Saturday 29 June 2019

Prague day 2 aftermath - Seedmageddon

I think Burton mentioned on Twitter that we'd equalled the record number of seeds that have gone out of a Euro Tour event at the first hurdle, I can't remember whether that was before or after the Adrian Lewis match, but it was certainly before the Michael Smith match - in any case, we've lost twelve of them! Only Ian White, Simon Whitlock (who got a huge bit of luck against Justin Pipe, with a dart in the treble falling out as part of a 130 out attempt in the decider), Gerwyn Price (who hit a nine darter that I didn't see, thanks bet365 for switching to that rounders fest at West Ham's ground after dart seven) and Mensur Suljovic survived, so yes, that means we did hit on both of our long shot punts, correctly pinning Gilding over Aspinall and also pinning Keegan Brown over Michael van Gerwen for the second time this season. Sadly Ian White winning in a deciding leg recently meant casuals didn't completely lose their shit, but we'll still take it.

On the other bets, obviously the Pipe one we were a bit unlucky with, Price got home, although it was looking decidedly ropey at 3-0 to Duzza, the ultimate game of two halves, Yozza whitewashed Lewis and Hendo got whitewashed, don't know if it was the heat or something mental against Suljovic, but he certainly wasn't himself. Finally we got decent value out of Willie O'Connor, but at 4-4 on throw, after grinding back into the game from a 4-1 hole, he wired the bull to go 5-4 up and that was that, damnit.

Other games we saw - Wattimena got past Jonny Clayton, the Ferret seemingly having real problems hitting the outer ring, Noppert was a bit lucky to get past Webster but got over the line as, like O'Connor, Webster missed darts at double at four a piece, Ron Meulenkamp was able to outduel Steve Beaton, getting a break in leg one and never letting it go, Mervyn King was too good for James Wade, just outscoring the Machine with neither missing much at double, Ted Evetts was at his explosive best to outclass Ricky Evans, Chris Dobey was able to power away from Joe Cullen in the mid stages of the game to advance, Stephen Bunting prevailed in a swingy match against Peter Wright with a lot of breaks, and to end the evening session, Michael Smith nearly pulled off a huge comeback against Corey Cadby, coming from 5-1 down to force a decider before Corey produced a very solid fourteen dart leg to hold and advance to Sunday.

The upshot of the Adie/Webster results is we know much of the seedings for the Matchplay, it'll be:

Wade/Suljovic (in some order)
Price/White or Whitlock
Wright/White or Whitlock

Whitlock will get Wright unless he binks the title, which is more or less equivalent to waying that he'll play Wright. Whether Wade or Suljovic is 8 or 9 is still undecided but completely irrelevant.

Tomorrow we've got Brown/Noppert, Suljovic/Evetts, Bunting/Dobey then Gurney/Wattimena in the top half, and White/Gilding, Hughes/Meulenkamp, King/Cadby and Price/Whitlock in the bottom half. That top half looks extremely open, while the bottom half is arguably stronger with all of White, Hughes and Price scoring higher per turn than anyone in the top half. Projections give it as Noppert 55%, Suljovic 61%, Dobey 52%, Wattimena 52%, White 64%, Hughes 68%, Cadby 54% and Price 81% to make the quarters, so, Gerwyn Price aside, nobody is really a prohibitive favourite in any of the games and we'll wait and see if the markets disagree with what we're thinking enough to start punting more cash. Check back tomorrow morning, I would expect an update before the quarter finals as well given it's not football season and I don't have much planned tomorrow.

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