Saturday 5 October 2019

The formation lap is done

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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