Thursday, 16 September 2021

Bit of a break

Been a while since a post, been busy with other projects, but quickly new FRH rankings:

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Peter Wright
3 Michael van Gerwen
4 James Wade
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Gary Anderson
7 Jose de Sousa
8 Michael Smith (UP 1)
9 Dave Chisnall (DOWN 1)
10 Krzysztof Ratajski
11 Joe Cullen
12 Jonny Clayton
13 Dirk van Duijvenbode
14 Nathan Aspinall
15 Stephen Bunting
16 Devon Petersen
17 Mervyn King
18 Simon Whitlock
19 Daryl Gurney
20 Luke Humphries (NEW)

Grats to Gerwyn for some great darts where it mattered to bink Hungary, Smith's final moves him up to eighth, Humphries' semi pushes him well above White (would have been above with a first round exit, but still), while de Sousa is extremely close to Anderson now and is within striking distance of the top five. A good run in Gib may be enough. Dolan is up to the top 25, while Lewis Williams is in the top 100 for the first time, Gawlas isn't far behind. Adam'll be there after the European Championship for sure.

Scotland won the World Cup. Real feel good story for Hendo, as well as the Austria team, going to be fun seeing them all in the Grand Slam for sure. Some decent games, but there's been some right stinkers as well. They really need to expand the field to 40 and add an extra session for a prelim round to both allow more teams in, as well as to filter out those who we want to see there, but really can't cut it. China and Italy didn't even get darts at a double, let alone win a leg. Can we not expand the field to include a returning New Zealand, Latvia, France (Tricole +1 wouldn't be horrible) and some other emerging nations? At least if you trim off the worst, you don't get horrible mismatches in the last 32. All talk about making it pairs only, I don't know, I'm on record as not being a fan of the format, but for a one-off event like this, I think it'd be fine to do it, although you do miss the backstage shots of the guy who isn't playing in the singles right now.

Can't see decent quality results anywhere immediately for the England Open. Looks like Brian Raman got most of the cake, would be good to see him at Lakeside. Real shame for the WDF that they've had to kick the Masters down the can for another year but with the Netherlands being an idiot country then I don't think they have too much choice.

Won't be watching any of the Nordic Darts Masters. Busy this weekend, not ranked, nothing of real interest. Bring on Gib.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Any quarter final value?

Probably should have gone for those two marginal shots, oh well

Cullen/Humphries - Nope, nothing here. Line has Joe as a small favourite, this looks spot on.

Dolan/Price - Great win for Brendan earlier, but it doesn't get any easier, Price is nearly a 75% favourite in the market, which is a little bit too short (I've got Dolan at 32%), with the vig in the market we can't consider betting on Brendan though. Maybe if you see him win the bull and you can get on some sort of handicap?

de Sousa/Gawlas - Yeah, probably comes to an end for Adam here, but he's played some really great stuff and if the vig levels off, it's not too far off a speculative tiny punt. Jose didn't play great earlier, or yesterday for that matter, if he's only in second gear and pacing himself then fine.

Wright/Smith - Hope nothing's seriously up with Borland, but we won't speculate. Smith was meh against an equally meh Barry, this looks about 60/40 in favour of Wright on paper, oddschecker has literally just put the line up and it looks to be shaded a bit more in favour of Wright, but nowhere near enough to consider taking Smith.

If we look at semi finals, Price should be about 4/7 against Cullen, 1/2 against Humphries, if Dolan does pull the upset then the semi is going to be extremely close either way. Maybe shade Cullen as 10/11 against evens, the other way around against Humphries. de Sousa against Wright ought to be 4/5 JdS and 5/4 Wright, whereas if Smith were to advance Jose should be 8/15 perhaps? Could be sneaky Jose value. We'll see.

Quick last 16 post

Thanks Adam Gawlas!

Cullen/Cross - Priced fairly even with Cullen having a tiny edge. This seemed fair at a first glance, and is fair looking at the numbers, 52/48 in favour of Cullen.

Wade/Humphries - We've seen this one quite a few times this year and always gone with Luke, who is 11/10, which I think is enough of a line correction not to bet it. Luke should be the tiniest of favourites, but it's even closer than the match above, so there's not the value despite him being odds against.

van Gerwen/Dolan - MvG's pretty short here at a first look, shorter than 2/5. This is quite close to be honest, Dolan is 5/2 which relates to a fair win chance of 29%. I think it's more like 37%, but I'll hold off on pulling the trigger only on account of Michael looking good yesterday, that gives me just enough pause to think he might outperform the model slightly which would remove any value.

Price/Heta - Pretty similarly priced matchup here, I'm not quite sure what that says about Heta in relation to Dolan, or Price in relation to van Gerwen for that matter. This one looks fine though, Price should win this just over two in three.

de Sousa/Aspinall - This is again fairly close to a bet. 4/7 on de Sousa implies about a 64% chance to win, I see it at 70%. There's not quite enough of a combination of the market still not liking de Sousa and still liking Aspinall (who's still fine, just not in the top 25 of scoring this year) to go for the bet though.

Gawlas/Williams - Huge opportunity for both here, line is thinking 60/40 in favour of Lewis. That might be a little unfair on Adam, but not enough to be betting it, should be more like 6/5 instead of 6/4.

Wright/Borland - This one does look priced correctly. Borland's done us good this weekend, and if you ended up taking a flier on Mensur being rusty as well, you got rewarded, but Borland 5/1 appears on the money. I see 19%, that's close enough.

Smith/Barry - Probably a highlight this one as long as Keane shows up. Not for betting though, I see Keane as having a little less than a one in three shot, and he's 9/4, so meh. No thanks.

Should be back for quick quarter thoughts before the football.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Hungary round 2 bets

We went 2/3 yesterday, although the third one (and the first one to be fair) were a lot closer than they needed to be. Keegan didn't do it, you can't afford to be giving anyone three legs in more than eighteen darts, come on lad.

Today:

0.1u Gawlas 9/2, he looked good yesterday. 96 average, every leg in fifteen darts or less, sure this is a big longshot ask and I'm only seeing him at 25%, but the performance yesterday makes me think he might be able to nick it enough to make this value.

0.1u Hempel 5/1, this is kind of similar, a speculative long shot, I'm seeing Hempel just shy of 30%, so 5/1, what the hell. He's going to need to up his game a lot from yesterday, but clearly can.

That's it. No real value at all. Just a couple of long shots where they seem to be overvaluing the favourites. Don't expect these to work too often, think we end up 0/2 quite a lot of the time, but we only need to hit one to make a solid profit, and it's all about picking players we think win more than the odds suggest.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Hungary bets

Disappointing lack of lead time to pick out bets, I know the draw was a bit later than usual, but they knew the home nation qualifiers in advance so there's no excuse for the bookies. Quickfire round it is:

0.25u Borland 1/2, this seems a bit of value, William's extremely underrated and Johan isn't really that good

0.25u Brown 10/11, only seems like small value given where I think Richard is at, but this is a big event for Veenstra, and maybe he's half thinking of hightailing it to Niedernhausen?

Gawlas seems really close. If you see 7/4 then go for it, I'm only looking at two books because loloddschecker and can't see better than 13/8.

0.25u Hempel 4/9, not quite as close as I'd thought but still enough value to take the bet.

The rest look pretty much on point, disappointing lack of value but there we go.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Hungary draw thoughts

Feel sad for Noppert, perfectly understandable he's withdrawn, as one of the few players that remain in our Betting Circle of Trust, it's a potential missed opportunity but darts takes a back seat at this sort of time. Hope we see him back for Gibraltar. Also a shame that, given they did the home nations qual in advance, we've got a first round bye to O'Connor, but hey! The European Tour is back! Let's analyse!

Cullen v Nentjes/de Vos - Geert on Geert violence! You love to see it. Seems a pretty close one on paper, Nentjes looks like he has the slight edge, 10/11 for him would appear to be a fair line. Joe's got to be reasonably happy with this draw. If he were to face Nentjes, he'd be an easy 2-1 favourite.

Cross v Strbik/Smith - Rob got the last minute seed callup, and has a particularly tricky opponent - assuming Ross Smith gets through Peter Strbik. We don't know a great deal about Peter, looks to be a Euro Tour debut, no signs of any form anywhere. Got to think Ross cruises through, and from there, it's a dead coin flip.

Wade v O'Connor - Can go straight to round two here. Willie's been a bit quiet this season, but it's a decent opportunity here, nick this one, and it's not unreasonable - Wade's 65/35 - and he's in with a very good shot of getting to a major. James probably thinking this to be a middle of the road draw, sounds about right.

Petersen v Humphries/Razma - Luke probably the strongest player in the first round, so it's a bit unfortunate for Madars to get this draw, especially given the fuck up in communication re: the World Cup "yeah, Latvia are in, oh, wait". Luke a bit stronger than a 2-1 favourite, and he'd be about the same against Devon, so I guess Petersen is hoping for Razma to pull the upset?

van Gerwen v van der Voort/Gurney - Nice looking section here. First round game seems too close to call, seem to have comparable form, and you'd think that both would be treating this as a final. You'll probably get tips to go against MvG in round two, but it's all going to depend on the price. Michael should still win this two times out of three.

Dolan v Soutar/Rucska - Was an interesting interview with Jozsef on the Weekly Dartscast this morning, and he got the draw he wanted. Don't think Alan's quite the same player from when they played previously, and as such should advance easily enough. Dolan in round two should be a great match up, definitely excited to see this one, Brendan ought to have a 60/40 edge there.

Price v Veenstra/Brown - Another exciting debut here, this time for Richard Veenstra, and it's a decent test against Keegan Brown. We've got a bit on Veenstra from the Challenge Tour, pity he has to miss weekend two (maybe if he loses he can dive into events 9-12?), and Keegan probably deserves to be maybe a 60/40 favourite? Price should be extremely comfortable in round two, something like a 4-1 favourite.

Heta v Whitlock/Webster - Boy, this first round match would have been pretty spicy five years ago when Webster was having his second wind, now maybe not so much, he's declined a fair bit while Simon's not quite at the same level but certainly hasn't had the same amount of dropoff. 70/30 for Simon. Round two, if Whitlock does win, has a lot of automatic story, Damon should have the edge, but not by a huge amount, approaching 60/40.

de Sousa v Vegso/Murnan - We've seen Janos a couple of times previously and he's looked alright, albeit not in the sort of form which we think will cause Joe serious problems. Murnan's been throwing at a 90 clip all season and should be a solid favourite. Against de Sousa, not so much, that's another 4-1 type of match.

Aspinall v Lewis/Brooks - Decent opportunity for Adrian here, who needs the ranking points for multiple reasons. Bradley managed to pick up a Development Tour and should be full of confidence, but Adrian's been playing substantially better. Bradley's got next to no twelve darters and can't finish in fifteen anywhere near often enough. Adie should be something like 1/4, and actually a slight favourite against Nathan.

Clayton v Krcmar/Gawlas - This is a real interesting first round game. Krcmar has been around for ages and looked really good in the time where he's taken steel tip seriously, whereas Gawlas is at the other end of his career, showing flashes but still fairly inconsistent. Actually seems quite close on paper, Krcmar has the edge but it's not by much at all. 55/45. Clayton ought to take the next round three times out of four, so a strong favourite as you'd expect, but not automatic.

Ratajski v Jagica/Williams - Another domestic qualifier I don't know anything about. Not on dartsdatabase. Complete random. Williams has looked a fair bit better than I thought he would do this season, and is probably not drawing dead against Krzysztof - it'd be a big ask, but one in three doesn't seem unreasonable?

Wright v Hempel/Jones - Jake really seems to mostly be making up the numbers on tour having won his tour card, having a huge string of first round defeats and mediocre scoring. Shame, maybe he's more of a second year guy, but he is here, albeit going to be a huge dog to Florian, who should take this more than three times out of four. Wright ought not to have huge trouble, but I can't see this being priced as the 2/5 that I think it ought to be, especially if Florian gets dragged down to Jake's level, so could be a bit of an underdog shot on Saturday?

Suljovic v Engstrom/Borland - Johan's been around for a while, hasn't looked great this year. Borland should have no trouble. Suljovic we're a bit clueless on, as he's been absent for so long, so maybe there's a fair bit of rust that needs shaking off? I don't see Mensur as much better than 60/40 in any case, so this could be one to monitor.

Smith v Beaton/Michael - Steve could do with picking up cash here. Michael much the same, albeit for different reasons. Steve should be too strong, but John's doing enough to have a bit more than a one in three shot. Michael on the other hand just needs to do his job and he should reach the last sixteen, Steve would have a bit more than a one in four chance, but not by much.

van Duijvenbode v Lovely/Barry - Big shot for Keane here, Lovely got through the associate qualifier but hasn't done much on the Challenge Tour and just plodded at low-mid eighties in orthodox averages. No trouble for Keane. Keane against Dirk is incredibly interesting, Dirk's got somewhere between a 60% and a two in three chance, but that should have great pace and be a preview of late round major matches for years to come.

Bets will be up once lines are posted. Can only see outrights at this stage.

Monday, 30 August 2021

So what's happened in August?

RIP Kyle Anderson is the main thing. Incredibly sad, made a great impression on the game but was unfortunately just on the wrong side of a couple of razor thin matches which could easily have seen him break into the big time. He'll be missed, had plenty of time to return later on after his returning his card but we'll never know.

Womens' Series was cancelled. Can't say I blame the PDC, the take-up on the continent was incredibly poor and they didn't really have too much of a choice in the matter. At least they are keeping the options open in terms of events by extending the two in the UK, but this has got to be disappointing for them.

Last Super Series was a bit chalky. Searle the only real surprise, and even then he already had course and distance and wasn't too far off the top players. Price and Wright will claim the other two and the plaudits, but van Gerwen actually had the highest scoring, by nearly two clear points. Probably getting close to the stage where we can freely back him for value. Schindler again put up some great performances, averaging in the top 10. We're backing him each way until further notice.

UK Challenge Tour was all about Jim Williams and Adam Smith-Neale. Jim's been fine for quite some time, but it's great to see Adam back throwing near his best after the injury issue god knows how long ago now. Outside of them, it was all Scotland, everyone binking doing fine, but generally the overall standard was a bit hit and miss. Quite a lot of players getting to the latter stages but not scoring brilliantly once there. Second weekend for both starts on Friday, which is going to be a huge weekend with the European Tour back as well.

It's also incredibly frustrating that they've not been able to find a time or venue to play a third European Tour event. That they only have half the events compared to last year is quite ridiculous, albeit 99% it's going to be outside of the PDC's hands. Maybe if they binned off the Nordic World Series event and the World Series finals, they could have found the time? The European Championship also, as a result, has the huge potential to be a joke - albeit one that could have betting opportunities.

Development Tour was super fun. Rusty-Jake was killing it. Almost certainly winning young player of the year here. Dom Taylor had a great weekend in the UK, although playing nowhere near the same standard. Zonneveld, Brooks, Doets, van Duivenbode, Kay, Colley and Springer amongst others all outperformed Dom over a decent sample size, but hey, it's a results business.

I'll be back Thursday evening for Euro Tour bets. It's been a while.

Saturday, 21 August 2021

I'm still here, honest

I was going to post quickly after PC 21-23, but got distracted with a few real life things which put me off. I was then going to post after the Challenge Tour, but then thought "well they'll surely be posting something about the Euro Tour/Euro Championship soon", so I'll wait for that. Then it's close enough to the Development Tour, so I'll wait for that. So what I'll do early next week is do an uberpost collating a bunch of thoughts about what's happened in August and what's going on soon, before we get into the countdown of the European Tour. It's still incredibly disappointing that it looks in all likelihood we're only going to have two events on there - how that works with the European Championship, which I assume is happening given it's been listed as a qualifying event for the Grand Slam, who knows. Maybe they could take the top 16 from the two events and then invite the top player from each country not yet qualified to get a big range of players?

I will post up new FRH rankings as they're long overdue:

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Peter Wright
3 Michael van Gerwen
4 James Wade
5 Dimitri van den Bergh
6 Gary Anderson
7 Jose de Sousa
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Michael Smith
10 Krzysztof Ratajski
11 Joe Cullen
12 Jonny Clayton
13 Dirk van Duijvenbode
14 Nathan Aspinall
15 Stephen Bunting
16 Devon Petersen
17 Mervyn King
18 Simon Whitlock
19 Daryl Gurney
20 Ian White (NEW)

Only change is White dumping Durrant out of the top 20, but with Humphries now less than 2500 points behind him in 22nd, White is surely back out again son. Searle is up to 27 after his second bink. van Gerwen is nearly as close to Wade as he is Wright, which might surprise you, while Dimitri and Gary are fairly close.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Matchplay aftermath

It's in the books, congrats to Peter, Dimitri couldn't quite retain but has got to be somewhat happy with the way he's played, moving himself out of the trickier seeds and into the nice 4/5 spot. The upshot of the final is that Wright's now got the second highest scoring of the season (de Sousa is still higher), and Dimitri sits nicely in seventh behind the "big three", de Sousa, Clayton and the ever impressive Ratajski.

New FRH rankings:

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Peter Wright (UP 1)
3 Michael van Gerwen (DOWN 1)
4 James Wade
5 Dimitri van den Bergh (UP 2)
6 Gary Anderson (DOWN 1)
7 Jose de Sousa (DOWN 1)
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Michael Smith
10 Krzysztof Ratajski (UP 3)
11 Joe Cullen (DOWN 1)
12 Jonny Clayton (DOWN 1)
13 Dirk van Duijvenbode (DOWN 1)
14 Nathan Aspinall
15 Stephen Bunting
16 Devon Petersen
17 Mervyn King
18 Simon Whitlock (UP 1)
19 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 1)
20 Glen Durrant

Yes, oddly, Whitlock moves up a spot above Gurney, despite not playing in the event and Gurney picked up first round prize money. Weird how that works but it is what it is. The big mover lower down was obviously Callan Rydz who hits number 33, but now the hard work comes with the big names just above him.

Dropped a quarter of a unit betting wise. As mentioned previously, there wasn't too much value at all after the first round, especially given how chalky the first round was - I'd still take de Sousa again, only reason there was value there was people still don't realise just how good he is, and would obviously take Aspinall again over Anderson, as people still think he's an elite player, rather than someone who, this season, isn't even in the top 25 of scoring. No real qualms with any of the first round bets - if offered the same odds today I probably wouldn't take Noppert over Wright (it's still close), and I might tone down the Heta sizing a bit, but would still go Dobey over Cullen at odds against.

We're back on for another Super Series from Monday - worryingly, there's an extra event slotted in rather than further European Tour qualifiers. Quite how we're likely to get less Euro Tours this season than last is just a statement on how quite mad governments are nowadays - there should have been plenty of time to plan more than three events. That said, there simply isn't the calendar space, and that's the real issue. I've got to assume they go with ET3 on the weekend after the Grand Prix. There's no other space to put it. But what on earth do they do with the European Championship? Doing it on Euro Tour money was already a joke last year, but with even less events? That's not going to be pretty in the slightest. Then again, they're still holding the World Series of Darts finals. Madness.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Matchplay final - still no bets

Think the line's a little bit harsh on Dimitri, but nowhere near enough to bet. At a best price that I can see that's no better than 6/4 (oddschecker is doing some strange stuff), I'd need Dimitri to be a favourite. But he's not, I'm seeing 55/45 for Wright. As such, maybe the line should be a little bit tighter, but it's nowhere near enough edge to consider a bet on this one.

Congrats to Lourence Ilagan, who's managed to bink the Phillipines qualifier and will be back at the worlds next winter. Always good to see players from that region, it's just a shame that when they were starting to really get the opportunities to play more competitive darts via the Asian Tour, they've kind of taken a step back, but we'll see how this one goes.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Matchplay semis - we still have no bets

This is kind of what I thought we would see given that there were no bets in the quarter finals, and additionally that there were just the two bets in the second round - and the factors that I think gave us the bets in the second round (people still not realising quite how good de Sousa is, and people still thinking Anderson is better than he is) went away.

That said, Ratajski's fairly close to a punt. Very, very close. I don't hate it if you want to go with it at 2/1 - I'm seeing Ratajski at 39% to take it, which is close on its own, but when you factor in that Krzysztof is playing with much greater consistency than Dimitri (only just over two points lower on losing legs than winning, compared to Dimitri at nearly six), the Pole's actually scoring more per turn overall. I'm not going to recommend it as a bet, but I'll have a bit of it for funking power. Also a bit of an intangible in that Dimitri has been here before and is defending, and this is uncharted waters in a major for Ratajski.

Wright/van Gerwen really is too close to call. The market will give you 5/6 on Wright and 21/20 on MvG - I have Wright at 52.7%, so there's no value. They're incredibly evenly matched, fourth and fifth in scoring overall this year separated by only a fifth of a point, their scoring in winning legs is separated by less than a tenth of a point - Wright being higher, but a bit lower on losing legs giving van Gerwen the higher overall scoring. Wright being ever so slightly faster to finish in four and five visits gives him the tiny edge.

It's going to be a great session, I would not be surprised if we got a match of the year candidate out of this one.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Matchplay quarters

Pity about de Sousa. Thought he was going to be a lock to win at more than one stage of the match, but fair play to Smith for getting through it. Would be great if he finally breaks his major duck, would probably be the player I want to win from his half of the draw (would take whoever wins from Ratajski/Rydz in the other half).

Quarters ongoing, the Ratajski/Rydz line looks spot on, Krzysztof's been playing more than well enough to justify his price, I'm getting it spot on 75/25, so nothing of value there. Price/DvdB is close to the same story, Price is correctly favourite, but he's not a 4/6 (only available on one obscure book) favourite. It's a 55/45 matchup. Sadly, nowhere's offering anything like long enough to make the defending champion any sort of value.

Tomorrow starts with Wright/Smith, I've got Wright as a bit better than 60%, but not quite a two in three winner. The market agrees. Which just leaves the van Gerwen/Aspinall game - I thought Nathan hadn't played well enough this season that 4/9 on van Gerwen might be considered value, even accounting for MvG playing better than results, but it isn't. It's more or less a perfect line.

As such, nothing can be recommended, and I doubt we see anything for the semis or final if the market's assessment of everyone that's left is as accurate as it appears right now. Maybe, just maybe, if Ratajski comes through he becomes undervalued, but we'll wait and see.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Matchplay day 4/5

Moderately disappointing first round. Both in terms of betting, where we dropped quarter of a unit, and in terms of interest, with the only seeds dropping out being two we bet against, and the one everyone was picking to go out. So we've got an awful lot of seed on seed action, and even one of the non-seeds has just got himself back into the top sixteen as a result of his win.

Anything we like today? Rydz is close to being worth a sniff, I think 5/2 is a little bit unkind as I'm seeing him as winning ever so slightly more than one in three, but he was so mediocre in the first round that I couldn't consider it. How much of that was Durrant pulling Rydz down to his level, I don't know. We're not going with it though. Humphries and Ratajski should be a nailbiter. Looks like the market has Krzysztof as the tiniest of favourites - this seems fine, I see it at around 55/45 in his favour as well. Maybe this'll be the first tie breaker we get. Hopefully. Clayton is extremely close to a bet. I've got Price as the favourite, but he's not quite 55%. 8/5 doesn't need that much win percentage for Jonny, but it's not quite there. Finally we've got van den Bergh/Chisnall. This, to me, seems exactly the same. I was thinking a Chisnall bet, again at 8/5, but the betting model does actually throw Dimitri out as a favourite. Again, it's small, not quite 55%. Can't quite pull the trigger.

May as well look at day 5 as well. I think we can go Jose again - 0.25u de Sousa 4/7. That needs 64% to break even, I see 75%. He's just that good right now. Anderson/Aspinall is priced as a flip in the market, but I think Nathan's just about good enough to fire - 0.25u Aspinall evs. I'm getting a shade over 60%, so for even money, that's worth it. Ando's a little bit more consistent, but Aspinall still scores more. Can't be wrong. van Gerwen/White looks just fine, it's priced with MvG winning 75-80% of the time, maybe it's a little less than that, but picking White to win this one with that small an edge seems suicidal to me. Finally it's Wright/Cullen, which looks just about right again. Joe's probably undervalued a little bit, I'm seeing just over 40%, but with him priced at 7/4 I need a bit more than that. I'd probably take it if we saw better than 2/1, but that's it.

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Matchplay tips

RIP Andy Fordham

Alright, will go through in bracket order, briefly it's a shame that Suljovic withdrew, but you would surely think that whatever has actually caused him to withdraw was known about at the time he opted not to play the last Super Series? It may potentially have made somewhat of a difference in what people think they need to do, and alter the amount of pressure. Oh well, it's not going to affect anything.

Price/Wattimena - Got to think Jermaine is close to drawing dead in this one. The master computer does give him about a 20% shot, so he can't have been playing as badly as thought, so the near 1/5 that there is on Gerwyn is no value at all. Probably slightly less chance for Jermaine taking consistency into account, but nowhere near enough to consider a bet.

Clayton/van Duijvenbode - This is going to be fun, there's a lot of high quality matchups in round one but this is likely the pick of them. Dirk's well respected in the betting and is only 8/5, this seems like it should be Clayton at around 1/2. Close to value but not enough.

van den Bergh/Petersen - 8 months ago this would have been a great matchup, but Devon's had a pretty mediocre 2021, it's dropped off a cliff to the point where he's scoring less than 90 per turn, sandwiched between Ron Meulenkamp and Joe Murnan. 2/5 on Dimitri is really close to value, it should be 2/7.

Chisnall/van der Voort - Both of these have been fairly quiet in 2021, Dave obviously had a great worlds though, although Vincent's done enough to get here comfortably - looks fairly safe for the Grand Prix right now so it can't all be front loaded. Another one where the line looks good, it's exactly a Chisnall winning two in three, which give or take a percent or two is how I see it as well.

Wade/Humphries - In terms of overall quality, this is probably a top three game in the first round. James has been playing very solid stuff, but Luke's outplayed him this season - scoring a point and a half more per turn with greater consistency. I'm predicting that he'll avenge the UK Open final, just, with about a 56% chance. That's enough for me to go 0.25u Humphries 11/8.

Ratajski/Dolan - If the above match was top three, this is above it, only behind the Clayton game. We've talked about Brendan quite a bit, regular readers will know that we find him hugely underrated, but Ratajski's probably there as well, he's not got results in 2021, but nobody outside of Clayton, de Sousa, Price, van Gerwen and Wright is scoring more than Krzysztof in 2021. As such, I've got him at 56% to take it, which with him being slightly favoured results in no bet.

Cross/Smith - Probably quite a few people will be sniffing at Ross here at odds against, having won recently and with Cross seemingly been quiet. It seems fair enough, and I am very, very close to taking a small stab - the prediction model says it's a coinflip, so 7/5 would ordinarily be right on the margins, but Rob has a fair bit better consistency, which is enough to put me off. If there's money coming in on Rob and Smith drifts to better than 6/4, then I'll add something on, but I really don't see that happening.

Durrant/Rydz - This is a bit one sided in the market. Callan's nearly as short at 1/3. Is that fair? I think so. Glen was able to get a couple of wins, but is still a long way off the pace, nowhere near where he was at when he won the Premier League. I've got Rydz at 72% so yet again I think the line looks alright.

Wright/Noppert - Wright won the last title and is looking in decent form, fifth in scoring in 2021, but Danny continues to play solidly under the radar, with top ten level scoring. As such, he's got a great chance of repeating what he did last year where he dumped out a top three seed in the first round - 40% looks good enough to take 0.25u Noppert 11/4, that's more than a 10% difference between what I'm seeing and what the market is seeing, so we'll go for it. Would probably have talked about Noppert more but he's seeded in Pro Tours in such a way that he usually gets bad sections.

Cullen/Dobey - We're going to go for another bet here, and it's going to be on the underdog - 0.25u Dobey 11/10, now that he's crept into the field by finally winning a title, he's got to be full of confidence, whereas Joe, who's had a good season with two Pro Tour wins, seems to be slightly off the boil (although still playing extremely well). The two player's scoring ratings are basically identical, but Dobey's is weighted a bit more towards winning legs and is checking off in fifteen at a much higher rate than Cullen. Only de Sousa is doing that more often. That's enough for me.

Smith/Searle - Market has this fairly close. Searle's 11/8, Smith's 8/11. This feels extremely like the Cross/Smith game to me - the master computer says it's a flip, so Ryan's not quite long enough when I factor in that Michael has a touch bit better consistency, enough to put him about half a point up in overall scoring. Don't hate a Ryan bet, but it's not there for me.

de Sousa/Clemens - Jose's the best player in the world right now. Clemens, while scoring over 90 this season, hasn't done much in terms of results and is quite possibly not even the second best player in Germany right now. Jose should take this with minimum fuss, 0.5u de Sousa 1/3, I'm seeing better than 85%. This looks extremely safe.

van Gerwen/Heta - Much has been talked about Michael not having won a title yet this season, but he is not playing badly. Not at all. He's third in scoring. That said, Heta's less than a couple of points behind and playing well. I see slightly better than a 1 in 3 shot, kind of between that and 40%. We can get 3/1, so I'll take a punt, 0.25u Heta 3/1. Only needs to be right 25% of the time to break even. It should be more than that.

Gurney/White - Huge game for both players in the context of plenty of things, with both hovering around the top 16 and both not with a great Pro Tour record to the point where the Grand Prix would not be a banker if they don't get in through the OOM. Bookies can barely separate them, but I've got White at 58%, so 0.25u White evs, he's scoring a clear point higher and Daryl seemingly has next to no power game with less than 8% of won legs being in twelve or better.

Anderson/Bunting - Seems extremely close on paper. Most metrics between the two have very little separation and it looks like a genuine coinflip to me. Stephen's 11/8. That's close, especially given he has won a title recently. Wouldn't hate a bet on Bunting, but it's another game where I think it's too close to call and the market is just about in line enough. If Gary shortens, lay him.

Aspinall/King - Mervyn's quietly going about his business and is scoring well enough to be comfortably within the top 20 on that metric, scoring heavier than Aspinall whichever way you look at it, enough to give him a 60/40 edge. Nathan's only really favourite on name value, so 0.25u King 11/8, that might be the best bet of the round.

I'm off to put these on, good luck everyone.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Super Series 5 done

Pretty interesting set of events. A bit disappointing on the betting front, notably me switching off Dolan for day 3 because of a draw change and the de Sousa missing eight championship darts, but that was quite a list of winners. Bunting for the first time since forever and Dobey for the first time ever, forcing their way into the Matchplay field at the expense of Razma (who bricked all four events) and Wattimena (who bricked three and made one board final), then Ross Smith nicked a first title, before a pretty chalky fourth event saw Wright defeat van Gerwen to keep MvG without a title in 2021.

Also had quite a few European Tour qualifiers - quite a few big names in from there, and quite a few missing out on all of them. Cross and Whitlock made it through all three, as did Florian Hempel (who played alright on the Super Series as a whole, picking up three grand, being by far the lowest ranked player to cash all four events) and Keane Barry, who'll surely do very well from getting a bunch of stage experience with crowds. No Chisnall for any of them is quite the surprise.

So the Matchplay field is complete - I'll chuck out some betting tips nearer the time, although at a first glance nothing jumped out as huge value. Biggest name to miss out was obviously Whitlock, but there's quite a few big names not there. Wattimena dropped out as mentioned, but there's no Lewis, no de Zwaan, no Hughes, Barney couldn't work his way in, Beaton misses out for the first time since forever... there's a lot of new faces.

New FRH rankings (incorporates minimum Matchplay cash, without this move Whitlock up three places):

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Peter Wright
4 James Wade
5 Gary Anderson
6 Jose de Sousa
7 Dimitri van den Bergh
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Michael Smith
10 Joe Cullen
11 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
12 Dirk van Duijvenbode (DOWN 1)
13 Krzysztof Ratajski
14 Nathan Aspinall
15 Stephen Bunting (UP 1)
16 Devon Petersen (UP 3)
17 Mervyn King (NEW)
18 Daryl Gurney
19 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 4)
20 Glen Durrant (DOWN 3)

Rob Cross is out of there. Dobey is back into the top 30 after his title, while Smith is one place outside of the top 32, a first round win over Cross (which doesn't seem an unreasonable ask to be honest, although Cross is correctly the favourite) will get him there. Petersen jumping that much is more down to the struggles of Whitlock and Durrant to be honest. Elsewhere, Dolan's final moves him to #26, a good series from Scott Mitchell gets him into the top 70, while surprise package Chas Barstow is one place outside the top 100. Also at some point in the last month, Corey Cadby finally dropped off the rankings completely. How good it would be to see him back, even if not firing completely on all cylinders.

Scanning through the list of players, it's still the "big three" with de Sousa and Clayton that make up the top five in scoring, but after that there's still some great each way value to be had in the Pro Tours. The next two down are Ratajski and Humphries, Krzysztof's had a bit of a quiet 2021 and is dropping to around 40/1, which is probably worth a punt these days, Luke's 50/1 generally. Noppert's up into the top ten and is frequently triple digits. Dobey's up to tenth as well but may have lost some of the value having binked just this past week. Then we've got some players like Heta, Smith, Dolan, van Duijvenbode, Cross, King and Searle, all of whom may be worth the shot on any given tournament. Schindler seems to remain an auto punt, as does Huybrechts, but I'll chuck out another name - James Wilson is scoring over 92 this season. That's sandwiching him between White, Aspinall, Rydz and Ross Smith, which isn't bad company at all (right behind those five is Ando as well). He's somewhat of a forgotten man but if he's got over some injury issues (I think he had injury issues at least) and is back to his best where he was pushing towards the top 32, then I don't think it's unreasonable to look at a potential semi final run from him at some point.

I'm going to check out what's happening outside the PDC - looks like there's been some CDC action this weekend, but take a quick look at the Grand Prix race. Normally you'd only see a couple of changes between the Matchplay and Grand Prix in terms of field, but right now, Gurney is out, Petersen is out (and not particularly close on the Pro Tour rankings, I guess the Euro Tour he binked drops off before the cutoff?), White's only safe by a couple of grand, Kleermaker and Labanauskas are provisionally in, while Barney's less than a grand away. That might be a surprisingly interesting race to follow. May all come down to when they schedule remaining Euro Tours?

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Actual darts!

Good to see the Challenge Tour underway. Really pleased to see Matt Campbell get most of the cake, with the amount of bullshit that Jeff Smith's had to go through because lol Canada, it'd not be unreasonable to think he might give it a miss, but he won two events and did decently in another, so fair play. Puts him in a great spot to make the worlds, and also to perhaps grab a tour card. Hopefully he can nick a Euro Tour spot tomorrow, with some of the other winners rushing straight to Coventry (Doets has gone, as have both of the Rodriguezes) maybe he can do it.

And we do have the Euro Tour back. Hungary and Gibraltar so far, you might have thought they could have got one or more on in August, but it is what it is. They might hold August for more Pro Tour events. Hungary's irritatingly timed for associates with it being on the same weekend as the Challenge Tour (both streams) and the Dutch Open, so maybe they could have looked to do that a little earlier, but I don't know what the venue has in terms of availability. Maybe they announce a couple to take place before then, but I doubt it. There's a big hole in October where they can do some, maybe they just have to have the European Championship held a fair bit later than usual, although the Grand Slam is yet to be scheduled. A midweek Euro Tour would be a sexy option, there's lots of large cities in the Rhine/Ruhr region where they could host with just a day's break between the two and minimal logistical problems.

We do finally have a list of entries for the Super Series. Let's look for value. Here's the seedings as we expect them to be, seems like a full field except for no Suljovic:

1-32-16-17: Cullen, Bunting, Cross, Chisnall
8-25-9-24: Wade, R Smith, Petersen, Rydz
4-29-13-20: van Gerwen, Kleermaker, Noppert, Clemens
5-28-12-21: Price, Wattimena, Heta, Humphries

2-31-15-18: de Sousa, Razma, Aspinall, Gurney
7-26-10-23: Clayton, Searle, Ratajski, King
3-30-14-19: Wright, Joyce, Dolan, White
6-27-11-22: M Smith, van den Bergh, van Duijvenbode, van der Voort

First thing we want to do is to look at the scary players and see if there's any bunching. These are usually the players that are going to be short prices, too short for each way value. de Sousa and Clayton are 1/2 and in the same quarter. Price, van Gerwen and Humphries are 3-4-5 and all in the same quarter. We may still consider Humphries given we can usually get at least 50/1 (we actually can), but having to come through potentially both Price and van Gerwen, as well as Heta on his board, means we'll probably look elsewhere.

So basically we're looking in quarters 1 and 4 for our value punt. We'll just scroll down the scoring to date this year after those first five. Wright is next and doesn't have a bad section, but is going to be too short. Ratajski has potential, but getting through Clayton and de Sousa, along with King being a dangerous floater on his board, means we may go elsewhere. Next is Cullen, who's a decent punt on paper, but has become too short. 25/1 was fine before he binked in the last Super Series, but he's too short now. Looking at Betfair right now, he's 12/1 fifth favourite behind the "big three", and Clayton/de Sousa. Value's gone. Then we have three players from quarter four - Smith (Michael), van Duijvenbode and Dolan. I don't mind the very bottom eighth, and we can get 25/1 on either of the first two, but I think Dirk's probably shortened a bit too much. Smith may be being slept on though, he does have a bink and a final, so that's worth looking at. Dolan however may be better at 66's though. It's actually shorter than White, and I don't think it's that outrageous to say he's value there. Then we've got Heta, who runs into the same problem as board mate Humphries. Both are 50/1, but I'd much rather take Dolan than either. Continuing to scroll, van den Bergh is too short to be value, King would be a tempter at 80/1 if he wouldn't likely have to come through three top top players to get paid on, White is the longest I've seen him in a while, but for good reason as he's just not getting results (and clearly I'm taking Dolan from that board). Cross is next at 40/1, but on that board is Chisnall, who's only two places lower and at 50/1, which is surely better. Noppert sandwiches those two but is in the MvG/Price section, although 100/1 is well worth looking at if he shifts at all - if he were to drop to Dolan's spot, we should take a look. We'll keep scrolling, Wade's the first player we see from boards 3/4, 33/1 is probably alright. Dobey's next up, but unseeded, 80/1 seems OK, but it all depends on where he drops, Rydz is to follow, and at 100/1 can't be too bad value.

As such, I think I'm going to go for a plan of attack of Michael Smith, Brendan Dolan, James Wade and Callan Rydz. We need to look for dangerous unseeded players, some of which may be worth a look in their own right. Schindler's doing better numbers than Aspinall and we can get 250/1 and is probably worth backing if he avoids a really awful draw. Soutar's dropped back to 150/1 after the initial hype. Kim Huybrechts is 200/1 and we know he can win these. Hopp's not doing too badly but for some reason isn't quoted. Ross Smith 150/1 anyone?

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Matchplay race etc

So with a rush of Euro 2020 related stuff to look at, I didn't get chance to post up anything here to walk through what I'd do to find each way value. Which is a shame, as I picked out Cullen at 25/1 to bink the first event, which was a nice little pick up. That really wasn't too difficult just looking at the draw - the top quarter seemed much, much less stacked compared to the others - I took Wade as well at 33/1 (who made the quarters, so a profit was locked in at that stage) as well as micro punts on Rydz and Boulton as insurance. Betfair's each way terms are 1/4 top four, so you just need a bit of decent distribution of the elite players to find some good spots. Second quarter pulled together van Gerwen and Wright, third quarter had de Sousa, van Duijvenbode, Clayton and Ratajski, so the current top two in points per turn in 2021, as well as numbers 7 and 9, while the bottom quarter accounted for the remainder of the top ten in Smith, Wright and Humphries. With just Cullen from the top ten in the top quarter, that seemed easy enough. You just need to look after the draw to make sure that anyone you see doesn't hit a dangerous unseeded floater like a Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, or even someone like Chris Dobey, Martin Schindler or Alan Soutar (if you're not targeting these players yourself given the correct draw, although at least in the case of the Scottish guys you've not had good value on Anderson for years and the market overcorrected on Soutar hugely)

Plenty of other great value spots if you just ignore the big names and look for players who are undervalued. That you can still get Callan Rydz at 150/1 when he has course and distance this year is unreal. Naturally with the last day being an early start, I didn't actually get on during the final day, so some value was left on the board with him and Humphries, who you can typically get at at least 50/1 if not longer. Just looking through the ratings I have for points per turn - the top 3 (de Sousa, Clayton, Price) are all on 95, but there's a lot of players on 92+ that are worth investigating - Ratajski's been drifting enough that he's now available at 50/1, which is quite absurd. Dolan, Heta, King and Noppert are all on 93 and usually offer a decent price, then on 92 you've got the likes of Dobey, Rydz and Schindler who all seem capable. Schindler in particular you can get 250/1 on usually, which is quite absurd. He's playing so well and is incredibly under the radar.

Good to see that there's ranked WDF stuff going on - unfortunately getting any useful statistics out of New Zealand is impossible, so there's nothing to add to the database at the moment.

New FRH rankings:

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Peter Wright
4 James Wade
5 Gary Anderson
6 Jose de Sousa
7 Dimitri van den Bergh
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Michael Smith
10 Joe Cullen
11 Dirk van Duijvenbode (UP 3)
12 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
13 Krzysztof Ratajski (DOWN 2)
14 Nathan Aspinall (DOWN 2)
15 Simon Whitlock (UP 2)
16 Stephen Bunting (UP 3)
17 Glen Durrant (DOWN 2)
18 Daryl Gurney
19 Devon Petersen (UP 1)
20 Rob Cross (DOWN 4)

No change in the top 10 despite JdS binking two titles - he's that far behind Anderson. Worlds money being so top heavy is a huge advantage, although Jose's now within 40k. Wright is within 10k of van Gerwen, although it's hard to tell who's deteriorating quickest. Durrant's out of the top 16 after bricking the first three events and withdrawing from the fourth, and Cross was momentarily out of the top 20 going into the last event, but held on from King for now.

Lower down, Humphries' final gets him into the top 25 above Suljovic, Searle (another player I should list in the value section at just under 92 for the season) holds a top 30 spot with his final. Heta is one spot outside of the top 30. Lewis having a decent run at a few events this week puts a few points on the board but he still remains outside the top 32. Also, right at the bottom, in less than two weeks we'll see Corey Cadby finally drop off the list. Shame.

So, what of the Matchplay race? We've got four events left, and looking at the race table for the seeds, I think everything pertinent has been decided from 11 up - Chisnall and DvdB are very close for 8/9 but that doesn't affect the draw at all. 13-15 are Ratajski/Gurney/Cullen and are all within 2k of each other, and Durrant's only about 10k above them, that's going to be a big one as getting Wade as opposed to getting Wright/van Gerwen is a big bonus. But who's going to get in on the Pro Tour?


I've taken this off dartsrankings.com, any errors here are mine for not double checking their work. Experience tells us that we should think that Searle upwards are going to be safe. Of course, it's not mathematical, but for Searle to drop out it'd need Wattimena to play solidly enough (which is questionable - he's not even got 10k in the 16 Pro Tours so far this season, and is scoring under 90 in 2021), and then two below him to put together either a deep run or multiple solid runs of a board final or better. And that's assuming Searle adds nothing, Ryan's added on 3k in every series as a bare minimum. Chasing 7k rather than 4k in a four-Pro Tour series is a hugely different equation.

So can anyone push in? Let's look at the average scoring of everyone in that 15-26 bracket. Nobody's above 92. Barney, Lennon and Darius are on 91. Bunting and Razma are just below them separated by just a hundredth of a point. Boulton, Meulenkamp and Hughes are all over 90, while Wattimena, O'Connor and Hunt are all on 89. Of those not mentioned, Kleermaker is deceptively low down at 87 - partially fuelled by quite a few legs off and a pretty bad losing average down under 85. Boulton, for example, is scoring higher overall than Martijn is doing when he's winning. Kleermaker making it would be a great redemption story from when he got screwed out of the worlds, but I really don't see it happening on form, and nobody just below, with the possible exception of Barney, is really doing anything that makes me think they can hit a final and force their way through. That Barney's actually done it this season is a bit of a factor, although given he's only actually reached his board final twice outside of his win, and he only won one of those, is it too early to say that title was a fluke?

Anyone else further down that could bink one? Whitlock's the next man down, and could, but he's not scoring well enough for me. Hopp's shown some signs and is scoring well enough, but probably put himself out of contention by not showing up this week. Adie would be the obvious choice for a long shot, he's only down 6k, had a good series this time and scoring of 91 isn't terrible. Huybrechts if anything is scoring better, but looks a touch down on where he was at the back end of 2020, and just isn't getting results. I think the last realistic name is Chris Dobey, he certainly has the scoring being in the top 20 in 2021, but down over 8k on Razma, you think he really has to bink - which is something he's never done.

I suppose the most exciting thing that I've seen is that they're adding another day onto the next Super Series to hold some Euro Tour qualifiers. We need to get some of these on, and I think there's enough places right now that it's viable to do so. It's my betting bread and butter, so sooner rather than later please? As mentioned earlier, front loading all the Pro Tours (20 before the Matchplay) should allow them plenty of opportunity to have free weekends to hold these.

Not sure when I'll be back - I may pop down some notes on the Euro Challenge Tour, which is something I'll definitely be paying attention to as it could give us very good reads for said Euro Tour events. Next Super Series is straight after, so I'll have to be quick I guess.

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Catch up

Been a pretty long time since a post, so what's gone on since then?

I've updated the second/third division darts page following Super Series 3. Barely any games given the number of players that chose to give it a miss, nothing to see here. Oddly more games played in division three than two.

They've announced details of the Challenge Tour and Development Tour. It's a shame they've had to split it into two as they have done, as that'll massively dilute the quality of the fields, but I'm not sure what else they could realistically do, and it at least gives certainty to players below the Pro Tour level as to what sort of PDC darts they can expect to get in. Six events in three days is a tad ambitious, but with the field size effectively halved, I think they can get away with it.

Still nothing on the European Tour. At this stage, there's realistically nothing before the Matchplay going to happen, but it would be nice if they could tentatively schedule something. I can understand them not wanting to play hokey-cokey with moving events around, but it is a little bit irritating. For this reason, I've not added any of the German Superleague stats to the database - first, I'm still undecided as to the overall quality (it dragged Clemens' stats down a bunch last season), second, by the time I can actually use it for anything useful (which would be to get a line on domestic European Tour qualifiers), the data is going to be somewhat stale.

Good news is that we've got some WDF stuff starting soon. It's mostly Oceanic stuff through until the Dutch Open, but ranked events is a big bonus. After that though, there's at least enough scheduled for things to really pick up - October in particular looks packed with stuff from round here. Hopefully sanity will have prevailed by that stage.

I've been watching a few Youtube videos from someone who makes a living trading on Betfair, and was thinking of chucking down some thoughts on if there's anyone that we can make speculative punts on in order to lay back later in the worlds, but I don't think I will. Simply, there's no liquidity in the market. That said, checking some of what has been matched, if you're the punter who got MvG at 17.5 or Wright at 80 (!), then good job. It's all very well me thinking that Keane Barry's got the quality to bink something and shorten, but if there's only four quid available at a price that's shorter than I can get on the sportsbook, then going on the exchange for the exchange's sake seems like a pointless play. If I want to trade it, I want to pick someone who has the capability of binking something big, or at least going extremely deep, which will shift the public's perception enough that the price plummets. All the value in the usual suspects of de Sousa and Clayton has long gone. Maybe someone like a Cullen (50/1) or Heta (80/1 on Boyles, 66/1 elsewhere) has a chance, but how much damage would they have to do in a major to shift the price down heavily enough before the off that it's worth it? Similar with Humphries, van Duijvenbode, but they're even shorter right now. Dolan at 250/1 outside of the exchange looks tempting, as does Noppert, but what would they need to do to drive the price down to double digits?

What I will do on a similar subject though is revisit the thought process that goes through looking for Players Championship each way value. The next event runs Monday to Thursday, so I can have a look on the weekend before and that should hopefully give plenty of time to walk through a plan of attack.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Super Series 3

OK, well that was a thing - four different winners in de Sousa, Smith, DvD and DvdB, but nobody you wouldn't expect to bink. That said, there were plenty of people making surprising runs in the absence of quite a lot of big players (and the biggest player there doing next to nothing, winning his board just once and getting some shock wins). If I scroll up from the bottom of the rankings, we had Berry van Peer making a semi final. Multiple Dutch associates getting paid every day in Christian Kist, Kevin Doets and Luc Peters. Aaron fucking Beeney made a semi final. Alan Tabern made a quarter. Krzysztof Kcuik made a semi. Robert Thornton made a semi and made the board final every single day. Ritchie Edhouse made a quarter. Scott Mitchell made two. Rowby John Rodriguez won three boards. Kleermaker made a final. Ross Smith made a final. Fun times for everyone, pity that with real life I didn't have the time to really put in to exploiting each way value, but if you look at the finalists, Humphries and DvD wouldn't have offered value, Kleermaker wouldn't have been on the radar, so that leaves Ross Smith, who's always been in the back of our minds but hasn't really done anything to put himself into the true value range given the prices we're usually quoted.

A few people didn't have great weeks - van Gerwen seems the obvious one, especially considering the players he lost to, but there's several in and around the fringes of the top 16 in the FRH rankings that really didn't do much of anything. Ian White in particular continues to look way, way off where he was recently, and it's a fun question as to who's now the best player in Stoke given how much Lewis has dropped off recently.

In terms of year to date scoring, it's de Sousa who's leading the way right now, just ahead of Clayton and Price in that order, but all are separated by less than a sixth of a point. Cullen and Ratajski round out the top five, just ahead of Humphries - van Gerwen and Wright aren't even in the top six, while the finalists in PC12 round out the top 10. Perhaps it's a surprise, after mentioning White in the previous paragraph, that he's still in the top 16. But here's some fun names to throw out who are in the top 32 of scoring - Scott Mitchell is up there at 23, sandwiched by two Premier League players. Jason Lowe is still hanging around. Schindler's up there (note that I've not added any of the Superleague into the stats yet, and I'm still uncertain as to how much I will add in). Lennon is still up there. Note that Soutar isn't any more.

New FRH rankings:

1 Gerwyn Price
2 Michael van Gerwen (UP 1)
3 Peter Wright (DOWN 1)
4 James Wade
5 Gary Anderson
6 Jose de Sousa
7 Dimitri van den Bergh
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Michael Smith
10 Joe Cullen
11 Krzysztof Ratajski (UP 1)
12 Nathan Aspinall (DOWN 1)
13 Jonny Clayton
14 Dirk van Duijvenbode (UP 4)
15 Glen Durrant (DOWN 1)
16 Rob Cross (DOWN 1)
17 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 1)
18 Daryl Gurney (DOWN 1)
19 Stephen Bunting (UP 1)
20 Devon Petersen (NEW)

Ian White's gone. Not even #21, King's above him. van Gerwen and Wright are basically neck and neck still. Ratajski actually scored less than Aspinall this week but clearly has less degradation on his ranking money right now. van Duijvenbode making two finals is enough to see him jump a lot, and it's that close that less than 25,000 points separate Cullen from Durrant. Petersen only jumps in by 25 points over King. Lower down, Humphries didn't really climb but did solidify his top 30 place, Adrian Lewis is out of the top 32 and plummeting, Ross Smith is one place outside the top 40 (currently propped up by Labanauskas who had a mare of a week), while Kleermaker hits the top 50, which finally sees Hendo depart.

They've announced another two sets of Super Series before the Matchplay. I like this idea - front load as many of the Players Championship events as you can to get the floor tournaments where you're not having fans out of the way, and then try to get some semblance of a Euro Tour in afterwards. This is kind of what Porter is alluding to - I do wonder if he could have had the second set of events have one day run two lots of Euro Tour qualifiers for a first two events in, say, Germany to be scheduled - you could then book one venue for ET1 with the qualifiers already worked out, then have Tuesday/Wednesday be Pro Tour events, Thursday be the normal associate/home nation qualifiers, then have ET2 straight after. It might make it an easier sell for the bigger names to travel if you know you can block book a week+ and know you're going to get 4k prize money minimum (if you are a Euro Tour seed) and be able to add Pro Tour money in between. We'll see, although I can understand the reluctance to hold a qualifier while there's still uncertainty as to what they're holding. That said, with the amount of boards they have, it wouldn't be too tough to tack on the tour card holders qualifier for the first event at the end of the series?

Not sure when I'll be back again, it's been a big break since the last post, and there is nothing ranked until mid-June. One thing I will say though - it's really, really hard to be interested in this seniors event that's doing the round when there's at least five players who, were it not for being ineligible for being tour card holders, who'd smack the whole field up from a great height. Does anyone really think that any one of Wright, Anderson, Whitlock, King or White wouldn't smash the field?

Monday, 5 April 2021

Second/Third Division Darts 2021 results page

No, I'm not going to remove Wade and put Price into division two. What a clusterfuck this is. My interest in the PL is usually minimal, but I'm not bothering to watch it. As we've seen from pretty much every withdrawal apart from Durrant, this is a false positive, and Price has actually confirmed it. What the PDC are actually thinking not double-checking the test (which is best practice for positive tests anyway), just having a couple of players pull double shifts in the first couple of days, then have Price play catch up later in the week. In the unlikely event that Price's second test showed positive, then Wade could play catch up just the same. Absolute insanity from the PDC to run without its world champion and world number one.

Anyway:

Division 2

Joe Cullen 11.70
Ian White 10.61
Michael Smith 10.13
James Wade 9.29
Krzysztof Ratajski 9.05
Damon Heta 9.00
Devon Petersen 8.50
Dave Chisnall 8.04
Luke Humphries 7.90
Ryan Searle 5.79

Division 3

Dirk van Duijvenbode 10.50
Callan Rydz 10.33
Keane Barry 10.00
Adam Hunt 10.00
Bradley Brooks 9.33
Jeffrey de Zwaan 9.00
Keegan Brown 8.50
Josh Payne 8.17
Steve Lennon 8.17
Max Hopp 6.00

Full Results

PC1 - James Wade 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski (2)
PC2 - Adam Hunt 6-3 Steve Lennon (3), Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-4 Keegan Brown (3)
PC3 - Krzysztof Ratajski 6-4 Devon Petersen (2), Ian White 6-1 Ryan Searle (2), Ian White 6-3 James Wade (2), Joe Cullen 6-2 Krzysztof Ratajski (2), Keane Barry 6-0 Jeffrey de Zwaan (3)
PC4 - Dirk van Duijvenbode 6-1 Max Hopp (3)
UK Open - Luke Humphries 10-9 Dave Chisnall (2), Michael Smith 10-9 Joe Cullen (2), Luke Humphries 10-7 Ryan Searle (2), James Wade 11-5 Luke Humphries (2)
PC5 - Joe Cullen 6-3 Dave Chisnall (2), Krzysztof Ratajski 6-1 Luke Humphries (2), Michael Smith 6-2 Ryan Searle (2), Callan Rydz 6-3 Adam Hunt (3), Callan Rydz 6-4 Bradley Brooks (3)
PC6 - Luke Humphries 6-5 Ian White (2), Jeffrey de Zwaan 6-2 Max Hopp (3)
PC7 - James Wade 6-3 Luke Humphries (2)
PC8 - Joe Cullen 6-2 Ryan Searle (2), Joe Cullen 6-3 Krzysztof Ratajski (2)
PC9 - No games
PC10 - No games
PC11 - Adam Hunt 6-2 Max Hopp (3)
PC12 - Ryan Searle 6-5 Krzysztof Ratajski (2), Bradley Brooks 6-3 Josh Payne (3)

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Super Series 2 - Electric Boogaloo

Another four Players Championship events in the books. In the absence of van Gerwen, the three big players claimed three of them, with Price, Wright and Clayton (arguably the best player outside of those three right now - if not higher?) claimed one each, with Brendan Dolan picking up the first event back on Tuesday. Congrats to those - also to Smith, Humphries and Wade for picking up final money, Price also getting one to be the only player to final twice this series. A few surprising names had good series, Jason Heaver made one semi and picked up an additional 3k in the other three events after drawing a complete blank in the first series, Scott Mitchell averaged over 1.5k per event, Alan Soutar made a semi final on day one, but then levelled off a bit (the hype train is a little bit ridiculous on him now, there's certainly no betting value when he's half the price of Noppert to bink a PC event), and we also saw quarters from Barstow, Schindler, Zonneveld and then quite a few players in the top 64 but not top 32 region. Good stuff all round.

New FRH rankings:

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

Wright's reclaimed the #2 spot as a result of van Gerwen's absence. Dimitri having a bit of a bad run this series has allowed de Sousa to nick ahead, Clayton's win edges him ahead of Durrant and Cross, while two quarters from van Duijvenbode moves him up to a new high of 18.

Lower down, Dolan is up to #29 as a result of his win (and two semi finals!), Adrian Lewis is out of the top 32, while Mitchell and Soutar cement places in the top 100.

Is it me, or do there seem to be a disproportionate number of players that we might already have seen the best of? Let's scan our eyes down the FRH rankings, and see who looks to be sliding. That chunk from 14-19 is the big one, DvD obviously excepted, and I think we can exclude Whitlock as well, while we may have made this point 12-18 months ago, he's shown a bit of late. Durrant, post Premier League, has been positively mediocre, he does not even feature on the top page of scoring in 2021. He's below Matt Edgar. It's surely a long, long way back to getting up to the top ten level of play he was at a year or so ago, especially when you factor in the strides the likes of de Sousa, van den Bergh, Cullen and Ratajski have made (and Clayton for that matter).

What about Cross? He's also not on the top page of scoring, albeit only just, but if I were to ask you who would be the two players immediately above and below him in scoring, would you guess Scott Waites, Andy Boulton, Jason Lowe and James Wilson? It's not terrible, but it's a long way off the top five level he was at. He's currently 50/1 to bink the worlds, and I'd rather take a Ratajski at 33s or Dirk at 40s.

Gurney's an interesting one. His scoring is about half a point lower than Cross's, and he's always been fairly low in comparison to his main OOM ranking. That said, when was the last time he was outside the top 16 in the FRH rankings? It's probably got to have been before he won his first major. He's having good results in 2019 drop off, he binked a Euro Tour pretty much two years ago exactly, semi finalled the Matchplay, and also semi finalled the PC Finals as well as a Pro Tour bink.

Then we've got White. Now Ian's scoring is just fine, it's in the top 16. He's been a top 16 player for quite some time. He's just not got results for the last twelve months, and similarly had a good 2019 (by far his best money wise with two Euro Tour wins and pretty decent major results. Question is whether he can get the results back on track. Suljovic is a bit lower down, but fairly similar.

Scrolling down, Adrian Lewis is outside the top 32, and as it stands, wouldn't make the worlds. That's pretty fucking remarkable. Something I posted on Twitter about Lewis - he's inconsistent. This season, he is scoring twelve and a half points higher in the legs he's won compared to the legs he's lost. That's a huge disparity. When he's winning his legs, he's pretty darned good - it's in and around the top 20 level. But when he's losing legs? It's awful. There's only eight tour card holders that are scoring worse than Lewis in losing legs. There's clearly still an A-game there, but it seems like the B, C and D games have disappeared completely. Why this is, only Adie would be able to tell you, but if he can just scratch together a few scrappy legs here and there, then the results will probably come.

Further on, there's lots of players that I think are clearly past their peak. Beaton I don't think ever gets back to the top 32. He's scoring below 89 this season and that won't cut it. Steve West is two points lower again, but at least has a bit of time on his side and still shows something in patches, but I doubt he can ever do it on a week in week out basis to get into one of the tricky to qualify for majors, which barring a good worlds run is exactly what you need to do to get into the top 32 (it's similar to what's been holding Humphries back, although now he does have a major final's worth of money and, after this week's final, isn't too far off in the Matchplay race). Henderson's 48 in a couple of months and is scoring pretty much at West's level in 2021. After being gifted some ranking money in 2020, it's hard to see how he pushes back to the top 32 either. Darren Webster is not only looking nowhere near the top 16 (two years ago, he was seeded for the Matchplay), he's nowhere near the top 32 and is more likely than not to lose his tour card, and is he going to get it back at 53?

Age isn't a defining factor, we just need to look at what Mervyn King has been doing in the last twelve months, but it's pretty hard to see how we don't see the likes of van Duijvenbode, Petersen, Noppert, Clemens, Humphries etc keep pushing on to the top 32 and permanently dumping the likes of White out of it, and similarly lower down, players like Searle, Heta, Rydz and others are going to occupy top 32 spots sooner rather than later. Then you've got players like de Zwaan, Dobey and Hughes, for whom anything can happen - they're all good enough to go on a run somewhere and make serious bank to threaten the top 16, then they're also all inconsistent enough that they may drop from the top 32. de Zwaan and Dobey are both outside the top 32 in the tour card race reckoning, Hughes is 29th.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Edgar v de Vos

OK, there's something I mentioned I wanted to pick up in the previous post, and that was expanding on something Matthew Edgar commented on in one of his videos, it's this one here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G7CHlge80o

Edgar posts a lot of good stuff here, so in the unlikely event you're not already aware of Edgar TV, then go and check him out, but what I want to do is analyse what he's commented on in the last third or so of the video, namely where in the "cons" section, he comments on tons. Here, Edgar is referring to this chart from Dart Connect:


Now Dart Connect's brilliant, but here's a huge example of where statistics can be either outright misleading, if not telling you the whole picture. Look at that 100+ column, which is what Edgar is thinking looks bad, and something he wants to improve on, and if you look at it at face value, then it does appear bad. But what exactly is it telling you?

Here's where Dart Connect is a bit disappointing, it has a bunch of stats, but doesn't really explain what it does. Here, it just says "all turns of 100 or more". OK, that's fine, but it doesn't look to be calculating it right for one - if we simply count the number of turns where someone scores 100 and compares it to the number of turns full stop, it gives too high a figure for both Edgar, and also for Geert de Vos, who we'll be doing a comparison against. However, if we go for an alternative metric which I thought they might use, and that's to only include turns where it's actually possible for a player to score 100 (i.e. if the marker says Matthew you require 40, it doesn't count), then for both players it gives too low a figure, by more than what it's out using how you think it'd be calculated. Maybe it's me mistranscribing the actual scores, but for it to be the same for both players makes me think there's simply something wrong with how it's worked out.

The main thing is what it's intending to show, and is it a useful statistic? You would think that it would just be intended to show scoring consistency, but a statistic that says someone starting 100-100 is better than someone who starts 60-140, when they both are on 301 after two visits, is surely not that useful. Sure, as a pro you'd want to be hitting at least one big treble a visit, which in theory should correlate to this 100 count, but that's relying on you staying straight all the time and never switching. And here you've got a limitation with Dart Connect, it just records the score with the three darts, it's not going to tell you whether someone scoring 59 has gone 20-20-blocked and 19, or 1-1-blocked and T19. Unless there's something behind the scenes that I can't immediately see (no clue how they score cricket), we're out of luck.

So what's a better metric? The goal of darts is to win the leg, so maybe something like the percentage of legs where a player is under some score remaining after some number of visits. Maybe 120 or under after 12 would be a good measure, so that you see how often you are going to enter the critical fifth visit with an outshot that is only going to require one treble to be on a big double. This could probably be queried if you had a direct connection to the DC database, but for now it'd be something you'd need to work out on your own.

The other big issue is one thing that may be overlooked - certain visits under 100 will cause more visits under 100. Let me give you an example - I start off a leg with two straight tons, you start off with two visits where you block the T20 bed after the second dart and end up with 99. Who's more likely to have a ton visit on turn three, if we assume that we have the same skill level at hitting big trebles?

It shouldn't take a genius to work out that I will, as a result of the previous visits. I'm on 301, can stay on 20's, and will ideally look to get seven marks to leave 161 and be on a finish. You can't stay on 20's, and will try to get seven marks on 19's to look to leave a 170 out. Difference here is that I will get a ton if I only hit one treble - you won't. Having a visit where you need to get off 20's in the early stages of a leg may well see you needing to do the same (rightly or wrongly) later on in order to try to avoid leaving bogey numbers, and through no real fault of your own, and it will really damage your ton percentage.

So is this an issue affecting Edgar? Fortunately we can take a look at this. Here I've grouped every score that Edgar and de Vos put up in the Super Series, and grouped it in blocks of 5, so anything that's 95-99 will be in the same bar, anything 100-104 is as well, etc etc. Let's take a look:


Now I've deliberately left off the y-axis, but as an exercise to the reader, have a guess where the 100-104 group is. If you said it's where that largest blue bar is, then you're correct. de Vos won a game in the Super Series and Edgar didn't, so de Vos has had an extra 24 visits, but that's a huge number of straight tons from de Vos. An absolute mountain. 52 straight tons in 47 legs. By contrast, Edgar has only hit 19, but look at the bars just below those two. Edgar's hit significantly more scores of 95-99 than de Vos has, and enormously more scores of 90-94 - de Vos has only hit three to Edgar's 18.

Is this a problem? I wouldn't necessarily say so. If someone's hitting four straight tons, they're leaving 101 - which isn't really much of a different checkout to 120, you've got 19 points of wiggle room before you're being left with a fundamentally more difficult outshot. If you're on 101 and I'm on 116, then if we both hit a treble first dart then it's just a case of which big number we hit to leave a double of choice. Sure, you might have more choice as to what preferred double you want (if I'm on 114, I can't really set up D16), and there's also you having the option of using the bull last dart in hand on the fourth visit to get just under 100 for the fifth visit in a lot of circumstances, but I think it's fair enough to say that the lack of tons isn't necessarily going to cost Edgar if, as it looks like, it's as a result of a lot of switching.

I don't know if I'll be posting here through the Super Series - I may put in some quick things if anything looks interesting, but for the most part I'll probably just put some each way selections for the outright events on Twitter.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Should have fired on Humphries I guess

That's another UK Open in the books, congrats to Wade for binking and especially grats to Humphries for reaching the final, great achievement, actually winning something is surely just around the corner, and I guess Wade is vindicating those who said he should have been in the Premier League.

New FRH rankings:

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

Nobody in or out of the top 20, Petersen's quarter run didn't actually see him rise at all, although he has closed the gap to King in 21st to less than 4000 points. van Gerwen passes Wright by over 5000 points, Wade's now got a 30k cushion down to Ando but there's a 200,000 point chasm to Wright in third. Cullen hits the top 10 despite an early exit, Aspinall having a lot of his ranking back loaded (this is of course the weekend where, in the real order of merit, he'd lose his UK Open win). Whitlock creeps up a couple of spots with his quarter, as does Ratajski.

Humphries, as previously advertised, hits the top 30 (knocking out Adrian Lewis), Dobey also holding a spot there for now. Jamie Hughes drops from the top 32, Dolan is up to 34, Kleermaker rises to 55, Jacques hits the top 100, while Soutar is only a few spots outside right now.

I'm not sure when I'll be back with a new post - there's something I do want to pick up on from one of Edgar's videos which I'd need to do before the next Super Series, but I'm not sure when that'd be.

Semi final tips

Don't really fancy any bets for the semis. The Wade/Price line, set with Gerwyn having slightly less than a two in three chance, looks spot on to me. The van Gerwen/Humphries line, where you can get better than 3/1 on Humphries, I think in theory should be a bet on Luke, I'm just struggling to see Luke being able to hold the game together for 21 legs against van Gerwen. So I think that's it for the event - 34 bets, gaining 2.4 units at a roughly 30% return on investment. Can't complain really.

In terms of FRH rankings, van Gerwen has already managed to regain the number 2 spot from Wright, Wade was 5 anyway but could get to 4 if he manages to bink, while Humphries is up to 35, would hit the top 30 if he reaches the final, and a bink would see him up to 21. Plenty to play for.

Quarter final tips

Seems like most of the weaker players have been eliminated at this stage. There's not a single really weak spot left, so I'm not anticipating a great deal of value here, but I am expecting a good level of play upcoming. Let's look at what we've got:

Whitlock/Wade - Wade was a pretty comfortable winner over Clemens, who seemed a bit below the level he's played at throughout the tournament, while Whitlock was again forced to a decider, this time by Brendan Dolan. Market has it 60/40 in favour of Wade, which seems about right at a rough guess, and it appears close to spot on in the projections. Maybe Whitlock's a point or two better off, but there's not the value to bet it.

Price/Petersen - The real Gerwyn showed up with a 102 average against Chris Dobey, who wasn't throwing badly at all himself, 10-5 maybe a little bit flattering. Devon ended the run of Peter Jacques 10-4, fairly comfortable, Peter seemingly just running out of steam. I thought the projections might have been closer on this one, but they give Devon just a one in three shot - to within a tenth of one percent. We can see 5/2 in places, which is worth thinking about, but it's not quite enough to recommend.

Chisnall/Humphries - Dave ended the dogged resistance of Alan Soutar in a game where he needed a break and waited until almost the last moment to get one, getting over the line by just that one break. Luke was comfortable against Kleermaker, dropping just four legs and only needing to average 93 to do so, makes me think we could have opened the throttle on bet sizing in that one, oh well. This one might be closer than the market suggests, I'm seeing this as 55/45, and we can get 7/4 on Luke. No consistency issues on this one either. I'm just wondering whether a combination of Chisnall starting to realise what he can do in majors, combined with Luke playing to get to an uncharted level in a major, might be enough to shift things slightly more in Dave's favour, that, and a slightly better level of play throughout the event. I'll pass on it as a result, but wouldn't be surprised if I regret it.

van Gerwen/Ratajski - MvG needed every single leg to get past de Sousa, Jose getting the break back fairly late but then a combination of a four visit kill from the opponent (in leg 17) and then failure to score (in the decider) prevented Jose from getting the additional break he needed to win. Ratajski was magnificent. Nobody should be beating Clayton 10-3 right now, and Krzysztof made it look easy. Maybe his best TV performance. Market has this at 2/1, I see this as 55/45. Think it's enough to play it - 0.25u Ratajski 2/1, I do get the sense it's finally his time to break through and get the huge TV win.

So just the one play. Will be back before the semis, but it may be very short notice.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Round 6 tips

Down to sixteen players and eight matches, both the main tips came through, missed out on Suljovic over van Gerwen but couldn't do too much about that one, although I was a bit excited at 3-1. Don't think there were any huge shocks, or any shocks for that matter, the only one I suppose being Kleermaker over Rydz, but that wasn't a big one in any case. Let's project round 6:

de Sousa/van Gerwen - There's really very, very little to split between the two on the stats. de Sousa actually projects to win more often, but van Gerwen has the higher overall scoring, as there's next to nothing between his winning/losing scoring, whereas there's a bit of a gap for Jose (although he's still consistent enough that it's below the database average). Will almost certainly be taking Jose to pull the upset.

Petersen/Jacques - How far can the Jacques run go? Probably ends here, Devon's a cut above who he's played to date, should probably claim this two times out of three, and has looked very steady, not being troubled much at all.

Clemens/Wade - Spicy one this, but relegated to stage 2 - for once I can't really disagree with the stage 1 picks. Clemens has had no issues to date, Wade had a bit of a tough time in round 4, but was able to pull away from Cross earlier today. Looks about 60/40 in favour of Wadey here, Gabriel definitely got a good shot but James has the edge.

Humphries/Kleermaker - Probably only one of two games that you think are auto-board two games (the next one's the other), Luke has been throwing very close to his best stuff throughout and gets another player outside of the top 32 here, while Martijn's just been quietly doing the business while never really hitting the peaks in terms of averages. Should be really comfortable for Luke, I'm projecting over 80%, he's a clear five points in scoring ahead of Martijn whichever way you look at it.

Dolan/Whitlock - Good opportunity for both, feels like it should be close on paper after Brendan was able to end the run of Luke Woodhouse and Simon edged a nail biter against Darius Labanauskas. Looks like Simon has a small advantage, more than 55%, not quite 60%.

Dobey/Price - Chris rattled off ten straight to end the John Brown fairytale, while Price was never really troubled by Ricky Evans. Probably the biggest test for Gerwyn yet, key thing will be whether he can step up the gears if needed. Looks like it's about a 2-1 matchup in the Welshman's favour, Dobey is definitely live here, although whether he's able to realise what'd be the biggest win of his career is another question.

Ratajski/Clayton - Amazing game this one's going to be. Krzysztof was pushed pretty hard by Madars Razma, while Clayton made van Duijvenbode look ordinary with a 108 average. Nice arrows. Model can't split the two, seems bang on 50/50.

Chisnall/Soutar - Dave continued good play with a 104 average to pull away from the ever dangerous Danny Noppert at the end and win 10-7, while Soutar continued his remarkable run and defeated Ron Meulenkamp by the same score. Probably ends here, Alan's gone 92, 92 and 93 in three of his games by conventional averages with just the one big one against Mansell, he's going to need that against Dave really. 70/30 in favour of Chizzy for me.

Will edit with bets once oddschecker stops fucking around thinking that the Suljovic game is still in play.

Bets:

0.1u de Sousa 5/2
0.25u Humphries 2/5
0.25u Ratajski 6/4

UK Open Round 5 bets

Ah, that evening was much better, picking up a solid set of results, Smith managing to come from behind against Cullen being the highlight, Razma also doing similar against Evans, and the longshot stab of Woodhouse also coming through. No huge shocks, we did have two of the automatic four main stage picks lose but neither Chisnall > Wright or van Duijvenbode > Anderson can really be described as a shock, I suppose the only one is White < Evans, I do wonder if Ian is damaged at this stage and is never going to get back to where he was two years ago. Odd, there's a couple of other players I can think of (Durrant, Beaton) who may also have already seen their best days, in any case I think White may now finally be out of our circle of betting trust, which is getting rapidly smaller given some of its members have binked big and lost the value (de Sousa, Clayton), leaving maybe just Ratajski and Noppert at this stage.

Still, sixteen games today, let's go:

Waites/Petersen - Could be fairly close this one. Market has Petersen as a favourite, but not by much. I've got it exactly even for all intents and purposes, which isn't quite enough with Scott at 13/10.

Cross/Wade - Rob was a bit lucky to get away with one against Hammer yesterday but got through and will need to step it up against James, who was pushed all the way by Ryan Joyce. Looks about 2-1 in favour of the Machine as I see it, that probably wouldn't be enough on its own, but more recent samples push it to 70%, and given performances in round 4, I can go 0.25u Wade 4/6.

Price/Evans - Not a great deal to write about this one. Gerwyn should take this very comfortably, it looks a tad more one sided than the 2/7 we can get on Price, but not by that much that we can consider betting him. If you want to put Gerwyn as a banker, then go ahead.

Rydz/Kleermaker - Good opportunity for both here, neither can complain too much about the draw. Callan's a near 2-1 favourite in the market, it might be closer to 3-1 where I look from. I think I can pass it as both players looked a bit sluggish in the previous game (although Rydz did look fine against Ross Smith, that said Martijn was good against Schindler), which I think increases the amount of variance and number of games where Martijn sticks around for long enough to maybe bink it.

Dobey/Brown - Chris was solid enough against Hendo, while Brown's game against McGeeney was a bit swingy but he got ahead early, and the swings were as to how much the lead was. Think Brown's run ends here, Dobey at 4/11 is actually fairly close to value, I just wonder where exactly the confidence is at given he's not had a really decent performance since, well, last year when he had that game with Ratajski.

Jacques/Hopp - Peter's been a bit of a surprise package so far, great scoring in round two, got a free win where he didn't need to do much in round three, then came through a great purists battle against Boulton. Hopp was able to get past a slightly misfiring O'Connor then win a high quality affair against van der Voort. Projections actually have this even - Hopp leads in the overall scoring by about 2-3 points since the Matchplay based on Jacques having a fair few worse legs when losing, but given Peter looks like that's not in play as much this weekend, 0.25u Jacques 21/10, certainly seems a closer game than that.

van Gerwen/Suljovic - Mensur was fine against Bialecki, van Gerwen was fine against Mitchell, even if it didn't look like it, think much of it was Scott doing weird things. Sure, Mensur's not exactly going to rattle through the legs, so maybe MvG looks less than peak again, even if the numbers are fine. 0.1u Suljovic 7/2, this seems more like a 65/35 game on the numbers so I'll take a stab at Mensur here. Not like we're doing it with a complete nobody who's never beaten MvG before who didn't average 99 in the last round.

Clayton/van Duijvenbode - Ooh, this should be fun. Dirk edged Ando in a real back and forth game, Clayton was pushed a bit by Rowby but looked comfortable enough in the end. Think that 8/11 Clayton is the correct spot, it's ever so slightly tighter than that in the actual market, but no Ferret value.

Labanauskas/Whitlock - Both slipping under the radar so far, despite Darius drawing Ashton and getting bizarre levels of shoutouts on the comms during that game, last round he got a favourable draw against Webster, didn't do too much wrong, Webster just hitting high 80's which couldn't handle with Darius' level of play. Whitlock was a bit too classy against Sedlacek, who'd had a good run prior to that, not dropping a leg. Seems like 65/35 to Simon on the projections, he's 4/7, seems close enough.

Humphries/Searle - This ought to be a good one, two players who are pushing up towards the top 32, one who's already made the break through and binked at Pro Tour level, one who's still waiting, but both of whom have made good TV runs in the past and could do so here. Luke took a tight game against Huybrechts where both played great, Searle averaged 103 in a 10-7 win over Adrian Lewis. Should be very close, the market has it evens, I'm actually seeing Luke with a 55/45 advantage oddly enough, that's not quite enough for me to really go with it given how Ryan played yesterday.

Smith/de Sousa - Another great game which we will get on the main stage, both winning deciders on board two yesterday which, as usual, was much better than the main stage once the big guns came in. Fairly similar analysis to the previous game - the market has it even, but I've got one player (de Sousa) having a small 55 to 45 edge. Again will pass, Smith's form seems to be ticking upwards.

Soutar/Meulenkamp - Alan's been the standout player so far from the earlier rounds and looks pretty dangerous having beaten two Lakeside champions already, while Meulenkamp's been a bit better than of late, taking out Eddie Lovely then getting into a solid lead early against Lennon, who started slowly and picked up but had too much work to do, seemingly using everything to get it back to parity. Soutar is priced at 4/6, which doesn't look too unreasonable, maybe it could have been 4/7, not enough edge to punt it.

Woodhouse/Dolan - Mentioned Luke taking Dimitri out earlier, solid 95 clip in a 10-5 win, Dolan showed an equally competent game in dispatching a gritty Kai Fan Leung by a three leg margin. Market thinks this is flippy with Brendan having the small advantage, I've got this the other way around, but there is a big consistency disparity which is leading me towards not taking Luke here. Wouldn't take much drift for me to go with it though.

Chisnall/Noppert - Dave averaged a ton in putting Peter Wright away in a game that was never close, Noppie got ahead big early on Durrant, who tried to come back a bit but ran out of runway and went down 10-6. Seems like a Chizzy 8/11 line would be correct, and he's actually a little bit shorter than that. 9/5 is tempting, but Dave has finally started getting big wins on TV, so maybe I can resist firing on Danny here.

Gurney/Clemens - Daryl was made to work in a good standard game against Jason Lowe that was only decided by the one break, while Gabriel was far too good for Adam Hunt, who could never really get a foothold in the game. Appears extremely tight on paper with Daryl maybe having the better side of a 10/11 projection, that's exactly what we're being offered.

Ratajski/Razma - Final games sees Krzysztof, who again had a great game on board 2 with both him and Nathan averaging over 100, while Razma needed to come from behind against David Evans. This should be a fairly comfortable win for Ratajski, who I see as having just over a two in three chance to take it and move to the last sixteen, the market gives him at 2/5 which looks about right.

So all in all not much there, just the two standard punts and then a small lay MvG flier. Back after round five with last sixteen thoughts.