenkins always loses the final mentality? It's a long race, and you've got to be on the money on doubles from the get go, but he's not actually doing badly - 12/21 going out yesterday, 11/26 against Aspinall, 8/14 against Price (I'm chucking out the game against Bunting as he wasn't really threatened at all), so 0.1u Chisnall 10/3, hard to gauge set play but if this was a Matchplay final where you need 18 legs to take it (you're going to need 15 here, but with it being sets you'll end up playing more), he's hovering around a one in three range, which I think is enough to punt on Dave.

Regardless of what happens, Chisnall's now up into the top 10 of the FRH rankings (he's ninth, knocking Peter Wright out who's also been overtaken by Ian White) and can go fourth if he wins, and more importantly he's locked up a Grand Slam spot even if he loses. That's dumped out everyone from the European Tour except for White, who's hanging on by a thread.

In other news, Damon Heta did enough to make it to Ally Pally through the DPA rankings, it was going to take something super weird to deny him given the lead he had but he locked it up himself with a final in the first event, and we've got the Tom Kirby final tonight, where we've got Keane Barry against Liam Gallagher (no, not that one, although if he walks out to anything other than Oasis he's making a terrible terrible mistake), which should be a good one. I kind of want Keane to win given the hype there is around him, but whoever gets through should put on a good showing in the worlds. There's also been the WDF event where we've got a final of Peter Machin against Darren Herewini, Machin we know from the World Trophy a couple of years bach, while Herewini's a Kiwi who had a go at Q-School and the first Challenge Tour weekend, in the latter he made the last 128 or better every day but could never really get a good enough run going, while on the Challenge Tour he made a quarter final and last sixteen, so he can't be bad - he did take four legs off Phil the last time he played the Auckland World Series event after all. Who's to say he won't win the New Zealand qualifier for Ally Pally? That said, he is in the BDO event already. He'd certainly be live against Harris if he gives it a go. Nick Kenny and Martijn Kleermaker made the semis, was kind of hoping that Kleermaker would still be a bit under the radar and that, in a wide open Lakeside O2, he'd be a decent each way price, but 20's isn't appealing. The ladies event sees Hedman against Suzuki, in a weird event where there's not many of the top 16 I recognise - Pruim played Winstanley, I know those two, but Maria O'Brien's the only other name I know.

While I mention the BDO side, they've finalised their order, I'll go over it in another post, maybe later today, but the interesting thing is that Bennett is in (although not seeded), as is Greaves on the ladies side (being the 6 seed). Harms is the top seed, but I think I'd much prefer Williams from the 2 seed given how it looks, but as I say, that's for another post.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Tour card race

There's less than a week to go until the final Players Championship events of the season. That's come around fast. Who's in the running to retain their cards? Let's have a look at who's in the running, copying and pasting stuff from dartsdatabase - I'm assuming anyone from 101 down isn't going to go on any sort of miracle run:

I can't see any weirdness in terms of players expiring from below there making a miracle run, so let's just look at these. First thing to consider is whether anyone with two years can punch into the top 64 and knock one spot off for those looking to save a card. Evetts is the obvious choice, given he's in the European Championship (although he'd play Gerwyn Price) so has a non-zero chance of putting money on cheap, is also well safe for the worlds and just the right side of the Minehead cutoff as is. Ward, Boulton, Labanauskas and McGeeney are all going to be in both, although can they put upwards of £20k on? Entirely possible, just needs one win at Ally Pally to get to £15k.

Of those currently safe, Dekker is just the wrong side of Minehead qualification, as are Thornton and Petersen - it's a huge midweek for all of them. Norris has a lot of work to do, Edgar is at least in Minehead as it stands and has too many people that can pass him, but like last year he's right on the borderline of the worlds - one good run could see him get there. Jamie Lewis continuing to play crap would help - Noppert and Duzza should have passed him by now and have additional shots to do so, it'd just need Evans or van der Voort to get something going to free up another Pro Tour qualification spot for the worlds.

How about those on the outside? It's an enormous week for Tabern - right on the Minehead border, if he can get there, he would just need one win potentially once there. Owen is probably done, Woodhouse is giving himself a chance, just one good draw would be all he needs and he's got a little bit of a buffer to qualify for both. Richardson's in a similar spot. Meikle is only just outside of an automatic spot for the worlds if he wasn't to get there from the Dev Tour, which would be a backup route to save his card I guess. Monk has the game to put something together and save his card. van Duijvenbode does as well, but is way too far back from the worlds.

Grand Prix quarters

Wow, all the seeds apart from van Gerwen are gone, really didn't see that coming, but the quality of field we've got right now makes it not entirely surprising. Four quarters tonight, same format as the last couple of days, race to three sets, what do we like?

White/Dobey - Ian got past Michael Smith 3-1 to give us a winning bet (Noppert didn't, so we broke even on the round), while Dobey defeated Gary Anderson by the same score to avenge his world championship defeat. A semi final would, I think, be unchartered major territory for either player, both averaged fairly close to each other in the last sixteen, while Dobey was a little bit more impressive in the opening tie. Surely it's time for White to make the deep run he's been threatening to, if he's to get the Premier League spot his quality of play deserves, he surely needs to win this sort of game. Market has is slightly more than 60/40 in Ian's favour, that seems about right, maybe Ian's a very slightly better player than the market suggests, but there's not enough edge there to contemplate a bet.

Chisnall/Aspinall - Dave bagelled a fairly poor Stephen Bunting, while Aspinall needed all five sets to defeat Danny Noppert. Their averaging throughout the tournament has been extremely close, and the market thinks likewise, with Chizzy being just a shade odds on, while Nathan is evens, maybe slightly odds against in some places. I'm half tempted by a bet on Chizzy, he's certainly a little bit better than 10/11 season long, but it's much nearer 50/50 on more recent form, so I think we can pass on this one as well.

van Gerwen/King - Very nice display by Michael in round 2 to beat de Zwaan in straight sets, while King beat James Wade in four sets to set up a repeat of their UK Open match - which King won. King won their previous TV match as well, but that was unranked in 2014 so completely irrelevant. King's way too long - 0.1u King 11/2, I think he's got around a one in four shot, maybe slightly better, if his doubling can click he can certainly trouble MvG, it's not too long a format.

Durrant/Wattimena - Glen needed all five sets to take out Rob Cross in a matchup of world champions, while Jermaine reached what I think is a first major quarter final by beating Peter Wright 3-1, with probably the best darts I've seen him play in a long time. Glen's rated as a two in three shot, that looks about right over longer samples, over shorter ones the 9/4 that we're offered on Wattimena certainly looks worth the punt. If you like recent form over general class, then I won't stop you betting on the Dutchman, as mentioned, he looked real good yesterday.

Some Grand Slam implications - Aspinall's the only player who's already qualified in the bottom half, although Chisnall's tentatively got a spot from his Euro Tour win, while van Gerwen is in the same spot in the top half, although White's got a bit of a stronger claim on countback given his two Euro Tour wins. If one of those two goes out, someone's getting forced out, and it wouldn't take anything crazy for someone to go deep in other remaining events to close out the Euro Tour qualifiers. We'll see.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Grand Prix round 2 bets

Round one was looking quite ropey for a while, with Hughes, Whitlock and van der Voort not getting it done (the first two were at least close, the last one, not so much), but Wattimena and Noppert finally bringing what I know the two Dutch lads can do to actual results was a welcome development. Down to the last sixteen now, it's a bit of a longer format (I see Wade's had a bit of a whine about the first round format, it sucks, but it sucks for everyone) so what do we have?

Wade/King - speaking of Wade, he's nearly a 2/1 favourite after getting past Hendo in what was a bit more one sided than the 2-1 scoreline represented, King beat Dimitri by the same scoreline after van den Bergh blew a 2-0 lead in the deciding set. Hard to say exactly how to interpret the new longer format, King might have a bit more of a chance than the market suggests, but I'm still reluctant to punt on him given that he withdrew from an event just a few days ago. Might regret it, who knows.

Smith/White - Market has this close to even, Smith needed a deciding leg against Whitlock, White was taken to three sets in a strange one - Cullen won the first five legs, then White won the next six. Got to be annoying for Joe that one. I think we can nick 0.25u White evs, he's playing, at least since around mid-April, well enough that he's up above 60% to take this, how far depends on how you convert set play to leg play, White's a little bit better long term as well but the more recent form is good enough to play this one. Just don't fuck up on TV again.

van Gerwen/de Zwaan - Michael was a bit fortunate to hit a miracle out to break in the deciding set against Hughes at 1-1 in legs with Jamie waiting on a double, de Zwaan on the other hand looked really quite comfortable in only dropping one leg versus Beaton. I'm not actually sure I want to take a stab at this, JdZ is 10/3 (ooh, that rhymes), and he's only about one in four over what's still a fairly decent sample, Jeffrey probably played his best stuff earlier on in the year.

Anderson/Dobey - Gary won in straight sets against a misfiring Keegan Brown who couldn't hit doubles, while Chris looked very solid against Ricky Evans, dropping just two legs in the match. Gary's a large favourite, I think it's slightly too large, not quite enough to start betting on Dobey, but if Chris can play like he did on Sunday he'll be extremely live.

Noppert/Aspinall - Danny beat Gurney in straight sets after Daryl blew a few missed set darts in the opener, Nathan cruised against VVDV who was missing in all areas of the game at various stages. Noppert's longer than 2/1 and I'm not sure why as I can barely separate them at all over any sample, 0.25u Noppert 21/10.

Chisnall/Bunting - Dave took out Gerwyn Price in a deciding leg where Gerwyn took ten darts to get going, Bunting eased past Jonny Clayton in straight sets, and Dave's rated as having a two in three chance. This seems about right, there might be tiny value on Bunting if you consider very small samples, but Dave looked good and I'm not going against that.

Cross/Durrant - Couple of 2-1 wins here, Rob finally getting a win on this stage over Suljovic after Mensur missed two darts to force a deciding leg where he'd have the throw, Glen beat Ratajski from a set down where Krzysztof had exactly the same spot as Mensur did, missing 98 for 2-2 (which Glen then took out). I thought that 4/5 Cross was just a Durrant hype train price, but it seems fair enough, Rob is a little bit better than that year long but over shorter samples it's about right.

Wright/Wattimena - Peter won a scrappy game against Hopp 2-0, while Jermaine came from a set down to beat Adrian Lewis. Peter is very short, but I think it's nearly justified - it's certainly not too short to the point where we'll think about going with the Dutchman for a second straight match.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Grand Prix round 1 bets

Note that my data model does not adapt to the double start format, I'll make minor adjustments based on eye tests of how they double:

Evans/Dobey - no bet. The market has Chris as a small favourite, while I can find certain periods where one or the other looks like a play, there's no real edge in any of them.

King/van den Bergh - no bet. As mentioned, King withdrawing is a huge red flag so with Dimitri being as unpredictable as he is, I'm just not touching it.

Cullen/White - no bet. White's 4/7, it's around that mark season long. Over shorter time frames Cullen pushes up to around 40%, no edge there either, but is there still scarring from their last TV meeting?

de Zwaan/Beaton - no bet. Jeffrey's 4/6 which is pretty much bang on where I'd see it season long, over the last couple of months or so there might be tiny value on Steve, but it's not enough of an indicator to really push anything.

Wade/Henderson - no bet. Season long Wade is fully worth the 1/2 price he's installed at, however, once we get into samples from just May or so onwards, Hendo pushes well up into the 40% range, he obviously likes the venue so 15/8 might be worth a nibble, but Wade in a double first format is really hard to bet against.

Smith/Whitlock - Hmm, I have a problem here. Whitlock's been on auto-lay for as long as I remember, but it's only season long where the 2/1 line looks about right. As we get more and more close to the present day, Whitlock pushes up into the 40%, and in the last three months he's scoring more in his winning legs than Smith is - albeit there's half the number and a big consistency issue. Whitlock likes a double, Smith maybe not so much, 0.25u Whitlock 2/1, will trust the model and in the words of Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan, I don't like it but I'll have to go along with it.

van Gerwen/Hughes - 0.1u Hughes 9/2, he's high 30's season long, low 30's over shorter distances, I'm not sure the double start format is ideal for Jamie, but I can't see how he drops so low that 9/2 isn't worth a micro punt. van Gerwen did lose to Alan Norris literally today after all.

Anderson/Brown - no bet. The best I can see Keegan getting to is barely one in three, which with 5/2 odds isn't worth the shot, given over smaller samples I'm looking more to Anderson.

Bunting/Clayton - no bet. Clayton's got a small edge over Bunting all year which is roughly where the market is at, I'd probably set the market ever so slightly more in Clayton's favour, but it's not enough to start punting.

van der Voort/Aspinall - 0.25u van der Voort 9/5, that seems a fairly generous price given the model's spitting out low to mid 40% chances over all sample periods I looked at, it's a sprint in round 1 and I think Vincent can start quickly enough to get an edge.

Lewis/Wattimena - 0.25u Wattimena 6/5, the market is finally cottoning on to that Jermaine is decent, over the full season this isn't a big edge, probably should be 6/5 the other way, that's not bad and doesn't make it a bad bet, but once we cut down to the last six month and shorter samples, Jermaine rises up to 60% or near enough that mark, which makes this worth a punt.

Durrant/Ratajski - no bet. There's very little to separate these two over any sample I look at, Durrant only ever having a wafer-thin edge, which with the market set as it is doesn't really make a bet on Krzysztof enticing.

Gurney/Noppert - 0.25u Noppert 5/2, that's a very big price. Danny's played really well all year, there simply isn't that big of a skill differential.

Price/Chisnall - no bet. I want to go with Gerwyn given the last two days if anything, but I can't generate any sample that makes 3/4 look like a remotely sensible price to fly in on.

Cross/Suljovic - no bet. Season long I'd look at Cross, move to smaller samples and I probably should still go with Cross, but there's some timeframes where 4/5 just looks like the correct line, and there's enough intangibles with Rob's record and Mensur's doubling prowess that I want to avoid it.

Wright/Hopp - no bet. Season long 2/5 on Wright looks fine. Smaller samples actually look decent value, but over a short race with variance-boosting factors like the double start, I think we can safely avoid pushing what wouldn't be a great edge at long odds on.

The formation lap is done

Highly profitable couple of Players Championship events, firing the usual each way spread on both of them and getting Price (16/1) yesterday, then de Sousa (66/1) and Durrant (33/1) today, that's paid for the beers this weekend at least. Krzysztof Ratajski was the other finalist, only just getting pipped 8-7 in the final missing one match dart in the process.

Worryingly ahead of the Grand Prix, Mervyn King abandoned his game while 5-3 down against Zoran Lerchbacher - sure, he probably loses anyway with Zoran having the darts in legs 9/11 and Mervyn having kicked off with 30, but if this is an injury issue it pretty much takes his game with Dimitri off the board from a betting standpoint, I probably wasn't touching it anyway but it's a worrying sign.

Some odd results today - Chizzy got turned over first round twice, wouldn't say either are huge shocks, Harris and West are decent, but it's not a good sign, Beaton got a pair against Carlin/Richardson, Cross lost to Whitehead (a day after Cross managed to beat Richardson hitting five twelve dart legs in the process, which I don't think we've ever seen before in a race to 11), Ratajski lost to Webster (it was Mark but either of them is a shock at this stage), Ando lost to David Evans, van Gerwen lost to Norris, it's madness. As we were backing the field though, having a bunch of the shortest priced guys go out early is great.

Good weekends for Suljovic, who made two semi finals, Wattimena won his board twice, Cristo Reyes made it back to back quarter finals going back to the previous weekend, the aforementioned Norris made a board final twice, don't know quite where we're at with the tour card race but it could be that every penny counts, Scott Taylor and Robert Owen had good runs to the quarters yesterday (although Owen certainly had the draw open up absolutely perfectly), Jose Justicia had a nice couple of runs to put two and a half grand in the bank, second newest tour card holder Callan Rydz made two board finals, while the newest tour card holder Jesus Noguera made the last 16 today. Good effort all round.

Updated FRH rankings (doesn't matter if these include minimum money for the Grand Prix, it's in the spreadsheet already but everyone has it):

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Michael Smith
4 Gerwyn Price (UP 1)
5 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 1)
6 James Wade
7 Gary Anderson
8 Nathan Aspinall
9 Peter Wright
10 Ian White
11 Mensur Suljovic
12 Dave Chisnall
13 Joe Cullen
14 Simon Whitlock
15 Jonny Clayton
16 Krzysztof Ratajski (UP 1)
17 Adrian Lewis (DOWN 1)
18 Stephen Bunting
19 Glen Durrant (NEW)
20 Jermaine Wattimena (DOWN 1)

Price's win and follow up semi final sees him nick fourth place from Gurney. Ratajski's final is enough to edge past Lewis by less than 50 points into the top 16, while Durrant's final moves him up into the top 20 and ahead of Wattimena. de Sousa is up to 52nd, just 4000 points behind current top 50 basement dweller Raymond van Barneveld.

One more thing I should mention - Dan Dawson (I think it was he) likened de Sousa's explosion onto the scene to Rob Cross circa two years ago during the final. Now, it's very impressive, but is that justified? Let's write off January to March when Jose was doing not much, likely adapting to the tour, travel etc - this is fine to do as far as I'm concerned, Cross (and Durrant to the same degree) hitting the ground running and de Sousa not is to somewhat be expected, he's not played any sort of tour really and it's a new country - Cross had the Challenge Tour, Durrant had the BDO circuit, both of them live here. So, from the start of April, who's scoring the most in the world? I'll give you the top 22:

I'll give 22 given I don't want to exclude Evetts on less than a hundredth of a point per turn, and I don't want to exclude Cadby because we could quite easily change his theme tune to Simple Minds. But yes, 9. de Sousa is a thing.

Grand Prix bets will follow later this evening, once I've had a few drinks thanks to Mr de Sousa's darting prowess and Mr 365's generosity at still pricing him so high.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Some Grand Prix thoughts

Rankings are as of right now and the points per turn rankings incorporate a minimum of 100 legs played. The sharp eyed among you will notice that Durrant is now up into the FRH top 20 - these rankings are dynamic and change daily, even if nothing's going on.

So what are the big highlights? Durrant against Ratajski jumps straight out for me, a game between two of the top eight in terms of scoring for this season, this'd surprise nobody if it was a quarter final, but alas it's only the last 32 and could be over in ten minutes. All of the top three in terms of points per turn for the year have got very dangerous opponents - Hughes has dropped off a little bit from his blistering peak, but certainly has the A-game to challenge MvG over what is a brutally short distance in the opening round. Price and Chisnall looks incredibly tasty, while Cross getting Suljovic in this format isn't exactly who he'd have wanted, but at least it's not Steve Beaton.

There's some ties that feature players that are very close in either the FRH rankings or in overall scoring - de Zwaan and Beaton are separated by one spot in the rankings and aren't too far apart in PPT either, could be evenly balanced, White and Cullen are fairly close in the rankings but not so much in scoring, in what's a rematch from the Matchplay this could end up being ugly. Evans and Dobey is a tough one to call, Lewis and Wattimena looks similarly tight, while Noppert and Gurney threatens to be closer than the market suggests.

Games I'm not that interested in? Wade, Smith, Anderson and Wright should have way too much for Henderson, Whitlock, Brown and Hopp respectively. I think the format should suit Aspinall and not van der Voort so much. That's covered almost every game apart from King against van den Bergh, Dimitri's finally done enough on the floor to play his way into a major, and it's a case of which one shows up, so it'll be fascinating to see what happens.

Later on in the tournament? That Cross section is horrific. Cross/Mensur/Durrant/Ratajski all fighting for one quarter final place is ridiculous, chuck Peter Wright into the mix as well, everyone else in that section is well capable if they bring their top game. So, so tough to call. The Price section should be Price's if he can evade Chisnall, I think Aspinall's the biggest threat to him reaching the semis, although Gurney can clearly grind it out on this stage.

In the top half, that's not a bad draw for White. Cullen ought not to pose too much of a threat, then he either gets Whitlock, or more likely someone who's not been tested by Whitlock. Hard to gauge where Anderson is, but he's got a good path to the quarters, although the idea of a rematch between himself and Dobey from the worlds sells itself. Then we get to the van Gerwen quarter - he should have enough if he can get past Hughes, which over a short format ought to be the trickiest tie. Another game with de Zwaan would be entertaining, while a battle with Wade would be exactly that given how James has played over the last twelve months. Unless Dimitri can show his stage form, who knows what might happen if the Belgian can make the quarters?

Expect bets on the Saturday evening, or maybe the Sunday morning. Putting anything up before the Players Championship double header seems suicidal. I'm at the NFL game on Sunday night, so don't expect any analysis until Monday at the earliest.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

I blame you for the moonlight sky

From a post back in April (

Well, three out of three isn't bad I guess. Ratajski got it done, with one of the most brutally dominant final sessions I can remember, handling all of White, Gurney and Chisnall, all winners on the European Tour this year, with zero fuss whatsoever and not giving any of them a chance. Unbelievable stuff. Congrats to Krzysztof, let's see what he can do in Dublin next week.

The draw for that is out, and with the European Championship also being in draw order we know that as well, but we'll pick those up midweek. For now, the Challenge Tour - it looks like Mark Barilli binked the last one over Ciaran Teehan, who seems to have taken a good weekend a few months ago on the Dev Tour as a sign and racked up a whole heap of cash for himself this weekend. Koltsov fell at around the last sixteen stage, so Jesus Noguera was able to hold on for the second tour card spot, adding to the ranks of Iberian-based players on the tour. Will be interesting to see what he does - he is entered for the two Dublin Pro Tours, so we'll get a bit of an idea. Callan Rydz held on to claim the overall title - which puts him into the worlds, in a set play format, the heavy scoring he can do could end up causing a lot of players some trouble, it'll be exciting to see.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Michael Smith
4 Daryl Gurney
5 Gerwyn Price
6 James Wade
7 Gary Anderson
8 Nathan Aspinall
9 Peter Wright
10 Ian White
11 Mensur Suljovic
12 Dave Chisnall
13 Joe Cullen (UP 1)
14 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 1)
15 Jonny Clayton
16 Adrian Lewis
17 Krzysztof Ratajski (UP 3)
18 Stephen Bunting (DOWN 1)
19 Jermaine Wattimena
20 Max Hopp (DOWN 2)

Ratajski's jumped a bunch and is a lot closer to Lewis now than he is to Bunting. Cullen's mere appearance in Gib got him over Whitlock, but there's an enormous 50k gap up to twelfth right now. Duzza is less than 500 points behind Hopp, and will likely get in to the post-Dublin Pro Tour ranking list barring weirdness, he basically just needs to keep par. With all the chalk there was, there's nothing of real note further down the rankings.

I believe this weekend was the last in the BDO before the worlds cutoffs, but with the glacial pace of BDO reporting, I'll probably catch up on that in a couple of weeks when things have been worked out properly. For now, expect a decent Grand Prix preview some time this week (but no bets before Saturday evening), and I'll probably look at the European Championship as well.

Congrats to Callan Rydz

He got one heck of a draw, so that despite going out early to Darren Johnson, everyone else who could catch him was in the other half and/or went out early, as such he's got the tour card locked up. After coming so close for a couple of years, to claim it is overdue. Still unclear as to who is getting the other spot and who's getting to the worlds, Harris and Jenkins could still steal the card from Noguera if they binked, while Koltsov could nick the card with a final, and the worlds spot if he binks himself. Of course, today is the day where Dart Connect completely jumped the shark, not assigning boards from the last 64 onwards, board 25 more or less doesn't exist and board 28 is a bit fucked up as well, so I'm kind of guessing that Portela > Thomas was a last 64 game, Portela certainly made the last 32, I have no idea what F-0 represented on 28 with Martin Atkins (Wigan), I assumed the 0 meant Thexton was eliminated but he then played on and lost, who knows.

Gibraltar - van Gerwen lost, which was nice, White got home, which was nice, Wattimena couldn't quite manage it, can't win them all. Seems completely wide open now, it still won't be Cross winning a first after he missed match darts then lost to Price. Back later with a round up, sorting this CT20 is diverting my attention from analysing the quarters.

Gibraltar last 16, Challenge Tour

Hmm, fifteen of sixteen seeds won yesterday. Have a wild guess which seed lost (clue: look at yesterday's bets).

Fortunately, all the big priced favourites won yesterday (and, as I'd also put them all into the handicaps, they nicely covered any losses), so we're only down about a third of a unit. Today we have:

van Gerwen/Aspinall - Ah. The market is finally adjusting. Nathan's only 3/1. I still think that's worth a small stab, 0.1u Aspinall 3/1, he played really well against a resurgent Ryan Joyce, and season long this rates to be more a 2/1 game than 3/1, but I'll temper the bet sizing given van Gerwen was also very good against de Sousa yesterday, who really should have taken a 4-1 lead and probably held on from there.

Wright/Suljovic - Bookies have Wright as only a small favourite, you say? It's tempting to go with Wright really, while you can read little into either from yesterday given the quality of opponent they faced, Wright was clinical whereas Mensur was a bit sluggish. I think this ought to be around 4/6 rather than 4/5, it's extremely close to being a bet and I wouldn't blame you if you went with Snakebite on this one.

Wade/Huybrechts - Wade cruised against Paul Rowley, Huybrechts just got the one break he needed against Clayton and held from there, it's a huge game for Kim as a win gets him in the Euros if various people's Twitter maths is right, the PDC is at least saying the same. That's the only thing still on the line with all the seeds who are already in winning, it's either Huybrechts or Ross Smith in the last spot and it's all on this game. Wade's just the right side of 1/2, that I think is fair - season long Wade is slightly better than that, more recently Huybrechts is, will Kim handle the pressure of what is effectively an £8k shootout?

Chisnall/Wattimena - Dave was in a dogfight with Jeffrey de Zwaan, every leg going with throw, Chisnall not really giving JdZ a chance to break, whereas Jeffrey gave some chances back - which Dave finally took in the decider. Wattimena beat Dimitri van den Bergh comfortably enough, a combination of taking advantage of a couple of slightly sloppy legs and putting his foot down in other spots to deny chances. The market has this 2:1 in favour of Chizzy, I think this is worth a small stab - 0.25u Wattimena 2/1, season long I've got him very high in the 30% bracket, and since the Matchplay he's well into the 40's.

White/Smith - Apparently Smith is in already after beating Noppert. I must have had one £2k exit not counting when it should have, silly silly PDC rules confusing everything. Still, it is what it is, he handled Noppert very easily (stop missing doubles Danny), while White beat Rosenauer by the same 6-1 scoreline. Market can barely separate them, I think we can go with 0.25u White 19/20, while season long that line looks fine, as we get to smaller and smaller form based samples, things swing way into White's favour. Since the end of June he's at 60%. Since mid-August there's a crazy 75% chance of White to win!

Ratajski/Cullen - Krzysztof beat Beaton in not a brilliant game, Cullen beat Edhouse in one that looked a little bit better. Market again has this really close. I don't think I can bet this one. Season long Ratajski has a small edge. More recently, Joe has a small edge. Not much to choose between these really.

Gurney/Durrant - Daryl was given a decent test by Carl Wilkinson, but got home 6-4, whereas Glen beat Chris Dobey by the same scoreline having been 4-1 down, playing an exceptional second half of the match. Bookies again can't separate them (there's five games where the favourite is 5/6 or longer, jesus), this seems fair enough to me.

Price/Cross - Final match now, Gerwyn whitewashed David Francis as expected, Cross meanwhile allowed Kcuik to get three legs and really didn't play well in the slightest. Another game where the market can't split them, I do agree it's tight, and it looks tight throughout all samples - there might be slight value on Price at 11/10 as there's occasional spots where he creeps into the mid to high 50% range, but I'm not going to push it as I can't see Rob playing that badly twice in a row.

But let's ignore Gibraltar - it's all about the Challenge Tour, and the race for the worlds, tour cards, UK Open entries etc, here's how things stand after yesterday:

This is everyone within two wins of the second spot (i.e. a tour card spot). They've just got under way, Edhouse hasn't made it back from Gibraltar so he's done, I really hope that Rydz can close this out after getting the win in the second event yesterday (over Cody Harris, move a grand from Rydz to Harris and that race is so much tighter). There'd be a good story for just about anyone who's really in the running (from Lynskey upwards really) to get a card, so good luck to everyone today.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Gib round 1 summary, round 2 bets

There's terminology in professional wrestling called X-Pac heat - whereby fans boo a character because they personally dislike them, as opposed to just not liking their character. That more or less applies to the first day of darts in Gibraltar - if that fucks off and is never seen again, I couldn't care less. That was a complete shitshow, and for once it wasn't down to the domestic qualifiers - Parody got a nice comeback victory in what was probably one of the games of the day, the kid Hewitt started off very well and just sadly fell apart a bit once 3-1 up, Francis won because Thornton completely forgot how to play darts, and we'll ignore Lopez.

Outside of those, I can't remember a worse day on the European Tour in a long time. Ryan Joyce played very well to do our bet over, Huybrechts did what he needed to do deny Justin Pipe, de Zwaan looked OK, de Sousa was dominant, and Brown/Noppert was a solid game, but there was so much bad darts all round. Here's me thinking that, because my work has an office in Gib, I should try to organise me popping over there for a couple of training days to make them understand statistics round about the time they have this event and have a bit of a jolly. Bleh.

So, day 2, what do we like?

Aspinall/Joyce - nope, Nathan being a two in three favourite seems perfectly fine. If you think Joyce playing well today is an omen that he's playing better than he has done all year, I won't stop you.

Wade/Rowley - nope, Paul at least did enough in all areas that I don't want to be lumping at 1/4 Wade.

Ratajski/Beaton - nope, The line looks alright, Krzysztof is clearly 60% to win at the very minimum, but I don't see him as significantly better at any point that makes me think 4/7 is a good idea.

Clayton/Huybrechts - 0.25u Clayton 4/5 - seems a bit of an edge here. Jonny's a clear 60% in most samples, in some it's not by much but it's enough that we can go with it.

Cross/Kciuk - 1u Cross 1/7 - that seems too short. From what we've seen of Kciuk I really can't see how he doesn't just get destroyed.

Gurney/Wilkinson - nope, I thought Gurney ought to be 1/5 minimum and we can't even see 1/6, so I'll leave it alone.

Chisnall/de Zwaan - nope, Dave's priced as a small favourite, and that how I see things throughout the season.

Smith/Noppert - 0.25u Noppert 9/4, Danny's much, much closer than that. The pressure is hugely on Smith, it's win or miss the Euros (which, to be fair, is the same for Noppert), and I really can't see how he can be that much of a favourite. They're separated by a point season long. That's not enough.

White/Rosenauer - 1u White 1/7, see also the Cross analysis. White's just far, far too solid for Rosenauer to trouble him.

Wattimena/van den Bergh - nope, the model is probably all over Dimi but the overall points per turn don't favour him by a huge deal, so DvdB being a moderate favourite isn't tempting in the slightest.

Suljovic/Nijman - nope, hard to get a true read on Wessel, he played alright against Webster but then really struggled to close the deal, I doubt Mensur allows him to get anywhere near the sort of lead he got in the slightest. 2/9 on Suljovic isn't a tempter at all.

van Gerwen/de Sousa - 0.1u de Sousa 4/1, I was expecting a bit more of a tempter, but they're reacting, so I won't go harder. Still an automatic bet, Jose played great today.

Wright/Parody - 1u Wright 2/11, Parody wasn't completely terrible against Dekker, but managed to get into a 5-2 hole before clawing his way out of it. I can't see Wright doing anything other than getting into a greater, if not better, lead, and then finishing the job.

Cullen/Edhouse - nope, Joe's priced 1/2, which is almost half worth the punt, but it'd be a really tiny edge. Happy to ignore, I think Ritchie's got his big upset for the weekend already.

Durrant/Dobey - nope, very tempting to fire on Chris, and I probably should given he's north of 2/1 and he's projecting in the 35-40% range, but he looked really ordinary today.

Price/Francis - 1u Price 2/17, one does not simply take a 72 average into the next round and beat Gerwyn Price.

That's the lot, a fair few super odds on punts but I think we'll be fine on them.

Gib round 1 bets

0.25u Meikle 4/6 vs Rowley, someone doing better on the Pro Tour than the other guy is doing on the Challenge Tour seems alright, Ryan's gained so much experience at this stage that he should come through more than 60% of the time.

0.1u Clark 5/2 vs Joyce, as there's a bit of a better price on Hills then I think we can take a small stab at this one and hope peak Clark shows up and/or Joyce is a bit below par.

Can't see any lines on the Gib games. The farm on Robert Thornton and a small flyer on the kid Hewitt who's been playing alright apparently might be worth it, but there's a world of difference between the first being 1/5 and 1/20, and the latter being 6/1 or 5/2, so can't blind recommend anything.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Gibraltar draw early thoughts

No sign of the domestic qualifier on Dart Connect, I can only assume the monkeys have eaten all the tablets, or that the bookies don't want us to see just how bad the domestic qualifiers are and stopping us betting the farm on Michael Rosenauer. Let's have a look at what we do have, I'll order the games by the highest ranked qualifier in the FRH rankings (which I'll put in brackets):

(11) Mensur Suljovic v (193) Wessel Nijman/(23) Darren Webster - not the worst draw Darren could have got I guess. His form, or lack thereof, has been well documented, but I'd think it would be enough to get past Nijman, a finalist in the Challenge Tour this year and making his second appearance on the European Tour, where he'll hope to do better than the zero legs he won against Corey Cadby. He did play the Hildesheim Pro Tours, where he got to a board final with wins over Dimitri and Patrick van den Boogaard before losing to Cody Harris. Seems a bit inconsistent, Webster should have enough - 4/9 to advance looks about the right ballpark, but Mensur ought to be comfortably through to round three.

(19) Krzysztof Ratajski v (24) Steve Beaton/(174) Tony Newell - Beaton's closing out a good year on the European Tour, the veteran comfortably qualifying after an impressive early string of qualification results. He'll face Tony Newell, who's almost certainly losing his card after a huge string of first round defeats all year, but he did at least get past Whitlock in the qualifier. Tony, who had a nice interview on the Weekly Dartscast this morning, probably isn't quite as much of a dog as the 7/2 that 365 price him at, but it's not far off. Ratajski's a different kettle of fish though. Beaton should be around a 6/4 dog I'd guess.

(12) Dave Chisnall v (25) Jeffrey de Zwaan/(31) Steve West - very attractive first round game this. West's one of the heaviest scorers in the game when he's on, last weekend in Barnsley indicating that he might be, and we all know what Jeffrey can do. Not the sort of draw Steve would have wanted as he tries for a miracle run to get into the European Championship, the bookies place JdZ in the low 60% range to get through, which might be underselling Steve ever so slightly. Chizzy isn't the worst draw in what's a pretty good lineup of seeds, but certainly not ideal, that seems like an 8/11 Chisnall game vig free if it was de Zwaan he faced, so whoever gets through ought to be live.

(3) Michael Smith v (26) Keegan Brown/(29) Danny Noppert - big, big section for qualification. Keegan's safely in after the couple of deep runs he's had, but the other two are in the conversation for forcing themselves into the event. Noppert is scoring a couple of points better over the course of the year than Brown is, and the 4/5 being offered looks alright, and gets better as you look at more and more recent form. Smith also needs a win to keep his hopes alive, if it were to be Noppert he'd face, I actually think it'd be fairly close - statistically there's not much to separate the two of them.

(21) Glen Durrant v (40) William O'Connor/(28) Chris Dobey - Dobey and Duzza are safely into the European Championship, O'Connor could probably do with one more win to make things absolutely safe, to do that he'd have to prevent a North East derby in round two, the bookies have it even and I tend to agree - Dobey has a tiny edge, but that's about it. Glen will be looking to make a third straight Sunday evening on the Euro Tour, he's the best player here but not by as much as you'd think - I'd call it about 60/40 in favour of Durrant if it were Dobey he faced, and O'Connor wouldn't be much different. Tough section to call.

(18) Jermaine Wattimena v (32) Dimitri Van den Bergh/(86) Scott Taylor - Dimitri's probably done enough to qualify for the finals at this stage, Wattimena almost certainly has, while Taylor likely has too much to do, so it's all about single event glory. Can Dimitri claim a first senior crown? It's not a bad spot for it - Taylor's a tricky customer, but he's one of the few players on the circuit that has an even higher degree of inconsistency than Dimitri has, I think he has slightly better chances than the market suggests but this could be one of those elite level games where both turn up, or pub level if neither does. Jermaine is scoring ever so slightly worse than DvdB year long, a couple of points worse on winning legs, but a point better on losing legs - will be priced close with Dimitri probably a small favourite, but a nightmare to bet on.

(13) Joe Cullen v (76) Ritchie Edhouse/(37) Jamie Hughes - could be a clash of European Tour winners in round two. Can Edhouse stop that happening? No is the simple answer - Yozza's 1/3 which looks in the right ballpark, possibly even value. A match up with Cullen, if Joe can produce what he did when he won his title, would be mouthwatering, but Jamie would surely start the favourite based on all he's done this season.

(8) Nathan Aspinall v (38) Ryan Joyce/(129) Matt Clark - Nathan's not won one of these yet, and as the 16 seed in an event with van Gerwen playing I won't hold my breath, but who will he play in round two? Joyce has been fairly quiet all year following his World Championship quarter final, probably doing enough to make an Ally Pally return, but nothing really special in 2019. Clark has had a fairly tough time since winning his card in January and is amongst the favourites to lose it straight back at the end of next year, but the underlying numbers aren't horrible if you just look at the legs he's won - which rate him season long as a small favourite. Very nice power with a good number of twelve darters, it's just everything else, he can't do it consistently any more. 11/5 might be worth a stab?

(15) Jonny Clayton v (54) Justin Pipe/(39) Kim Huybrechts - as far as qualification goes for the Europeans, this is the match. Pipe is just outside on countback, Kim is a couple of grand further back. Kim's not been overly relevant for a couple of years now and is drifting outside the top 32, while Pipe is having a bit of a resurgence and is looking to head back in the right direction. Pipe is priced as a small favourite, and the model surprises me and says it's about right. Kim's not playing that badly. Going to come down to bottle really. Clayton ought not to be too far out of reach for either player, rating in the mid t high 50% range against Pipe. Decent opportunity for everyone this.

(1) Michael van Gerwen v (56) Darius Labanauskas/(59) Jose De Sousa - now this has potential to be great. I want to see van Gerwen against de Sousa on stage in current form, and we have a chance of it happening. Darius stands in Jose's way - the Lithuanian has been a bit up and down since winning his card at the death in January, couple of deep runs mixed in with far too many early exits of a man of his calibre. Jose we know all about, market has him 4/9 which you wouldn't credit even six months ago - it's probably a bit short season long, but about right with more recent samples. Jose obviously can beat MvG in current form, will he? Probably an auto bet, I'm thinking it's around a one in three shot and we'll never see it priced like that, although with van Gerwen at 6/4 to win the whole thing, maybe the market is catching on?

(5) Gerwyn Price v (65) Robert Thornton/HNQ1 - still no word from the domestic qualifiers. Got to think Rob's doing enough to advance, probably around a 3/1 shot against Gezzy, nothing really interesting here.

(6) James Wade v (87) Ryan Meikle/(165) Paul Rowley - not heard much from Paul this year, he's not even been able to get into many qualifiers, but he got through this one over Mervyn King, which is fair play. Meikle beat out Ross Smith, Lennon and Newton to qualify for a third event this season, a season long points per turn of 88 is respectable enough and should see him through against Paul here. Wade is a class apart though, although Ryan's doing just enough that he has a bit more than a one in four chance.

(2) Rob Cross v (194) Krzysztof Kciuk/(92) Kirk Shepherd - all the K's! Kirk against Kcuik, Shepherd's made a few of these and had a nice run in Denmark, on the floor he's kind of been making up the numbers though. Kciuk is in the equation as to who is Poland's number two, he's in a third game here having lost to Ratajski and then a close one to Dirk van Duijvenbode, it's probably his best chance to advance and the market is only giving Kirk a fairly small edge. Cross wins really comfortably, of course.

(4) Daryl Gurney v (142) Carl Wilkinson/HNQ4 - can Carl beat the domestic qualifier? He should do, he beat Bunting and Monk to qualify, both of whom are way better than anyone he's likely to face, let's see if he can finish 2019 on a high, this is only his second four-figure score even now. 85 points per turn all season isn't great, but against Gibraltar's finest, he should be alright. Daryl ought to be in the 1/5 neighbourhood, even shorter, can't see Gurney having the slightest trouble.

(10) Ian White v HNQ2/(150) Michael Rosenauer - Rosenauer's the last German hope to make Göttingen, but while we've only seen just short of 50 legs from him, less than 82 points per turn is a worry, and maybe it's a rare chance for a local qualifier to pick up a win? Who knows. What we do know is that White's got a really nice draw.

(9) Peter Wright v (212) Cor Dekker/HNQ3 - Second round is automatic, Wright wins, how is Cor doing? We've only got one game on him, where he lost 6-3 to Dietmar Burger, so I'm thinking the only predictable thing about this first round game is that it won't be pretty.

Some other notes - the Grand Prix draw is tomorrow morning, assuming nobody messes anything up again, I won't look at it on here until after Gib's done, and won't line up any plays until the day before (the Pro Tours before the event are historically fairly important - should they play those two double start? It'd be more stats I can't use at least). It's also the final Challenge Tour weekend, which hugely sucks for the likes of Edhouse and Taylor - Ritchie's within 2k of the tour lead, Taylor's 3k back, Nijman is within 4k if we're stretching it a bit further. How many of them do you reckon have flights back to Wigan booked if they lose first round? Edhouse is on last tomorrow, if he was on first, like Nijman is, maybe he could think about grabbing a £300 Easyjet flight to Gatwick and calling a cab? Who knows. Elsewhere in Gib, there's been some JDC action, looks like Keane Barry got all the cake and will play off against the exciting Czech prospect Adam Gawlas at Ally Pally. Two days after I'm there, bastard.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019


There was a bit of interesting discussion on Twitter a few days ago between Chris and a few of the other usual suspects about the worst decisions you can make playing darts, following on from a video High Roller Radio made with the guy who runs the Premium Dart Data Twitter account, I weighed in in a minor way to Chris commenting on people using T17 early to "round off to a zero" when covering, which I think is more to keep on the correct remainder when dividing by three if you hit a single to avoid leaving bogey numbers, i.e. if you hit 99 instead of 97 in the opening visit, a typical follow up to 402 instead of 404 is going to mean you need to switch at some point rather than just keep pounding the trebles.

But somewhere in the discussion, which I think might have come from Burton at some point but I can't find it, is how much difference does something coming up early in a leg actually make? Let's say we followed up on that 402 leave with a ton, and then didn't use 18's on 302 and left 162 i.e. a bogey number. In this sort of spot, it would make a difference in the exact spot where:

- the opponent is in a position to kill in six darts, which if we've only thrown six ourselves at this stage isn't that likely, especially if we have the darts
- the opponent does actually finish in six darts
- we would have taken out the huge checkout to finish it

That's not going to happen very often if we think about it. Taking out a 161+ is only a 2-3% shot for the world's elite. If it's a spot where the opponent does finish in six darts, he's either hitting a very low percentage combination himself, or we're so far behind we're probably fucked no matter what option we take.

So what do I actually think? I've got to think that in reality it's waiting too long to utilise the bullseye when setting up or finishing checkouts, the utility in edging down to, say, 116 rather than 121, or knowing that you're going to hit bull rather than 25 and not waste a dart (e.g. with 121 left and one dart, if you go T20 and hit with the intention of going 25-D18, if you hit bull you've wasted a dart to clean up 11, so go bull on 121 and then you can switch to T13/T17 on 71). It's a tough one to call.

Don't expect anything before the Gibraltar draw is out. We know all the qualifiers except the domestic qualifiers, so we should get odds for everything pretty quick outside of those games, which I wouldn't be touching expect for a comedy fourfold given the likely odds involved. One thing I did find slightly interesting from Oche Balboa on Twitter was a rumour that many of the BDO's top lot might give the World Masters a miss on account of the top 16 not getting the stupidly deep bye they've got in previous years. When you get to the point where you give your organisation's second biggest event a miss because you might need to play some extra rounds, words fail me.

And hey, Nitin Kumar's back in the worlds again! As is Benjamin Pratnemer! I don't really know the second guy but he's had some success in some of the continental opens, so maybe he'll do alright - but you'd have had to think he'd have punted at some of the Euro Tour qualifiers. See you Thursday evening.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

What's resting on Gib

So here's the current European Tour table (Cristo Reyes being on there is a typo, that £1k for ET13 should be on Chris Dobey, don't drink and analyse kids):

It's small, I apologise for that - I'm not sure how best to get more vertical space on to my screen from Excel and still grab it. Green highlighted players are in - I'm trusting the Weekly Dartscast's Twitter for their posts as to who is still in the race and who isn't, I could certainly come up with some sort of permutation where Ratajski didn't make it so Wattimena not making it seems not too crazy, but I think that anyone from de Zwaan upwards is safe as houses - it wouldn't be too ridiculous to see Dimitri miss out by O'Connor winning his first game, Pipe making a semi, Huybrechts making a semi, de Sousa finaling and Smith binking, but let's have a look. I think anyone from Kciuk downwards is realistically dead.. Labanauskas, Thornton and Meikle I suppose have the upside, but they'd all need to final and that seems way too unlikely to consider.

Now we get to the players that might have a shot. de Sousa would need to final really, a semi would put him £500 ahead of Pipe, but with Pipe playing as he is, it's probably going to need a final. We know he can do it, but that Sunday run is unchartered territory for Jose and who knows how he'd react (cf. Jamie Hughes, last Euro Tour before Matchplay before we write him off for those reasons). West might have a bit more of a shot if he were to semi, and heck, he semied today, so who knows. Taylor I think isn't realistic, he can beat the odd guy but I doubt the draw can ever open up enough to reach a semi. Same with Shepherd really.

Michael Smith is the super interesting one. Thanks to so many bricks as a seed, he's on the outside looking in - if he reaches the quarters, he's be ahead of Smith on countback, so it's a scenario of beating whichever qualifier he needs to and then beating Ian White, which is a tough ask for anyone but Smith at least has a decent head to head record. Beating either Ratajski or Cullen in the quarters would probably make things absolutely safe.

We're getting closer now - Noppie can definitely make a quarter final. He's playing well enough to do so, he'd effectively be in the same scenario as Smith except we have no idea who he'd draw. Edhouse could theoretically sneak in by just making the last 16 if other results go his way, but I think realistically he needs a quarter final which I think is a bit too much of an ask. Kim Huybrechts is in the exact same scenario, but at least he has previous, even if he's not shown much of any form for a good couple of years now. That just leaves Justin Pipe who's currently on the outside looking in - Pipe would jump both Henderson and Smith with one win, and he's playing at a level right now whereby he should be favoured against most qualifiers. If he can nip past whichever seed he gets, he'd go past Evetts as well, and then I think he's absolutely safe.

What about those on the inside holding on? As mentioned, I think Hendo's fucked, mainly because of Pipe, but as a backup I think the chances of none of Smith, Noppert, West, Huybrechts or de Sousa is way too long. Ross Smith at least has the cushion of being ahead of Hendo and an extra bag in the bank, a Pipe win would put him back on the bubble though, and anything like a Smith semi final or a Noppert/Huybrechts quarter would do for him. Evetts is the next in line, his countback is almost non-existent but he needs three people to pass him - Pipe would need the last 16, Smith would need a semi final, then you're probably talking either a Huybrechts or Edhouse quarter, or someone making a miracle final run. I think he should be alright, but it's not completely certain. O'Connor has more of a cushion in that not only does he have a better countback than Evetts, so that sort of Huybrechts/Edhouse run wouldn't actually put either of them above him, Willie's actually in the tournament. One win would make all the difference - it'd take him out of range of a Michael Smith semi final run for one. Given the level of ridiculousness we're already talking, I think Dimitri is safe.

Of course, all this could be flushed down the toilet if someone withdraws and all the seedings get mangled, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it...

PC 25/26 - the best standard ever?

Oh boy, there was quite a lot of high quality darts thrown this weekend, but let's kick off with the FRH rankings before we analyse:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Michael Smith
4 Daryl Gurney (UP 1)
5 Gerwyn Price (DOWN 1)
6 James Wade
7 Gary Anderson
8 Nathan Aspinall (UP 1)
9 Peter Wright (DOWN 1)
10 Ian White
11 Mensur Suljovic
12 Dave Chisnall
13 Simon Whitlock
14 Joe Cullen
15 Jonny Clayton
16 Adrian Lewis
17 Stephen Bunting
18 Max Hopp (UP 1)
19 Jermaine Wattimena (DOWN 1)
20 Krzysztof Ratajski

So the movers are primarily from yesterday, where Daryl Gurney claimed the title from Nathan Aspinall, given how tight the races between 4th/5th and 8th/9th are, those were enough. Max Hopp made a quarter yesterday, and despite missing today, an uncharacteristic double first round exit from Wattimena sees Hopp grab the place back - for now. Today, Mensur Suljovic beat Ian White in the final (White having made the semi yesterday as well), other good runs weekends from Michael Smith (semi yesterday), Clayton (semi today), Steve West (semi today and a board final yesterday), and further down Cristo Reyes showed signs of life with a quarter today, after I pointed out Ross Smith hadn't made a quarter on the floor he does the same, Justin Pipe got one yesterday to continue his upward form movement, Andy Boulton also had a great weekend with two board wins, turning one into a quarter final. Much further down, Geert Nentjes put 2.5k in the bank, Mike van Duivenbode made two board finals, while Callan Rydz continues his development having won his board yesterday.

So in terms of the standard? Here's what some people have done this weekend:

That's everyone scoring over 92 per turn. Sure, there's some small samples in there, but that scoring would get you in the top 16 overall for the season. People will look at some of the insane averages, and we'll let them, let's just say it was impressive. Rewatch the final of today if you can, that was a great game.

That's locked up the Grand Prix field as well - King was able to put two grand on from board finals, which is just slightly better than what I thought he needed to do as a minimum. Dimitri did little, but both had the money in the bank - Clemens suffered a shocker day 1 in losing to Wayne Jones, so he needed a semi final but could only reach the last 16 today. de Sousa only got three wins, running into a 102 average from Meulenkamp and a 115 average from Conan Whitehead, O'Connor would have had a tough time being the #32 seed both days but didn't even get to Ian White either time, and everyone else was just too far back. We've obviously had the final Euro Tour qualifiers, I'll go through the permutations later, but the notable point is that with Hopp and Clemens losing in the final round to Kim Huybrechts and de Sousa respectively, and Schindler being edged out by de Zwaan, there will be no German representation in the finals. Glad to see that the new qualification method for European tour card holders has really helped getting home names into your showpiece event!

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

There's a race on

Believe it or not, we're now just one set of events from the cutoff of two major tournaments - the Grand Prix gets decided after this weekend's Players Championship events, while the European Tour only has Gibraltar left a week later. Burton's done the cutoff tables, let's have a look at the Grand Prix first:

We'll ignore the seeds as both Lewis and Cullen are safe even if Bunting was able to final twice or bink one, so let's look at who might be in or out of the field from the Pro Tour. I'm going to say that Vincent van der Voort, while not mathematically safe, is for all intents and purposes safe, as I doubt you ever get all of Dimitri getting over 3k, King getting over 4k and Clemens getting over 6k in two Pro Tour events - I mean I guess outside of those O'Connor and de Sousa are capable of binking, but let's try to limit the work to something sensible. We'll also only go down as far as Ross Smith, anyone below that needs to bink at least once which seems a bit too ridiculous of a task to contemplate. So who might do something?

There's ten players fighting for two spots. I think it's going to be very, very hard to dislodge Dimitri from a spot unless he has one of his bad weekends where he bricks both events - he's got a 3k lead on whoever might knock him out, and is scoring the most out of anyone recently. I just can't see him not picking up a grand - he is at least now seeded for the Players Championships, so would be extremely unlucky to run into someone on both days that'd deny him some cash.

Then we've got Mervyn defending the last spot. It seems pretty obvious that he's playing worse than both the players immediately behind him on every reasonable metric. He's also not been putting himself into the sorts of positions on the Pro Tour where he can pick up lumps and secure his spot - so I think what he needs to try and do is not lose either day, and make at least one board final. That'd give him a £3.5k lead over Clemens - which forces the German to make a quarter final in order to stand any chance. It's not a huge ask, and it'd put the pressure on.

Who can force themselves in? Clemens certainly has the game, and has the smallest amount to do. Two Pro Tour finals this year is testament to what he can do, he's certainly capable of taking things into his own hands. de Sousa is the same, that scoring is red hot, and he's steadily improved - the question is whether he's left himself a bit too much to do, and just getting into the seedings might land him with a really horrible round 3 draw both days in a situation where a pair of quarter finals might not be enough. O'Connor's the only one within real striking distance, but his scoring hasn't been the greatest in the last few months, and he only has three board wins - while he can and has binked out of nowhere, it seems likely that he'll need to do the same, as I don't think he can really claw it back through two consistent scores.

I don't think anyone else beyond that is realistic - Webster is in nothing like the form that'd see him grab over six grand in a weekend, Pipe might have a better shot but that also seems unlikely. Dolan has been playing alright but is the same as O'Connor in that he's had one big result and not enough else, although, like Ward as well I guess, having seen the upside this season, it is at least in his locker. Smith not having made a quarter final (on the floor, the UK Open doesn't count for this) pretty much puts himself out of the equation, which just leaves Ron Meulenkamp. That he's still below Benito on the official rankings is pretty lol, but he has made three semi finals and two quarter finals this season - four of those in the last ten Pro Tour events. That's a consistent enough record of knocking on the door, but he needs to break it down right here and right now - two more semi finals isn't going to do it, even a final and a semi isn't enough. He needs to bink, but at least he is putting himself into positions where he might be able to do so.

I'll look at the European Championship in a later post, there's a bit more time for that one and it seems a bit more straight forward to analyse.

Monday, 16 September 2019

The perfect European Tour

I touched upon this a few posts ago - if the PDC called up the secret TA bunker and said "right, you're organising the European Tour this year", what would you do? Here's what I'd do:

I have assumed a round dozen worth of events, and have tried to set up places which balance commercial viability, expanding the sport and hitting the sport's heartlands. So, without further ado, explanations:

1-4 are your German heartlands. The European Tour's so successful there that I don't think that you can reduce your count beyond that, so I've tried to pick four places that cover the country fairly well. Hildesheim seems like a lock given that the PDC is super well established there, and is easily accessible from the likes of Hannover, Bielefeld, Braunschweig, and it's not that much further from the huge cities of Hamburg and Bremen. Leverkusen I've stuck in as you need something in the Ruhrpott, and right in the middle of Düsseldorf and Köln is as good a place as any but there's dozens of cities that could host one. Munich and Sindelfingen cover the south of the country.

5 is a standard Dutch event. I've labelled it Amsterdam but it could easily be anywhere. Huge darts heritage, will sell tickets. I think that the Netherlands is easily deserving of two, but it's a tight calendar, so for number 6 I've split an event between there and Belgium - I think there's enough players there that it's worthy of a shot at least every other year, then again, I'm sure someone mentioned on Twitter that when they held the European Championship there, it didn't really sell that brilliantly.

7 is Austria, I think it's still worth having a stand alone event. For now at least. Do they have anyone coming through the system that's going to be any good? You've got the phalanx of Rodriguezes, but anyone else is getting fairly old already and if they were going to get good, they'd have done so already.

8 is a rotating Eastern European spot. Prague seemed to go down well, they've announced Budapest for next year, but surely there's the opportunity to go to Poland? I've put Warsaw as a placeholder, but maybe somewhere more to the west of the country like Poznan, Szczecin or Wroclaw might get some of the Berlin or general Brandenburg market - it's pretty accessible on the train. What else could you do? I've put in Zagreb as a speculative one, we've had enough players come from Croatian/general ex-Yugoslav backgrounds come through but play under other flags, maybe there's some diamonds waiting to be unearthed?

9 is similarly a rotating Scandinavian spot - I've stuck down Copenhagen as a logical choice given they have an event there already, but there's enough Swedes that maybe you could try Stockholm as an alternative? Norway maybe not so often, but if some more players can start to come through beyond Dekker, then maybe. Across 8 and 9, you might also look to slot in something in one of the Baltic states - if and when someone other than Labanauskas/Razma starts to develop. Finland's perhaps a bit too distant?

10 basically replaces Gibraltar with an event on the Iberian peninsula, which is something I've recommended for a long time. We've seen de Sousa, Justicia and (on the Challenge Tour) Noguera arrive in the last couple of years to add to the established names, it's time to reward them by moving this event around and opening up the home nation qualifier to Spain/Portugal/Gibraltar combined. There's got to be enough of a combination of domestic fanbase and ex-pats that'd be interested in seeing an event.

11 is a little bit of an odd one. Austria had two events this year. Is it worthy of two? Maybe for now while there's still a few players hanging around that might be able to put up a bit of a fight, but I'd lean towards more often chucking in a fifth German event at Riesa (there's a heck of a lot of people in Sachsen), maybe you could also use this slot for the sort of experimentation in the likes of Riga, Vilnius etc.

12 is the complete wildcard. I've tried to be somewhat sensible with the other 11 spots in assigning them to logical areas, but for the last one, let's go crazy. Who wouldn't go to see an event in Dublin? There are a hell of a lot of players, especially if you use the Tom Kirby/old Grand Prix qualification criteria in that either side of the border is cool, that could come through the domestic qualifier and be a nuisance to tour card holders. Switzerland and Italy have been in the World Cup and are easy to get to from much of Europe (I've highlighted Milan rather than anything further south as beyond there it's probably a bit much to travel overground). Use this spot to go for your random Estonian Open. Find out if there's anything in Luxembourg. Go nuts, it's one experimental event out of twelve, if it doesn't work you can just bin that location off the schedule for years to come.


Riesa review

Gerwyn Price managed to retain his title - fair play, I thought it was going to be the week that Cross finally won one of these but Price held him off in the final. Wright and Durrant making the semi finals rounded out a high quality lineup, so let's quickly get into the FRH rankings - as a one off, I'll go down to 32 so that you can all see a bit lower down the order:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Michael Smith
4 Gerwyn Price (UP 3)
5 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 1)
6 James Wade (DOWN 1)
7 Gary Anderson (DOWN 1)
8 Peter Wright
9 Nathan Aspinall
10 Ian White
11 Mensur Suljovic
12 Dave Chisnall
13 Simon Whitlock
14 Joe Cullen
15 Jonny Clayton
16 Adrian Lewis
17 Stephen Bunting
18 Jermaine Wattimena
19 Max Hopp
20 Krzysztof Ratajski (NEW)
21 Mervyn King
22 Darren Webster
23 Glen Durrant
24 Steve Beaton
25 Jeffrey de Zwaan
26 Ricky Evans
27 Keegan Brown
28 Chris Dobey
29 John Henderson
30 Danny Noppert
31 Dimitri van den Bergh
32 Steve West

Price climbing all those spots shows just how close it is between 4 and 7 - there's a big gap to Smith, and then about 25k down to Wright/Aspinall, but those four aren't separated by a great deal. Ratajski hits the top 20 for the first time, Durrant is within 4k of getting there himself. Richard North is just outside the top 50, only gaining a couple of spots and he's a good 8k away from hitting that top 50 landmark again. Joe Murnan edges into the top 100 following his last 16 run, Michael Rosenauer is up into the mid 100's.

Some other notes - Asada won the Japanese worlds qualifier, which gives Yamada a debut appearance, while Darin Young is back for yet another shot at it, joined by Matt Campbell as the highest ranking players from the CDC. This gets us up to 8 players, we'll see a couple appear over the weekend, as well as someone clinching from the Challenge Tour at the end of the month, but it's a good month before it really starts to crank up and the field begins to fill out.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Richard North is beginning to annoy me now

What's that now, two wins from 5-2 down and a win from 5-3 down? And in both the 5-2 games (which were the ones I bet on, being lucky to avoid the Ian White 5-3), the opponents in question mustered one match dart between them, and that was West's bull shot in the decider? Jesus christ, I don't think a player has annoyed me quite so much since Devon Petersen at the worlds. At least the Wright and Price results came in (although Murnan was keeping it close, so fair play to Joe for a good weekend), although more annoying than Richard North?

Dartsdata/Sportradar. How many more fuck ups do they need before the PDC simply decide to sack them off and run with Dart Connect throughout? It's not difficult - watch stream, type in what darts have gone where. A five year old could do it. After the Harry Ward game from Friday simply disappeared off the screens completely, this happened today:

Yep, it simply ignored half of legs one and two, and then cut straight to Beaton taking a 2-0 lead with a 23 dart leg. But wait, there's more:

Exactly the same thing happened in legs six and seven. But wait, there's more:

Yep, in leg 8, it simply misses out a huge chunk of the leg and half of Joe's final visit (clue - you can't finish in thirteen darts needing 36 for the leg on double 9). Still, at least he made the Harrington switch - maybe.

Fortunately one of the unsung heroes on Youtube was able to get the Gurney/Beaton game up quickly, so I've shoved that one into the master computer, but there's no sign of the Price game - three separate accounts have got one each of the Gurney, Cross and Durrant games, I guess we'll have to wait. Having a quick scan through the odds, nothing stands out as immediate value - it's hard to quantify a Gurney game but I'd lean Durrant given they're 10/11 a piece, Price maybe should be a little shorter than he is against Aspinall, Wright at 1/2 against Lewis looks around the right ballpark, and Cross at 1/5 looks to be safe as houses - but as I've said that three times against North this weekend, I'm not going to recommend a bet.

One thing I'm going to do later is to try to put together my perfect European Tour set of venues (being realistic, I'm not having them all in the north of England), trying to balance commercial viability, expanding the game, where the game is already popular, etc etc. Back later with a quarters onwards roundup as well.

Edit - Price game finally up. Of course Chris Murphy, in his infinite wisdow goes all captain cliche calling Murnan's cross over to double 9 "a tricky switch", which Murnan does actually pin

Riesa last 16 bets

Day 2 - oh dear. 0/4 to drop 0.85 units, leaving us down three quarters of a unit for the tournament. Any regrets? Not really, think it was mostly just running into players on good form - Noppert hitting just one of the three match darts he had would have turned a total loss into break even for the day, Richardson averaged a ton, Pipe was right with Aspinall through six legs despite Nathan having hit two four visit kills (one to break with Pipe having missed bull for a hold, one for a hold with Pipe on 121 after nine), while Woodhouse won the bull, got a break to lead 3-0, then just had his scoring go away. Oh well. We go again with the last sixteen and there's a few surprising names here, let's look through the matches:

Gurney/Beaton - Touched on both of these games already. Gurney's around a 1/2 favourite, over the season he scores a point more per turn than Steve does, the odd thing is that while I talk about Gurney's consistency a lot making the model underrate him, Beaton's only scoring two points less when losing than winning (Gurney currently at 1.32) - so maybe the model underrates them both, and that it's throwing up Steve as mid to high 40's for the most part should be believed and we should take 2/1. I don't know, in the last three months the model spits Gurney out as a better than 2/1 favourite, so let's pass.

Rosenauer/Durrant - Glen had a solid string of legs against Richardson, which he needed, while Michael got past an uncharacteristically bad Ratajski with the Pole getting three legs in five visits but averaging 78 otherwise. Glen's 1/8, that seems fine.

Aspinall/Evans - Mentioned Nathan's game earlier, excellent all round display. Ricky took out Dimitri 6-4, solid display but some indifferent legs (legs six and eight spring to mind) which he could do with cleaning up. Nathan's 4/7 with Ricky 8/5, there's almost enough there for Evans to consider a bet, he's trending at 42%, 43% or so for most of the season, with the two players having almost identical consistency ratings. I think we can avoid pushing such small edges.

Price/Murnan - Gerwyn needed ten legs to get past Kyle Anderson in a very high quality encounter with both players averaging three figures, Price up at 106, while Murnan was able to punish a woefully under par Jeffrey de Zwaan, eight of the nine legs going longer than fifteen darts and neither player able to crack 90 on the conventional averages. Can't look past Price here, he simply isn't going to let Murnan win five legs in more than fifteen darts as both his opponents have - 1u Price 1/5, he's in the high eighties and touching the 90% mark occasionally across the season so even at this long odds on, it's a strong play and I'm investing accordingly.

Wright/Suljovic - Peter had to come from a bit of a hole against Ritchie Edhouse, only winning 6-4 after being 3-0 down, while Mensur whitewashed Harry Ward in a very confident looknig display with just the one dodgy leg. Market has it close to evens, Wright being slight odds on, I think we can take a stand here, 0.25u Wright 5/6, Peter's in that top tier of four players whose points per turn season long are a cut above the rest, and Mensur isn't, Peter's around the low to mid 60's to win this game so I'll take 5/6 here.

Lewis/Clayton - Adie got past Willie O'Connor, not a pretty game at all and one best dispatched to the archives, Jonny face Steffen Siepmann and played a bit better but was still taken all the way to 4-4 before he got home in ten legs. Market has this one as a flip as well, there might be the tiniest of tiny values on Clayton at evens, but it's not enough to recommend a bet. Over on the legs, or correct scoring 6-5 whoever wins the bull could be worth the shot.

Cullen/Cross - Joe needed all eleven legs to beat van Baelen, one of those odd ones where he's comprehensively outplaying him but Davy kept nicking legs. Stop going bull-bull-D16 with your opponent on 330 though. Cross only lost one leg in a steamrollering of John Henderson, very strong performance from Rob. Cross is 4/9, I think that's in the right ballpark, if you're just looking at the last couple of months worth of form then you might want to consider Joe at 21/10, but I'm not interested.

North/West - Ah, the old compass points derby. North shocked Ian White despite not playing brilliantly, Ian missing four match darts to hand the game to Richard, West meanwhile overcame Jamie Hughes with a very strong finish from 2-0 down, two late breaks in 11 and 12 darts being the difference maker. West is the favourite but not by much, I think this is a very strong play - 0.5u West 4/6, I'd probably still fire at 1/2, I can't see anything on Twitter to indicate there's any bugs, injuries etc, so we'll go with it.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Riesa day 1 results, day 2 bets

Hmm. Boris. 5-2 up, given what a mate of mine cashed out for must have been 1/50 in play, then North just god moded from there, that ninth leg was just horrible, starting 140-180 and then North hits six perfect so we don't even get a dart at double... still, at least Danny Noppert got out of jail against Mickey Mansell, and Harry Ward came from behind against Reece Robinson to put us in profit for the day. Not that anyone knows about that second one because dartsdata fucked up yet again and didn't track the match. Fortunately, Anatolij Baburin on Youtube was the hero of the day and put the stream up so I could get the stats.

All in all not a great standard of play - seems like a lot of the qualifiers weren't great and dragged their opponent down to their level, there were some odd exceptions where one player did OK but in general it seems most players underperformed. The Monk/Anderson game was an exception, that one looked decent on the stats, so what do we have today?

Aspinall/Pipe - Justin easily beat the newbie Jentschke 6-3, was 3-3 at some point before Pipe pulled away. Not a great game really, he only averaged 80 in the win. 0.25u Pipe 19/10, seems much more of a live dog than that, tracking in the low to mid 40% range against Nathan over all time periods.

Ratajski/Rosenauer - Michael took out Mike de Decker 6-4 in a slugfest where both averaged 81. Not great. Not much data on Michael, Ratajski's shorter than 1/6 and that seems prohibitive, not confident in the slightest that Rosenauer can pull it out more than what he'd need to in order to go for an underdog swing for the fences.

Durrant/Richardson - James beat the intriguingly named Mike Poge 6-3, will need to up his game from around an 83 average, but Mike's 70 average wouldn't have helped that. We can get better than 3/1 on Richardson, I think that's worth a tiny play - 0.1u Richardson 10/3, he's showing at about a one in three shot all season, and made board finals twice midweek, so might be playing a bit better than season long data.

Cross/Henderson - Another bad game, John beat Claydon 6-4, Brett averaging just 82 and Hendo was lower, not inspiring stuff when facing the Matchplay champion. Rob is 2/7, and that seems about right.

Lewis/O'Connor - Willie didn't play too badly in a 6-4 win over Benito, and is at the level these days where the bookies only install Adie at 4/6. Is that fair? I tend to think so, maybe it could be slightly closer, but there's enough vig on the book that I can't recommend a bet on Willie as there's not enough of an edge. Should be a decent game at least.

Gurney/Noppert - Mentioned Danny's 6-5 with Mansell earlier, another opponent from the isle next. Not going to mention the projections as they always think Gurney sucks, but let's put it like this. Gurney's season long points per turn is 91.95 to Noppert's 91.84. We're being offered a silly price by Betvictor, 0.25u Noppert 9/4.

Beaton/Woodhouse - Luke had little trouble with Bilderl, losing just one leg, Steve's next and on Twitter it seemed like he had a bit of a mission to get to Riesa, so chuck that in with Luke being basically a flip over most stats then 0.25u Woodhouse 13/8 looks nice.

Price/Anderson - Kyle edged Monk 6-5, Price is up next, I thought Kyle might have been a bit more of a live dog than the price offered, but he's shorter than 2/1, so he isn't.

Evans/van den Bergh - Dimitri saw off Adam Hunt yesterday and gets Ricky Evans up next and is actually the favourite. Nothing here, DvdB is 4/6, and while I see it at a 65% game, that doesn't account for Dimitri's wild inconsistency, so I'll avoid the game.

Hughes/West - Steve played OK in seeing off Daniel Larsson, but might have wanted to get the game finished a bit quicker, and he now faces a much tougher test in Jamie Hughes. 13/8 is slightly tempting, but it's not quite enough, it's certainly in the right range of him having chances.

Clayton/Siepmann - Steffen made day 2 after getting an early lead against Andy Boulton and then stepping in when Andy missed shots to clean up the match. Nothing here, Jonny is 1/5 which I think is fair enough.

de Zwaan/Murnan - Joe surprisingly took out Jelle Klaasen yesterday evening and gets another Dutch player up next, he's installed as a big underdog here, and looking at any sort of decent sample, a 4/1 shot appears more or less spot on.

Cullen/van Baelen - Davy bagelled Ole Luckow last game yesterday and gets a much different test this evening against Joe, who at 2/5 looked a tempting lay on full season stats, but cut out the first couple of months of the season and the price appears to correctly predict Davy's winning chances.

White/North - Less said about Richard the better. White's in the low to mid 80's to win this one, 1/4 might be small value, but not really worth pushing things at those odds.

Suljovic/Ward - Talked about Harry's game earlier, Suljovic is on the other end of the spectrum in terms of quality of opponent for Ward, and I think it's almost worth a punt - he's in the low to mid 30's all season until you get to more recent months when it tails off to closer to what the 10/3 line represents. Depends on how you feel about Harry, I'm not sure.

Wright/Edhouse - Ritchie took out Venken just losing a couple of legs, but the run ends here. I can't see any way he pulls this one off, and the value might even be on Peter at 2/11.

Just the four underdog plays then, and they all go early, so get on quick ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Riesa round 1 bets

It seems as if the bookies aren't too forthcoming in putting up lines involving the qualifiers, but given that most of the games in question are involving players I know next to nothing about, and will probably feature horribly one-sided lines whereby if there were to be any value, it'd be in one of those value bets on the underdog whereby you know you have to make them even though you're going to lose, I think I can make do with the games that do have lines. So let's see:

0.5u Ward 8/13 vs Robinson - I have no clue whatsoever how this is anywhere near that close. Reece has done next to nothing all year whereas Ward has a title. This looks well into the 70% range for Harry, maybe even a 3-1 favourite. Pile on.

Nothing on the O'Connor game. I was expecting to lump on Willie at the price he is, but the model says no. I can kind of see why, but there's a lot of weird stuff happening and if anything the line seems to be swinging towards Benito, there's enough counter-intuitive things going on here that I think I can ignore it.

Nothing on Monk/Anderson. Kyle's good. Monk's good, but not quite as good. The line appears sound.

Nothing on Henderson/Claydon as I simply don't know enough about Brett to want to charge in on Hendo at 1/3. It's probably a fine move but I really don't want to jump on that line without data.

0.5u Noppert 8/13 vs Mansell - it is basically exactly the same analysis as the Ward game, except at least Mickey has shown at some point in the past he knows what he's doing. Still seems a good edge with Danny ranging at 70%+.

0.5u Koltsov 21/20 vs North - I was on at 11/10 on 365 where it's been backed in to evens, I have no clue why the line is listed as it is. Richard is just playing at such a lower level that this ought to be 1/2 for Boris.

Nothing on Larsson against West, 1/2 for Steve seems decent enough but there's enough nagging doubts to make me back against Daniel given his lack of data.

Dimitri's line at around 1/3 seems fine. Adam's just not shown enough to make me think that he can get home more than 20% of the time, he's got enough talent that random things can happen, so an easy ignore.

Nothing on Murnan/Klaasen either. Jelle's 4/9, which season long appears around right, if you favour recent form then chuck Jelle in, his win chances increase as you get to shorter and shorter samples, but I think there's a danger those samples become too small to rely on.

So three bets which I feel pretty strongly on, fill your boots ladies and gentlemen.

Friday morning edit: Oddschecker doesn't have lines for the games involving the qualifiers yet, but 365 is up, and nothing stands out, so unless another bookie has a significantly different line I can't think of anything else to add, and I'd probably just arb in that spot anyway. Maybe de Decker at just the right side of 1/2 is worth it, but I won't make it a recommended play.