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.

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