Sunday 27 February 2022

Price wins in Riesa, film at 11

I guess nobody saw that coming at all. Pretty decent final, only really the one critical sixth leg which ended up being truly costly. Clayton and Aspinall made the semis, the Aspinall win in the quarters locking in around a third of a unit profit over the course of the tournament, which can't be sniffed at. So Price will hold the world number one spot for a bit longer, but what about the FRH rankings?

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

There's actually zero movement. You expect that with all of the money going to the top 2 spots to some extent, but at the same time you think there might be some shuffling. Aspinall's now a lot closer to Chisnall than he was, but that seems to be about it. Lewy Williams is now in the top 64, Kcuik is up into the top 100, Raman will likely be in the top 150 in the morning as he's just outside now, while Springer's good weekend sees him appear at 173.

Now on to the UK Open. We are expecting the draw tomorrow, I'll probably go through it in four posts, one looking at eight possible players to get through to round four each. It'll be a busy week, but a fun week.

ET1 quarters tips

Nice couple of little earners in round three, the additional ones I was going to bet all lost, so good job not recommending them as actual plays - data now fed into the model, let's have a quick look:

Aspinall/Wade - Thinking we should go with Nathan again in this one at slightly odds against. Wade looked very good against Huybrechts, albeit with figures skewed by hitting two huge outs, Aspinall looked almost as good, we're seeing a big 64% chance on data since July, so with fears that Aspinall might be a bit rusty seemingly gone, I think we can go with this one, 0.25u Aspinall 11/10

Noppert/Price - Danny looked reasonably competent, van Gerwen wasn't quite on his top level but Danny missed a couple of chances as well, Price didn't really give Heta much of a chance at all outside of the first leg to get anything going, market favours Price around 70/30, I think it should be nearer 60/40, I'm just going to go small as Price hasn't looked like he's going to show a B-game this weekend, which I think we kind of need in order for Noppert to convert. 0.1u Noppert 5/2

van den Bergh/Clayton - Dimitri continues to look very good, while Clayton kind of got away with one again, blowing a 3-1 lead and then needing to come from 4-3 down. Market has this moderately close with Clayton around the 55-60% range, the model is actually giving Dimitri the edge, it seems counter intuitive but it is what it is, 0.25u van den Bergh 13/10, we've got about the same edge as the previous game, but going larger given that Dimitri has looked good and Clayton a bit shaky.

Wright/Smith - Peter got ahead heavily early, Niko showed some flashes but was always a visit behind, Michael got the job done against Dirk really easily, only the one bad leg which he took anyway, Dirk only getting the leg he won with a four visit kill. Peter's 8/13 and Michael the converse, that I think is favouring Wright a little bit too much, but it's not enough to consider betting Smith, I'm only seeing him at 43% and I'd need 3-4% more before I could think about going with it at this price. If we could get 15/8 I'd go with it for sure.

Highly unlikely I post anything for the semis, but back later with new rankings.


No doubt many readers here will have noticed the social media phenomenon that is Wordle (at least until the NYT decided to paywall it and kill it), and may also be aware of derivatives that have popped up such as Dordle, Quordle and Octordle, where you're using the game guess words to try to solve 2, 4 or 8 hidden words at the same time.

Could such a concept work in darts? Obviously not in straight 501. But there's more than one game you can play. All of us have played round the clock in the pub at some point. Many of us, especially readers in soft tip loving countries, will have played quite a bit of cricket.

So why not play more than one game at the same time using the same darts? Hence I've made up Quarts. Four games being played at the same time:

- Standard 501. We all know this one.
- Cricket/tactics. Just score on 20-15 and bull, keep it simple.
- Round the board. Need to decide on what variant - fairly common if you hit, say, double 4, you're now on 9, but I've played where that would count as two numbers and you're now on 6 instead.
- Halve it/Hong Kong Phooey. Again, many different variants of what to score on, normally we wrong hand to decide four rounds of individual numbers, then rounds 5-7 are doubles/trebles/bull, round 8 then needing to score exactly the sum of rounds 1-4 (i.e. if your numbers are 11, 17, 3 and 6, your visit must equal 37).

Each game is played three times, if you finish a game mid visit, you continue throwing and your remaining darts count towards the next round, so if you check out on the 501 game with your second dart and hit big 20 with your third dart, you'd come back on 481. Bull up before the game, winner chooses two games to start with, and their first visit will only count towards those games, second player's first visit counts towards everything so they "start" in two variants as well. If when only one game is left running the score is 6-5, the final game counts double to ensure there is a winner.

Obviously you'd want an app to handle everything (although I don't think that you would be unable to chalk it, might need a bit of room though), but it's the sort of thing I think would be able to be coded into Dart Connect. The point of the game is that there's all sorts of different levels of strategy going on here. Obviously there's correlation in what you're aiming for between 501 and cricket, but how much do you put into the other variants? If you're down heavily in one format, do you just ignore it and concentrate on the others? If you can see 16's coming up in halve it, do you make an effort to close it off in advance in cricket so you can score in two places at once (and your opponent can't score on it at the same time)? Can you manipulate a 501 checkout on, say, double 8 at the same time as you need 8 on round the board? If you're needing 4 to finish on 501 at the same time as you want trebles on halve it, what now? Hope to god you check out first dart, or bust your score and make sure you hit a treble? There'll be a LOT of decision making to be done.

Clearly if you want to make it simpler to score, you could just pick two games and use the same principles - probably would want to not pick 501 and cricket at the same time, but I guess it could work. Could work in other games as well, I've just picked out what I'd consider to be the obvious ones. Experiment with it. If you're bored with your usual pub games/practice routines, give it a shot.

ET1 round 3 tips

Down to exactly break even on the event as Vincent's levels dropped off a bit and Woodhouse, well, that didn't go well either. Eight last sixteen games, short on time so rapid firing these:

Cullen/Aspinall - Nathan was one player we wanted a data point on, didn't look in the greatest form but got it done, Joe wasn't really pushed by Madars at all and looked a fair bit better than Nathan did, and comes in at around a 65/35 favourite. Model is actually saying to bet Aspinall and that he's the stronger player - I'm not overly sure on that given Nathan looks rusty right now and Cullen is in the form of his life, but maybe Nathan has shook off that rust and can play how he was doing prior to the worlds? 0.1u Aspinall 6/4, I don't like it in context that much so will just go with the small play and see what happens.

Wade/Huybrechts - James looked his usual competent self with a couple of flashes, that was easily enough to handle a bit of a below par VVDV, Kim was well ahead of Devon, who got a couple of decent legs to make the scoreline look a lot closer than it really should have been. Markets have this fairly close with Wade the small favourite, I've got this pretty much even money, 6/5 on Kim isn't quite enough to go with it, if 6/4 was on the table I'd go for it. Maybe I could just go a small play again? Nope, checking 2022 data and Wade looks a little bit better over shorter form, so I won't despite Kim being one of the better ones this weekend to come through two rounds.

van Gerwen/Noppert - Danny was well in control against King, had a couple of real bad legs to make the scoreline look closer again, but did get over the line 6-3, van Gerwen was in a good match with Keane Barry, down a break but broke straight back and didn't let the youngster have too much of a look in after that. I think we have to take Noppert here, 0.1u Noppert 12/5, his level of play is good enough that he ought to come through easily more than one in three, just the lack of match practice lowering the bet sizing.

Price/Heta - Damon did what he needed to against Gurney, but will likely need to tighten up his game a little bit so as not to allow Price too many easy break chances which Daryl couldn't exploit. Gerwyn was down 2-0 to Edhouse, but turned it around with Ritchie spurning some great chances in the mid game to open up a big lead. Market thinks Price a little bit better than two in three, maybe Damon's got a little bit more of a shot than that, particularly when looking at 2022 stats where he's playing exceptionally well. I will pass on this, don't think Gerwyn is acca safe at all.

Raman/van den Bergh - Brian edged out Jose de Sousa who missed at least one match dart, Dimitri didn't have too much of a problem against Mensur, just dropping the one leg and not doing anything wrong at all. We've got really limited data on Brian, I'm not sure whether 11/2 is harsh or not. Possibly not, he's not done a great deal in either match so far to make me think he stands any real shot against Dimitri if he plays today like he did yesterday.

Clayton/Williams - Jonny was in real trouble against Kciuk, who was up 5-3 but didn't get a match dart, Williams also came through a decider against a Pole in Ratajski, holding his nerve in leg 11 after holding a substantial lead from the early game. Jonny is unsurprisingly a big favourite, maybe Lewy has slightly more of a chance than the 9/2 that is available on Boyles, but I'm only seeing about 22%, which isn't enough to bet it.

Wright/Springer - Peter swept Woodhouse with no real fuss, couple of slow legs but generally enough to get the job done, Niko meanwhile continued a break out weekend by falling over the line against Dolan, was up 5-2 but needed a five visit kill in the decider after Brendan left 61 after twelve. Wright's an even bigger favourite than Clayton in this next game, 7/1 kind of seems like it might be value, but this is often the stage where qualifiers come unstuck. I'll pass it.

Smith/van Duijvenbode - Dirk perhaps surprisingly swept Kurz, got two legs while Nico was remembering how to score then rolled off four straight five visit legs to close the match out. Smith took out Whitlock last on, not the greatest quality game but he did enough. Smith seems a little bit too short, probably looks about a correct price on Dirk if you look just at 2022 data, over a longer period he keeps it a lot closer, more like 55/45 in Smith's favour, if we could get the opposite of the best price of 4/9 on Smith I'd probably take DvD here, but I won't.

That's it, will blast up quick quarter final thoughts later today.

Saturday 26 February 2022

ET1 round 2 tips

First round in the bank, few interesting results, some decent games - would say Gawlas/VVDV was the pick, some comedy (if you haven't seen the Meulenkamp fuck up, do check the PDC's Twitter). Sixteen games today, let's blast through them.

de Sousa/Raman - Brian wasn't great yesterday, but he didn't really need to be as Schlichting couldn't really score heavily enough to truly threaten him, de Sousa is a big step up in class and I'm a touch surprised that the line is so far in favour of Jose that we can get 5/1 on Raman. On 2022 form I think it's nearly worth looking at, and that's despite Brian not having played as well as he did when he was topping the WDF rankings. But I won't actually bet it.

Heta/Gurney - Daryl looked OK yesterday against Schmutzler, but the scoring was a bit pedestrian which pulled the averages down quite a bit, to the point where it really ought not to cut it against Heta. I'm surprised the market is as close as it is - Heta's been better than Gurney for some time now and we can get 4/5. That represents decent value on 2022 data, but that's a small sample, and is very nearly worth it full stop. Wouldn't hate the bet, particularly given Daryl wasn't great in round one.

Ratajski/Williams - Lewis was in a tricky one against a surprisingly decent Dennis Nilsson, but still managed to average 90 despite one or two really bad legs. Krzysztof has been a bit up and down of late, so it's hard to know what we're going to get. From July onwards the line of 1/3 looks perfect, on just this season maybe Lewy has a bit more of a chance. Wouldn't be lumping the Pole in any accas, let's put it that way.

Noppert/King - Weird one to call this, we've not actually seen Danny this season yet, and Mervyn hasn't been at the races at all this season, only averaging mid 80's to get by Janos Vesgo. Think we have to bet this one, 0.25u Noppert 4/6, on data going back to July this looks better than 70/30, if Noppert has been away with injury this could be an issue, or he could be a bit rusty, but as King doesn't look brilliant we can go with it.

Dolan/Springer - Niko looked really fantastic yesterday in giving us the one win we got, Jermaine hit a nice big out to turn the tables a bit but the German got home in the end. Brendan's going to be a different challenge, and maybe we can consider going Niko again. 11/4 is near the same price as we got yesterday against a stronger opponent, but we have a data point now and Dolan's not got off to a fantastic start in 2022. I'll pass and maybe regret it.

Petersen/Huybrechts - Oh, PDC, how you get weird shit like this with Devon being seeded and Searle being out in round one. What joy. Still, it is what it is, Kim looked strong against Hempel who's struggling to kick on this year a touch, and rightly comes in as a near 2-1 favourite in the market. I think that's tiny value, not quite enough to truly punt as Devon seems to be doing just enough. Only the case where the line should be about 2/5 and not 8/15.

Wade/van der Voort - Vincent had a big checkout show yesterday and topped a hundo in the averages, Wade is going to have a test here you would think if VVDV shows up again. Long data says this is a flip, 2022 data says Wade 55/45, market says we can get 13/8 van der Voort. I think the way Vincent played yesterday negates the data from the 2022 Pro Tour events, and we can bet - 0.25u van der Voort 13/8

Aspinall/Smith - First game back for Nathan after injury issues, so tough to get a read. Smith was acceptable against van Trijp, not really getting out of second gear and not needing to. We're definitely not betting Nathan given the uncertainty and the price, do we want 3/1 on the Canadian? Computer says no. Aspinall was playing good the second half of 2021. If we could see that Smith had a 30% shot in that data, I'd go with the flier, but we can't, so I won't.

Cullen/Razma - On to the evening session, Joe's in as the #1 seed, Madars was in an up and down game against Jones, not really doing anything to give us a great deal of confidence in the level of play he has at this moment in time. Market is giving us 4/1, I mean I suppose that's value, but with Joe's results of late I think there's enough not in the data along with other intangibles to not back against him.

Suljovic/van den Bergh - I jumped ahead a little there, oops, still, not editing now. Two former Premier League players, Dimitri looked very good against Lukeman not giving him a chance, now he faces Mensur who is projecting as a 30% chance however we look at the data. We can get 11/5, that seems on the nose.

van Duijvenbode/Kurz - Dirk could do with a bit of a run here after maybe dropping off a touch of late, Nico came through a bit of a weird match where he seemed to win all the scrappy legs, and a lot of them were very scrappy. Dirk's 4/9 with Hills calling it a lot closer than most other bookies, that feels about right to me. There's a small arb available if you can get the Hills price.

van Gerwen/Barry - Michael will want to get back on the Euro Tour winning trail sooner rather than later, and he's facing Keane who looked strong in a comfortable win over Ron Meulenkamp. Market thinks 80/20, oddly this isn't an auto-bet on Keane - long data says he only has an 18% shot. I'd have guessed a bit more, then we could bet. Oh well.

Price/Edhouse - Ritchie came through what was a very tough game on paper against Ryan Searle, but Ryan didn't look to have his top game available and Edhouse took advantage. This is actually a worlds rematch, if you recall there Edhouse swept set one and took the next two to tiebreakers, so he does know how to get legs on the board against Gerwyn, but Price did like the Euro Tour last year and has a good record in this venue, so I think I can ignore it.

Clayton/Kciuk - Didn't necessarily expect that match to be the game where the other Krzysztof made a bit of a name for himself, but it was, 6-1 over Cross who couldn't hit doubles really. Clayton is an entire different proposal, odds putting Kciuk with just under a 20% chance look pretty much correct.

Wright/Woodhouse - Peter steps up now looking to carry on accumulating titles, first opponent will be Luke, who easily despatched Andy Boulton in a game where many observers, myself included, expected it to go the distance. The market indicates they don't think it'll go the distance, long data however indicates that maybe we should give this a poke, with Woodhouse rating to win just over one in four. 2022 data isn't so kind but that's small sizes and we've got a read that Luke is doing alright from round one. We'll take the small shot, 0.1u Woodhouse 5/1, one of those we expect to lose fairly frequently, but not often enough that it's a bad bet. We've been saying Luke's been due a breakthrough performance, maybe today is the day?

Smith/Whitlock - Final game, Simon rolled over Horvat who really didn't put up any resistance, and if Simon had been a bit more clinical in the first leg, Dragutin wouldn't even have had a double. Smith's not been playing bad, but is a bit surprisingly on the bottom of the Premier League right now. I think this is nearly worth a bet on Simon - Whitlock still looks to have something in the tank, rating to win almost exactly one in three over long form, and about 4% more than that on 2022 form. 12/5 is awfully tempting. If he'd played a little bit better yesterday that might have tipped the balance towards a bet.

So three plays, some others that are close, so if you've got slightly different opinions, maybe you can find some more plays to go with.

Thursday 24 February 2022

Euro Tour 1 tips

So we go to Riesa and we've got a pretty interesting lineup of players - sixteen matches coming in, let's go through them.

Schlichting/Raman - Quite a result for David to get here, entertaining guy to follow on Twitter, but couldn't really crack any particularly high scores in the first qualifier of today to get here, generally in the low 80's which against someone of Brian's quality might be trouble - although Raman hasn't set the world on fire so far. Generally the market's seeing about 70/30 (oddschecker does not have lines up, so just have 365/Betfair/Hills/Ladbrokes up) which if it weren't for Raman's mediocre form, I'd probably take a shot on Brian.

Wattimena/Springer - Jermaine could do with a result here, and this isn't the worst draw he could get, Niko managed a couple of averages in the 90's (only just) in the qualifier, which looking back at Q-School seems reasonable. I think we can take a micro shot here, 0.1u Springer 14/5, Jermaine hasn't looked great so far this year and Niko looks to be putting up enough that he's live at that sort of price. 

Razma/Jones - Madars has looked decent in 2022, scoring just above 90 and is floating around the 70/30 favourite mark, which I think is close to value, Wayne was only averaging 85 on the Challenge Tour first weekend which indicates the Latvian should have a bit of an edge. I don't think 4/9 is the sort of price I want to be jumping over. Don't hate it.

Schmutzler/Gurney - Fabian was able to get moderately deep in one Dev Tour, but didn't win a leg at the stage where I track for the database, if anything I think he might be a touch overrated at this stage. Gurney by contrast has looked good, but not taking 1/5 good.

Gawlas/van der Voort - First game we have between tour card holders, so we can actually look at a bit more data. Through what they've done in 2022, Adam looks to have a bit of an edge at just shy of 60%, but if I pull back to since the summer it's more 2-1 in favour of Vincent. Market is seeing Vincent as a little bit more than a 60/40 favourite, this seems just fine to me.

Woodhouse/Boulton - Real intriguing one between two players who've been around the lower reaches of the 64 for some time now, so the data we have is pretty solid, with the market somewhere between flip or small edge to Andy, if we can find anything solid we'll have a bet. Since last summer, the edge looks to go to Luke, but only just, in this year it's kind of flipped the other way. Can't see anything diving into more specifics, so will pass this one. Ought to be a good watch.

Barry/Meulenkamp - Similar here. 2022 data is extremely weird, it heavily favours Ron in the projection but the consistency is off the scale (to the point where I checked everything again to make sure I've not made a data entry error), since the summer it's more even. I'll look at since the summer - that shows Keane with just shy of a 60/40 edge, and most places are showing 4/6. I'll leave this alone as a result.

Searle/Edhouse - Yes, because this is going on ancient rankings, Searle is not seeded but Petersen is. Go figure. Edhouse ought to be a solid test, may be slightly undervalued in the market, but Searle's still good to take it a clear 70-75% of the time so only just being able to get 3/1 isn't tempting.

Williams/Nilsson - Lewis is continuing to look solid early this season and had some nice Dev Tour results. Not seen Dennis in a while, probably just going to have a look at the big series of Nordic/Baltic qualies that were held earlier in the month, where he's low to mid 80's average. Seeing 70/30 in the market, I really don't see how he closes this out more than that, but he looks to have enough of a game where Lewis isn't a bet either.

King/Vesgo - After a good 2021, Mervyn hasn't got off to a fast start statistically, but as we've got basically nothing on Janos, no Q-School so all we can do is look back at Budapest last year, which wasn't inspiring. There's enough range for potential weirdness that I don't want to touch King at 1/6.

Hempel/Huybrechts - Let's see if Florian can push on in 2022 after a great debut year, and this will be a good matchup against Kim who's returning to form and looking to get back into the top 32. Hempel's 2022 hasn't been the greatest so far, but that may just be a sample size issue with some unfortunate early losses, so I don't think we can really use that and we just need to revert back to the summer. That would give Florian a real solid chance near to 50/50, but I'll give enough benefit of the doubt to not jump on the Hempel train, despite home field advantage.

van den Bergh/Lukeman - This seems like a sneaky punt here, 0.1u Lukeman 6/1. Over a longer period of time, this doesn't seem like particularly good value, but Martin's off to a decent start to 2022 - he is scoring over 90 overall and over 93 in winning legs. Dimitri's two points better in winning legs and four better overall, but the point is that Martin's playing at a level right now where he has more than a puncher's chance. I'll take that big number.

Cross/Kciuk - Was thinking that there might be the opportunity to go for a sneaky bet on the Pole here, but there isn't. We can't get better than 3/1, which feels about where it should be. Thought that with Rob having won a major in recent memory it might be a bit more one sided than that. I guess not.

Clemens/Kurz - Awful draw for both. We know that Nico's peak game is great, but we've not seen too much of anything since forever, and his performances in the qualifier are hardly inspiring. An 82 average at Q-School doesn't do much for me either. With 4/7 on the table, and with no Kurz home field advantage, Gabriel is a tempting bet, but he's not really done much of anything in the past eight months or so, and nothing much this year especially, so I can ignore it.

Whitlock/Horvat - Market appears bang on 75/25. I have nothing on Dragutin in my database since forever, and with Simon still playing at a competent level that isn't going to give a great deal away, the line looks alright. Mid 80's average at Q-School is enough that he can be a threat, and we know he's capable of short patches where he's hitting twelves for fun, but the likelihood is a bit of a guess right now.

van Trijp/Smith - Danny averaged 83 at Q-School, 85 in the Challenge Tour, and while he did put up a couple of dangerous looking performances in the associate qualifier that got him here, that was so long ago now that I'm not confident to use it. Jeff's maybe a little bit below where he was in 2021 from what we've seen on the first few Pro Tours, but should still take it easily enough. 4/9 is actually a bit of a tempter.

Round 2 once round 1 has completed.

Sunday 13 February 2022

Winners and losers from PC 1-4

Didn't immediately post anything up after the first weekend of Players Championship events, mainly because I didn't have the time, but additionally I think it's useful to look at a couple of weekend's worth of data at the same time to get a bit more sample size in terms of what's been going on. It's been somewhat eventful, first we'll get to the FRH rankings:

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

So the question is who's been the winners and losers from the first two weeks? Let's go.

Winner - Joe Cullen

Got to start with the guy who went back to back today and climbed into the top 10 of the FRH rankings, possibly for the first time, I'm not sure but I think it must be the case. That's a pretty big achievement considering he's done it without any real deep major runs, which is normally a prerequisite to get this high.

Loser - Michael Smith

I'd have liked to have thought he'd have kicked on after his worlds final, but he's not massively cutting the mustard in terms of results. 3-4 record only picking up 2k, losing out to Ritchie Edhouse, Keane Barry, Joe Murnan and Danny Jansen - to be fair Danny was playing out of his mind, and Murnan wasn't playing too bad either, but you'd have liked a little bit more really. He's not scoring too badly, but it was kind of an issue for a lot of last season that he was doing this but not really getting results, and he's whiffed the first two Premier League weekends as well. Not ideal.

Winner - Josh Rock

Just got to look at the numbers here. He's lost all four matches, and apart from Heta he's not played anyone that's really top level, although I wouldn't call anyone he's played bad by any stretch of the imagination, but he's played great. He tops the whole of my database in scoring, and over 93 in losing legs and 103 in winning legs is real great stuff. It's a brutal welcome to the PDC kind of entry, but he is clearly doing something extremely right, and it'll pay off soon.

Loser - William Borland

He gained a lot of plaudits after his worlds exploits, but these past four events have brought him crashing down to earth in some fashion. He's not had nice draws, but he's only picked up the one win against Ron Meulenkamp, and he doesn't look anywhere near the level he was at in 2021. Of everyone that's played all four events, only Boris Koltsov and John Brown are scoring lower than Willie is. This is an early concern.

Winner - Luke Humphries

He's right up there in terms of scoring this season (at least amongst Pro Tour players, there's a couple who've played one or two matches deep in the Challenge Tour that are higher) with anyone, in the top three only behind Rock and Heta, and more importantly he's broken his title duck. I didn't list him in the previous post in terms of the Pro Tour, as I think he'll do something bigger pretty quickly, but this has got to be a weight off the shoulders.

Loser - Glen Durrant

You really wanted to see some sorts of positives in what is a huge year for Glen, where it is not inconceivable that he will lose his tour card one year after being seeded for the worlds. He went 0-4 and says he saw some positives - I'm not entirely sure that I'm seeing what he's on about. He got a few legs against Keegan Brown, but that looked to be more Keegan switching off for a few minutes, and was unlucky to draw Peter Wright, but I'm worried that he'll never regain the level of play he had in mid-2020.

Winner - Kevin Doets

This is all consistency. Four straight board finals. Only Bunting and Gurney managed that. He couldn't take any of them further, but it is a very good sign that he will be able to accumulate solidly across the course of the season, and probably take up a spot in Minehead and the worlds. Scoring looks where it needs to be, I don't think he'll be denied his place on the big stage this time around.

Loser - Martijn Kleermaker

His scoring's down at 87, and he's not managed to win a match yet. In fairness, he did lose 6-5 three times, but given he's someone I've tipped to be able to take a title some time fairly soon, I'd have thought he'd be able to do a bit more. Evetts, Clemens, Boulton and Woodhouse is not the easiest draw he could have got, but it is certainly not the hardest, not by a long shot. It's bumped him down the Pro Tour rankings quite a bit - the new prize money is going to throw things off a bit, and in terms of who might be able to push into the lower end of the seedings, you want a good start. Martijn didn't get that.

Winner - Lee Evans

This is some way to take advantage of getting a spot through the Challenge Tour. It's not quite at spectacular as Stephen Burton's run where he beat vans Gerwen and Barneveld, but it's one I picked up on when looking at Doets. Two board wins, another board final and an opening win today, scoring close to 91 across the course of 2022 (which will include Challenge Tour results). It's not bad going at all.

Loser - Brendan Dolan

This one really does surprise me in terms of players who've not managed to win. The scoring is down at the low 88 mark, and as a seed (and a fairly high one at that), he should get opening games that aren't too taking unless you hit a landmine like a Gary Anderson or someone like that. Brian Raman, Connor Scutt, Jon Worsley and Mario Vandenbogaerde is an influx of new players outside of Worsley, and I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Dolan would have been able to deal with these. It was only against Worsley that he was able to break a conventional average of 90 and get as far as a deciding leg. Let's hope it's just a temporary blip and he'll be back soon.

We've got a week break now from main tour action, as the Development Tour starts, before the first Euro Tour of the year, glad to be quasi-back to normal, on that weekend we've also got some WDF darts in Europe that'll count towards the database, long time since I've been able to say that. I'm away much of this week so don't expect anything before next Sunday.