Wednesday 8 January 2020

Some more thoughts

They've announced the contenders today. Not a huge amount of surprises - the top two Dutchies are in Rotterdam, Clayton's in Cardiff, Dobey's in Newcastle, O'Connor in Dublin and Humphries coming back all seem fair enough to me. The one weird one is including Bunting. What's Stephen done all year? He got through a couple of rounds fairly fortunately at the Matchplay and had half a good tournament in Minehead. That's about it. Yes, he's from somewhere fairly close to Liverpool - but he's not even the best player from St Helens that isn't in the Premier League. Chisnall, who was probably the last man out of the main nine, is.

Of course, we don't know if Dave was asked and declined, but that's the one really weird pick. If not Chisnall, White's from near as damnit the North West. With no obvious other place to go, you could have shoved Ratajski in. Cullen won a big event in 2019 and is just a short trip down the M62 from where the event is. The most asinine comment that I saw was "but White doesn't sell tickets". It's the fucking Premier League. Tell me honestly, how many people will be in the crowd in Liverpool that:

a) actually know more than two players in the field and aren't there just to get pissed
b) will even know who the contender is
c) would, despite the magnetic presence of van Gerwen, Price, Wright etc, actually care who the contender is
d) would care enough to buy a ticket if Bunting is the contender, but not if White is
e) aren't friends or family of Bunting but not close enough friends or family to have got a freebie anyway

I'd guess it'd be roughly 1% of the number of tickets the BDO have sold for some of the sessions of the Indigo.

Speaking of that, I really, really hope that Kleermaker against Hogan can save the event. Hogan nearly hit a nine, which was nice, but it needs something right to happen. Bennett was probably about the most marketable player they had and he lost playing fairly poorly in the first round, which is fair enough given his age and that it's his debut, and it's probably the biggest event he'll play for the next two years. We'll ignore that they've managed to caption up this afternoon's schedule with Chris Landman having the photo of Aileen de Graaf, Lorraine Winstanley looking awfully like Joe Chaney, and the word "ladie's" being used to describe the competition that Winstanley and Gallagher played in earlier. Some of the games have just been dire.

Let's take the Robson/Hazel game. Now this isn't a first round game - Hazel had played through one round already, and Robson's not far removed from playing well enough to qualify for the Grand Slam. But between them, in 21 legs, neither of them was able to finish one of them in 15 darts or less. Not once. Only two of them were even in sixteen darts. Now let's compare that to the PDC - in my database for 2019, I've got almost 5,000 matches, in which there were just over 1,000 examples of players being unable to record a fifteen dart leg. Now some of these instances will be obvious - if you get twatted 6-0 it's going to be pretty hard to win a leg in any number of darts. How about instances of both players doing it? There are some examples:

Michael Rasztovits 6-4 Barry Lynn, UK Open
Carl Wilkinson 6-0 Joe Cullen, PC3
Yordi Meeuwisse 6-3 Adam Hunt, PC3
Ryan Harrington 6-1 Gary Eastwood, PC4
Gabriel Clemens 6-2 Gary Eastwood, PC9
Nathan Derry 6-1 Eddie Dootson, PC10
Conan Whitehead 6-3 Mark Dudbridge, PC12
Simon Whitlock 6-5 Geert Nentjes, PC12
Nathan Aspinall 6-3 Reece Robinson, PC18
Darius Labanauskas 6-2 Diogo Portela, PC21
Ian White 6-2 Mario Robbe, PC22
Pete Hudson 6-4 Tom Lonsdale, PC22
Stephen Bunting 6-0 Robert Thornton, PC22
Darren Webster 6-1 Joe Murnan, PC23
Maik Kuivenhoven 6-1 Mark Wilson, PC29
Ryan Harrington 5-1 Wayne Warren, Grand Slam

That's not a pretty list of players, and only three of those games were able to force it up into double figures for legs.

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