Friday, 25 December 2020

Overall thoughts on rounds one and two

Merry Christmas to everyone first and foremost.

I suppose the most surprising thing that we've seen in this year's worlds so far is just how one sided the splits between seeds and non seeds in round two, and before that the Pro Tour and international list, have been in favour of the "stronger" list. If we look at round one first:

Top quarter had 5/8 tour card holders advance, losers being Kleermaker (done over by testing), Telnekes (towards the weaker end, lost to a card holder anyway) and Humphries (missed match darts against Lim, then ended up with 15 darts to finish 89 to go 2-1 up in the decider and fucked it up). Second quarter was similarly 5/8, losers being Kuivenhoven (again towards the weaker end and lost to a card holder), Beaton (way off form) and Heta (this one was a surprise but Baggish is pretty damned strong). Third quarter was 7/8, loser being Hamilton, combination of being towards the bottom end of the qualifier list and Kurz being towards the upper end of the international list. Bottom quarter was 6/8 - Woodhouse blowing a won position against a tour card holder, then de Decker simultaneously shit the bed and ran into an opponent probably on a two-sigma outlier in terms of performance.

Second round is not much better. Every seed made it through the top quarter. Second quarter was a 50/50 split - Hughes was injured, Cross had one of the strongest non-seeds and took it to a decider, Smith got too far behind to an inspired Jason Lowe who was doing the sort of stuff he did in the earlier part of the year, then Lewis ran into Baggish. Third quarter only had Ian White and de Zwaan lose - de Zwaan was easily in the bottom quarter of seeds and Searle in the top quarter of non-seeds, and White didn't do a hell of a lot wrong against an inspired Kim Huybrechts. Then like the top quarter, every seed won.

What do we make of this? We're told that the depth of the field is stronger than ever, yet it seems like it was a case of the tour card holders smacking up the non tour card holders, and then the seeds smacking up whoever. I think this is mainly due to what 2020's been - at least in terms of the international field, we've been so limited in terms of actual chances to play, and definitely in terms of longer format matches. Then again, did any games longer than best of 11 take place anywhere outside the PDC in 2019?

I'll look at the betting tomorrow. In terms of what we did on the last day, we lost both bets to leave us down half a unit in the tournament so far. I don't think either bet was bad - Razma looked dangerous enough, had darts to win both the legs on his throw in the first set, won the second set (nice to have back to back nine dart attempts), can't do too much about Ando hitting a twelve to break in set three, then it was just a case of failing to take the chances to break Ando in the decider in set four. He had enough darts - eighteen of them, it was just another case of Madars being frustratingly inconsistent. Then we had Scott Waites blowing chances again - even before he missed four match darts in the final set (having been 2-0 up), he missed three darts to take set four to a decider and throw for the match. Can't complain - right process, wrong results. At least now, we've only got Baggish who we don't have a great deal of data about, but we've got enough, and given his opponent and the price I think it's easy enough to work out what to do there.

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