Monday, 19 October 2020

No way

Jose actually did it! de Sousa binks the title, with it a probable Grand Slam spot (hard to see how he doesn't get in really), and in some style with a 105+ average in the final over the world number 1. Very nice. And in other great news, Deta Hedman was able to get into the worlds (along with Lisa Ashton) from the Women's Series. Hearn must be gutted that Sherrock isn't in. We also saw Boris Krcmar get through his regional qualifier, who'll surely be one for the Pro Tour list to avoid (although as a whole the international list is looking extremely strong as a whole), someone I've never heard of won the Chinese qualifier, of course where the worlds is held is the biggest question right now.

New FRH rankings:

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

Smith drops a couple primarily because of his results being more backloaded than Aspinall or Durrant (e.g. his worlds final), although Nathan did need to reach the quarters to get up the two spots. White's semi final moves him above Wade, although a quarter would have been enough, Clayton not qualifying was enough to put him below Cullen.

Lower down, de Sousa reaches a new high of 27, Labanauskas is still hanging around just outside the top 40 after a good run to the quarter finals, Maik Kuivenhoven is up into the top 80 and with him now seemingly locked into the European Championship, stands a great chance of retaining his card, Kleermaker is just a couple of spots behind him. With their first round wins, new card holders Scott Waites and Derk Telnekes have hit the top 100. It's also a sad day in that, now two years after their last cashes, Terry Jenkins and Richie Burnett get taken off the main list.

We head to Riesa next. There's plenty of speculation as to how many players will see that they've got a Euros spot booked and drop out - certainly a possibility. Only time will tell, but it's probably going to be one that domestic qualifiers won't want to miss, although as Kim Huybrechts said on Twitter, maybe they ought to look to rebalance where there's a lot of dropouts opening up existing spots to the qualifiers. At least keep it the same ratio - if three spots come up, give two to the home nations and one to the affiliate. Of course, Kim's brother playing in the associate quali would have nothing to do with it, and they've already played the event for ET4 anyway, so there's not much they can really do. Something to think about for next year, although 2021 surely won't be as much of a clusterfuck as 2020 has been.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

ET3 round 3 analysis

Bit of a disappointing day two that. The one bet we did fire on lost, with Petersen not exactly looking bad, but not quite at the peak level he needed to be in order to trouble Price. On the other hand, all the leans we didn't fire on won - Kuivenhoven took a deciding leg, Mensur looked extremely good against Evans, van der Voort took care of a misfiring Hopp, while Wade was able to edge out Clemens. Needless to say that having half a year to fix things since the last Euro Tour before last week didn't allow sportradar to stop being completely fucking useless, with no coverage of the Cross/Hunt game whatsoever. At least there's always Youtube heroes to pick up and show the actual game. It's really not difficult to do this.

Today we have eight games and I'm going to run through them quickly - Kuivenhoven's first up against Glen Durrant, nothing here as I think Maik's run ends, Duzza being shorter than 1/3 is maybe slightly underrating the underdog, but not enough to consider a bet.

Second is White/Smith - bookies have it fairly close, actually having Smith as a small favourite. This is close to a bet on White, he's 6/5 and I think he has the tiny edge season long, but at only 51%. I can pass on this, White's in need of results and as mentioned yesterday probably isn't at his peak, whereas Smith just murdered Telnekes yesterday.

Labanauskas/Cullen is a tricky one to call, Darius took Dave Chisnall out with an OK performance, whereas Cullen looked very nice in the legs he won against Huybrechts (nice big fish to ice the match as well after Kim made a stupid tactical error going bull second dart on 121 - go first dart or don't go at all), but mediocre in the others. Odds look close to fair, I've got Joe as a slightly better favourite than 60/40, as such 13/8 on the Lithuanian number one isn't value for me.

Game four is Price against de Sousa, the path for Gerwyn isn't getting any easier - we mentioned the Petersen game above, de Sousa had an easy time against Pietreczko but looked extremely ordinary. I'll take 0.1u de Sousa 15/8, Jose's good enough that this is only really 55/45 in favour of Gerwyn, I'd go the full quarter of a unit, but there's so much uncertainty in terms of de Sousa with how he played yesterday. Let's hope it wasn't just Ricardo bringing Jose down to his level?

Suljovic/Hughes next, and the line looks close to right with Mensur at 4/6 and Jamie at 11/8. Maybe it should be a little closer, it looks about 55/45 again, but Suljovic looked so good in round two, Jamie looked good enough that it should be competitive.

Kleermaker/Cross is sixth, Martijn improving massively from game one to take out Ratajski in a decent upset, while a couple of legs apart, Cross looked perfectly fine against Adam Hunt. Can't see any real value here, I've got Rob as winning nearly three games in four, so with him being close to 2/5, we can avoid it.

Seventh is Wade/Aspinall, very close to a bet on James at 13/8 - I'm seeing him as about a 55/45 underdog again, and he looked a little bit better than Aspinall did yesterday, wouldn't blame anyone in going for it, but I think Nathan should be able to raise his game a little bit.

Finally it's van Gerwen against van der Voort. This is about the least interesting game we could see, Vincent just never shows up against MvG, the price looks right, pretty weak game to finish off really.

Just the one bet again, and it's against Price again.

Some other notes, Covid bullshit has seen the Philippines team withdraw from the World Cup which is a huge loss given they'd drawn England, when will this garbage stop, and we've also seen Ashton>Sherrock and Hedman>de Graaf in the first two Women's Series games, leaving everything wide open for today. Probably won't be back for the quarters.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

ET3 round 2 bets

That was beautiful. One of those rare days when nothing can go wrong, even when Nico Kurz tries his best to make things go wrong. All four bets came home, I guess the most surprising one was the Hunt bet - not so much in that it came in by itself, as the only one that was odds against that was always going to be the biggest surprise, it was more the manner in which he did it, Heta didn't get close. Suppose the only other real surprise outside of our bets was Ricardo Pietreczko steamrollering a somewhat out of sorts Luke Woodhouse.

Onto day 2, let's get straight into it:

Gurney/Kuivenhoven - I think if this game was taking place in April I'd have gone with Maik. For now, he didn't do quite enough against Worsley to make me think he's a recommendable punt at 3/1. It's not a bad play per se, I think he's got around a 30% shot, maybe ever so slightly more, I just don't think there's quite the edge there on present form.

White/Waites - This one looks pretty close to the mark. Season long I've got Ian at 65%, Waites is 15/8, so that's as close to on the money as you're going to get. I do wonder though, Scott's looked alright in some of the more recent events, and I get the nagging feeling that White, although still in the world's elite, has possibly already hit the highest he's ever going to get (he is north of 50 after all), and hasn't been at his peak for a while. No bets, but wouldn't be surprised if Scott's able to nick this one.

Smith/Telnekes - That's not quite tempting enough a price on Derk there. Smith's 2/9, I'm seeing the game at around 80/20. Derk's performance was a little sluggish early against Marijanovic, if he does that again he could easily be 4-0 down and out of the running against someone with Michael's quality. Not a great deal of interest in this one.

Durrant/Kurz - Can't recommend a play on this one either. The newest Premier League champion is rated as slightly better than 75/25 in the market, which is more or less where I see the game at as well. It'll be an interesting game for Nico, he's got all the potential in the world, could this be a statement win? It'll be tough against someone with the consistency of Glen to say the least, but he does have the peak game to possibly cause an upset.

de Sousa/Pietreczko - Jose's a huge favourite here, which seems fine, Ricardo got through a tough first round opponent despite only getting the one leg in five visits, but Jose's a step up in class again and I really can't see de Sousa having any problems. 1/6 doesn't tempt me though.

Chisnall/Labanauskas - Line makers are too good right now. I've got Darius as having more or less exactly a one in three shot, he's 21/10. Darius was steady against Unterbuchner, who had all the flashy moments (I think he had a 10 darter in there somewhere?) but couldn't put together the steady legs. Chisnall will know if Labanauskas plays at his best he'll have a game on his hands, but Dave ought to be good enough here.

Cullen/Huybrechts - Kim is someone I should have bet on yesterday on gut feeling, I trusted the numbers, and sure enough Henderson did very little, allowing Huybrechts to coast home without really getting out of second gear. Cullen's a step up in quality but the market is still thinking that Kim has almost a 40% chance to take this. That's pretty much exactly how I see it as well, so yet more no bets.

Hughes/Lennon - Steve looked pretty good against Madars Razma in the opening round, and has been quietly playing alright all season despite not getting the results, so I thought there might have been a bit of value here - I've got Steve as only a slight dog. And he's 13/10 in the market. Move on to the evening session it is then.

Ratajski/Kleermaker - Not a chance I'm betting this one. Kleermaker looked bad yesterday. Buffler you can understand, it's a Euro Tour debut and he's come out of left field a bit but Martijn just couldn't hit doubles. I'm seeing him at under 25% at the best of times, so 3/1 isn't the slightest bit interesting. Should be a comfortable win for Krzysztof even if Martijn does regress to the mean in quality.

Cross/Hunt - Now come on here. Adam was 12/5 against Damon Heta, and he's only 2/1 against Cross? It was a nice performance, but I wouldn't have thought that's enough to make him shorter, unless they actually think Heta is better than Cross at this stage... who knows. In any case, Hunt is underrated, but not betting at 2/1 underrated. Would have stabbed at 3/1.

Wade/Clemens - Apart from installment four of Price/Petersen, this is probably the most interesting match of the night. Wade is 8/11, which feels about right. He's actually coming up as closer to 8/15 in terms of a fair price from projections, but let's factor in that I've got the German Superleague in my dataset (where Clemens didn't play well), Clemens has homefield, and Clemens looked better than he's done for months yesterday. All things combined and I'm fine with not betting this one.

Price/Petersen - I am fine with a bet here though, 0.25u Petersen 13/8. Devon's that good right now that despite Gerwyn winning everything in sight, including a big major title, Devon's got legitimate chances to win this one, as he did on the way to winning the previous Euro Tour event. I've got Devon as just the wrong side of a 51/49, so 13/8? Yes please.

Suljovic/Evans - David didn't let us down yesterday, although Kai followed up that very nice final qualifying game and looked a lot better than he did in the Superleague, so let's see if he can get into ET4 and get a more favourable draw. Suljovic is a huge step up in class, the market however has adjusted to Evans enough that it's only slightly better than 60/40 for Mensur. I think that's a little bit too much of an overreaction, and it's very close - it's only the vig that's stopping me. The prices are 4/7 and 6/4, I've got Mensur at 70%. If someone throws out 4/6, take it.

van Gerwen/King - Think the days of auto-laying MvG are gone. King is only 3/1. He's got course and distance recently, I don't think he should be quite that long, but we're only talking 5/2 being about right, so no real underdog value.

Aspinall/O'Connor - Oddschecker is being a bit funky here, only showing a price for Aspinall, and he's shorter than 1/3 against Willie, who got past Chris Dobey in a scrappy game. That's probably a bit too short, O'Connor has better chances (I'd price around 4/9, maybe 2/5), but his first round display didn't fill me with confidence at all, he only really had a couple of good legs and that's it.

van der Voort/Hopp - Not quite sure how Vincent is a seed, but these are strange times. Hopp was good enough yesterday that, along with the German crowd, I can shy away from a Vincent bet. Can't blame anyone if you want to take 10/11, van der Voort isn't exactly playing badly and is up in the high 50% range season long, but I think there's enough external factors in this match that I can avoid recommending a bet.

So, just Petersen really. Back tomorrow morning, should quickly congratulate Lisa Ashton on getting through the qualifier to the Slam, will be paying a bit of attention to the Women's Series in terms of worlds reads.

Friday, 16 October 2020

ET3 round 1 bets

Qualifiers done, up to six domestic qualifiers with the withdrawal of Wright and someone else, oddschecker is asleep at the wheel so I'll just compare two bookies for the best price:

Kuivenhoven/Worsley - Odds seem just about fine. Maik should probably be a bit of a shorter favourite on season long form but didn't play as well since the restart so can give it a pass.

King/Barauskas - No real read on the Lithuanian, King is probably acca safe at 1/6 but not worth the punt as anyone getting through one of the regional qualifiers should at least be OK.

Pietreczko/Woodhouse - Nothing here. Nothing much on Ricardo, Woodhouse isn't appealing at almost as short a price as King is.

Gotthardt/Evans - 0.5u Evans 4/9, this seems like a very good play for someone who's won two Challenge Tours in the past week against someone on Euro Tour debut, Kai does have a fair bit of experience this year and played very well in the final qualifying round, but David's just playing too good right now.

Waites/Lowe - Tough to call, even enough, market agrees, should be game of the session.

Kurz/Bellmont - 0.25u Kurz 8/15, this is more being a Stefan non-believer than anything, middling 80's in the quali shouldn't cut it against Nico.

Labanauskas/Unterbuchner - Don't have a great deal on Michael outside of the Superleague, if we look just on that it should be a Darius bet, but a lot of players didn't play great in the lollipop arena so happy to ignore this one.

Ward/Petersen - Line seems alright, and don't think it's even acca safe, if Harry brings a decent game then he absolutely can nick this one time in four. Don't think it'll happen, but it's possible.

Huybrechts/Henderson - Is seemingly too tough to call on season long data. That surprises me, John didn't play great after the restart so I thought Kim at just shorter than evens would be worth the shot, I guess not.

Hopp/Ljubic - Long time since we've seen Pero, I can't remember how well he plays, but Max ought to be able to raise his game enough in Germany on a stage that 4/1 isn't too enticing.

Telnekes/Marijanovic - 0.25 Telnekes 8/11, it's been a while since we've seen Robert play, but Derk's looked extremely competent since switching to the PDC and as such this looks like a fair enough play.

Lennon/Razma - Hmm, Lennon actually projects as a small favourite. I'd have thought given the eyetest it'd be the other way around, possibly enough for it to be a bet on Madars. Confusing, when confused, don't bet.

Buffler/Kleermaker - Martijn's 1/7, that should be acca safe against someone on debut who peaked at 82 in the qualifier. But who knows.

Hunt/Heta - 0.1u Hunt 12/5, Adam has played OK since the restart, and while Damon is correctly a favourite, I think it's worth a little bit of a play on Adam, think this is probably still good value up to around 2/1. Should certainly be competitive, we've been waiting on Adam to get a breakout win for a while now, maybe it's today?

Siepmann/Clemens - Yeah, we're not betting against Clemens in this kind of spot, Steffen's simply not in Gabriel's league. Nearly worth it at 2/7 on Gabriel to be honest.

Dobey/O'Connor - Good game to finish, bad game to bet on, Chris is an excellent player, and as such, despite Willie being competent, Dobey being in the 1/2 region looks like a fair assessment.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

OK, so I got delayed

Let's get straight into the new FRH rankings, needless to say I didn't like a bet in the final:

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

van Duijvenbode is up to #32 following his final performance, otherwise it's much what you'd expect, Whitlock's got back into the top 16, Lewis' unfortunate situations sees him pretty close to outside the top 20, Noppert is less than 500 points behind Dobey and surprise quarter finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan isn't too far off either.

Not much to say about the final. Dirk just got himself into too big of a hole early. He had some slight chances but I think he'd have needed to take all the ones he missed in order to come out on top which would have been tricky to do.

Challenge Tour is done, thankfully Barry didn't get into the top 2 spots (nothing against Damian Mol, but if someone gets in the top 2 of both secondary tours they should use the card from the Dev Tour), so we've got David Evans and Ritchie Edhouse onto the tour for the next two years, Edhouse getting the win in event 9 and runner up in event 10 to clinch the card. Evans gets the worlds spot and ought to be considered a very dangerous opponent to most card holders.

We've got some weird withdrawals, Wright's out of the remaining two Euro Tour events and also the World Cup, so Scotland will defend the title with Henderson and Thornton which I'm sure will work perfectly well, Sedlacek isn't in the Eastern Euro qualifier along with quite a few biggish names from that area of the world which should give Krcmar a very good chance, strange times. Back tomorrow evening with Euro Tour analysis.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

God damnit Whitlock

Should have punted on Whitlock. Damnit. Oh well, at least Dirk came through for us, although it was a little bit nerve wracking when he missed the shot he had to win it 3-0 in sets (after being 2-0 up in the third set as well), but thankfully Anderson proceeding to take 11 darts to get under way in the next leg was enough to give Dirk the break with a couple of holds from there. Price and Chisnall advanced from the other half as you'd probably have expected, Cullen kept it close at least and had his chances - three clear at tops to go 2-1 up in set 4, incredibly sluggish in the second leg of the decider but still missed two darts for the leg, then was unable to generate a further match dart in a last leg needing 115 for the match. Them's the breaks.

Don't fancy any bets - Dirk looks good value on paper, but I've got the underlying feeling that the size of the occasion will end up getting to him quite a bit - against someone with the experience of Whitlock, someone who should play well in this format and is coming off a statement victory, both those things won't help matters. 13/8 when the numbers say a flip is very close to value. If it drifts further, go with it. Price at around a 2/1 favourite, slightly shorter actually, looks fine, although this'll be the best chance Chisnall will ever have of binking a major title, so maybe he steps his game up? How many times have we said that though...

Challenge Tour continues, David Evans claimed event eight to move into an extremely strong position to claim a tour card and a worlds spot. I can't find the race table someone posted right now, but the second spot is certainly wide open. Elsewhere, in shock news from Japan, Asada will not bink their worlds qualifier after he blew a 3-0 lead in a race to 4 (that short? Seriously?) in the semi finals. Wow. The other guy didn't play badly, but Seigo looked poor, simple as.

Back later probably with a Challenge Tour round up.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Grand Prix quarters

Hmm, bets didn't really go according to plan - Dirk did his bit, but then Noppert didn't show up (at least compared to Ando, who was looking solid enough), Petersen couldn't hit doubles at key moments, then Clayton couldn't hold in a last leg decider. Any of those would make things profitable (Clayton winning would probably have made it break even I guess), oh well.

Quarters sees van Duijvenbode/Anderson, Chisnall/Cullen, van Gerwen/Whitlock and Price/de Zwaan. Ironic that both the last second callups have made the quarters, what can you do. I think Dirk's worth the punt given the price, 0.1u van Duijvenbode 9/2, there really isn't anyone that Dirk should be that long a price against, and it's still only first to three sets so a fair bit of variance. It's only available at this price on Boyles so take it quick. Cullen against Chizzy looks about right with Joe being the small underdog at 11/8, I've got him slightly above 40% so can avoid that one. Whitlock is kind of tempting at the same price as Dirk against MvG, my concern in that one is that Simon couldn't recreate what he did in the first round in terms of quality of play, that and there's a lot bigger difference in quality between the two than there is in the Anderson match. Finally we see Price against de Zwaan with Gerwyn priced up as 75/25, I'm fine with that, it may even be a Price bet on current form, but Jeffrey looked alright in a pretty one sided affair against Clemens, 45% on doubles and a 180 more than every other leg isn't bad at all, so I'm fine passing on it. So just the Dirk punt.

Challenge Tour is rolling on. Keane Barry, who might well be the best player in the world without a tour card right now (yes, I know he's won one for next year), took the first, David Evans took the second and Jim Williams has taken the third. A few impressive plays - Maikel Verberk did a lot of damage in all three, Lewy Williams has hit a final today and was on fire in spots, Scott Mitchell made a semi today which will help in the tour card race (he's 200 quid ahead of Dennant and more than semi final money ahead of Barry), we've also seen some old names like Mark Walsh, Colin Osborne and Richie Burnett make runs. May post more later when event 8 has done. It's pretty tight for who might get Winter Series call ups as we've now had 14 different finalists through 7 events.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Grand Prix round 2

Well, either the field has been blown completely wide open, or this is an inevitable van Gerwen/Price final, only time will tell, but let's pull up the master computer and check what bets we like - we went 1-1 in the first round, as both bets were odds against we only needed to hit one to lock in a profit. Let's go game by game:

van den Bergh/van Duijvenbode - 0.1u van Duijvenbode 13/5 - very simply, I refuse to believe he'll play quite so poorly as he did against Suljovic, and additionally, I refuse to believe that Dimitri will play quite so well as he did against Smith. With the strengths and weaknesses of the respective players in the first round being the doubling, I'm toning this down to just a tenth of a unit, rather than the quarter that would normally be warranted by the master computer saying that, over 2020 data, Dirk should be the favourite - his scoring has been fine, but there's enough uncertainty over doubling. Still very much worth the play.

King/Whitlock - Not really sure where that performance from Whitlock came from. A ton plus average in double start? Really? The stats reckon that the line, which has Simon as a small favourite, is accurate enough. King will definitely need to up his scoring from the Wade game, which was remarkably pedestrian - at least prior to the last two legs, we saw in the last Euro Tour that there's enough there.

Anderson/Noppert - 0.25u Noppert 2/1, I don't get why the market continues to sleep on Danny. His year long stats are comparable with Anderson's, his first round performance wasn't too dissimilar (and he faced a lot more of a threat as Cross really did nothing), so I find it inconceivable that Danny doesn't claim this match at least 40% of the time. He's been playing well enough all year that it's worth going against Gary for a second consecutive match.

van Gerwen/Petersen - 0.25u Petersen 23/10, Devon literally whitewashed MvG less than a month ago and is one of the hottest players on the planet. van Gerwen was very good in the opening round against Ratajski, let's be fair, but he needed to be as he took a deciding set, and was reliant on Ratajski missing in leg two of the decider. Petersen's a stronger threat than Krzysztof - for the line to say that Devon wins this less than one in three times is frankly ridiculous.

Joyce/Chisnall - Half tempted with Joyce here. Stats probably give him a little bit more than a one in three shot, so 23/10 is nearly what we need, and he certainly produced the goods in the shock of the event so far, especially on the doubles where he basically couldn't miss. That said, Chizzy averaged some huge amount in giving Glen Durrant effectively zero chances, so I don't think we can say Joyce on form and ignore the overall picture. There's a fair chance that Joyce's doubling prowess was simply unsustainable.

Clemens/de Zwaan - Very good chance for Clemens to push into the quarters here. He's 4/6, which given the form of de Zwaan, which has been severely lacking in 2020 (albeit he has had some injury issues), could be worth the shot. I'm seeing it at around a two in three chance for Gabriel, but some pretty poor checking out gives me enough reason for concern not to bet the German number one here, which he clearly is in all but world ranking, and will be in world ranking if he wins this one.

Cullen/Clayton - Market can't really separate the two, with Clayton being a very small favourite, Cullen looked slightly the better player in round one, but Clayton's been the better player throughout the year, so I think we can do 0.25u Clayton 4/5, year long he's scoring a clear couple of points per turn more than Joe, which translates to around a two in three win chance, more than enough to take slightly odds against.

Price/Huybrechts - Not much to talk about here, Kim will have been pretty happy just to get the first round win in a format that ought to have suited his opponent in Dolan, while Price wasn't good against Wattimena but at least got over the line. Huybrechts is 4/1, this seems an accurate enough line, so no real value here.

That's the lot, I may come back tomorrow evening not with Grand Prix stuff (round two is spread over two days), but with early Challenge Tour thoughts as they kick off tomorrow. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Let's talk about the USA for a minute

I'm going to ignore Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting getting fucked over by a flawed testing procedure for a virus we don't need to worry about right now (and, as a consequence, Chris Dobey, I'm sure having his game shifted at the last minute didn't help his preparation one bit, although it looks like Simon Whitlock played pretty well). Let's talk about the CDC series, and these are the stats of the top handful of players:

Those really aren't bad stats. They're not bad stats at all. Especially for Baggish - I mean yeah, it's a less than 100 leg sample, but that's really good. If he plays like that he's certainly a danger to do some damage at the worlds. There's not many players with such a flat average in terms of winning/losing in my database around that sort of level, I guess the closest is Damon Heta - but that should give you a bit of a clue. I wouldn't sleep on him and there will probably be some value. The others there certainly look like they'd be able to give lower level tour card holders a bit of a problem. A couple of the Canadian guys are also in and around that level from the week before. The North American standard certainly seems to be improving and, assuming that the world stops losing their mind, Baggish could definitely do some damage on the Pro Tour level. I'm certainly excited to see what he can do in the worlds.

Back tomorrow with round 2 thoughts, although it'll probably be very brief and potentially at short notice.

Monday, 5 October 2020

Grand Prix round 1 tips

Let's plow through these quickly in running order:

Lewis/Dobey - No. Line seems fine. If it moves in a bit more to where it's something like 5/6 Dobey then I'd think about it, this feels about 60/40, so obviously at 4/6 I'm not going to be interested.

Noppert/Searle - Not this one either. Line's a bit closer than I thought it would be with the relative form of both players, but the projection's also a bit closer than I thought it would be, so happy to avoid it.

Suljovic/van Duijvenbode - 0.25u van Duijvenbode 13/8, looks to me like this one has Suljovic only just on the right side of a flip, Dirk having a 10% better chance than what the line indicates, which is fine to go with I think.

de Sousa/Petersen - No bet here, projection is roughly the same as the last one with Devon having the tiniest of tiny edges, but with the market saying 4/5 Petersen, there's nothing worth punting on here.

Wade/King - No bet yet again. Market has Wade at 4/6. I have Wade at 60%. Move on.

Cross/Anderson - 0.25u Cross 11/8, as mentioned in the preview post there's nothing between the two players whatsoever. So I'll take 11/8, even if Cross isn't in peak form he at least has match practice, which Gary doesn't.

van Gerwen/Ratajski - No bet here now. I was looking at 2/1 on Krzysztof, but the market's moved in to 7/4, with van Gerwen still projecting to win around 60% of the time, I think the value's gone sadly.

Smith/van den Bergh - Close, but nothing here. Michael's priced up at around 4/6, I think he's a little bit better than that, but not by much.

Dolan/Huybrechts - Really, really close to a Dolan bet. Probably should be about 8/11, he's actually 10/11, if it ticks over to evens I'd go with it, as it'd be pretty much the same spot as Cross is in, albeit the win chances/odds are kind of reversed.

Hughes/Bunting - Too close to call in both the projections and the market, so aside from maybe taking whoever wins the bull 2-1 in sets, there's nothing of real value here.

Clayton/White - Exactly the same as the other game. Jonny's actually the marginal favourite, but only just.

Chisnall/Durrant - Lacking in real value here yet again. Thinking Glen's in the mid to high 50's range to take this, so 4/6 is close enough really.

Gurney/Cullen - Joe's tempting here, he really is. I'm seeing him at just over 45%, so 7/5 isn't quite enough to start punting. If money comes in on Daryl then I don't see why not, but I won't be watching this one too closely.

Wright/Joyce - No value. Joyce is probably slightly better than the 4/1 line that's being quoted to me, but I'd only go with 10/3 or 7/2, so I wouldn't be getting the wallet out here.

Price/Wattimena - Fairly similar to the above analysis. Would probably price Jermaine up at 11/4 given what the computer's spitting out, he's 7/2, so it's close, but I don't think we're getting rich betting against Gerwyn at this point in time.

Aspinall/Clemens - Nothing whatsoever on the Wednesday it is. Aspinall at just shorter than 1/2 is perfectly fair, this has a real 70/30 sort of ring to it, so I'll pass.

Disappointing lack of bets, but this is always a tricky one to accurately judge, so maybe less is more here.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Grand Prix preview

Before I kick off with this, some quick notes on the USA section of the CDC - Danny Baggish won both the first two events and is looking really good, I've not shoved the data into the master computer, but just scanning the raw averages, it's very promising and I would fully expect him to come back later today and clinch the worlds spot that's on offer.

Let's start by shoving all the stats up from 2020:

Will preface that by saying that Clemens would be a couple of spots higher if you exclude the German Superleague from the data - while it brings him down a little bit, it's not by that much really.

What it also shows is how tough that top section is. van Gerwen, Ratajski, Petersen and de Sousa - any one of those could realistically make the quarters. Petersen against de Sousa is a straight flip for me, while Ratajski has extremely good chances - it's hard to model the Grand Prix with the double start format, but over such a short race he's got at least a 40% shot and will surely be a bet in this one.

Next section has Wade/King and Lewis/Dobey. All English lineup, and these should be a good couple of matches. King returned to a bit of form last weekend, while Wade remains at a good consistent standard as always, Wade has an edge but it's not a big edge. Adie is perhaps a bit lucky to be here, if Clayton had have won that final against Petersen, he wouldn't have made it (and a spot would have been wasted by Jeffrey de Zwaan instead), while Dobey was one of the last players in, as despite being excellent when he gets to big events, he's struggled to do enough on the tour to be really sure of making them in the first place, which is why he's missed the Matchplay (there's a weird amount of churn between those two events, normally we only see a small number of changes, but we see seven between the two). Dobey should be a fairly small favourite here.

Third section is Smith/van den Bergh then Suljovic/van Duijvenbode. Smith's not been playing brilliantly, certainly not at his best, but I feel that Dimitri will be overrated here on account of him having won the Matchplay, it's a great achievement but he still isn't a top 10 player by any metric other than the FRH rankings. Only concern is the double start, would be pretty standard for Smith to miss three to kick off, see Dimitri kick off 146 and then that's that. Mensur/Dirk should be fun, DvD's made a good enough fist of things in 2020 to get here and make his first major event that isn't really a freebie in ages, but Mensur, especially in this format, will be a tough test. Suljovic's doubling will help him improve his chances beyond the coinflip that I'd see this at in straight 501, but is it enough that Dirk isn't value?

Final bit of the top half is Cross/Anderson and Noppert/Searle. That first match should be good. It's only really this event where you see such huge clashes in the first round, so kudos to the PDC for that. My model literally can't separate them - even in a length of game as long as the Matchplay final, Cross would only be favoured by 0.02%. Flip a coin, take your pick, although with Cross at 6/4 I know where I'd be looking. The other game is also fairly interesting - Noppert is playing as well as anyone in this quarter of the draw, but Searle's been underrated, although I think it's fair to say that his form has tailed off a little after binking his win earlier in the year. Noppie being the favourite that he is seems fair to me.

Bottom half starts with Wright/Joyce and Chisnall/Durrant. Less said about that first one the better, Joyce has done well to get here but this is the biggest mismatch of the first round by some distance. Chizzy against Glen on the other hand is another huge first round tie. Line looks fair at a first glance - Glen is playing the better darts by enough that 11/8 on Dave offers no real value for everyone. Like any match in this event it'll all come down to doubles, Dave's cleaned that area of his game up enough that it shouldn't provide a huge boost to Duzza, but there's always that underlying feeling that anything could go wrong.

Next is Gurney/Cullen and Clayton/White. This bit of the draw has a real Euro Tour feel about it, they've all managed to draw the weaker seed, they all have Euro Tour wins, this ought to be tight throughout. Cullen gets the first shot at the seed, he's correctly lined up as a small dog, Gurney's got distance in this one but not having course might be a bit of a factor, still, it's an event that seems like it should suit Daryl's game. White and Clayton's too close to call, Ian having a little bit of an edge on consistency but Jonny having a little bit of an edge on recent form, nothing really to pick between the two and no value either.

Price/Wattimena and Dolan/Huybrechts is next. Price is correctly the second biggest favourite in the first round, Jermaine's had some success here, indeed his biggest major run was here last year, but he looks outmatched here and Price being priced at better than 75% looks a fair assessment. Price will surely be the shortest chance to reach the quarters as well given the other game here, Kim was the last player in and I don't think it's disrespectful to say he's making up the numbers here, Brendan is probably a little bit of a favourite here, although the bookies can't separate them. Either way, Gerwyn cannot be in the slightest bit unhappy about this draw.

Finally we have Aspinall/Clemens and Hughes/Bunting. Gabriel is probably a bit off his 2019 peak game but still a dangerous player, against lots of other opponents he'd have good chances but Nathan's up in that tier just below the world's elite, and Aspinall being shorter than 1/2 seems a very fair assessment. Hughes/Bunting is an interesting one, both players have been somewhat under the radar, Hughes especially, as after Prague over a year ago now it's hard to remember what he's actually done. Market can't separate them, I can't separate them enough to consider punting on it, although I do have Yozza slightly ahead. Should be a good tie with explosive upside.

That's the lot - will return with bets tomorrow ahead of action starting on Tuesday. Final quick one - why am I seeing people on Twitter saying things like "speedy recovery to the boss" on account of Hearn having tested positive for that cold that's going around? Ignoring that it's more likely than not that he doesn't have it in the first place, such is the ridiculous inaccuracy of the testing system we have in place here, Matchroom's own tweet says he's not displaying any symptoms! You can't recover if you're not ill in the first place. Jesus christ.