Tuesday, 17 September 2019

There's a race on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 16 September 2019

The perfect European Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Riesa review

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Richard North is beginning to annoy me now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riesa last 16 bets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Riesa day 1 results, day 2 bets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Riesa round 1 bets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riesa preview

Qualifiers are done already! We had six (yes, six!) home nation qualifiers, many of whom I know nothing about, this could be fun, thanks to van Gerwen and Chisnall withdrawing. Dave's an odd one given he appeared in form in midweek, and a second one of these might be needed to make the Grand Slam in some permutations, but hey, here we are. Let's look at the draw:

Gurney v Mansell/Noppert - Beaton v Woodhouse/Bilderl

Tricky section to call. The Gurney side appears clearly stronger, we talked a bit about how Noppert's having a good season a couple of posts ago, Daryl's obviously up there with the best in the world, while if Mansell shows up he certainly has the game to pressure. The other half also looks interesting - Manfred Bilderl isn't a complete unknown, but is making only a second appearance on the European Tour after a first round defeat nearly two years ago to Jonny Clayton. He did at least beat Horvat and Kurz averaging 88 in both games, but Woodhouse, for whom it's an important weekend for worlds qualification, should have too much class, and isn't tha far behind Beaton in terms of quality, although Steve should kick off the favourite.

Ratajski v de Decker/Rosenauer - Durrant v Richardson/Poge

Lot of qualifiers from today here. Two face off for the right to face Ratajski, who ought not to have too much trouble with either - de Decker we know more about as he's come through these qualifiers plenty of time, and ought to have an edge over the veteran Rosenauer, making his third appearance of the season. Michael did at least run Durrant fairly close in one of those. Speaking of Durrant, you'd have to think James Richardson will face him, and off of a good midweek, James might be playing well enough to cause Glen some issues. Mike Poge's a new name to me, he did play Q-School but wasn't anywhere near at all, it's his debut, and not having cracked 80 in today's qualifier I can't see it being a winning debut.

Aspinall v Jentschke/Pipe - Evans v Hunt/van den Bergh

Another debutant here in Christopher Jentschke, so completely unknown he's not even on dartsdatabase, and shows up no results on the internet at all. Got to be some random local Sachsen-based player? In any case, Pipe should have no issues unless Christian can produce the 96 average that he did in his first game today. Pipe's having an understated solid season, and while not quite on Aspinall's level, has certainly shown enough this year that there's glimpses of his best game - which could give Nathan some issues. The other section's full of exciting young talent - Ricky's been doing work in these all year, Dimitri's finally getting the hang of the senior tour, and Adam Hunt is dangerous on his day, he's just not having a great 2019 at all.

Price v Anderson/Monk - de Zwaan v Murnan/Klaasen

The defending champ's now the number 2 seed and does not have a nice draw, whoever he gets. Kyle, as I've said repeatedly, has been playing excellent darts all year and has not got the rewards for it, and certainly has the peak game to challenge Gerwyn, while Monk is having his best season in years, scoring over 90 per turn season long and has got enough results that even one win here could get him very close to sealing a World Championship return. The other half looks like the second round will be an all Dutch showdown - Jelle's been slowly picking his game back up, and doesn't look like an automatic "play well for four legs then fall apart" as he was for a few months. Murnan's not done much of anything since regaining his card and I can't see him preventing Klaasen taking on de Zwaan, who should have enough to take out the former Lakeside champ, but cannot take any liberties at all here.

Wright v Edhouse/Venken - Suljovic v Ward/Robinson

It's a return to the PDC stage for Davyd Venken, having last played in the Netherlands in 2015! His scoring really ramped up in the qualifier, ending with a 103 clip over Wilco Vermeulen to get here - do that and Ritchie Edhouse, who definitely needs a win to help his worlds quest, may not have things all his own way. Peter ought to be strongly favoured and shouldn't make a mess of things, but either opponent does have the peak to make in interesting. Couple of younger players next for the right to play Mensur, Harry Ward's made a name for himself after getting his tour card by winning a Pro Tour event, so should be a solid favourite over Robinson, still only 27 himself despite having been around for a decade or so. Fair to say Reece hasn't had a great season and it's hard to see him getting home here. While Ward has a title, his overall scoring shouldn't be enough to give Suljovic any problems, but he is a bit streaky so if he turns up then anything can happen.

Lewis v O'Connor/van de Pas - Clayton v Boulton/Siepmann

Tough draw for Adie. I think the secret is pretty much out with O'Connor now, their stats are fairly similar, so it could be tight if Willie can get past Benito van de Pas, who hasn't kicked on at all since his World Championship run, which looks like it's only postponed a real knife fight to save his card for twelve months. Clayton doesn't have a bad draw - Siepmann's made it into the field for a second week in a row, he's got an easier opponent than Clemens last week, but not by that much, Boulton's got very respectable season long scoring of 89, which should be enough to get through to face the Ferret, but probably not enough to actually win.

Cullen v van Baelen/Luckow - Cross v Henderson/Claydon

Joe's got a nice start to kick things off in his first event as a Euro Tour winner - Luckow is yet another debutant who was mid-70's in every game, so it's not a bad draw for van Baelen, who's almost certainly losing his card but at least has managed to qualify - he'd failed every time so far. Seems an obvious tour card holder wins then loses to the seed. Cross will be looking to finally win one of these - he's rightly the favourite and should go into every match as such, although against Hendo he might not have a completely straight forward game. Claydon is here for a second weekend in a row, he didn't make much of an impression last week and I can't see John being troubled tomorrow.

White v North/Koltsov - Hughes v Larsson/West

Both sections here seem similar - the seed is having a great season, and they'll play someone who's a card holder having a disappointing season, or a regional qualifier. Can't see White not advancing past either North or Koltsov, Richard's been out of sorts all year and is scoring down in the sub-85 regions, the Russian will be thinking this is one he should win, and I'm thinking the same. West is mostly just disappointing on results, his scoring is still above 90, but turning that into cash money has been the issue and missing the Matchplay must have hurt. Daniel Larsson has been a bit under the radar this year, and ran into an on-fire Durrant in his only prior appearance this season in Prague, and I don't think he has the game to advance assuming West has anything like his B or C games, and doesn't miss clumps of doubles and starts tilting, as sometimes happens.

I wouldn't think it'd take too long for lines to get up, so check back later this evening for recommended plays.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

PC24 - that went well

All that expert analysis turned out to be not worth a great deal after van Gerwen opted to withdraw, which messed with every single seeding and throwing the draw into complete chaos, Clayton and Noppert being thrown onto the same board, and simple general failures as nobody I was on won their board. Oh well, them's the breaks, nobody's going to nail a three figure underdog every tournament. Wade got his 4368th tournament win in the last year, with Chizzy getting the runners up spot. Jamie Hughes had a nice run, as did Scott Taylor, who was apparently the late replacement for MvG, which is surely the best example of taking advantage of a chance we've seen since, ooh, Denmark 92? I think he's up over 11k now, still a good 4k back of the worlds, but if he can force his way into the last few PC events, then who knows? Hendo hit a nine, which was nice, Justin Pipe had another solid event reaching the quarters, and surprise board wins for Devon Petersen (on White and de Sousa's board) and Benito van de Pas (who was on Smith's board, but didn't even have to do a thing as Zoran Lerchbacher did for him).

New FRH rankings:

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

Wade knocks Ando out of the top five thanks to his win, and Price is less than 2k behind Gary as well. Wright's semi final yesterday helps him edge above Aspinall (for now), while a pair of quarters for Wattimena sees him above Hopp. Ratajski is within 1200 points of the top 20.

Lower down, Hendo is back above 100k points and edges over Noppert to 29th, Hughes' semi sees him climb a spot to 39, de Sousa is just a couple of hundred points out of the top 60, while Scott Taylor's back in the top 90, but still nearly 15k points from being the highest ranked Taylor in the rankings.

Check back tomorrow for early European Tour analysis as they head to Riesa, the Rotherham of Germany (seriously, they are twinned, although Rotherham comes out worse in that comparison).

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

PC24 - how do we pick the value

Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have noticed me posting up six names that I'd gone on each way today, which included Gerwyn Price at 25/1 and Jose de Sousa at 150/1, who happened to be the finalists. How do we pin this sort of thing? If you recall just over a couple of months ago, I was able to get both the finalists in the one Ratajski won, so there's got to be some sort of art to it, so let's try and put some sort of science to it. Let's export from my database for the last six months (we'll say after the UK Open) after sorting by points per turn, then let's do the same for the last three months (not that it's in my database, but we'll say after the World Cup). Let's say whoever's top gets 1 point, second gets two, and then we get down to Michael Barnard and Terry Temple at 128 in the lists (hey, Barnard won a game today!). Add the two together, sort by that ascending, copy the odds in (I've just pasted from 365 so better might be available elsewhere), and see what things look like. It's a bit like this for tomorrow:

You can kind of see why I went for Price, obviously his odds have shrunk after today, and then you can definitely see why I went for de Sousa, whose odds have basically halved in the space of a few hours. I'd probably ignore Price tomorrow given the odds have shrunk, and maybe look at White instead at a nice price of 28's, Ratajski's about the same, while de Sousa still has to be tempting even at the new reduced odds. Just look at who has better odds than people around them and go with it - Noppert has to be a tempter, you can see why I went for Clayton and Clemens, maybe I shouldn't have gone for Dobey today but what the heck, Chris is due.

The one other thing that we should try to look for is who's in a decent section of the draw. Looking at Burton on Twitter, MvG is obviously seeded 1, Wright is 6 and Cross is 14. There's then a bit of a drop, but with Wright and Cross in the same quarter of the draw and scheduled to meet at the quarter final stage, if you're looking at picking someone who's seeded, you want to avoid the 3/11/19/22/27/30 like the plague, as they'll have to go through both Wright and Cross, which I'd rather avoid, thank you. So no Price (that makes the quarter even harder to get three of the top four), no Durrant (jesus), Hughes, Dobey, Hopp or DvdB. Let's not go there at all. de Sousa is number 33 - so if anyone withdraws late, he'd slot into the van Gerwen section, so let's not try that.

White? Clemens isn't ideal, Smith or de Zwaan then Gurney/Lewis/Noppert/VvdV, so maybe we should look at the Chisnall section. It's looking like Chizzy/King, Wattimena/Bunting, Wade/Hendo and Clayton/Beaton. That isn't anywhere near as bad. Maybe Jermaine is worth a stab, he's been knocking on the door, 80's isn't horrible, but I think I'd stick with Clayton at a longer price as I did today.

So let's go with:

White (28/1) - I don't particularly envy his run out, but he's very, very good, and if he can punch through to the quarters he's got to be extremely live to make the final.
Ratajski (33/1) - he's got a decent run to the quarters, then he'd need to face MvG but he's definitely live for that, in some ways it's better to face sooner rather than later, MvG could easily come unstuck against Aspinall in any case.
Noppert (80/1) - I don't think he truly needs to fear Adie in a board final, Gurney isn't the worst last 16 opponent, the quarters might be hard with the White section having a few decent names, but he wouldn't need to up his game that much.
Clayton (100/1) - if he can get through Beaton, and then Wade, he'll have his game flowing by that stage, Chizzy could easily be pressured and then who knows.

Monday, 9 September 2019

2020 vision

While we wait to see who's entered Gib, there's actually something to talk about as they've announced the 2020 schedule, and it pretty much sucks. Let's start by looking at the Euro Tour:

It's pretty uninspiring. Down one event from last year, still hugely German-dominated (while nowhere near as bad as the peak-Deutschland we had in 2017, it's still more than half the events), the Netherlands surely warrants a return to two events given the size of darts in the country (I didn't actually notice them drop to one this year to be honest, but still), we still have an event in Gib as opposed to the peninsula in general, seemingly solely to satisfy sponsor demands, what appeared to be well received events in Denmark and the Czech Republic have been binned off to add one in Hungary, home of Janos Vegso and, er, Pal Szekely and, er, er, no wait it's gone. Not the most inspiring of selections, if you're not doing Spain then surely you'd have a poke at Poland or another one of the Scandi countries where there's at least some darting pedigree or great growth. Or Ireland even, I know they have the Grand Prix but there's so much emerging talent over there that giving them one shot wouldn't be a terrible idea?

Sure, they might be able to address something with the as yet undecided twelfth spot, but I won't hold my breath. Elsewhere, they still persist in holding the Masters despite nobody giving a fuck about it, they've abandoned non-Wigan events on the Dev Tour apart from the one weekend in Hildesheim, the Challenge Tour is also always in Wigan apart from one weekend in Milton Keynes, they've expanded the main tour to Europe a little bit more with two pairs of events in Hildesheim, up from one, and one pair in whatever a Leeuwarden is, apparently it's somewhere near Groningen, and in other changes they've brought the World Series finals forward a bit and synchronised the two Q-School events, which makes a lot of sense, at least so there's no clash with Lakeside Indigo whatsoever.

Maybe I can get to one of the Euro Tours this year. Leverkusen is nicely poised in the international break, but that looks to be about it logistically unless I tried to pin down the Dutch event. We'll see nearer the time I guess.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

ET11 round up - van Gerwen loses two finals in a row, wait, what?

Er, yeah, didn't see Joe Cullen winning that. Not at all, but the quality of darts he's played across today is hard to argue against. It's been a long time coming, and it looked like it might have taken quite a bit more time, but he's got over the line now. God knows what that does to the Grand Slam equations, I'd assume he's behind the others that have just one Euro Tour win (except Hughes), but it's too late in the evening to actually do the maths on that one.

Not a huge amount of surprises earlier in the day, I commented on Clayton getting past Wade earlier, so let's kick on to the new FRH rankings:

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

Ratajski is now less than 1500 points behind King (although still behind Webster) and could easily push into the top 20 following the Players Championship double header in midweek. Durrant reaches #24, O'Connor holds on to a place in the top 40, closely pursued by Jamie Hughes, and Wayne Jones rejoins the top 80. It was mostly a chalky weekend outside of Cullen's run, so not massive movement was expected.

Only two Euro Tours left to go before the cutoff, I might try to look at permutations tomorrow but with there being Players Championship events midweek I might not find the time to, and it may be prudent to wait to see who's entered Gib before deciding anything there. For now, congrats to Joe.

ET11 quarters - last 16 could have been better

Not that I have any complaints. Can't do anything about that scoring from Duzza, jesus christ. Maybe Suljovic could have hit either of the darts he had at his favourite double to make it 4-4 vs van Gerwen? Who knows.

So we're down to 8, and it's MvG/Ratajski, Cross/Chisnall, Clayton/Wade and Cullen/Durrant. Let's look at these one by one:

- Ratajski's 4/1. That's really a bit silly I think, Krzysztof is, looking at my database, in the top 8 for points per turn this season. Consistency between the two is comparable, so I think looking purely at winning legs is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and in those Ratajski is always above a one in three shot, floating around the mid to high 30% range, so 0.25u Ratajski 4/1 looks fine to me, it could be one of those tournaments where we pin everything on day one and then give it all back on anti-MvG value bets, but if it is, so be it. Krzysztof's looked pretty damn consistent all weekend, he might need to find a twelve from nowhere at some point, but it's not as if he lacks power season long.

- Cross/Chizzy's an interesting one, in that they've met three times this season and Dave's won the lot of them. Those were all on the floor though, the Euro Tour might be different. Cross looked alright against Gurney, don't think he ever found top gear at any point, Chizzy was a bit more polarised in a routine win over Ricky Evans but was getting quite a few bounce outs, the bottom line is that Dave's floating a little bit higher in win chances against Cross than Ratajski is against van Gerwen - always high 30's, on some time frames, just into the 40's. Again, their consistency is real comparable, so I think this is fair - 15/8 is out there which I don't think is quite enough.

- Wade against Clayton could be decent - or maybe not, Clayton more or less scratched out the win, only finishing one leg in under 15 darts, all the quality was from White but he just had one sluggish leg for a cheap break and then a couple where he missed a double. Wade's game against Jones was odd, he was two down but then put the afterburners on to lead 5-2, couldn't quite get over the line and then needed to fade tops for a 160 from Jones for the match. This is only just on oddschecker but I'm seeing Wade installed as just short of a 2/1 favourite, which I think is a bit short - Clayton's 6/4 and I'd want a bit more than that to think about punting on him, season long he's around 40%, but from around late-April, once you get past that Barnsley double header for Wade, it looks a lot more flippy. If someone chucks out 7/4 or longer, I think it's worth a nibble.

- Finally it's Cullen against Durrant, Joe looking much, much better in a 2-0 down to 6-3 win over O'Connor, with a two leg 21 dart barrage (which, obviously, 365 was down for), while Duzza beat Price by the same scoreline averaging 110, which is quite large. Glen's about a 2-1 favourite season long, but trim out the first couple of months and he floats around 55-60%, which makes 0.25u Cullen 5/2 worth a bit of a play (might be slightly longer but I've only seen 365 put the prices up in the immediate aftermath). If I'd not seen Joe play as he did earlier today I might fade it given Glen's form, but he's a confidence player and that level of play from earlier makes me think he'll get home enough to make this a decent play.

ET11 last 16

Not an overly exciting day 2 - just the two seeds fell, is Willie O'Connor beating Peter Wright really a shock these days? Sure he'd be a dog to do so but it wouldn't be unexpected, Wayne Jones beating Nathan Aspinall, sure, I'll give you that one, but there were an awful lot of games yesterday where you thought "yep, the seed will win that", which is exactly what ensued. So today, the last 16, what do we have?

van Gerwen/Suljovic - MvG had little trouble with Smith yesterday, who missed a couple of doubles that might have held things to 4-4 rather than a 6-2 loss, oh well. Suljovic had no trouble with young Huybrechts, only losing one leg and scoring pretty damned well, Kim averaged 99 in the legs he lost so Mensur didn't have too much margin for error, despite the scoreline. 0.25u Suljovic 10/3, he's fresh off a tournament win and any sort of season long to shorter sample sees this as at 30% minimum for Suljovic, passing 1 in 3 in places. The market's slowly adjusting so we've got to keep hitting the lay MvG button until it's properly adjusted.

Lewis/Ratajski - Adrian saw off Dirk van Duijvenbode easily enough in what was a pretty ugly match lacking in real quality, while Ratajski needed every leg against Keegan Brown, much better game but maybe Krzysztof could have finished it slightly sooner, having let Keegan get four legs in six visits. Mind you, Keegan averaged 98 in the five legs he lost, so maybe he could have nicked one that Ratajski won? The Pole is the small favourite in this one, I think that's a fair enough assessment, picking a few timescales and he's generally in the high 50% range for winning chances, touching the low 60's in places. 7/10 isn't that tempting.

Gurney/Cross - Daryl got involved in an up and down game against Hendo, winning in 10 legs where many legs were won fairly comfortably by both sides, while Cross wasted no time in whitewashing a happy to be there Marvin Wehder, although the last two legs of those were horrific. Cross is just the right side of 1/2, I'm not sure that I'm tempted by that. Cross in longer samples is well over 70%, but drops just below that in more recent samples, which if you also factor in Daryl's far superior consistency gives me enough doubt not to fire on Rob in this one.

Chisnall/Evans - Dave won the first game of the day 6-2 against Ryan Meikle, instantly forgettable with Dave only winning one leg in par and Ryan barely averaging 80 in those legs. Ricky didn't have too much trouble with Karsten Koch after going 2-0 down, a couple of decent holds in the mid section but other than that it was an unremarkable game. Dave's 4/7, season long I'm seeing just short of two out of three winning chances for him, and I'm not seeing anything out of the ordinary if we filter down to more recent form, so another no bet.

White/Clayton - Ian was clinical against Clemens, just the one real good leg to break in four visits, but everything else was top notch. Clayton needed ten legs to see off Scott Taylor, not too bad in the legs he won, but those he lost could have been better, Scott was never really threatened on his throw until the decisive leg. Tough one to read given the 1/2 White - 7/4 Clayton line, season long on winning legs Clayton is right up there with White's winning legs, being in the high 40's or on parity for any decent sample, it's just Clayton is three points worse on consistency ratings, so it's a question of whether you trust Clayton not to gift Ian any cheap legs, which looking at yesterday isn't something I'm wanting to put faith in.

Wade/Jones - James was alright against Bradley Brooks, 6-2 win with no real pressure given Bradley missed doubles to allow the first break, and then a lot more for the deciding leg. Jones got the big story of yesterday, dumping out Aspinall 6-3, with much the same story for him as year long - pretty good when he's won legs, mixed in with some right filth to lose them. Wade's shorter than 1/3, seems about right - I'm seeing Wayne generally in the high 20's to low 30's to take it, which excludes any consistency problems. I don't want to gamble on Wayne to keep producing good legs often enough against someone as ruthless at punishing mistakes as Wade.

O'Connor/Cullen - Willie edged out Wright 6-5, goot back and forth game with just the one break each, while Cullen was the recipient of Jamie Hughes going 3/14 on doubles to nick in and take fairly slow legs repeatedly, it was 6-3 but could easily have been 6-3 the other way. Bookies can't split them, which I thought was a bit surprising given their relative levels of form all year, but checking the stats there's not a great deal between them, so nothing here again.

Price/Durrant - Pair of 6-3 wins here, Price over Stevenson, who put together three good legs to win but otherwise wasn't at the races, while Durrant saw off Harris, swingy one where Duzza went from 4-0 to 4-3 before taking it down. Market finds it hard to separate the two, but I think I can - 0.25u Price 10/11, he's around 60% for most samples, if not more, and he's 2-1 this season against Glen, so I'll add that one to the mix.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Well, that was a good day 1. Anything in day 2 I like?

Well, not much really. 0.25u Smith 16/5 vs van Gerwen is the obvious pick, but that's it. Nothing else appeals. Hate to keep it short and simple, but sometimes there's the days where there's no obvious edges, and tomorrow is one of them. Stay safe people.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

ET11 - Some thoughts and some bets

Don't really have the time to do a super in-depth preview, but will just throw out some bullet points:

- That's a super tough draw for van Gerwen to get. Either Steve Lennon or worse, Michael Smith, in the opening game, then probably Suljovic, Adie or Ratajski, then Cross/Gurney/Chisnall? That's horrible. Smith's got to be hating that as well, but hey, you dropped to the qualifiers for a reason and if you're going to be beating MvG, why not make it early?
- Ian White looks a good each way punt at 20's. Clemens (or Siepmann I guess) isn't the kindest qualifier to draw, but Clayton isn't anything to hugely worry about, then someone from Wade/Aspinall/de Zwaan isn't the worst you could get. Do that and you're in the semis, and is White really a dog to one of Wright/Price/Durrant?
- What's a Marvin Wehder and is Dennis Nilsson getting a free win? Sure, 87 in the first game isn't bad but he wasn't above 80 in any of the other games and only above 75 once.
- Hempel looked alright though. Over 80 average in the first two games and over 90 in the last two, should surely give Simon Stevenson a test, at the very least.
- Not a bad spot for Jamie Hughes. Wesley Plaisier and then Joe Cullen is surely one of the easier routes to day 3 you could draw.
- I really want to see a round two matchup between Adrian Lewis and Dirk van Duijvenbode for no real reason.
- We finally get to see Mark McGeeney on the European Tour for a second time. Bradley Brooks isn't a bad draw although I'm sure the youngster will give him a good test, then James Wade will give a good read on where he's at in relation to the upper level of player.

What do we like on the betting?

0.25u Taylor 11/10 vs Edgar - He projects to be a big winner, but that's all consistency, they average about the same overall but I've got to punt for Scott getting slightly better than evens given he's put in some good showings over the last couple of weeks.

0.25u van Duijvenbode 4/6 vs Kciuk - I'm yet to be properly convinced by Kciuk, I'm going to go with the Dutch guy who can be incredibly infuriating but who's putting up very solid numbers this season, particularly when he's been able to take the leg.

0.25u Henderson 5/6 vs Joyce - Hendo's been a little bit quiet over the last couple of months, but Joyce has been fairly quiet all year and playing at a level where this really ought to be an 8/13, 4/7 type of game. Unless John is carrying some sort of injury I don't know about then I'm really not sure why the line is so close.

0.25u Brown 7/5 vs Whitlock - Automatic lay Whitlock, Brown projects as favourite by about the margin where the odds should be the other way around.

That's about it. I might add something on Nilsson if lines get posted but I'd imagine he'd be a favourite and probably too short to consider. 4/6 or there abouts and I'd snap it up. Kuivenhoven over Koch might be tempting, price dependent, although Koch didn't look terrible in the qualifier, Smith against Harris is one I'd be interested to see and might provide value on Smith. We'll see.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Sunday's darts roundup

So Michael van Gerwen won his 4785th European Tour title... wait, he missed the bull for the match? Oh well, I guess Mensur won it then, I say guess as the bet365 stream cut out with Mensur needing 70 for the match, sort it fucking out guys. Vincent van der Voort had a nice run to the semi finals, while Peter Wright was nearly able to edge out MvG in the other semi where every leg went with throw. Quarter final appearances for both Rowby and Cameron Menzies will help them, meanwhile in the BDO, Jim Williams edged Richard Veenstra 8-6 to claim the World Trophy, not a classic final but looking at today's play overall Jim played the best and deserves it. Lisa Ashton claimed the ladies title in an alright game with Dobromyslova.

That's got some ramifications for the Grand Slam - Williams will be in assuming the BDO doesn't mess about with their selection policies (and even if they did, it'd be hard to work out any sort of permutations where Jim didn't get in), meanwhile it looks like Suljovic will have nicked the last spot on the PDC side from Jamie Hughes, I say the last spot, I don't know who out of him or Chisnall is ahead in the main Order of Merit, I so rarely pay attention to it. We had some Asian Tour action as well, Asada beat Malicdem in event 11, and completed the double by beating Ilagan in the second semi. The upshot of that is that he joins Ilagan and Lim to make Ally Pally, along with Malicdem, so much the same line up as last year. Asada could still claim a spot via the Japanese qualifier, which if I remember Jetze on Twitter correctly would bump Royden Lam up into a qualification spot. We'll have to see, the Japanese qualifier is usually fairly early on the calendar so we may know soon enough.

New FRH rankings:

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

Darren Webster's mediocre year continues as he drops out of the top 20, despite Mervyn not playing here and Jermaine losing in the first round, he's only just over 1k behind Wattimena, but with him not being in either of the next two Euro Tour events it's hard to see him getting back in soon. Quite a few places are close - Price only stayed ahead of Wade on account of Wade not playing, Wright's within 1k of getting eighth back from Aspinall, Cullen and Bunting are separated by less than 1k, and while we know 19th to 21st are close, Hopp's only 500 points above Wattimena as well. van der Voort didn't actually rise at all as he was in a bit of a gap on the rankings with other players around him also doing alright, Rowby's back up into the top 64 (just moved ahead of Phil Taylor who has the final place in that right now), while Menzies' quarter sees him within about 2.5k of the top 100.

Austria ro16

Price v van der Voort - no bet here. Vincent got the win we expected yesterday, as did Price, but I think the run for VVDV ends here. The odds have him just over 2/1, that appears about right, season long I'm seeing him between 25% and 30%, might be slight Price value at 2/5, but there's smaller sets of data where Vincent creeps over 30% so I won't be doing that.

Lewis v Menzies - Great result for Cameron yesterday to take down Michael Smith, Lewis had a bit of a workout against Bunse but got through. Hard to evaluate Menzies, it's the same price as the previous game which feels about right.

Suljovic v Wilson - James edged out Steve Beaton first game up, while Suljovic had little trouble against Gawlas. About the same price as the last two games with Mensur being the favourite, and another game that appears to be correctly evaluated - might be really tiny value on Wilson, particularly if you trim down to more recent months rather than the full year, but it's nowhere near enough to consider a bet.

White v Brown - Ian steamrollered Rusty Jake Rodriguez, while Keegan got an early lead against Aspinall and kind of fell over the line, but still did. This one's priced a little closer, it's almost tempting to go on Brown here - he's rated at 40% season long, and that does rise up to the mid 40's on some more recent samples, so 17/10 looks half decent, but Brown does have a bit of a consistency disadvantage, so I think I'll pass on this and regret it

Rodriguez v Decker - Rowby showed his peak game to see off Daryl Gurney in 10 legs, while de Decker got the better of a fairly low quality matchup against Jonny Clayton, this has Rowby at nearly 2/1 on, while we lack data on de Decker I think there's enough info out there that it doesn't seem like a big misprice either way.

Wright v Cullen - Peter got through Dimitri in a match that started out one sided but eventually went to a decider, whereas Cullen got a surprisingly one sided win over Luke Humphries, not the greatest standard but a win's a win nowadays. Wright's the biggest favourite so far at 2/5, and that appears on the money (again, sadly), every sample I'm using puts Wright in the 70% to 75% win chance range.

Chisnall v Evans - Dave had little trouble with Dietmar Burger, coming through with a solid enough game, while Evans had exactly the same winning leg profile against Kirk Shepherd, only losing the one leg to Chisnall's two. Market has this as Chisnall at near 2/1 on, this again seems fine to me. There might be tiny value on Dave if you look at more recent samples, but again I can't recommend a bet.

van Gerwen v de Zwaan - Michael had zero issues against Kyle Anderson, very good display except in the couple of legs he lost, de Zwaan was equally dominant against Darren Webster but did lose some more legs, he did finish strongly though. 0.1u de Zwaan 4/1, season long it's a mid 30's win chance, it trails down a little bit as you take more recent samples, but it's always well over 25%, so for 4/1 there's no issues

Quick word on the World Trophy - I think we're down to just three real players who can bink this in Williams, Veenstra and Harms, they're the top three seeds and the only three seeds left, I think you have to favour Veenstra from a betting standpoint, as although he has probably the hardest game in the quarters, he's on the other side of the draw to Williams/Harms, and the potential semi final opponent looks easy enough.