Friday, 20 November 2020

Slam ro16

Let's throw down some thoughts, as the final day of the group stages was eventful:

- God damnit Joyce. That was a possible career-defining match, just needed to finish off Price from 4-2 to move through, couldn't quite do it. Was winner takes all at that point after Clayton took care of Suzuki heavily. Price certainly hasn't played well at all this week, but you know what they say about winning ugly. Glad Clayton was able to move through though, although a last sixteen match against Dimitri will be tough.
- LOL Wright. Remarkable set of circumstances, he needed more or less exactly a huge White win and then to lose heavily to Petersen to go out, and that's exactly what happened. White's got to be relieved to squeeze through with just the one win, and now has a very winnable game against Wade in round two, Petersen sweeping the group though, you love to see it.
- LOL Clemens, just needed one more leg against Hunt from 2-0 up and lost all the next five, then Cullen needed just one more leg against MvG and couldn't do it. van Gerwen was very much relaxing it seems (92 average compared to 105 then 103), but it was enough, and Adam Hunt qualifies out of nowhere after losing the first two, the first loss being a whitewash.
- Got to feel for Ratajski. One of these days he'll get a good draw. Can't argue with Smith though, lowest average of 102 in the group, de Sousa pretty much on point throughout, Ratajski's play was fine but it needed to be at peak levels to get through that group, and it wasn't quite there.

Some re-iteration on the other groups as well:

- Anderson's got to be feeling a bit lucky. Searle easily could have nicked that last game. Gawlas had his chances. Still, he's got through, although against van Gerwen tomorrow, it may not be for long. Adam's got to be fairly happy, although he got no points, claiming 11 legs can't be too discouraging. Whitlock didn't look spectacular, but having drawn Hunt he's got every chance to make another major quarter final.
- God damnit Humphries. One of these days he'll go really deep in a major other than the worlds. The decider against Chizzy was the big one, and he wasn't exactly playing bad against Cross either. Pipe was really below par, we feared this might happen, oh well, at least it's another 4k into the bank.
- Jermaine got to be kicking himself, but Damon took his chances. Durrant probably needs to just forget this ever happened pretty quickly, but I think you've got to agree the best two players moved through. Heta against Petersen tomorrow should be real entertaining, and Wade/White, if perhaps one for the purists, will be a very good game in all likelihood.
- Dimitri's on fire and if he can get through Clayton, which isn't guaranteed, a potential quarter final with Price will be great. Aspinall got through, that's fine, it's just a real, real shame that we couldn't see Warren anywhere near his peak.

As an aside, they really need to rework the draw so you don't get rematches in the quarter finals. It's not difficult to put people in the other half of the draw. I get that some of it is done for logistical/spacing reasons, but you can easily have a quarter being AvB, CvD (where A-D all played on the same day in the groups), then have the same on the other side of the draw, with the schedule as is some players are needing to play the quarters on one day's rest rather than two in any case, this maintains the evenness for both players.

As for tonight's games, I want to grab Clayton (I read it as a flip and he's 6/4), but Dimitri seems to be so far ahead of his longer timeframe performances this week that I won't touch it. Wade/White line looks right, this does appear fairly close with James having the slight edge, maybe it could be even closer than the line indicates, but there's no real betting advantage here. Hunt is also tempting, I've got him as having slightly over a one in three shot and he's about 5/2, but I don't think he's got any real notable longer format experience, which could play hugely into Simon's hands. I can only find three UK Open last 64 games and one worlds appearance and he's lost the lot, not really getting close apart from pushing Kevin McDine all the way (remember him?) in 2013. Finally, it's very near to a bet on de Sousa, if I was pricing it I'd go 8/13 rather than 8/11, the edge isn't quite there, there's again a little bit of an issue with experience in longer format matches, Chisnall has a huge edge there which may narrow down any skill advantage Jose currently has.

Will go for the other four last sixteen games tomorrow. 

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