Sunday 31 March 2019

Hildesheim quarters

Down to 8, and we've got Wright/Lewis, Gurney/Bunting, Webster/Evans and Price/Brown. Price has got to be loving this situation, with nine dart hero James Wade out of the way, it's opened up his half, although Keegan won 6-0 Wilson didn't do a huge deal to pressure, Webster was solid but not spectacular, and Evans is the same - if Price shows even his B-game, he should make the final. The other half's a bit more of a mess, Gurney was just fine in running off six straight legs from a 2-0 hold against Cross, Lewis was dominant against Cullen, Wright was able to slot in one good leg to break Wattimena and that was that, then Bunting again was fairly average, White missing doubles from nowhere to seal the deal. So that's dropped us a unit in the last sixteen, still up for it, after all that's basically what we got from Brown over van Gerwen.

Oddschecker's glitching out a bit just showing random 180 bets, so I'm looking at 365 to see what I like. It's almost a bet on Wright, he's 8/11 and this year he's just over 60% to claim it, over 12 months just under, so I'll pass it, I don't think I'll do anything on Gurney/Bunting either, that's 1/2 - 13/8, recent data has it 65/35, twelve month data has it much, much closer to where Bunting's over 45%. With Stephen having stung me twice this event, maybe we should use the larger data to say he's returning to older form? I don't know, they're both actually consistent in how their averages break down in 2019.

Webster/Evans is priced up quite close, Webster 4/5 and Evans at evens, that seems fair, in all data samples I've got Darren in the low 50's, so that just leaves Price against Brown. Keegan's got through that "after beating MvG" possible issue in some style (at least as far as leg score, if not in performance), and I'm reading it 68/32 in favour of the Welshman, he's 4/9 against Brown's 7/4 over twelve months, it's a bit more in favour of Gerwyn in 2019 as you'd expect, well into the 70's. I'm leaving it, maybe Price might think a bit ahead and Brown's freerolling from here on out. So no bets, while we're down a bit from where we were, we're still up half a unit on the event and still over the 20 unit lifetime mark, which is a nice little milestone to hit. Probably no bets on the semis and final.

Hildesheim last 16

Hmm, seems we had a really angry commentor somewhat not getting that tips are not a guarantee of winning. I do hope he then didn't bother to follow through on Keegan Brown. Up 27% for the tournament, 39% if you exclude the huge Lewis bet which is dragging that percentage down, but you picked Dimitri and he lost (in a deciding leg)! You're useless! Got to laugh, when the fun stops, stop.

So van Gerwen went down, which always changes the whole dynamic of the tournament - it seemed unlikely when we were 13 games into the last 32 and 13 seeds have won, but it will allow for a lot of close games and no overwhelming favourite, it is not as if the non-seeds that made it through (Brown, Evans, King) are complete randoms, King's very often seeded for these anyway, Evans has made a final last year and Brown's just knocked off the world number one and is a previous winner on tour as well. So, the last 16:

Wright/Wattimena - Jermaine had no trouble with Siepmann yesterday, didn't play that well but wasn't threatened and didn't need to. Wright was solid enough, Gilding put up a bit of resistance in the latter part of the game but from a 3-0 deficit, breaking twice was a tough ask. The odds look quite a bit in favour of Wright, maybe a bit too much on first glance, so we'll go 0.25u Wattimena 12/5, I'm tracking him on both long and short data samples as better than one in three but not quite up to 40% to win, it's a great chance for him to break through (I said this last week though) and he's going to need to beat a top player to win at some stage, he certainly can here.

Lewis/Cullen - Adrian wasn't tested at all as we expected, while Cullen and Aspinall had one of the standout games of the round, both averaging (conventionally) 101 in a tight 6-4 encounter. I don't see great value in this one, with Adie at 4/5 I'd need a bit more than 40% for Cullen, which we have on the twelve month sample, to think about laying him. Oddly the chances increase for Cullen if we just use this year's stats to where the line looks spot on. Counterintuitive, but it's where we are.

Cross/Gurney - Matchup between two Premier League stars, Gurney was professional against Boulton in a 6-1 win that I didn't think would be quite that easy, Cross broke in the opening leg against Meulenkamp, then held from there, all but one of the five holds being in fifteen or less darts, forcing Ron to find a twelve which he couldn't do. This line seems a bit too close - Cross is 4/7, on the full twelve month sample it's about 2-1 in favour of Cross, which we're not really interested in, but in 2019 it increases to more than 3-1 in favour of Cross. There's a tiny bit more inconsistency in Cross's losing/winning leg split, but 0.25u Cross 4/7, I have the feeling Rob's going to seize the chance that MvG being out has created, and their Premier League matchup was not pretty at all.

White/Bunting - Touched on the Bunting game earlier, White against Hughes was the game of the round, Ian only nicking it in a decider but they produced five twelve dart legs between them, which is an incredible combined standard. White's 4/6, this is plain wrong, if we're talking last twelve months I'd price it 1/2, but in 2019 the form disparity is such that White's up at 83% - which would translate to a 1/5 line. 0.5u White 4/6.

Wade/Webster - James had no troubles beating Boris Koltsov without really getting out of second gear, Webster rode his luck in a fairly average game against Humphries, needing to break in the last leg with Luke waiting on D12 for the match. Wade is very heavily favoured in the market, which seems to be purely on recent form where I'd put Webster at just over 30% to win. Darren being 5/2 thus offers no value, if we went twelve months it'd be a lot closer and I'd bet Webster, but this does feel like one where the recent form is more compelling.

Evans/King - Two of the three non-seeded players meeting here, having beaten Suljovic and Chisnall respectively, Ricky probably playing the slightly better darts but giving up a few too many easy legs. It's evens each of two, looks perfect to me. If we went twelve months I might shade it 10/11 in favour of Mervyn, but neither's even at 50.5% on 2019 data. Avoid this like the plague, unless you like over on the match distance, or bet on 6-5 correct score when you see who's won the bull.

Price/Clayton - All Welsh affair, a repeat of the Austrian final last year that Clayton won, although Price edged their most recent meeting 6-5 in February in Barnsley. Clayton easily took out Stevenson, the first four legs were red hot, he had a spell where he went something like 180 - 140 out - 81 - 180 - 180. Price beat Dudbridge comfortably, didn't need to do a great deal to get the job done. Price is understandably a favourite, nearing 1/2, the recent form would point to Gerwyn perhaps not being short enough (maybe make it 4/9 and not 4/7), whereas the last twelve, where Price's form isn't quite so stratospheric, would say maybe make it 4/6. Leaving this one.

Brown/Wilson - Final game sees Keegan Brown, and we know what he did, against James Wilson, who suddenly has a nice chance after being elevated into the seeds, Wilson ground out a win against Mario Robbe in a deciding leg, Mario having a dart at bull for the match there. The market's very close, Brown just being ever so slightly odds on, they track very closely on a twelve month stat sample, but in 2019 it's about 57% for Keegan. While he played much better than Wilson did, could we get an example of what always happened when someone beat Phil in that they then underperform in the next game? Very possible.

So just the three bets today, should be back before the quarters.

Saturday 30 March 2019

Hildesheim day 2 bets

Not sure if we learned anything on day 1. Gilding's doing perhaps a bit better than we thought he is maybe, Knopf is only the third player in the last twelve months to win a best of six only taking one leg in eighteen darts or better (Robbe did it against van der Meer last month, James Wilson also did it against Kanik in October) in what might have been the worst match seen on the European Tour outside of Gibraltar, Kanik did surprisingly well so will give him credit even though he lost, I suppose the big surprise was Gabriel Clemens losing to Dudbridge - 4/19 on doubles doesn't help with Mark hitting over 50%, but it was only really leg 8 where that cost him, missing three clear at tops to break and lead 5-3, he only had one other leg where he missed a double and lost and that was leg 2 at the end of a 108 combo.

So, today:

0.25u Webster 8/5 v Humphries - come on now. I know Darren's not had the hottest start, but I'm seeing this as a coinflip. Maybe even slightly favoured towards the Demolition Man. Extend to twelve months and Cool Hand is still around 50/50.

White/Hughes (again, really? Third time this month) is too close to call and as the bookies have it evens we'll leave it there.

0.1u Koltsov 15/4 v Wade, this is a flier, Wade's obviously playing really, really well of late, but Boris brought his A-game yesterday and we know that said A-game ought to be able to beat Wade one time in four. This could easily go wrong but it's worth the shot I think.

0.25u Clayton 4/7 v Stevenson, I think that even if you take a twelve month sample, Clayton wins more than two in three which makes the bet slightly decent, but he's playing better in 2019 comparatively speaking than Simon is, where it's more like three in four. Simon was alright in the second half of his game yesterday which is a minor warning sign, so I'm tempering the bet to just a quarter of a unit rather than the half I was originally going to shoot for.

2u Lewis 1/14 v Knopf, this could be 6-0 in absolutely zero time. Kevin averaged 72. Enough said.

Nothing on Wattimena/Siepmann, this should be Jermaine's and he's a hell of a lot better than Steffen, but 1/3 feels around where it should be, Siepmann didn't have to do much to beat Mickey but what he did was just fine and ought to be enough to claim some legs and maybe keep it close.

Nothing on Price/Dudbridge either, this should be easy for Gerwyn, but at 1/6 we need to know it'd be really easy, and Mark's doing just about enough that he could nick this around 15% of the time.

Nothing on Wilson/Robbe, Mario wasn't outstanding against Langendorf, Lethal Biscuit has had a bit of an anonymous start but is doing around well enough where a 2/5-5/2 line looks accurate.

0.25u Boulton 23/10 v Gurney, if the bookies are going to keep sleeping on him I'm going to keep betting. The 2019 stats actually call this a coinflip, and expanding to twelve months to increase sample still give him over 40%, although the vast bulk of his stats come from this year.

Cullen/Aspinall's a miss for me, 2019 I'm thinking 60/40 Nathan, last twelve months 55/45, market has it 3/4, let's just enjoy the game.

Cross/Meulenkamp is a miss, if we look at the last twelve months Ron might be small value at 9/2 with the chances of grabbing the win at about one in four, but this year Rob's playing better and it's nearer one in seven, which takes a bet out of the equation.

Passing on the Wright/Gilding game, there's not really enough data on Gilding to make us think that a 1/4-10/3 split isn't going to be massively incorrect.

0.25u van den Bergh 4/7 v Bunting, this is primarily based on Stephen's very slow start to the season, projections on 2019 form think Dimitri's over 75% to win the game, there's a lot of variance in his game but stage + confidence should iron that out against a misfiring Bullet.

Suljovic/Evans is a no bet, if there was small value it'd be on Ricky, but Mensur's in good form so that the effective 2-1 chance for Evans reduces to a 70/30 shot, at 11/4 it's close but as mentioned in the preview this seems horrible stylistically for Ricky.

0.1u Brown 17/2 v van Gerwen, this is one of those that looks really dumb a large percentage of the time, but Michael's off his game just enough that in 2019 Keegan is forecasting to claim a best of 11 around 25% of the time - Keegan played really well yesterday in opening up a lead then stopping a fightback from Razma, he can't miss as many doubles as he did yesterday, but it's worth the shot.

Chisnall/King line with King just the right side of 2/1 looks close enough to me, the line may be ever so slightly favoured to Dave too much, but it's not enough to even think about a bet with Mervyn not playing that great against Portela yesterday.

Friday 29 March 2019

Critical question that needs answering

Which lasted longer, any of Justin Pipe's five 6-1 victories over Dennis Smith, or Barney's retirement? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Thursday 28 March 2019

Hildesheim round 1 bets

Before anything, if that is it for Barney, then thanks, him and Priestley were my favourite players growing up and he gave us my favourite moment in the history of the sport, it's a shame I never saw him live (because I'm too cheap to get a cab back from the Citywest when I went to watch the Grand Prix and it ran so, so slowly and he was last on).

But before it's all butnahhhhh or maybe and he's back in the field, what do we like for tomorrow?

0.25u Koltsov 8/11, Artut did nothing last week or this week that makes me think he's sufficiently close to Boris that we can't take this.

0.25u Boulton 7/4, this seems sufficiently close given Andy's form in 2019 that it's a bet. He actually projects as a slight favourite although Payne has been running a bit bad in converting decent legs into winning legs which'll hinder that a bit.

1u Hughes 2/9, Jamie should have absolutely zero problems here, none whatsoever. He comes in over 90%.

0.25u Razma 15/8, thought this should rate up to be closer in the previous post. The projections are actually over 60% for Madars, but as mentioned he has a lot more variance so while it's still a very clear bet, the edge might not be enough to start bridge jumping on it.

0.1u Siepmann 12/5, purely based on Mansell not playing well. Siepmann didn't do a great deal to convince but at least he showed some stones to get past Eidams 6-5 in the qualifier.

0.25u Portela 5/2, he's been doing just about enough when we've seen him to think he might have enough of a chance against King, who hasn't exactly been on form.

That's it, nothing else stands out hugely so will just go with these six and probably chuck Aspinall in as a banker in acca fun.

Hildesheim draw thoughts

Bets will follow once the remaining qualifiers are known (it's Mike de Decker or Cody Harris, a couple of random guys or Diogo Portela, then five non-tour card German qualifiers), but first thoughts on what we have:

Wright vs EQ2/Gilding - Shouldn't be too much trouble for Peter, Andrew was looking alright in the run up to the end of last season but lost his card and was merely alright on the Challenge Tour, and probably isn't significantly better than de Decker or Harris who I think he'd play (edit - de Decker has just beaten Harris to qualify).

Wattimena v HNQ4/Mansell - Another surely easy time for the seed here, Jermaine's been just fine this season and Mansell, after that World Championship comedy, has been quite bad to the point where the German qualifier is tempting.

Lewis v HNQ1/Taylor - Another outing for Scott Taylor after his opening round win last weekend, he's not been amazing but ought to have enough to take out a local qualifier, but Adrian Lewis is way too big of an ask you would think.

Cullen v HNQ2/Aspinall - This could be one of the highlights of the second day, assuming Nathan advances past the qualifier which you think he would do, Joe's been hit and miss all year but did show a bit of form on the first Euro Tour, so this ought to be tasty.

Cross v Meulenkamp/Viljanen - Rob's got to be a big favourite, but who he plays is in question - Ron's scoring has been steady and not much better, where Viljanen is now, I don't know, we've not seen him on a PDC stage since the 2018 worlds but we know he has the game in him to compete with the likes of Meulenkamp.

Gurney v Payne/Boulton - Interesting section. Daryl's been a lot steadier than last year, Payne's made a recent deep major run which ought to give him confidence, while Boulton has been under the radar and is scoring quite handily, the three of them all being separated by less than a point and a half on points per turn.

White v Kanik/Hughes - Ian wouldn't want this draw as we see a potential UK Open redo, where Hughes won - Tytus Kanik has had a slow start to the year and generally hasn't been up to tour card standard throughout 2018 either, so Jamie should get through and be able to produce a great match up on the Saturday which could be too close to call.

Bunting v Beaton/van den Bergh - Two Lakeside champions and a twice world youth champion - this is the second of four straight Euro Tours in 2019 for Steve, who's scoring overall a bit better than Dimitri, mainly due to consistency - van den Bergh has either been checking out in twelve or less for fun (hitting as many or more than Durrant, Wright, Smith etc), or not knowing which end of the dart should go in the board and losing the leg. Bunting is way down on the scoring, only getting 88 per turn in my stats (both potential opponents are over 90) with a horrid win-loss ratio and should be a dog whoever he faces.

Wade v HNQ5/Koltsov - Annoying for James to be in the MvG half, but he's not got a bad section of the draw, we don't know who the qualifier is going to be but Koltsov can be really dangerous when he wants to be, as was seen when he won a Challenge Tour event earlier this year. It's just a shame he's often equally as likely to still be needing 200+ after 12 darts. Boris should beat the qualifier, but Wade in this mood ought not to give him the chances he'll need.

Webster v Atkins (Leeds)/Humphries - Darren managed to get a win last weekend but then lose in the last 16 to Pipe, and could be under threat if Humphries can bring his stage game. Atkins was disappointing last week and Luke should beat him, and it's a good section of the draw to potentially kickstart his season.

Suljovic v Evans/Thornton - Evans has been good but not great so far in 2019, outside of the run to a Pro Tour final he's been fairly quiet, same for Thornton who's only had the one board win but is only a point behind Evans on the scoring front. Mensur's been his usual self and should be too strong for either player on the Saturday, got to think that he's a timing nightmare for either of them.

Chisnall v EQ1/King - Chizzy against King looks likely enough, Mervyn should be able to dispatch what looks like Diogo Portela, but Dave has surely been scoring too heavily, averaging a couple of points higher in all aspects of the game.

Price v Dudbridge/Clemens - Not seen Flash for a while but he's had occasional flashes (boom boom) with some board finals to date. Clemens has made a board final and had a nice little UK Open run, playing at a comparable standard to last year, while Mark's better than in 2018 so far, he's still way behind Gabriel. Who's way behind Price, but he may be out for revenge from that final I mentioned, where Gerwyn ran out an 8-4 winner. Could be spicy on German soil if Clemens gets through.

Clayton v Prins/Stevenson - This'll be the first game up, Stevenson was on form in the UK Open but overall seems to be down a bit on his 2018 game and hasn't looked too hot on the floor. Dave Prins was perhaps a surprise qualifier over Steve Lennon, but has made a Challenge Tour final this year, which has got him into some Pro Tour events - he's not done as well as Stevenson in my database but it ought to be competitive. Clayton has been putting together some good games with no real hiccups this season, and will be strongly favoured to reach the last sixteen.

van Gerwen v Brown/Razma - This isn't really the draw that MvG would want, both can run extremely hot and cold, Razma in particular has hit a huge number of good legs, and if one of them sparks then there's definitely the possibility of the upset. Hard to call who'd win, Madars has been showing the higher ceiling (just) but Keegan is a lot more solid overall. Should be a fun game on both days.

Wilson v HNQ3/Robbe - James has snook into the seeds, don't know who's quit to let the fifth home nation qualifier in. He's not been playing anywhere near his best or how he was last year, losing more than he's won and down at 88 points per turn, only a couple of points better than Robbe, who beat both Barney and de Zwaan to make it here. Might be closer than you think, assuming Mario can beat whoever the qualifier is, which isn't certain in the slightest.

Monday 25 March 2019

New tour card holders so far

Ten events in, how are the new players doing?

Pretty straight forward table. The points per turn is through the first ten events of the season, similarly for the money won. I can't spell Zonneveld and I'm not going to correct it.

I don't think anyone would be particularly surprised to see Durrant and Hughes up there at the top of the tables - Durrant has obviously binked an event and finalled another, which is giving him a clear lead in terms of money won, Hughes and Razma being the only players in this list to hit the last 32 in the UK Open making sure that it's a huge gap. Bear in mind that Hughes missed the first two Pro Tours, so could easily have been a bit closer. If we then read down a bit, we get some surprising names here and there. Boulton I wouldn't have expected to be quite so high up, but he did have a very good run last time out and has won another board elsewhere, he'll have a shot at adding some decent cash in Europe next weekend. The two Baltic lads follow next, Labanauskas throwing good stuff but not really translating it into money - he's not had any brutal draws, just running into players doing alright on the day. Rowby and McGeeney you would expect to see there, but Gavin Carlin's had a very good start, while Ward and Baker have a good combination of scoring and money in the bank. Clark, Bunse and Pallett can consider themselves a little unfortunate not to have had a better return so far, at least Dave has a Euro Tour next month to add.

At the other end, god knows what is up with Michael Barnard. he doesn't even have any future European qualification to fall back on. Robinson did alright in the UK Open hence the money, then we've got a couple of veterans who got through on the Q-School points table who may end up making up the numbers. van Duivenbode and Zonneveld haven't been able to cash, maybe it's getting used to senior match play.

Probably going to have a look at the tour card race later in the week, and project who might be in real trouble of losing their card after 2019 is done.

Sunday 24 March 2019

van Gerwen wins again

Quick one this, van Gerwen defeated Rob Cross to claim the first title, very decent evening session which I'd recommend digging up on whatever source you have - van Gerwen earlier hit a nine darter with a cheeky T19-bull-D20 147 out against Suljovic in the semi final, Peter Wright being the other semi finalist. Quarter finals were full of mostly the usual suspects plus Justin Pipe, the bets didn't do great as neither of my picks won a leg (Wattimena against van Gerwen we expect that to be within range, Dimitri against Gurney, maybe not so much, oh well). Still a creditable 0.6 unit return on 3.6 invested for around what we're making so far this season, so I'll take it (plus personally I had Cross each way for the title). You also need to check out the final leg of the van Gerwen/Wattimena game, if only for the weirdest Robin Hood I've ever seen (you'll see why when you see it).

New FRH rankings:

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

That's all the changes, Chizzy didn't need to do a great deal to overcome a greatly deteriorating Simon Whitlock, Suljovic was close to overtaking Aspinall but couldn't quite get there, while Price and Gurney are separated by less than a Pro Tour final. Wade isn't too far off Wright but Peter was able to pad the difference a little bit. Not really much happening given that all the cake went to the top, Pipe's in a small bubble so didn't actually climb at all but just solidified a top 60 position, similar with Ross Smith. Wattimena is now within a thousand points of West and it is surely just a matter of time before he's back in the top 20.

More sometime next week with the aforementioned early new tour card holders report, before we continue with more European Tour action next weekend.

Leverkusen last 16

We're coming into the bizarre situation where the afternoon session matches are worth two grand to whoever wins them, but then if you win the first match of the evening session, that's only an extra 1500 quid? If you've got an extra five grand to allocate, why not give the last 16 losers an extra 250 each (3k to 3250), the quarter finalists an extra 500 each (4k to 4500) and then the semi finalists an extra 500 each as well (6k to 6500)? It's a smoother increase that goes up each round by either the same or a larger amount. Oh well, they did something equally silly in the UK Open qualifiers (there I think the prizes per round went 250 - 1000 - 1500).

Most seeds got through safely, Ian White was the biggest casualty in terms of seeding (but we thought that might happen), Michael Smith the biggest in terms of FRH rankings (and we definitely thought that might happen, what a game from Ratajski), while Lewis and Whitlock were the only others - Dimitri's good, so not unexpected, and Whitlock's no longer good, so also not unexpected. What have we got today?

van Gerwen/Wattimena - We're denied the first PDC v BDO champion matchup, which we've been waiting for since 2014 if ochepedia's right - Jermaine came from behind to edge Durrant in a decider, while van Gerwen easily dealt with a way below par Mervyn King. This match between two players who could well be national team partners in a few months could be closer than the market suggests - 0.1u Wattimena 6/1, it's surely just a matter of time before Jermaine finally breaks through and beats a big name in one of these, could it be today? I'm seeing this as 66/34 on 2019 form, such is how Jermaine's playing and how Michael isn't his other worldly best. Over the last twelve months it's a lot closer to the line but Jermaine would be at 18% which is still fine to bet.

Ratajski/Price - Krzysztof put in a great display to beat Michael Smith, but oddly had to survive match darts to do so after running up a big lead, it's a great game, go and check it out if you can. Price easily put away Taylor, a bit swingy early but he closed it out well enough. Price ought to be about a 2/1 favourite on current form, maybe not so much on the last twelve months where it's roughly 60/40, maybe a bit closer, the line's about at the last twelve months level. If you don't think Ratajski maintains that form from yesterday, take the 4/6 on Price.

Suljovic/Cullen - Mensur got through a surprisingly decent and close match with Dennant, while Cullen blew away van der Voort in easily his best match of the season. Are we seeing another year of Joe ripping up the European Tour? As far as bets go I won't be bothering, twelve month sample looks about 65/35 in favour of Suljovic, which is roughly where the line is, on 2019 form it's more 70/30, but with Mensur barely better than 1/2 in the market I can pass this, particularly if yesterday was a warning sign that Cullen will repeat the situational trends he had in 2018.

Wade/Chisnall - Potential good one this, both got through with good showings against Plaisier and Evetts respectively, they've met twice on the floor already this year and Chisnall's won both of them. Bit of a differential in form guide - twelve months worth of data reckons 60/40 Chizzy, but in 2019 it thinks it's a coinflip. The bookies can't separate the two, I won't bet it, it seems counterintuitive that Chisnall's won two events this year but he only becomes favoured when you look at all the data I have. Then again Wade has picked it up massively in the last six months.

Pipe/Webster - Justin took out Ian White coming from 5-3 down to reach the last sixteen, nothing spectacular but solid throughout, Webster took down Jirkal but Pavel didn't really show up here. There's a huge disparity in stats here. Over the last twelve months, Darren is strongly favoured - 70/30 in fact, but in 2019 where he's struggled a bit and Pipe's shown some occasional signs of getting his game together, they can't be split. Line's 11/8 Pipe, could be sneaky value if you're unconvinced with Darren.

Cross/Clayton - Rob had no trouble opening up a big lead on Beaton and seeing it out, Clayton meanwhile was in a bit of a scrappy game with Adam Hunt but was similarly able to get an early lead and hold after getting a fourth leg break. I think there's almost value on Clayton, he's available at 12/5, the projections I have on 2019 form see him having a one in three shot, actually going up 5% over the last twelve months, but I think this could be one where the stats are deceptive, as Clayton has a fairly large differential in winning and losing points per turn compared to Cross, so I'll leave this one alone.

van den Bergh/Gurney - Dimitri took out Lewis in a game featuring a weird incident where nobody seemed to know what was going on, Gurney beat de Zwaan in a game with a comedy opening leg but got better and he pulled away from 2-2 to win 6-2. The market has this fairly close with Dimitri being slightly odds against. Not sure why really, Dimitri had a fantastic game with Adie where he broke Lewis three times in four visits, Gurney was merely OK, on 2019 stats I've got Dimitri over 60% to win and it's still 55/45 over a twelve month sample. 0.25u van den Bergh 5/4.

Wright/Smith - Both players did exactly what I thought they would against Huybrechts and Whitlock respectively, their speed to win legs was the same in their games, it's just Ross lost more legs with a bit of a lower average in them. Wright's 1/3 in the market, which I think is being a bit unfair on Ross, but it's not one of those where it's enough to bet Ross at 3/1, I'm only seeing 29% chances on 2019 form, which rises slightly over a twelve month span but not to the point where he's got a one in three shout. If you want to fire on Ross I certainly wouldn't blame you.

Saturday 23 March 2019

Leverkusen day 2 bets, brief day 1 summary

I think most things went as expected yesterday. Was a bit surprised to see Razma throw that game away, although to be fair Dennant played well, Kim Huybrechts is a very lucky boy, nobody really stood out as putting in a great performance - Adam Hunt maybe? A lot of the new players and those returning for a while didn't really do it, maybe it's nerves and we'll give them a pass. A couple of things I picked up on:

Note Dimitri's fourth visit here. I think a lot, lot more players should do this when needing 68 with two darts remaining - go just about as far towards the double as you think you can safely go without going out of the board. If you hit it, great, you're on double 16, which is a much nicer breakdown at least than double 7, you can't say that it's a nicer double as they're right next to each other. That he did this with Edhouse not on a finish is bizarre, but we'll leave that. Also this:

I love love love Barney going 25 on the first dart here. Recognising that Beaton isn't on a finish that he's guaranteed to get, he takes the route that gets him down to tops if he just hits singles - if he went something like 20-17-10 he'd still need to waste a dart next visit if he returns to be on a double. Of course, he went out anyway, but at least the thinking is right.

So today, what have we got?

Webster/Jirkal - Pavel didn't need to do much at all against a pretty disappointing Borland, this isn't a bad draw but I think Darren, even though he's not started that well this year, should be strong enough. This is one of three games that isn't listed on oddschecker for some reason so I'm just checking bet365, Webster's 2/7 which is probably about right.

Wade/Plaisier - James is huge odds on here, this seems fine, neither Plaisier or Artut played well and only one leg was finished in fifteen darts, and it wasn't by Plaisier. At shorter than 1/8, just put it as a banker and move on.

White/Pipe - Justin came through Ryan Meikle in an OK game yesterday, he's playing well enough that he's not a complete outsider, but there's no bet - Ian's started off the floor season well, he's 2/5 and I'm reading it as 70/30 so next game please.

Price/Taylor - Also oddly not on oddschecker. Price is around 2/9, I don't think there's value there, Scott's not a complete bunny but a lot of the legs he's won both yesterday and at the UK Open were fairly slow, which Price will jump all over.

Chisnall/Evetts - Probably the first interesting game, Ted got past Atkins but it wasn't a pretty game, I'm seeing this as identical to the White game in how it might play out - Evetts not completely dead and having around a 30% shot, so the line looks right.

Clayton/Hunt - Not a bad performance from Adam yesterday at all, all but one leg in fifteen darts, 6/7 on doubles as well is nice. Clayton should be a step up in class from van Trijp who did fine really, it's nearly close to Hunt value though, I'm seeing his win chances at 38% on 2019 form, 36% over the past twelve months - we're seeing 7/4, which I don't think is quite enough, although if you watched his game and think he's on his game, then don't let me stop you punting.

Smith/Ratajski - First of two intriguing games to end the session, Krzysztof got into a little bit of a pickle against Edgar, needing a deciding leg, and will clearly need to play better here. We're seeing 9/5 as the price on the Pole - on 2019 form he's just short of 43% to take this. Over the last twelve months he's at 36% which is a lot closer to the line. I'm not up to date as to whether there is still any lingering issue with Smith and his leg, but if there is that's only a bonus, the average in the Premier League on Thursday tips the balance for me - 0.25u Ratajski 9/5.

Gurney/de Zwaan - Jeffrey came through Josh Payne with ease, but wasn't spectacular, similar to all of 2019 really. 2019 stats see this as a flip with Daryl having the tiniest of edges - to show how far Jeffrey's off the pace, over the last twelve months I'm seeing it 60/40 in favour of de Zwaan. Jeffrey's 5/4 and I can pass this, 2019 form says this looks right, and Daryl's right off the back of the biggest confidence boosting performance you can get.

Lewis/van den Bergh - Evening session now, and a real tasty one to start which the bookies can't split, Adie just being favoured at 5/6 compared to 11/10 for the Belgian. Dimitri was alright yesterday against Edhouse who was a touch disappointing. Full twelve month stats say this is a flip, 2019 stats reckon stab at Dimitri, seeing him as a favourite in the high 50's percentage wise. I'll pass though - Adie's got to be hugely confident following winning a title, and there is a heck of a lot of variance in Dimitri's stats, his winning average is nine points higher than his losing average, which is enormous (Lewis is at four and as such, despite being behind in winning average which is giving Dimitri the edge on projections, on overall points per turn Lewis is a point ahead). Let's just enjoy this one.

Wattimena/Durrant - I talked about this one a bit in the preview, Glen's got here comfortably enough despite Rosenauer putting up a fair bit of a fight to start to pull it back. Glen's around the odds I thought it would be, a best price of 4/7 with a mid-60's win percentage projection doesn't interest me.

Cullen/van der Voort - Vincent was safe enough in seeing off Wayne Jones 6-2, continuing a run of good form with a fine performance, Jones only really threatening in one leg where he left 16 after nine darts. Cullen is somehow the favourite - he was good in Europe last year, sure, but this is a fresh start, over twelve months I've got Vincent at just over 60% to win, and he gets a couple of points higher on 2019 stats. 0.25u van der Voort 13/10.

van Gerwen/King - Quick one to analyse this, 0.1u King 13/2, over a short race King should claim this one time in four. Sure there's a possibility that van Gerwen decides to avenge his UK Open loss to King and steamrollers him, but this is a huge price where King has a win over a longer distance this month. Mervyn's going to have to play a lot better than yesterday though.

Cross/Beaton - Steve got past van Barneveld in a fairly close one where Raymond had his chances, I can't see Steve repeating this though. He's just longer than 3/1 and on 2019 data Cross should win about three in four. Move on...

Suljovic/Dennant - No real data on Dennant to project, he did OK yesterday and might not be completely dead, but Suljovic ought to be too strong. Mensur at 1/4 or there abouts feels right.

Whitlock/Smith - Whitlock is the favourite? Really? On 2019 form I'm seeing this as 65/35 in favour of Smudger. 0.25u Smith 6/5.

Wright/Huybrechts - 0.5u Wright 2/5, this is all about recent form. Over the last twelve months this looks about right, but in 2019 I'm seeing Snakebite up above 80% on chances to win. Peter's been playing great in 2019 as was highlighted in the season so far post earlier in the week, and this price looks tempting against someone who gave up seven match darts to a relatively unknown German qualifier.

Hopefully something to take your fancy there. Back probably tomorrow morning with last 16 info.

Friday 22 March 2019

Leverkusen round 1 bets

One thing that is an improvement this year is that the qualifiers the day before are on Dart Connect, so I can get a bit more of a read on random players (which should pop up a lot more this season, at least on the evidence of yesterday). Sadly, they still seem to be using the awful dartsdata/sportradar service for the main event, which seems to think Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price called in sick yesterday, so we can't have that many nice things it seems.

Pipe/Meikle - I'm seeing this fairly close, but with Pipe having a bit of an edge in 2019, full sample it's a straight coin flip, 11/10 is tempting but it's not quite enough.

Jirkal/Borland - Who knows. Borland 6-1'ed Lennon to make it with a decent average, we don't know what Jirkal did in his qualifier but he wasn't overly hot at Q-School on the averages. Could end up missing obvious Borland value but too unknown really.

Dennant/Razma - 0.25u Razma 4/6, Dennant's done little to suggest Madars doesn't win this 60% of the time.

Herz/Taylor - Taylor ought to be very safe given Herz's 70's to low 80's averaging in the qualifier, but he's 1/5, so no.

Smith/Williams - 0.5u Smith 2/7, this is a bit more of a safer proposition, Ross has been good for some time now and the 80-something Ricky was averaging in the challenge tour really shouldn't threaten.

Hunt/van Trijp - Similar line, but 0.1u van Trijp 3/1, Danny was, final round aside, scoring decently in the qualifier to the point where winning one in four doesn't seem a ridiculous option.

Evetts/Atkins - Nothing here. Atkins' scoring in the Challenge Tour was alright, line's about 70/30 Ted so I think Evetts has enough form that the line seems fair.

Plaisier/Artut - 0.25u Plaisier 21/20, this is purely based on Wesley averaging consistently more than Jyhan did in their respective qualifiers.

Edgar/Ratajski - Into the evening session, 0.5u Ratajski 4/11, the Pole's at 80% year long and 90% in 2019 on projections, love Edgar TV but I think it might be cancelled after one episode this season.

de Zwaan/Payne - No bet, if de Zwaan was showing whole year form lumping on him at slightly odds on would be automatic but 2019 they're showing opposite ends of their form guide to the point where I see no advantage to betting on Jeffrey.

Huybrechts/Kurz - Kim's strongly odds on, Nico didn't show anything in the qualifier (mid-80's plodding the last three games, mid-70's nail fest in the first couple) to make me think it's wrong.

Wilson/King - Mervyn's shorter than 1/3, this should be safe for an accumulator I'd think, but Jason's doing just enough on the Challenge Tour that I don't think this is completely automatic.

Rosenauer/Durrant - There's a rogue 2/13 on Glen on Sportingbet. If you don't think that gets palped, go with it, but it probably does, everywhere else Glen's unbackable.

Edhouse/van den Bergh - 0.25u van den Bergh 1/2, he's tracking at a nearer 1/3 clip in 2019, and that's on the floor. Ritchie's playing well but this seems a real bad draw.

Beaton/van Barneveld - Market's remarkably close. I think it should be the other way around, but maybe Barney's got just enough confidence in the last week that he'll outperform his stats. Beaton did blob both Pro Tours at the weekend to be fair.

Jones/van der Voort - 2/1 line looks just about perfect on a full year sample. It oddly might be a bit closer on 2019 stats, but that seems counter intuitive so I'll avoid the game.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Leverkusen preview

I think I'll put off doing a look at how the new tour card holders are doing until after this event, 10 events played rather than nine seems a much nicer number. Draw is out, they're just going through the Euro associate and home nation qualifier now, the former's nearly done while the latter's still three rounds away from finished.

Top quarter:
Michael van Gerwen v Jason Wilson/Mervyn King
Jermaine Wattimena v Glen Durrant/HNQ2
Michael Smith v Matt Edgar/Krzysztof Ratajski
Gerwyn Price v Scott Taylor/HNQ1

Oh boy, is this section (and the half as a whole, but we'll come on to that later. van Gerwen's got a rematch against King from the UK Open, which should happen, Wilson wasn't bad in 2016 but has been off the radar since then and was merely alright on the Challenge Tour in the first weekend. Wattimena's a tricky last 16 opponent if it goes with seedings, but Jermaine's got one of the toughest potential draws in Glen Durrant, who should have way too much class for any of the home nation qualifiers, and probably be near a 2-1 favourite in the Saturday game. Then the two other seeds in this section also occupy positions in the top five of the FRH rankings. Michael Smith's got a tricky tie against whoever comes through from Edgar or Ratajski, really can't see Krzysztof losing that on current form and it's close to evens between Smith and Ratajski if we see that match up. Gerwyn Price however should be fine, Scott Taylor had a good run at the UK Open and ought to be solid enough to get through the opening round, but while he cashed as a qualifier, he didn't do anything that makes me think he'd threaten Price in current form.

Second quarter:
Mensur Suljovic v Matthew Dennant/Madars Razma
Joe Cullen v Wayne Jones/Vincent van der Voort
James Wade v EQ1/HNQ4
Dave Chisnall v Ted Evetts/Martin Atkins (Leeds)

It doesn't get any easier here. Suljovic has been perfectly fine when he has played, but Razma's had an excellent start to the year with a points per turn score nearing 90, so should take out Dennant with ease given Matt's 2019 form, and maybe threaten the Austrian. Joe Cullen could have problems here, his floor form has been anywhere from mediocre to awful and is a good couple of points per turn behind van der Voort, who's off the back of two quarters in one weekend and ought to be playing well enough to handle the Wolverhampton native in the opening round. We have no idea who Wade'll be playing but I can't see anybody from the qualifier troubling him, then we've got Dave Chisnall, already with two titles this year, against either Ted Evetts, who can be extremely dangerous on his day, or the Yorkshire strain of Martin Atkins, who's at the other end of his career on the first half of two straight European Tour appearances. Would think Evetts should get through it though.

Third quarter:
Ian White v Justin Pipe/Ryan Meikle
Darren Webster v Pavel Jirkal/William Borland
Rob Cross v Steve Beaton/Raymond van Barneveld
Jonny Clayton v Adam Hunt/EQ2

A real mixed bag of games. Ian White's started the season just fine, but has a dangerous opponent whoever he plays - Pipe's not been at the races for a while, but last weekend he threw some great darts in two defeats, while Meikle's very recently claimed a Development Tour title. The next games may not be that great, Webster's had a poor start to 2019 in terms of results and is barely scoring 90 a turn, while his opponent is a wildcard whoever he faces - Jirkal's from the Czech Republic and could be any standard really, while Borland's a young Scot who qualified from nowhere really, making two Development Tour quarters on the Sunday in the first weekend. Next game is world championtastic, Rob Cross facing either Steve Beaton, who's qualified for every Euro Tour possible so far, or Raymond van Barneveld, who had his best result in ages last Sunday in reaching a tour final. Cross should easily handle either, but the first round game is too close to call. Finally we've got Jonny Clayton, in and around the top 20 for scoring this season, against either Adam Hunt, who's been doing alright but has been a bit hit and miss in 2019, or an associate qualifier, would think Clayton ought to advance from this one.

Fourth quarter:
Adrian Lewis v Ritchie Edhouse/Dimitri van den Bergh
Daryl Gurney v Jeffrey de Zwaan/Josh Payne
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts/HNQ3
Simon Whitlock v Ross Smith/Ricky Williams

Some good ones here. Adrian Lewis is back in the winners circle for the first time in a long time, but will need to be on his game whoever he plays, Edhouse has started like a train on the Challenge Tour and is only a couple of points behind Adie on scoring, while Dimitri's in the middle of the two, having a bit of a disparity between winning and losing average. Gurney's the potential seed Adie would play in the last sixteen, but will also have a tough ask - Payne has started out very well this season, being only half a point behind Gurney on scoring, while de Zwaan's ability isn't to be questioned, even if he has had a slow start to 2019. Peter Wright will face Kim Huybrechts if the Belgian is able to get past a domestic qualifier, Wright showing a top five game so far this year which he's been showing in the Premier League as well to occupy a playoff place as things stand, Kim's game still appears to be a fair chunk off his best to the point where on 2019 form it's around an 80/20 shot. Finally we have a good opportunity for Ross Smith - Ricky Williams didn't get close to a tour card and took a huge chunk of 2018 off by the looks of things, and Simon Whitlock's form in 2019 has been well documented, he may not be favourite in the market based off name value if he gets through Williams, but Smith projects 65/35 against Whitlock on 2019 form. If he gets to Sunday, who knows from there?

I don't know if the Dart Connect draw order coincides with the numbering of who goes where, but it looks like in the Euro qualifier we'll get one from Wesley Plaisier, Jimmy Hendriks and Danny van Klompenburg getting through, then one from Danny van Trijp, Paulo Ferreira and Michael Rasztovits making it. I don't think it's the ex-Chelsea player. In the German qualifier, they're only just reaching the last 32 on some boards with the winners of quarters making it so it's a bit too much to go through everyone. Bets to follow later.

Tuesday 19 March 2019

The season so far

Let's have a quick look at who, out of all tour card holders, are in the top 16 and bottom 16 of points per turn, also listing leg won/loss record and money won after eight Players Championship events and the UK Open:

1 Gerwyn Price (96.46, 254-156, 48.5k)
2 Michael van Gerwen (96.38, 142-82, 25.75k)
3 Peter Wright (95.33, 111-94, 8.75k)
4 Rob Cross (95.22, 197-135, 50k)
5 Michael Smith (95.21, 135-94, 25.25k)
6 Ian White (95.13, 164-115, 16k)
7 Krzysztof Ratajski (94.60, 139-107, 14.5k)
8 Glen Durrant (94.37, 169-128, 21k)
9 Kyle Anderson (94.10, 121-96, 10.25k)
10 Jamie Hughes (94.07, 103-79, 7.5k)
11 Max Hopp (93.96, 86-68, 8k)
12 Mensur Suljovic (93.77, 80-62, 8k)
13 James Wade (93.64, 146-104, 15.5k)
14 Dave Chisnall (92.71, 206-140, 33k)
15 Chris Dobey (92.31, 135-106, 10k)
16 Daryl Gurney (91.84, 139-98, 14.5k)

I was going to include a minimum legs played qualifier to exclude Anderson on sample size, but he's not there anyway, just outside in 17th. Aspinall is 18th. Now for our bottom 16:

1 Michael Barnard (76.82, 16-54, 0k)
2 Gary Eastwood (78.47, 23-62, 1k)
3 Kevin Burness (79.41, 21-54, 0k)
4 Tony Newell (81.83, 30-54, 0k)
5 Reece Robinson (82.26, 67-77, 3.5k)
6 Barrie Bates (82.31, 50-65, 2k)
7 Eddie Dootson (82.38, 52-71, 2.5k)
8 Terry Temple (82.74, 23-57, 0.5k)
9 Adrian Gray (83.03, 42-68, 1.5k)
9 Ryan Harrington (83.78, 28-48, 1k)
10 Mike van Duivenbode (84.23, 35-54, 0k)
11 George Killington (84.52, 20-45, 1k)
12 Alan Norris (84.84, 46-72, 3.5k)
13 Dawson Murschell (85.23, 24-58, 0.5k)
14 Nathan Derry (85.29, 62-77, 3k)
15 Pete Hudson (85.46, 57-78, 4k)
16 Ronny Huybrechts (85.49, 58-66, 3.5k)

Richard North's worryingly just outside, Mickey Mansell is one place higher, then there's a group of quite a few new tour card holders. It's a tough school.

Sunday 17 March 2019

That post aged well

We'll come to that shortly, but let's work through the weekend chronologically.

Euro Tour qualifiers first - will start with the European side where Gabriel Clemens was the only player to do the double, was mostly big names making up the rest of the numbers but the Vincent pairing of van der Meer and Kamphuis were able to get into ET4, so it's a decent opportunity for them, Maik Kuivenhoven had a dart to join them but missed out to Barney, a few people who'd be disappointed not to make either include Jan Dekker, Darius Labanauskas, Ron Meulenkamp and Jelle Klaasen.

In the UK event, Bunting, Beaton, Dobey, Anderson, Evetts, Dolan and Hughes all managed a double, which doesn't leave too many spaces for anyone else - surprises for me in ET3 were Nathan Derry, Mark Barilli, Arron Monk and Mark Wilson, while ET4 I think the most surprising name was Kirk Shepherd, so overall a bit of a stronger field in that one. Shocked to see King miss out on both and not even get to the final round in either, McGeeney didn't make either, Ryan Joyce was unfortunate to miss out in two tight final games, and I'd have thought Willie O'Connor would have been value to make at least one event. Richard North was another seed to miss out twice, but did get Jamie Hughes in both events so we'll excuse him on that one.

PC7 up next, and it was Dave Chisnall getting all the cake, beating Daryl Gurney in a tight final, overall being the player with the highest points per turn who won a match, while Gurney was a bit below that, being dragged down by some slack legs which he lost. I mentioned McGeeney above, as he made his best run to date with a semi final, the quarters had a few surprising names including Meulenkamp, Searle and van der Voort. This one opened up quite a bit with a lot of early casualties - White, King, Smith, Cullen (6-0 averaging under 80, my god) and Wright were all top 16 seeds to fall in the opening round, with Hopp, Wade, Whitlock, Darren Webster and Adrian Lewis going out a round later, alongside an unseeded Barney, Anderson, Aspinall (who drew van den Bergh in the opening round such is the silly depth that the PDC has nowadays), Durrant ran into Cross who then ran into Chisnall, it was carnage.

PC8 finished about an hour ago and Adrian Lewis managed to claim his first title in quite a long time, with a dominant win over Raymond van Barneveld in the final. Hence the title of the post, that six grand, plus the 1500 quid he's made in other tournaments and two grand minimum from the European Tour events he's made, should set him up quite nicely - it took £18,250 to make the worlds last time, now it's going to be a bit higher because we've got two extra Players Championship events, the UK Open qualifiers were also upgraded to that status, and there's more cash flying around on the European Tour, but even if we say it'd need 25 grand to be absolutely safe, he's 40% of the way there already. He's got the points on the board early, so if he can put in another board final or two soon, he can start to not hit things quite so hard as he otherwise might have done.

Of course, if Zoran Lerchbacher hadn't missed all the match darts it'd have been another story. It's an odd event - of all the players to win their board, Cristo Reyes had the highest points per turn at just shy of 94, then Adie's next about a point lower. Barney couldn't get above 91, about the same as Keegan Brown who he defeated in the semi final, while Jonny Clayton in the other semi was barely above 90. Andy Boulton had a good run to the quarters, van der Voort got to that stage again as well, while Jan Dekker ensured it was another good weekend for the Dutch. Cullen lost in the first round again, but at least the game was competitive with Harry Ward, while Beaton went 0-2 despite being the only player to have made all four Euro Tours through the qualifiers. Kyle Anderson, Danny Noppert, Richard North and Gabriel Clemens are other double casualties. Chizzy lost in the first round in his attempt to do a double.

Over the weekend, I'll point out some good performances that might go under the radar - Justin Pipe actually had the second highest points per turn of anyone, he just happened to run into Gerwyn Price in the first round twice, Durrant and Ratajski were in the top ten of that stat as well - Krzysztof's been up there all year, he just hasn't been getting the results, I mentioned Reyes earlier, he's just behind them, Ricky Evans is in the top 5 having averaged 102 over the 19 legs he lost this weekend, Arron Monk was scoring well, while Marko Kantele was throwing some of the best he's done in a while to score over 91 per turn in the process of making a couple of board finals. Down at the bottom, Michael Barnard continues to have a nightmare 2019, winning just one leg and only being kept off the bottom of the whole table by Gary Eastwood, Scott Baker was pretty disappointing and finished in the bottom ten, while Mark Webster, Mickey Mansell, Richard North and Joe Cullen were big names scoring under 85 per turn over the weekend.

New FRH rankings:

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

Adie was very close to Webster anyway but has opened up a big gap on him now, Aspinall climbed despite not doing much this weekend as Suljovic took the weekend off and Nathan's big cash not degrading helped a lot, King edges West by less than 200 points after winning his board today. Of others to make a quarter or better, Wattimena is now within 5k of the top 20, Keegan Brown's excellent weekend pushes him into the top 35, Barney is back in the top 40, van der Voort is #43 climbing a few places, Searle didn't move much but solidified his top 50 place, Dekker and Meulenkamp are both just outside the top 50, while Andy Boulton moves within 1500 points of the top 80. McGeeney's semi gets him up to #112, slightly more than a couple of thousand points from the top 100. Others of note - Harry Ward pocketed £2,500 to hit #125, Kantele and Monk both made two board finals to sit around the same area, Duzza is up into the top 70 after doing the same.

Expect to see another update before an ET1 bets analysis, I'm wanting to look at how everyone's doing statistically this season so far, particularly with an eye on the new tour card holders.

A brief thought on the World Cup

This has occurred to me just now, I might have mentioned this before, but I'm not sure, so if I am repeating myself it's at least in a new post for clarity. Now I'm not a fan of the World Cup concept particularly, mainly because I hate doubles in most forms of sport, but what I have an issue with right now is nothing to do with the format, it's more to do with where it can get you.

Now since van Gerwen has become peak van Gerwen, or at least since 2014, the Netherlands have reached the final all but one year. Every year, Barney has been van Gerwen's partner - even when Barney has not been the number 2 ranked player in his country, if we recall back to when Klaasen was last decent and Klaasen didn't play because reasons. Barney is clearly not the number 2 player in the Netherlands right now - Wattimena, Klaasen and even Benito van de fucking Pas are ranked higher than Barney is in the official rankings, so clearly shouldn't be selected. If we look below him, de Zwaan is playing better than he is, in the FRH rankings Noppert ranks higher than Barney, van der Voort's only one place below him as well.

But wait, you say, this is just an unranked invitational, there is nothing wrong with the PDC inviting whoever they like in order to increase ratings. This is true - but this is a team event. In all likelihood, van Gerwen will be able to carry whoever his partner is to the final. The problem comes when the PDC, in their infinite wisdom, do this:

This is the qualification route for the Grand Slam of Darts (or at least Wikipedia's interpretation of it). Which is a ranking event. It seems incredibly likely that Barney will qualify for precisely zero ranking events that would count for this (maybe the European Championship is about his only shot), and have no other way in - but if he reaches the final as a result of being the partner of the best player in the world, Barney will get a spot in the Grand Slam - which, with the BDO having lost all their best players, likely means that Barney will just have to beat a PDC wildcard qualifier to reach the last sixteen, with a minimum of ten grand of ranking money to go with it.

If Barney does the following:

1) Is selected for the World Cup because Barry likes money
2) Doesn't qualify for the Grand Slam by any other method (it wouldn't be ridiculous for him to bink a Euro Tour event or something like that) other than the Netherlands reaching the final
3) Wouldn't have reached the worlds through the Pro Tour rankings
4) Does reach the top 32 in the world purely as a result of ranking money from the Grand Slam

Which, to be fair, isn't that ridiculous an accumulator, if I was whoever is number 33 in the world as a result and have to play in the first round, or whoever would have been number 32 in the Pro Tour rankings and misses out completely because that said number 33 in the world gets kicked back to the Pro Tour rankings, I'd be furious. Now if Barney had got through from an invitational singles event, that's fine - if he'd somehow reached the final of the Premier League, then he's done it off his own back based on his own darting ability, and it's fine. But getting there because you happen to be the same nationality of the best player who's ever lived and were quite good a decade ago isn't right in the slightest.

This is also not to mention how unfair it would be on someone like Wattimena, who should be in the side on merit and would also miss out on the potential benefits of being in the Grand Slam as a result.

Thursday 14 March 2019

Proposed Challenge/Development Tour reforms

Alex questioned on the Weekly Dartscast today whether, in the future, the Development Tour could be expanded to further weekends, and whether it could expand to new venues. I like this idea, and here's how I would go about it, also considering the Challenge Tour to expand in the same way.

The first thing to think about is that it's already a crowded tournament calendar, especially when you now consider that the Challenge Tour players are able to play BDO events in the same cycle following the reforms. So with the big payoff for both tours being tour card spots, Ally Pally qualification, and further other benefits (Dev Tour guys and girls getting into the world youth, Challenge Tour players getting into the following season's UK Open and also being on the countback table to get into Pro Tour events), it's hard to say how you could fit in extra events considering most players will want to play the whole tour to maximise their chances of finishing as high up the order of merit as you can.

The simple answer is this, and it's something the BDO does for Lakeside and other sports also do - not have every event count towards the rankings, only your best n results.

I'd propose to expand to eight weekends, with three events in each, and after each weekend you take your best 2/3rds of results and have those count - so after the first weekend you count the top two, the second weekend the top four etc, and so on until at the end of the season you have sixteen events counting. Thus you only need to play six out of eight weekends as a minimum over the course of a year to get your full quota, so you no longer necesarily have to miss out on, say, a big BDO event, a large open, Euro Tour qualifiers or SDC events that you might otherwise prioritise.

Note how I say three events in each - I would have one on each day, and one event spanning two days, playing down to the first money round (last 64) as the first event is concluding (using the spare boards you'd have as soon as you can obviously), then finishing it off the following morning, something I've suggested previously. This has two effects - firstly it cuts the length of the day significantly, I think most people accept that the secondary tours have bloody long days and that while stamina is a skill, it shouldn't be as much of a war of attrition as it is now. Secondly, it allows to expand to more venues over more weekends without having the prize money expenditure explode - if you keep it the same, it's another 40k per tour per year, plus the costs of three extra venues. Obviously some of this is offset by entry fees, but it's not a huge sum of money given the amount of cash there is in darts nowadays. If you could find an extra hundred grand to give to the world champion in 2019 compared to 2018, you can surely find an extra hundred grand to help grow the future of the sport. It might also allow you more options of venues if you don't need to find somewhere capable of holding the number of boards that the Challenge Tour needs.

Right now, the Challenge Tour has three weekends in Wigan, one in Wolverhampton and one in Peterborough, while the Development Tour also has three in Wigan, with one in Milton Keynes and one in Hildesheim. This really isn't great unless you live in the north of England, so what I would look to do is the following:

- For the Challenge Tour, add one event in the Netherlands (here's a thought - you have a huge open that takes place round about the time the first weekend of the Challenge Tour starts - split the venue costs with the people that host the Dutch Open and have your event precede that. Got to think there's going to be loads of Challenge Tour players that would want to play that as well, may as well not need to travel twice), add one somewhere near Bristol/Cardiff and then one somewhere on the M8 corridor.

- For the Development Tour, add an event in Europe again (Belgium maybe? Hasselt's pretty close to all the borders and they've hosted events there before), then one somewhere in the Midlands and another somewhere in the south of England. Maybe shift one of the Wigan events a bit further north, perhaps to Newcastle or somewhere like that.

I'd like to think that this would address a lot of the issues that the secondary tours have at the moment, while allowing for a naturally sized expansion of the tours. Thoughts appreciated.

Return of the King

As you've probably spotted, Corey Cadby's got his visa, finally, and will tentatively be starting his new stint in the UK at the start of April in PC9. Which is nice. Question now is what will he do? It's fairly hard to say - we've not seen him in a PDC event (outside of the Oz-based stuff) since the UK Open final, and that was twelve months ago. A heck of a lot can take place in twelve months. Twelve months ago Nathan Aspinall busted out to in the last 64 of the UK Open, after all.

Let's pick something realistic - he's going to be way, way too late to reach the Matchplay, but would the Grand Prix be possible? He's going to miss out on four Euro Tour events, but (and I think this is counting minimum money already won in two of those events), the cutoff on the Pro Tour for that is only at 11k right now. That's one win, or one final in Europe, to close the entire gap, and he's more than capable of doing that. He's well above the top 64 cutoff for retaining a tour card so there's no real danger of anything happening there, so I think the key is to just raise his Pro Tour ranking as much as possible and get points on the board, the 35k will drop off from the UK Open this time next year, so just set a foundation and get into the later majors and the worlds. Then see what happens. It's just great to see an elite level player back in the PDC, let's just hope that he's not lost any of his game in the interim period.

Monday 11 March 2019

PDC roundup

A rare weekend without any main tour action, but there's been a bunch of stuff going on elsewhere. Firstly, we had the opening weekend of the Development Tour, with Ted Evetts getting all the cake, doing a double, Nathan Rafferty and Ryan Meikle getting the other two. These are all somewhat familiar names, Evetts having played in the worlds on a couple of occasions already and Rafferty being heavily hyped even before he took Peter Wright out of the UK Open last year. Meikle's maybe not quite so well known to casuals, but like Rafferty he reached the second money round of last year's UK Open and has claimed his third Development Tour title, question is when he'll push on in the senior ranks, having been a tour card holder for four years now, having some OK runs but being a bit inconsistent.

Obviously this puts Evetts and Rafferty (who Ted beat in the first final) in pole position for worlds qualification if they keep the same two spots, Evetts would obviously be looking to get in through the Pro Tour, but having a backup route is always nice. Andrew Davidson's had a decent start as well, someone who's not as obvious a name but he's made the UK Open twice through amateur qualifiers already (and cashed it) so clearly has something about him, while further down it's a mix of known and unknown players, Keane Barry having three good runs being particularly notable.

Nordic events went on, Razma doing the most damage with a win and a final, Dennis Nilsson getting the other win and Labanauskas getting the other final, there were also Euro Tour qualifiers there with Nilsson bagging a couple of spots, Daniel Larsson got one, Cor Dekker (Norwegian who we've seen in the World Cup previously) another and Teuvo Haverinen from Finland getting the last spot to Denmark. Four different players got spots from the Eastern European qualifiers, Koltsov we know, Szekely's a Hungarian making his debut in Zwolle, Kciuk we know a bit about has made one, and finally Pero Ljubic will debut in Sindelfingen. Quite a few new names, which'll be fun to see how they do.

We're back with Pro Tour action next weekend, then the European Tour kicks off the weekend after that.

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Mervyn you require 80

So, as Mervyn King's re-established his status as the greatest of all time following his victory over Michael van Gerwen at the UK Open, let's take a look at one of his largest quirks, namely to go sixteens when requiring 80.

Now if the opponent is not on a finish, or is on a finish but one he's not likely to get very often, I've got zero problem with this - set up the shot on a favourite double if you don't kill it. Here we're going to consider the case where the opponent is in range and we want to maximise our chances of going out.

Conventional logic says to go 20's on 80, because you can still leave yourself a dart at a double if you hit two singles. There is, of course, an argument to go tops-tops straight off the bat, but we'll leave that another day, this is about Mervyn and if he's not wanting to go tops once, he sure as hell isn't going to want to do it twice. One would think that you're more likely to go out this way as a result, but that's assuming that you're equally good at all sections of the board. Looking back at Carl Fletcher's stats from before the worlds, Mervyn was hitting tops 35% of the time and D16 39% of the time, but is that going to be enough to justify a different route?

Let's make some assumptions - let's assume Mervyn hits T20 40% of the time - that's probably a bit more than he actually hits it (ochepedia's stat bundle from before the worlds reckoned he was hitting 37% on stage), but let's make it a nice round number that's in the ballpark of being right, Mervyn does tend to hit a lot of maximums, at least it feels like he does, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Let's also assume that he hits T16 the same percentage of the time - now clearly people don't go for this target anywhere near as often as T20, but it seems fair to do so, again from ochepedia's stats, Mervyn hits T19 within 1% as often as T20 and that's in the same area, and the whole premise is that King likes the bottom left quarter of the board.

Now we've got two more issues that we need to resolve. Firstly, the route we take is not necessarily going to have us going for tops or D16 exclusively - if we go the 20's route then we end up on D10 if we hit first dart and can end up on D5 if we shank inside, and if we go the 16's route, hit, then miss inside, we end up on D8. I think it's fair to group these as "good" doubles and "bad" doubles - after all, 16's and 8's are next door, 20's and 5's are the same, 10's is a bit different and is the same height as the double we like, but let's play along with it.

Secondly, what the hell do we do if we miss the first dart going 16's? There's two main choices - either we go for 14 to leave the option of the bull (let's assume King hits the bull 1 in 4, more or less what ochepedia's stats say), or we go double double on 16. I think we need to treat these as different cases when comparing, and treat double 11 as a "good" double if we hit T14, as it's the same quadrant of the board. Let's not even consider just going for the big number to be sure of a shot at bull, or even going close to the double to have an outside shot of setting up D18 instead.

We'll also assume that we don't miss big numbers. If we go 20s, our chances are:

P(20out) = 0.4*(b+(b*(1-b))) + 0.6*b

i.e. the 40% of the time we hit the treble, we need to multiply that by the times we hit first dart plus the times we miss first dart multiplied by hitting second dart, and then for the 60% of the times we miss the treble, we assume we hit fat 20 all the time, and just multiply that by the times we hit a double.

Next, if we go 16s and bail out to the bull, we have this scenario:

P(16bullout) = 0.4*(g+(g*(1-g))) + 0.6*0.4*g + 0.6*0.6*0.25

The first part of the equation is the same, i.e. we hit and then either hit the double, or miss and hit, then it's a little different - the second part of the equation is the 16-T14-D11 out, the final part is the 16-14-bull route.

Finally, if we go 16s and try to double-double:

P(16doubledoubleout) = 0.4*(g+(g*(1-g))) + 0.6*g*g

First part is logically exactly the same, the second part should be intuitive - we miss the treble 60% of the time, then hit the good double twice.

So which is better, and where's the break even point? Let's plot some graphs:

The x-axis is the percentage of time we hit on our chosen double group, be it D20/D10/D5 or D16/D8/D11. The y-axis is the percentage of time we check out.

The purple line is our 20's route. The black line is our 16's double-double route, the green line is our 16's bull out route.

Now note obviously the green line has a non-zero checkout chance if we can't hit a double ever, as the one in four shot of hitting the bull is hard coded into the formula - similarly if we never miss a double, we still don't check out every time, due to the chances of us ending up on the bull and missing.

As we'd expect, going 20's checks us out more often if the chances of us hitting any sort of double are any kind of reasonable figure, but it's not by that much, oddly enough - if we do hit double 16 as often as we think Mervyn does, say 40% of the time, we still need to hit tops about 36% of the time to go out for the 20's route to be more profitable, if we go the bull route - which is looks like we should do up until the point where we're inhumanly good on D16. If you think about it, it somewhat makes sense to go the bull route - 40% of the time we hit T14 and end up on a good double anyway, the rest of the time we still have a 25% shot of hitting the bull, so we need to have quite a large percentage of hits to justify going for it twice given the additional downside of having no shot if we miss the first time. So, if our simplifications aren't throwing things off, and the figures on Mervyn's D16 and D20 shooting are accurate, it's no more than a one or two legs out of 100 difference by going that route. Less than you thought I guess.

I've updated the second and third division darts tables - there's not been many games played but the second division's still real tight with only de Zwaan off to a bad start with a couple of 6-4 losses, while Schindler and Dobey are down early in division three with Dimitri opening up a big early lead - Aspinall's played the most, but as it's mostly been against Lennon it's not going to count for many points at all.

Sunday 3 March 2019

UK Open aftermath

Huge fucking congratulations to Nathan Aspinall, while it's a touch annoying that I couldn't get paid on my Price bets (greened it out before the semi final so it wasn't a total loss), as a Stockport lad I'm so pleased he's managed to back up the worlds semi and claim a major title. I'm also super chuffed for Cross, he's had some doubters and while he didn't bring it in the final (neither did to be fair), it should at least keep some people quiet for a bit. He's been playing good darts.

New FRH rankings:

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

Only the people that went deep really moved, there's not enough money in this event to shift anything lower down, all the quarter final losers were well down the rankings. Phil's finally out of the top 20, Beaton rises to 24, Payne is up to 46, Smith is 57 and Stevenson is 61.

My plan for this week is to update the Second/Third Division Darts on Tuesday when I've got a day off, other than that, any weird stats based things you want me to take a poke at? Leave me a comment.

Quick projections

Price v Aspinall - Price 67/33 year long, Price 80/20 worlds onwards, Price 69/31 on UK Open stats

Cross v Smith - Smith 53/47 year long, Cross 58/42 worlds onwards, Smith 54/46 on UK Open stats

Potential finals:

Price v Smith - Smith 54/46 year long, Price 66/34 worlds onwards, Price 74/26 on UK Open stats

Price v Cross - Cross 51/49 year long, Price 59/41 worlds onwards, Price 76/24 on UK Open stats

Aspinall v Smith - Smith 72/28 year long, Smith 67/33 worlds onwards, Aspinall 54/46 on UK Open stats

Aspinall v Cross - Cross 69/31 year long, Cross 73/27 worlds onwards, Aspinall 59/41 on UK Open stats

So based on that, I think I'll be letting my Price outright bets ride

Edit @1658 - first semi final lines I've seen have Smith a marginal favourite and Price at 2/5, those look good based on the largest and smallest samples so no bets. If you want to consider the worlds plus 2019 sample you might find value, but I won't be betting based on those

UK Open quarter finals

And then there were six... with Chizzy and Wade falling, which was a bit of a surprise, certainly for Dave, it's looking very much like a three horse race between Price, Cross and Michael Smith, all of whom have managed to avoid each other, drawing Stevenson, Payne and Beaton respectively, Nathan Aspinall and Ross Smith drawing each other in the one remaining quarter final. Can anyone cause an upset? Who'll come through the Aspinall/Smith game and go within one match of the Grand Slam? Let's take a look.

First game appears to be Cross/Payne, I guess this is being played in order of the draw? Cross was in a little bit of a hole against Reyes early on, but was able to claw it back with solid legs, not hitting the heights he did in either of his previous games, but it was enough to put away the Spaniard, while Payne was able to get an early lead against Whitlock, but Simon to his credit kept pulling it back as Payne kept re-establishing it, getting all the way to 7-7 before Payne pulled away. Probably Payne's worst game, but not by much (at least since he played Bain anyway), he's been pretty consistent throughout. Can't see how Josh wins this one. I'm reading 90/10 on a worlds onwards sample, on a full sample it's a little bit more than 3-1 in Cross's favour, which is what the line indicates, we've got enough legs now I think where we can project based on just the UK Open results as well, Cross is favoured 70/30 on that, so with the line as it is I'm not betting this one.

Smith/Beaton is next, Michael easily dispatching Jermaine Wattimena in a dominating display, while the Beaton game against Dimitri was level at the final break, then Beaton was able to nick a break and just about hold on. Beaton's playing well enough in this tournament that based just on this tournament, he nearly has a 40% chance to claim the match, but if we expand the samples, Smith's nearly a 3-1 favourite from the worlds onwards, and a little less favoured but still over 70% over the last twelve months. With Smith at 1/4 and Beaton 10/3, the question is if we can justify yet another bet on Steve. I'm not so sure, I don't know how long he can sustain playing at a level that'll make the bet profitable, and if we consider their normal games, I don't think there's enough of an edge. Smith's surgery issue seems a non-issue so I'll just move on.

Stevenson/Price is third, Gerwyn looking extremely comfortable and consistent against Ratajski which could very easily have been a banana skin, while Simon came from behind against Chizzy, winning from behind as he hit a string of good legs, but only getting them himself as Chisnall looked like he missed doubles. Gerwyn is, as you would expect, a prohibitive favourite, around the same line as Smith's game if not even shorter, and over the course of the last twelve months, that's more or less exactly where I'd expect the line to be - Gerwyn having nearly 80% win chances. Since the worlds, it's a different story - Price being expected to win over 96% of the time, with a similar outcome just on this tournament. There's a couple of places offering a good line so 1u Price 1/4, Stevenson's had a fun run but it ends here, Price is simply playing too well for Stevenson to get close to winning ten legs.

This leaves Nathan Aspinall against Ross Smith, to complete the semi final lineup and effectively be the wildcard at that stage. Aspinall came from a bit of a hole to beat Lennon in what wasn't a great match, while Smith took out James Wade with a string of good legs early to open up a 7-3 lead, slotting in a couple of five visit kills to ice the game when Wade threatened a comeback having pulled it back to 8-7 down. This is the only close line, with the markets thinking Aspinall has around a 60% shot, maybe a touch more - is this fair? He's outperforming that line a lot in this event, the single event projections saying better than 80/20. From the worlds onwards it's around 2-1 in favour of Aspinall. Now over the last twelve months, it's a lot closer, 56/44 in favour of Nathan, but I think this is a spot where we should lean more towards the newer samples - Aspinall has the confidence of having made the world semi finals and has done the business at this level of a TV major before. 0.25u Aspinall 8/13, I think he takes this home, bear in mind that my data model typically loves Ross Smith, so if it's the case that it has been overrating Smith all along, then this actually becomes an even clearer bet.

I probably will need to be very quick for the semis and finals so keep an eye out after the Everton game is finished.

Saturday 2 March 2019

UK Open round 6

Starting to sort out the wheat from the chaff now, other than Suljovic, who didn't exactly lose to a bad player, and Gurney, who didn't exactly lose to a bad player either, we've had no real major casualties, and the draw for the last sixteen looks like that'll continue to be the case. I said in an off the cuff remark on Twitter that it looks like the sort of draw you'd make if you wanted to rig it to get all the good players through. Only two of the top 8 remaining players in terms of FRH rankings, and it's Smith against Wattimena, Wattimena being the eighth player in, and the two from outside the top 8 are, er, Beaton and van den Bergh, number 9 against number 10. You've put Smith against Wattimena to try to get rid of Jermaine, you've put the most in form player left against the most dangerous player left from the bottom half, two contenders face each other then you've given Cross, Wade, Whitlock and Chisnall lay ups. As such, it's not that interesting an evening session and I'll be watching the Clasico instead, but first, do we have any betting opportunities to tack on to today's winning day (only just, as it needed Dimitri to claw it back, but hey, we deserved it after Clemens blew a two break lead)?

Projections are here:

Oddschecker's not live yet, so I'll look at 365, Hills, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power. Starting on board 2 first, Aspinall plays Lennon with Nathan pricing at around 4/7, as such, I won't be betting, Nathan's doing slightly better of late, but it's not by much, and the larger sample isn't helping matters. Chizzy/Stevenson's next and we're seeing Dave at around 1/4, 2/9, that sort of price. That's roughly where I have it, I'm not feeling Stevenson's chances of pulling off another victory but there's enough minor doubt not to lump on Dave. Beaton/DvdB is the next one up, and we're being offered good odds on Steve. Very, very good odds - 0.25u Beaton 21/10, Steve's played better than Dimitri the last two rounds, has taken out a better calibre of player across the two ronds, projects as the favourite on 2019 stats and certainly isn't a 2-1 dog over all stats. Finally it's Whitlock/Payne with it being close as damnit to a flip in the markets, Simon having the tiny edge. Simon was gifted three junk legs for the second game in a row, which doesn't seem sustainable, Payne's had a second straight game where he's shown no signs of any sort of leg whatsoever that'd let Whitlock off the hook. 0.25u Payne evs.

Main board starts with Wade/Ross Smith, Wade being 1/3, slightly shorter in places. This isn't quite giving us the odds I'd want over the recent sample, Ross being up at around 9/4, 12/5, plus we have the issue that it's exactly the sort of tournament that Wade clears up when the big guns drop early. We also have that Smith is 0-6 and has lost on TV twice to Wade in recent memory, which doesn't bode well. Next it's Ratajski against Price, Gerwyn had the performance of the day and needed it against Hughes, hitting two 167's including a match winner, the draws don't get much easier, even if he is avoiding the huge names. Market has Price 1/2, maybe a little shorter, on current form that might be slight value but I think Ratajski has the sort of game that'll hang around and certainly not be put off by any antics - although Price has seemed more sedate this weekend. So I'll pass and move on to Smith against Wattimena - Michael's 1/3, even shorter in spots. Now Smith's had to pop to get his medical issue retreated after his tight victory over Gurney, I wonder if it'll put any additional fatigue on him. Wattimena at 11/4 isn't quite enough to put him over, although he was a lot better today than he was yesterday. Lastly it's Cross/Reyes in a rerun from here in November, where Reyes won, but also in a rerun from the worlds, which was a whole different story. Cross is correctly a prohibitive favourite, 1/5 being a best price isn't really of interest, that's bang on the full year sample. No problem with people putting it in accas, given it's not a bad price and Reyes hasn't really been playing that brilliantly to get this far, I just don't see enough of an edge to start punting at that sort of odds on price.

So just the two bets then, tomorrow might be more interesting.

UK Open day 1 roundup, round 5 projections bets

Big post. What a day that was. van Gerwen gone. Anderson gone. Durrant gone. Wright gone. Adie gone. Barney gone, and probably gone from our screens in ranking events for good. A bunch of huge checkouts, Jamie Lewis 161 for the match at 9-9 with Adie waiting on the same was special.

Only real thing we didn't have was any unknowns making it super deep, with only Scott Taylor making the money (and he made it to the second money round), but if you will make the field stupidly stronger for them to go and halve the number of Rileys qualifiers in the process, then that will be one side effect, even if a large chunk of the Rileys qualifiers aren't exactly amateurs and are playing in the Challenge Tour, playing at Lakeside etc.

A couple of names that you'd have thought would get into the round 4 hat didn't - Dobey was the big one but he got a quietly nasty draw, Noppert was comical, obviously Duzza was the huge name, but Carlin's no mug.

So now we're left with 32, and here's how I see the projections:

There's a few standout games. Smith/Gurney should obviously be spectacular, Price against Hughes puts two red hot players against each other. There's a few others that I'd be really interested in watching - Clayton/Ratajski will be one of those games which'll be quietly really high quality, probably be no wider a result than 10-7 either way with the vast majority of legs going in fifteen darts or less. Wattimena/Woodhouse could be deceptively good and deceptively close, people are starting to pick up on Jermaine, and him doing a number on de Zwaan yesterday will certainly pique attention, but Luke's a much better player than his ranking suggests. Lewis/Payne might not be too bad either.

So to the bets, and it's not quite the organised chaos that day one is (I say organised, it was enough chaos for Cameron Menzies to comically get timed out), and the overnight break allows oddschecker to get itself sorted nicely. Let's take a look:

Cross/King - Nothing here. Market has it 75/25. Cross played very, very well and nobody noticed, most twelve darters of anybody in round four. King obviously played well, there's always a risk of after the lord mayor's show-itis, don't think I'll pick anything here.

Smith/Gurney - That's quite the projection. Gurney wasn't troubled yesterday and didn't play well at all, Smith raced to a lead and then held it pretty solidly. No real signs of any injury issue. 0.25u Smith 4/5, just cautious in case anything flares up, but this is projecting really quite one sided.

Price/Hughes - No bet, the market rightly has this quite close based on Hughes' recent form, and in spite of Price's recent form, 8/13 looks in the right ballpark. I'd chuck out the twelve month figure since Hughes didn't play much in my database in 2018 at all, seeing Price around 60% doesn't offer anything with where the market it.

Wade/Hopp - Thought there might have been a bit more of a tempting line on Hopp than 13/8. I guess not. Quietly good game, you might have expected him to beat Nentjes, maybe easily, but three twelve darters and 7/10 in fifteen is quality stuff from the German. Wade put in a Wade-like performance against an underpar James Wilson, but may need to improve or get caught out.

Suljovic/van den Bergh - Is it the time for Dimitri to step up and go deep in a ranking major again? Possibly. 0.25u van den Bergh 13/8 is too tempting with me barely being able to split them, Suljovic played great against Wright, DvdB the same in round 3, was a bit below par against Evans but I suspect that was Ricky dragging him down a bit and won't be repeated.

Whitlock/Clemens - 0.25u Clemens 13/10, just laying Whitlock here, his game against Dekker was one sided but Jan didn't show, if Jan takes all the 19+ darters Whitlock won it's Whitlock up 7-6 right now, while Clemens was unspectacular but extremely professional against van de Pas.

Chisnall/Schindler - Market's favouring Chizzy just about right here. He played well, especially towards the end of the match with Humphries, he's got a title in the bank this year, and Schindler really wasn't great against Hunt, game was extremely scrappy. 1/3 seems fine here, can't really justify snapping off 11/4 Schindler in the circumstances.

Clayton/Ratajski - Ultra even match. Next to nothing to separate them. Bookmakers agree. Nothing here, going the over on total legs could be a great play if you simply need more action.

Aspinall/Razma - Line's about right if you look at the recent sample with Aspinall in at 4/11. Nothing here, but after Nathan played great in round 3, he didn't play badly against Kist in round 4, Christian just brought the goods and forced a twelve darter in the decider for Nathan to break. No real Madars value if you're considering the larger sample I don't think, Nathan's playing too well and Madars' against Klaasen was a textbook Jelle match, close early, Klaasen goes down a break and then collapses. Razma didn't even have to play well from that point, and he didn't.

West/Smith - 60/40 line in the market for this one. Seems fair enough if you ask me. West's got that tiny bit extra explosive power that might nick him the one break that could decide this.

Wattimena/Woodhouse - Market sees this as 65/35 Jermaine. Over the larger sample this seems fine, but Luke's played some very good stuff recently, and yesterday as well, Jermaine rolled de Zwaan but didn't need to work to do so, only getting three legs in par, so 0.25u Woodhouse 7/4, why not.

Beaton/Brown - This seems far too close. Brown's maddeningly inconsistent, Beaton can often be the same, but Steve's taken Ando out and played good darts in doing so. Keegan's probably been playing some of his better stuff this year in Minehead, but I've got to go with a bit of 0.25u Beaton 10/11, it's too hard to pass that up in fear of Keegan continuing to play as he has done.

Lewis/Payne - Another one that you can't put a cigarette paper between, bookies equally have it even (there does look to be a minor arb if you fancy that), Jamie got the bigger scalp and came through a good test, but Payne's margin of victory looked very impressive, and the underlying numbers look fine. Should be very close - double up on the Clayton match on over legs played?

Huybrechts/Stevenson - Close on the season long stats, Kim having a bit of an edge but nothing much in the 2019 season stats. Market is 60/40 so I don't think I'll be betting here, it's a good spot for Kim to make inroads in a major for the first time since forever, Simon's got the big win over Barney but maybe he relaxes?

Lennon/Mansell - All Irish affair here, Mickey scraping through a slugfest with Scott Taylor in a decider, while Lennon easily swatted aside the challenge of Bunting. Mickey surprised us by beating Noppert but I can't see a repeat, 0.25u Lennon 8/15, primarily on recent form, if a larger sample was in Steve's favour I might have upped the stake.

Reyes/North - Last game, and like many previously it's rated quite close by both my projections and the markets. Neither are in great form, neither stand out, looks to be hidden away last game on board four for a reason.

Back after round 5's done with more stuff.