Wednesday 13 October 2021

Well these tournaments are thick and fast

Let's congrats Jonny Clayton on finally winning a major title that counts, and let's laugh at those on Twitter that called the Masters a "big TV title". Guess they're all big. Straight into the FRH rankings before anything else, and these incorporate Euro mincashes (which has the effect of bumping JdS and Whitlock up one but nothing else):

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

Obviously Clayton's the big mover, with Price's final extending his lead over Wright to nearly 300k points. MvG is closer to Wade than he is to Wright. Searle's good run puts him one spot behind Devon and will reach the top 20 if he turns over Smith in the first round, White's now looking a lot safer in the top 25 than he was a bit ago. Gurney's actually down to 25 now, he's the casualty as Noppert hits the top 20, if not for the first time then for the first time in a long time. Not inconceivable that Durrant is out of the top 30 this time next week, could be sooner if Suljovic and Rydz have runs.

Onto Salzburg. This might be the weirdest tournament the PDC has ever held, at least in terms of lineup - stuff like the Championship League and anything to do with quadro boards is clearly more odd. We'll go in draw order:

Price/Edhouse - I like Ritchie's game, but this has the potential to be a bit lol, although given the short race to six in the first round, I can't actually recommend a bet at a best price available of 1/5 on Gerwyn. Ritchie's got a competent enough level to win this maybe one in five.

Gawlas/Murnan - Well this is a big opportunity for both. 16/17 seed match up with the chance to probably face the world champion in round two? Who wouldn't want that. This is a really tough one to call, I'm seeing Adam as a tiny favourite - read 10/11 sort of level. That is close to what we have in the market, Adam's actually available at evens in places. Maybe worth the shot if you think that he has a bit of a better TV game than on the floor, for which there is definitely some evidence. He might actually have more stage experience than Murnan at this point.

van Gerwen/Krcmar - Immediate thought is that this might be a lay MvG spot, Boris is incredibly underrated and has produced plenty of high quality performances that have threatened an awful lot of the top players. We can get 3/1, although checking the master computer, it's saying he wins 25%. Ho hum, on we go.

Wade/Smith-Neale - We clearly don't have a great deal of info on ASN - just the 60 or so legs where he's going at a fairly pedestrian clip, much of which might be not needing to do much more than around 89 in scoring on the Challenge Tour, even in the latter stages. 1/4 on Wade feels right, computer says Adam has a little bit of a better chance than that, but I think that's a sample size thing to be honest, he's likely just happy to be here.

Smith/Searle - This is going to be pretty exciting, Smith is still looking for a first major and Searle has just had a first big breakthrough on TV, which could easily have gone further if things had have fallen slightly differently. Rates to be close, market has Michael as a small 55/45 favourite, I'm thinking it's a bang on coin flip. We're only seeing one or two places offer odds against on Ryan, so let's carry on.

Ratajski/Noppert - Match of the round for me, two players who are still super underrated (I really get the feeling that Ratajski will be another Pipe or White who does enough in terms of results to warrant a PL spot but won't get it unless he completely forces the PDC's hand by binking a big one), and Noppert's value has normalised enough now that he only comes in as a 55/45 dog in the market. That looks about right to me, I'm seeing it as right in the middle of that and a flip. One I'll definitely keep an eye on on Friday night.

Aspinall/King - Here's another one that on paper seems like it should be close, Nathan's a bit off his peak which saw him winning majors, while Mervyn is still quietly going about his business and getting results. Market thinks about 60/40 Nathan (fair bit of vig in this one), I'm seeing 55/45 Mervyn. I'm going to take 0.25u King 13/10, but you may want to wait and see if the market normalises a bit more and you see 11/8 or even 6/4.

Heta/Clemens - The good matchups continue. Heta seems to have had the better 2021 than Clemens, who I don't think has necessarily taken a step backwards, more just stayed a bit stationary while other have progressed. Would think Damon will be a slight favourite over Clemens, market sees this exactly the same as the previous game, I do actually see this one as 60/40 for Heta, maybe slightly more. He's awfully underrated still, probably the best Aussie right now regardless of what rankings say.

Suljovic/Hunt - Into the bottom half, Mensur's a bit of a surprise #2 seed, but here he is, Adam's just crept into the field but this'll all help to solidify a top 64 spot, maybe much higher. I'd guess this looks well in favour of Mensur but possibly worth a bet on Adam without looking at the market, said market is showing 70/30 to Suljovic, I'm, er, actually seeing it as a bit more in favour of Suljovic than that. Nowhere near enough to take 2/5 mind you.

Wright/Hempel - Peter's only the 15 seed, which is a bit of a surprise but he bricked Gib and didn't do a great deal in Hungary either. Florian's had a very solid first season as a card holder, oddschecker is doing weird things but it generally looks like they're all saying Wright takes this 75-80% of the time. I don't think it's that much, and it's more like 65-70%. As such, 10/3 is an awful tempter, but big stage nerves may still come into play for Hempel here.

Whitlock/Borland - Kind of an important one for Simon here, getting through the first round of these sorts of things is what's needed to stabilise your ranking, while Borland getting a win would certainly help in terms of solidifying a top 64 place and retaining his card, which he's looking decent to do already in fairness. Would envisage the market saying 2-1 in favour of Whitlock, it's roughly that (they're actually favouring Borland a little over that), it'd probably need a few more ticks the other way to consider a bet on William here. Just shy of 40%, I'd likely snap 9/4 so if "name player" money moves the market, move in.

Cullen/Evetts - Ted's been appearing on our screens a bit more over the past couple of months after a bit of a lean spell, and this'll be a big test against one of the Pro Tour's best. This looks massively in favour of Cullen, 80/20 for me. Betfair's actually offering us better than 1/3 in this one, I'll take it small, 0.25u Cullen 7/20, wouldn't normally fly with this edge but as it's a long odds on, it's hard to generate more edge than this.

Dolan/Huybrechts - Seems like a decent section for Brendan, who's still a tad under the radar, as is Kim to be honest, who's kind of where Dolan was 2-3 seasons ago in terms of looking to push back into the top 32. Master computer actually has this as a flip, which surprised me, but Kim's a bit inconsistent, when he's winning he's not messing about but his losing legs can be quite bad. Market is 8/11 on Brendan, this seems fine.

Cross/Barry - Similarly, this is a big chance for both these - firstly for Rob to regain confidence and halt a rankings slide, secondly for Keane to make big inroads in a senior major for the first time. Rob should take this about two times in three from what my stats say, the market thinks it's a bit more but it's not enough of an outlier to lay the former world champion.

de Sousa/Williams - Really interested to see what Lewy can do on the TV in this one, although it's a bit of a bastard draw. Still, no pressure as a result and he can take it as a learning experience regardless. Market is actually giving Williams a fair chance at 30% or there abouts, I'm seeing about 25%, maybe slightly under. Probably ought to think about taking Jose the same as I've taken Cullen, but I won't.

Humphries/Rydz - Finally we get what should be a fantastic game between two players who should be clashing on the big stage for a couple of decades to come. Luke's the favourite here, a bit more than 60% but not two in three, which in my mind seems alright, once I stop misclicking on Luke Woodhouse I can actually see that Callan seems to have a little bit of a better chance than that, nowhere near enough to consider a bet though, Rydz isn't exactly inconsistent by any means but Luke's extremely tight in terms of not giving anything away, so I think that'll normalise things close to where the line should be.

So that's it, just the two bets, I'd have expected more given the mishmash nature of the field, but it is what it is. Good luck to us all.

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