Monday 28 March 2022

Each way thoughts kind of worked!

Missed the off on PC7, which looking at the semi finalists, is probably for the best, although Kevin Doets is quietly sneaking up in terms of players I might look at, but PC8! Schindler hits again, doesn't quite get over the line in the final so maybe that will keep him as value for a bit longer - at least until the Matchplay or he binks, whichever comes first. Pity Jim Williams didn't play the weekend so we could get some sort of read on how much things shortened.

New FRH rankings:

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

These were last updated before PC5, so Heta's win and general good form push him solidly ahead of King, who's at least been playing better the last couple of weekends after a horrific start. Couple of deepish runs for Dirk move him above both Chizzy, who's been a little bit anonymous this season, and Aspinall, who we hope doesn't lose too much time as a result of the reported injury issues that he's having. Gurney's quietly climbed up to overtake Dolan as their number one, Evans is up to 37 after his final, Adie's steady accumulation has pushed him above Durrant who's down to 40 but at least has a bit of time to work with before he drops out of the top 40. Schindler is one of those closing in on the top 40 in a close three way battle with Alan Soutar and Jermaine Wattimena, Razma is back in the top 50 after his final, while Jim Williams is up to number 60 after his win, knocking Steve Beaton out of there. Scott Williams continues to accumulate impressively and is not far off the top 100.

It's a huge weekend at all levels with three Players Championships, five Challenge Tours as well as the WDF worlds starting. On that side, sadly couldn't get any useful stats out of their live stream because of the poor quality recording, which cut out huge chunks of legs at a time, notably the end of many. Will try to get some sort of preview up in the next couple of days for it. We then get another Pro Tour weekend, so we should start to see the Matchplay race start to heat up, although with the quantity of scheduled Euro Tours before then, I don't think we can write too much in pen just yet.

Thursday 24 March 2022

Some each way thoughts

Completely forgot to make a post after PC5 and 6, so congrats to Damon Heta and Jim Williams, the latter especially denying Ricky Evans in a battle to see who would get a first senior bink. That's putting Williams in strong contention for a Grand Prix spot, and has an outside chance of the Matchplay. Kind of hard to project given we have so many Euro Tours before the cutoff for that, but he's in the running.

We've got a bit of a spate of Pro Tours now, with two this weekend, three the weekend after then two the weekend after that, and especially this week there's bound to be some interesting each way chances given the number of players that are not in Niedernhausen - if they're calling up the 30th player on the Challenge Tour list as a minimum, then the field could easily be wide open, although we haven't yet seen a list of players. So who do we potentially want?

Chris Dobey - his scoring in the last six months is third only behind van Gerwen and Price, and he's typically available at 50/1. What's not to like?

Martin Schindler - was on him at 150/1 last weekend and with Betfair's top four each way terms, secured a nice payout. He's been there or there abouts a lot of times, and if you read my "next new winners" post, it's surely just a matter of time before he goes all the way.

Josh Rock - also was 150/1 last weekend. Has had a red hot start statistically, only lost out to Schindler at the final hurdle before the each way payouts last time out. Already losing a bit of value, dropped to 150/1 from 200/1 in PC5, but will surely remain value for the next few.

Damon Heta - not someone I've bet for a while, but his scoring is a fair bit better than the general top 16 level, so if he's priced up outside of the top 10 runners in a full field, he's definitely worth a look.

Daryl Gurney - quietly returning to a bit of form, he's scoring closer to 95 than 90 in the last six months (albeit only just), overtaking Dolan who we were looking at each way a fair bit in 2021. He's not won in a while, so may well be priced in and around the 100/1 mark, which is worth a look.

Check Twitter before PC7 once I've had a look.

Monday 14 March 2022

van Gerwen's back!

Pretty dominating performance in that final after Cross got ahead early. Didn't put a foot wrong to run off all those legs, can't do anything realistically in the one he lost given Cross held in four visits. The game hadn't massively gone away, it was just not getting results. Now it's got a result, this could be an ominous return to form. Shame Wright dropped out at the quarter final stages, was looking forward to that one, but he's got to put the longer term picture in play, and if he's not right you don't want to aggravate anything.

Good to see Cross back in a final, still seems a little bit odd he's not actually won a Euro Tour yet. Same with Dimitri I suppose, would think it'll be a decent bet that one of them binks one at some point this season.

New FRH rankings:

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

MvG's less than 2k ahead of Wade, so I don't think that van Gerwen will stay ahead of James by this time next week assuming they all play. Cross was fairly close to pulling ahead of Anderson anyway, but the final gives him a solid cushion. Maybe a little bit surprising that no other moves happened, Dimitri's now closer to Cullen than Searle, as opposed to the other way round, but that's about it really. Gurney's edged up one place following his semi, while Karel Sedlacek regains the Czech number one spot by one place over Adam Gawlas.

I'm going to go back over the Isle of Man stream and try to pull some stats for the latter stages, it seemed solid enough so should be able to get some data. But for now, here's another little stat for you, it's a power ranking sort of thing - best scoring from the last 180 days, minimum 180 legs played criteria. I'll give you the top 32 - let me know who surprises you:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Gerwyn Price
3 Chris Dobey
4 Peter Wright
5 Damon Heta
6 Jonny Clayton
7 Michael Smith
8 Nathan Aspinall
9 Rob Cross
10 Dimitri van den Bergh
11 Callan Rydz
12 Gary Anderson
13 Dirk van Duijvenbode
14 Luke Humphries
15 Daryl Gurney
16 Ryan Searle
17 Krzysztof Ratajski
18 Stephen Bunting
19 Dave Chisnall
20 Karel Sedlacek
21 Danny Noppert
22 Joe Cullen
23 Martin Schindler
24 Ross Smith
25 Brendan Dolan
26 James Wade
27 Raymond van Barneveld
28 Jose de Sousa
29 Adrian Lewis
30 Kim Huybrechts
31 Ian White
32 Mensur Suljovic

Sunday 13 March 2022

2/2 in the last 16 - anything in the quarters?

Before I cut into that, just been watching a bit of the IOM livestream. That Luke Littler is going to be some player...

van Gerwen/Wright is too close to call, MvG probably with the small edge and the market agrees. Why this is a quarter final, let's blame random Euro Tour seedings. DvdB/Smith ought to be a good one, think this is around 55/45 in favour of the Belgian, and the market is kind of giving it the other way, which surprises me slightly, but Smith averaging 108 earlier is frightening, if I cut it back to the last six months it's only 52/48... 6/5 I don't hate I guess, 6/4 I'd probably jump all over. Gurney/Clayton's probably where Daryl's run ends, we can get better than 2/1 which I think is favouring Clayton a little bit too much, as I'm only seeing him at around 62% on year long and six month form. It's not quite enough to consider betting on Gurney again, but we're not touching Clayton. I've not seen any lines for the Cross/Sedlacek all-hair derby, but I'm seeing Sedlacek at 38% year long and 41% in the last six months. 2022 is too small a sample to use. So what do we need to bet Karel to make the semis? I doubt I touch 2/1, 5/2 is getting closer, but I don't think we actually realise that. Will keep an eye out, but assume no further bets today.

Ten things I would do if I was Matt Porter

I've always wondered what I would do if I had any sort of power to call the shots in the PDC. Let's throw out some random thoughts of easy things that can be fixed:


This one is a no brainer. Get all the stats into one, reliable platform (although saying that the day after they had a bit of a snafu in the Women's Series is good timing - congrats to Lisa btw). Everything in one place should allow for much greater stats integration, and move things away from the ever unreliable sportradar (completely unavailable for hours at a time yesterday, freezing continually on Friday). Just have a backup ref/marker at the Euro Tour etc mark it at the same time while the sportradar contract expires. As an aside, that there's been nothing WDF available on that platform for a while is really disappointing, that there's two events this weekend, one of them being the Isle of Man which has a gold and silver rated event, and we get NOTHING in terms of usable stats is unacceptable in 2022.


This should also be obvious. Nobody should be getting byes into the second round after day one, creating an incomplete round which you're not going to score points for. You have an ordered list of players that didn't make stage 2. Use it. I would also like to see them switch round one to a Swiss format, but that wouldn't be one of the first things that I'd do as logistically, while doable, would take a fair bit of work.


Do we really need eight spots for each? Cut it back to six and offer four spots to the winners (if not already qualified) of, say, the DPA tour (when their country stops being insane and they can play at a national level), the SDC tour, the CDC tour and the Asian Tour (if that ever comes back). While the Challenge/Development Tours were in effect split into two I guess it was fine, but it's a bit much now. If you're just outside, go to Rileys and get your spot.


Seriously, if you've qualified for it you should at least get some payback to cover expenses. Especially given it's hosted in the arse end of nowhere. £250 for first round losers and £500 for second round losers would suffice. That's only an extra £24k worth of prize money, or just over a 5% increase. If the prize pool is bumped to 500k overall, do that, give the runner up 50k, semi finalists 24k, quarter finalists 13k, last 16 8k, remaining 2k can go to something like half last Rileys qualifier standing, half last round one player standing.


With the Women's Series back on, there's naturally going to be talk of "should the winner get a tour card Sherrock should be in the Premier League it's so unfair". I'm not a fan of giving a card straight to the winner of tours that, let's be honest, are standards below the Challenge and Development Tours, which are open to basically everyone, and if you win those you deserve to be on the main tour. So, around the time of the World Championship (when you would expect the winners of most tours to all be in the same place), organise a mini tournament for the winners of all of them. Winner gets a card. If you can come through this sort of level, you'd at least stand more of a chance.


This is a little bit of a weird one, but hear me out. While the simplicity of "all new card holders start on zero" is understandable, it seems potentially unfair on some players who might have had a pretty good end to the previous season, and have everything count for zero. So offer the players an option to have the previous twelve months' worth of ranking money remain counting, but they are effectively in the second year of a card, so if they are not in the top 64 after one year, they have to go back to Q-School again. It's not something I expect would be exercised very often, but may well be considered. The obvious example would be Krzysztof Ratajski in the year where he finally got his card, if he hadn't already got into the top 64 and wasn't working on this basis anyway. A more recent example might be Kevin Doets, particularly if he had done slightly better and got into the worlds and won his first round. Or, for that matter, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez. If someone's moderately close to the top 32 on the Pro Tour rankings at the end of the previous year, they may well want to retain that.


This would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone. It'll help expand the global game by getting an additional eight countries into the field, and by having countries 25-40 play off in a round one, you give all of them a competitive match in an additional session, with the obvious additional ticket/TV revenue that an additional session will provide - as well as having the benefit of filtering out the weakest teams on the day to try to minimise the amount of games in the round of 32 between a top seed and a weak country that simply aren't competitive or interesting to watch outside of research - which is in a format (pairs) that doesn't translate to what I want to know about (singles) anyway.


To be honest, after the last two years, I think we're just happy to have what looks to be close to a normal schedule, but some minor scheduling tweaks ought to be in place. It needs to be less German-centric, I get that it's a huge market, and at least unlike previous years there's less than half the events in Germany, but it just gives too huge an advantage for European Championship qualification to German players. Gibraltar needs to switch to some sort of Iberian championship and move around Spain and Portugal as well, with the home nation qualifiers allowing for all three of those countries. Maybe similarly there should always be one in the SDC area with a qualifier spanning all SDC-eligible countries.


As we're getting back to the stage where WDF events are taking place in increasing numbers, we're eventually going to get to the stage where Challenge and Development Tour weekends are going to clash with large WDF events - heck, the next Challenge Tour weekend clashes with the WDF worlds. While that example is obviously going to be a one-off due to the rescheduling, the PDC recognise that the schedule is that crowded that it's going to be impossible to avoid clashes, even within their own events, e.g. the second Dev Tour weekend is the same weekend as the Euro Tour in Leverkusen. So what I would suggest is that the rankings on the secondary tours only look at the top ten (not necessarily a fixed number, but I've just gone for roughly half the events on the schedule) results a player gets, so that it will give players more flexibility in sorting out their schedules, not only within darts, but also within work, school etc, and make it more viable for some who maybe cannot afford to take out the travelling costs to every event that there is.


Clearly the likes of Sky are going to have some form of exclusivity with stuff that they've broadcast, but for streamed events it is unbelievable that they do not have any sort of video on demand catchup. Looking back at ET1, they have NOTHING but limited highlights and the final. How they do not have every game available to go back and watch is ridiculous. I'd also have thought they'd backfill previous majors after the TV companies lose their rights, but there isn't a single game from the '21 Matchplay available outside of a couple of Youtube clowns playing each other, and scrolling back further they still have nothing from the worlds that was behind closed doors - fifteen months ago. This is real shut up and take my money situation and they are just missing out on so much value. There's better content on people ripping the stream illegally and uploading to Youtube. This is not difficult.

ET2 round 3 bets

Only bet lost yesterday, but I think we continue to be on the right side of Schindler if they keep giving us these sorts of prices. He was 4-1 up against the world champion! He averaged 99! He shouldn't be 7/2 in a race to 11 against anyone right now. If they keep offering these prices, we'll keep taking them.

Let's rattle through the last 16.

van Gerwen/Lukeman - Is the Lukeman value train derailed before it can even get going? That was a mightily fine display against Heta, jesus. It may well be, more books are offering shorter than 5/1 on Lukeman than longer and I can guarantee that wouldn't have been the case yesterday. That really isn't value, that's where it should be.

Wright/Ratajski - Think Peter ought to come through this one, Ratajski wasn't great against Hughes, just got the one quick leg, the rest were fairly pedestrian. We can get slightly longer than 2/1 on Krzysztof, and I see just under 40% chances yearlong, so it's close to being worth the look, but with the way things are trending I think those chances are a bit smaller in reality. It's actually ever so slightly higher in the last six months, but in 2022 it's 70/30 Wright. This is eerily similar to the Gurney game yesterday, isn't it?

Searle/van den Bergh - Two players who came through yesterday afternoon, and it's actually a UK Open redo, Searle won that 10-8 and it just feels close, and the markets are having trouble separating them, just having Dimitri as a small 8/11 sort of favourite. That actually looks about right year long, I've got Dimitri as just over 55% winning chances, so no bets yet.

Smith/Chisnall - The sort of game it feels like we've seen a bunch of times, Smith needed to do a bit of work to finish off Petersen after being 4-0 up, Chisnall needed all eleven legs to finish off Clemens, so not the greatest display from either. Smith seems to be priced 4/7 everywhere, maybe that's a little short. I'm seeing Dave at 44% yearlong and 46% in 2022, although a six month stat in the middle has him at just 37%. We can't get better than 11/8 which is nowhere near enough to consider.

Cullen/Gurney - This also seems like a massive redo (but I'm not fucking paying dartsorakel to get head to head stats to be sure), Gurney came through Humphries yesterday and looked solid, Cullen looked a bit better against Evans and was scoring very well, leaving himself on a two darter after twelve in every leg Evans won. My model's having trouble separating the two, Cullen only pulling ahead slightly on 2022 stats and that's only 55/45. So I'll go 0.25u Gurney 15/8 (Ladbrokes, oddschecker still not working), I think this is a big enough edge to take the shot, despite Joe's impressive display.

Clayton/Suljovic - Mensur took apart a way off Callan Rydz, Clayton was extremely competent against Waites, just the first and last legs being a bit mutually sloppy. Looks like a Clayton two in three game, Mensur's only longer than 2/1 in one place, so no bet here.

Cross/van Duijvenbode - Rob was not really tested by Kleermaker and a bunch of six visit holds were easily enough, Dirk was slow to get going against Darius, but the Lithuanian was slow as well, so Dirk got an early break and got to an easy enough 6-3 win. Seeing 58/42 year long for Rob which feels about right, Cross is 4/6, slightly longer in places, so the line looks good.

de Sousa/Sedlacek - Jose was fortunate against Huybrechts, getting through 6-5 from 5-3 down, Karel meanwhile whitewashed Chris Dobey in a result nobody saw coming - especially the size of the win. Sedlacek's a best price of 2/1 so I doubt we can ride this hype train any further, year long it looks exactly like Jose two in three, although more recent form is worth looking at, last six months it's basically a coin flip, and in 2022, it actually likes Sedlacek - although on a 19 leg winning sample, I'm going to ignore that. I'll take a small stab, 0.1u Sedlacek 2/1, while Karel won 6-0 he did get more legs than not in six visits, but Jose also only won two legs in fifteen or better, and averaged under 80 in the five legs he lost (albeit that is deflated by one leg with clown show doubling).

Going to put up another post shortly on a separate topic, but that's all for now.

Saturday 12 March 2022

ET2 round 2 bets

No major surprises in round one, hard to say there were any surprises at all. Sedlacek over Lewis might look like one to the casual, but we thought it might happen a fair chunk of the time. Of the three long shots we went for, that was the one that was right, if we can pick off at that rate at prices of better than 2/1, happy days, Lukeman was also comfortable so day one was productive. Oddschecker is being useless again and not giving us lines, pretty fair spread of useless stuff yesterday with sportradar continually freezing (freezing after Soutar was six darts in and 141 left was a good one) and the stream apparently having issues as well, so we're going with the ghetto option of opening up four major bookies and going from there.

Ratajski/Hughes - No read on Hughes from round one as he was one of the players to get a bye, Ratajski's been a little bit up and down over the last few months while Jamie's slowly coming back to form, all lines saying 4/9 Ratajski which I think is maybe underrating Hughes ever so slightly (I see 35%), but hey, vig, it's close enough.

Cross/Kleermaker - Martijn didn't play that great against Mario, just getting a bunch of holds in eighteen then nicking the one break late, that might be punished by someone with the class of Cross fairly easily if it continues. Looks like Rob should take this ever so slightly more than one in three, another one where the market has the favourite as slightly shorter than he ought to be, but with vig there is no chance to punish by betting the underdog.

van Duijvenbode/Labanauskas - Dirk is priced more or less 1/2 everywhere against Labanauskas, who looked alright in dealing with the potentially dangerous Springer, bringing home a comfortable win. This one looks to be favouring Dirk a bit too much, but there's huge vig and we can't get better than 13/8, which isn't really enough with a 42% chance. If we could get the converse of Dirk's price, we'd be in for sure.

Heta/Lukeman - Martin continues to impress in 2022, solid 92 average against Hendriks who didn't really do much, and Damon will be a good yardstick as Heta looks to put the UK Open disappointment behind him. Year long says Heta three times out of four, and he is generally priced a bit shorter than 1/3, even getting as short as 1/4 in places. Think that's a little bit disrespectful to Martin's game, but Heta's really good and it's not that far out.

Searle/van der Voort - Vincent made no mistakes against van Veen in what could have been a tricky tie, and now comes up against Searle who has had a couple of blips and might be there for the taking. Seems like 60/40 to Ryan, he's generally priced about 1/2, so this is exactly like the van Duijvenbode game, the bookies' built in edge denies us the chance to punt. Give us the 9/4 to go with Searle's 4/9 in multiple places, and we'd bet.

van den Bergh/Soutar - Alan didn't set the world alight in round one but didn't need to in order to get past Peters, and now comes up against Dimitri which'll be a whole different level of test. Looks about 70/30 in favour of the Belgian, and the lines are generally floating around 2/5, so we can pass once more.

Humphries/Gurney - Luke's now up in the seeds and will face someone who was a seed in these for seemingly years in Daryl, who averaged pretty poorly but still got the win over Lukas Wenig. Market is generally around 1/2 on Luke, slightly longer in places, which looks right on form this year, but year long the model says this is a coinflip? That seems a bit odd, Humphries is scoring a little over a point better than Gurney in the last twelve months, but that's all on consistency and better losing legs. Do I really want to take 6/4? I think with the way things are trending I can talk my way out of it, but this certainly isn't the banker that many casuals might think it is.

Cullen/Evans - Ricky managed a good win over Rafferty, who was red hot in the legs he lost with Evans keeping shutting the door. A bit of a resurgence in the last few weeks for Rapid, can he keep it going against Cullen? I'd say he's got just over a one in three chance, the 12/5 we're offered wouldn't be the worst punt I guess but it's not quite enough to go for it, would probably grab 11/4.

de Sousa/Huybrechts - Into the evening session and we start with the #1 seed, which is a little bit odd but that's what it is, Kim got through Murnan in an unremarkable game and is priced remarkably close to Jose, I wouldn't have picked a 6/5 line that we can see in some places. Year long that'd be an awful bet, last twelve months the model can't separate them, in 2022 Kim's actually got closer to a 60% shot than 50%. Line seems fair enough then?

Smith/Petersen - Devon got a first round bye, Michael's back looking to put the UK Open behind him and is naturally a huge favourite and we can't get better than 1/4 anywhere, many places being 1/5. We can't get better than 10/3 on Petersen, which isn't really enough to consider the punt, Smith shouldn't be this far odds on, I'd say vig free this should be 2/5, but I'm not rushing to lump on Devon Petersen with this small an edge.

Clemens/Chisnall - Gabriel was another player to get a bye through being promoted to the seeds and gets put up against Chizzy first up which is a touch harsh, Dave ran through Bellmont very easily and enters as shorter than a 1/2 favourite in many places, which seems a little bit short at a first glance, but not that much - I'm only seeing Gabriel at 35% and as we're being offered 2/1 at best, we can avoid a bet again.

van Gerwen/Justicia - Jose got past George Killington in a fairly tight matchup, and now gets a resurgent MvG in round two. Lines are pretty lol, but I can only see a projection of 13%, so I can't even recommend the 6/1 that you can get. Let's just move on.

Wright/Schindler - Martin needed all eleven legs to get past Wattimena and I think he faded a match dart in doing so, in the only game that went the distance in round one. He'll need to be better today, he can be and we'll go 0.1u Schindler 7/2, my projections give him a 34% chance, so against an implied chance of 22%, that's more than enough to take a small stab here.

Clayton/Waites - Scott got through Kantele in the first game of the day, not a particularly high quality affair and Jonny ought to be a solid favourite in this one, I see this as bang on a three in four chance for the Welshman, markets are generally in agreement.

Rydz/Suljovic - Should be a fun one, Callan's the seeded player here, Mensur got a bye, feels like it should be close, I'm getting Rydz at 55/45 in terms of chances, think the market favours Callan ever so slightly more, but again there's a ton of vig in the market so I can't recommend any sort of Suljovic play.

Dobey/Sedlacek - Final game here, Karel had the standout result in terms of opponent beaten, if not level of play, and comes up against the ever underrated Chris Dobey (once I saw he got promoted to the 16 seed I took 66's each way with seeds of Jose, Cross and Dirk in his quarter, seemed like value), looks like Dobey's closer to winning three in four than two in three, and he's typically priced at 1/3, some places slightly shorter, others slightly longer. Can't recommend a play, can't even say it's acca safe, Karel's dangerous enough that anything can happen.

So just the one play on Schindler, it seems like Martin's stopped by one of Wright/Price/van Gerwen far too often, but he's playing well enough that he should get through this sort of game sooner rather than later.

Friday 11 March 2022

ET2 round 1 bets

0.25u Lukeman 4/6 (365), he looks considerably better than Hendriks, Laddies having it 8/15 looks more accurate.

0.1u van Veen 7/2 (widely available), as mentioned in the previous post he looks competent enough and I think this is a big enough price to take a shot.

0.1u Wenig 10/3 (widely available), this doesn't seem quite as good as the previous bet, but Gurney isn't quite as good as he used to be and I think this should be a bit of a tighter line.

0.1u Sedlacek 11/4 (365), Karel's playing well, that Laddies have it at 21/10 looks more indicative of where the line should be, if not a bit closer.

No oddschecker so just loaded up four bookies, better prices may be available, if so, take them.

Thursday 10 March 2022

ET2 thoughts

Hmm, so this has immediately become a bit of a clusterfuck, with two seeds and one qualifier withdrawing, all the seedings being shuffled around. Do Price and Dolan get any ranking money? Does Evetts? Who knows. They surely aren't paying Price/Dolan out 2k each given they've shifted up two seeds to take their place and given byes. Not a pretty situation. Draw's been out, it's a bit late, but we've only got 13 games to look at now. There's no lines yet, so let's blast through thoughts in running order and go back to tips later.

Kantele/Waites - Think this a bit of a sad case of Marko making up the numbers. Scoring of 83 in the last twelve months, which is a good six points behind Waites, only averaging 80 on the Challenge Tour, 83 in the couple of Nordic/Baltic events we've had so far and only slightly better in the SDC Euro qualies, this should open at least 75/25 in favour of Waites, if not more.

Soutar/Peters - Fancy Luc to put up a bit more resistance than Kantele will, Soutar's a bit better than Waites is but Peters is considerably better than Kantele. Would expect a line of around 8/15 Soutar, no vig, but not be surprised to see him closer to 2/5 in reality.

Lukeman/Hendriks - Jimmy's got a good 60 legs won under his belt in my sample, most of which I would expect to be from 2022, and is scoring under 85, which against a player in Lukeman's form may be in trouble. Year long stats think 75/25 in favour of Martin, more recent stats will be stronger still. Might be value in this one.

Vandenboegaerde/Kleermaker - Here's an interesting one, Mario's had a few good spots this season, Kleermaker's been a bit under the radar, so this could go either way. Model says it's a flip, so we'll see if there's any super bets we can make.

Labanauskas/Springer - Darius flies in and will face the latest German sensation as Niko looks to bank more money to try to get a European Championship berth, it seems like around a 2-1 in favour of the Lithuanian game.

Rafferty/Evans - Nathan didn't do much of anything at the UK Open, while Ricky looked a lot better than he has done in some time. How they'll respond to a typically quiet Friday afternoon crowd will be interesting, seems like another 2-1 sort of game, this time in favour of Evans.

Justicia/Killington - Onto the evening, Jose and George have been scoring really quite similar in my data, Justicia coming through a bigger sample though. Think both will fancy it, my data's giving Jose a small edge (not even 55%), but George has been looking pretty solid in 2022, so this may be another flip.

Schindler/Wattimena - Another shot for Jermaine to try to regain form, this won't really be the draw he'll have wanted, Schindler actually only projects at 60/40, which does surprise me a little. Will be a very interesting line, maybe Martin is shorter than that, but it'd probably need to be a clear misprice before I'd consider betting Wattimena in this one.

Chisnall/Bellmont - Dave's got a good draw here and should be comfortable. Stefan's been in a few Euro Tours in the past, but didn't play the recent Challenge Tour weekend and only managed 83 averages at Q-School. He was a bit better in the quali, but will need to show that sort of scoring to stand a chance.

van der Voort/van Veen - Here's the other associate qualifier, and Gian played considerably better in it than Stefan did - 94, 97 and 92 were the averages, which might be enough to give Vincent some issues, and averaging of 86 at Q-School isn't that horrible. Maybe he's got a shot. Dependent on the line, I might take a poke.

Gurney/Wenig - Daryl comes in against Lukas Wenig, who we've got a fair bit of data from and who we did see at the UK Open. Gurney ought to be too solid here, 70/30 seems about the right sort of ballpark, I just don't see Lukas as having demonstrated the peak game to really capitalise unless Daryl makes mistakes.

Murnan/Huybrechts - Couple of card holders going up against each other in this one, this isn't the easiest draw Kim could have got, but it's certainly not the hardest. Ask this question twelve months ago and it might be a different story, but right now I'm thinking a line of Huybrechts having a little bit more than a two in three shot, call it 4/9 vig free, looks the correct number as the Belgian climbs back in the general direction of the top 32.

Sedlacek/Lewis - Final game of the day, Karel's walked all over the Eastern Europe qualifiers, the numbers there might be a bit misleading but you don't win all of them by playing badly. Strong Challenge Tour averages as well as being in the conversation of the best player not to have qualified for last year's worlds, Lewis won't have it all his own way. We saw bits of the best of Adie at Minehead, but that quickly regressed, and I think in reality he should only be about a 4/6 favourite. He won't be, so we'll be looking to punt on Evil Charlie to close the night out.

Monday 7 March 2022


Well, there's another sure fire avenue of betting value down the drain. Congrats to Danny, that was quite the jump, and commiserations to Michael who's got to be wondering at this stage what he has to do to actually bink a title. Pretty weak final session in terms of entertainment, Smith had a blistering run against Barry, but both of the Noppert games, while tense, definitely lacked quality.

Still, it's given a bit of a shakeup 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
9 Jose de Sousa
10 Danny Noppert (UP 9)
11 Joe Cullen (DOWN 1)
12 Dimitri van den Bergh (DOWN 1)
13 Ryan Searle (DOWN 1)
14 Krzysztof Ratajski (DOWN 1)
15 Luke Humphries (DOWN 1)
16 Dave Chisnall (DOWN 1)
17 Nathan Aspinall (DOWN 1)
18 Dirk van Duijvenbode (DOWN 1)
19 Mervyn King (DOWN 1)
20 Damon Heta (NEW)

Funny that, apart from Noppert jumping everyone, there's not a huge deal happening. O'Connor and Barry climb to 33 and 38 respectively, but were obviously clearly outside, Smith with a final has now opened up over a 60k point gap to Wade. Heta is, for I think the first time, into the top 20, Bialecki's great run sees him just three places outside the top 100, would hope that he's able to build on this somehow, but it's going to be a bit tricky to do so immediately - Euro Tour qualifiers would be a tricky ask, especially considering they just ran a whole load of Eastern Europe qualis this weekend (and props to Karel Sedlacek for cleaning up), and I don't know if he's playing the Challenge Tour at all either. As such, I find it hard for him to find a pathway to add much of anything anytime soon, so will just have to regroup on the Development Tour and/or any upcoming WDF events.

We're heading on to Hildesheim next, and we've got some relatively sensible seedings, at least compared to Riesa, there's some spicy potential last 16 matchups in Price/Ratajski, Wright/Heta, Clayton/Dimitri, van Gerwen/Cross, Smith/Humphries... it should be a lot of fun, chuck in qualifiers like Dobey, Soutar, Huybrechts, Gurney, Chisnall, Lewis, Suljovic, Hughes, Waites, heck, got to say Lukeman and Evans after last weekend, as well as a pretty strong German quartet in Schindler/Clemens/Springer/Wenig, and there'll be some great games. There will, however, be no Noppert, because of course he didn't enter the quali. Oh well.

In the end on the betting we finished up one third of a unit. That could have been better, but it could easily have been worse if some marginal results went the other way. Still, we've learned and some of this should easily be applicable immediately with the associate and home nation qualifiers in ET2. We know the field, expect something back on Thursday once we know the draw.

Sunday 6 March 2022

One quick semi final bet

0.25u Noppert 8/15, I'm a fan on Willie's game, but this shouldn't be that close. Danny's been playing at a consistently higher level for quite some time, and I project him to win more that three in four. That's enough to take a stab at a price better than 1/2, the market ought to be more like the Smith/Barry line (which looks fine).

Quarter finals - anything worth punting on?

Having a quick check now. Barry might be a little bit undervalued against Wade. 2/1 is a bit of a big price, but I'm only seeing Keane a 39% in long form, and while Keane's been playing better darts over recent months, Wade has looked fantastic this weekend and is going to be hard to stop, so I can't justify the stab.

Bialecki against O'Connor is a huge chance for everyone, Willie's actually longer than 1/2 at Hills while you can get the inverse on 365 so there looks to be a small arb there if you want it, in terms of the actual winning chances I've got O'Connor at 71%, so if you did want to take that price on Hills (does look to be still there as I type this), I would have that as the freeroll side, but there isn't the edge to recommend an actual play.

Heta looks to be around about a 60/40 favourite over Noppert in the market, for me these two players can't be separated, they're basically identical. We can see 11/8 for Noppert in a couple of places, which is very near enough value, but those seem to be outliers with everyone else having it as 6/5, 5/4 etc, so I doubt we see the market movement to jump on Danny here.

Smith/Price is last up and we're seeing Gezzy at around a 65/35 projection at the bookies, this one seems the closest to a perfect line so I can't recommend any punts in the quarters. Price is maybe slightly undervalued, I see him at 68% so again, if you're on Hills, you could take the 8/15 outlier they have and it wouldn't be bad so to speak. It would be the most Smith thing ever if he took out Price and then lost to the winner of Bialecki/O'Connor.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Any value in round 6? Let's see

God damnit why didn't I just follow my instincts and bet Heta. Then again, if I was less disciplined I'd have lost 2-3 other bets, so there is that I supposed. Very close to the business end, eight games to look at, vamos:

Noppert/van Duijvenbode - Bookies have this straight down the middle. That seems fair enough to me. As I'd expect, Danny has a small advantage over the course of the last year, but it's only 55/45, which wouldn't be enough to consider a bet, even before we consider Dirk looking to be in peak form with a damn fine 105 average against Schindler this afternoon. Nothing of value here.

Evans/Barry - This one won't take long. That said, it's one that the model says is a flip. Market agrees. Sit back, relax, but don't make a brew or you'll miss the whole match.

Wade/Krcmar - Wade not troubled by Meulenkamp, as we thought might happened, Krcmar got through Chizzy as we thought might happen, but the size of victory looks on the face of it more to do with Dave than Boris. Wade is a big favourite, shorter than 1/2, I'm thinking Boris has at least a 40% shot. Let's go, 0.25u Krcmar 12/5

Searle/Bialecki - Ryan was in a great tussle with Dimitri but came through, while Sebastian needed every leg to get past Ian White, White basically gifting a moderately slow break in a decider where I assume Bialecki pulled tops for the match into double one? Who knows. Think the Pole's run ends here, I was going to bet Searle at a 3/10 line that oddschecker was showing, but that seems to have vanished and only 1/4 is showing, which I don't think is bad (I see this at 88% Searle), but that's year long stats, can pass this one.

Suljovic/Smith - Mensur managed a ton average against Nentjes to come from a 7-4 hole and advance, Smith was similarly pushed by Clemens, trading a bit early but then getting the critical break and serving out from there. On long data, Smith should take this three times in four, and the market has him at 1/3, so nothing doing again.

Wright/O'Connor - Peter moved on with an accomplished performance against Whitlock, winning 10-5, while O'Connor really got away with one again, Bunting had the darts in the last leg, left 121 after 9, Willie didn't hit a treble in his first twelve darts, and Bunting still lost the leg. Alright then. Another one where the line looks fine, model spits out 81% Wright and he's 2/9. Next please.

Heta/Clayton - Damon got the biggest win of his career in taking down MvG by a surprisingly one sided scoreline, Jonny also got a hugely one sided scoreline, only dropping the one leg to a massively under par de Sousa. Market has this 65/35 in favour of the Ferret, I think the value is on Damon here as I'm looking at him having a 43% shot. There's *nearly* enough value, but not quite enough there to go for a proper tip.

Price/Rydz - Gerwyn was forced all the way to a deciding leg by Jamie Hughes, but finished in twelve on throw, can't complain with that. Callan wasn't particularly good against Vincent van der Voort, but the big lad wasn't at the races and only took the two legs, so Rydz moves on. Market is thinking Price at just over 75%. That looks more or less spot on.

So just the one punt. Would like to offer more, but don't want to make recommendations without a solid edge. If you're less risk averse, there's enough here to make more plays if you want (hint - Heta).

UK Open round 5 bets

I'm not entirely sure how we ended up in the black today after a horrific round one where we put 2.6 units in and ended up dropping nearly a unit and a half, some of that was players not showing up at all (Andersen), players blowing leads (Mansell losing from 3-0, Rock losing from 4-2), but I think a fundamental error I made was to underestimate how good the unknown Rileys' qualifiers are. Thinking about it more, if I'm looking at someone like Alcinas who was averaging (IIRC) 81-82 on the Challenge Tour, think more about what that means. That's taking slightly more than six visits to kill. It doesn't really take that much to stand a pretty good chance against that - think of how many trebles you need to leave yourself on a reasonable finish after fifteen darts. If you go 60-100-60-60-105, you're on 116 and just need one treble in visit six to kill in 18, and if the other guy doesn't, you're coming back on 60 at worst. Given two things - first, there's only half the Rileys' qualifiers there were historically, so the general strength of field you would expect to be a little bit stronger, second, the actual strength of the qualifiers itself is better than it used to be a long time ago when they had the separate qualifiers for the Pro Tour and those who did Q-School, you've got plenty of players who are on the Challenge Tour, Development Tour, strong county players etc. Even if we get a random name come through and not a Jelle Klaasen or a Paul Hogan, it is extremely likely that they're going to have beaten some tough players to get here and fluking your way in as a 60 average pub player does not seem all that likely.

Still, we did get out of it, up two thirds of a unit on round two, another unit on round three and a quarter on round four. Which would have been more, but Labanauskas losing an 8-2 lead was a thing. Fair play to Ricky, but those sorts of things suck from our perspective. Got to retain some sense of balance, we had games like the Scutt/O'Connor match where we got away with one (although, from 5-2, it looks like Willie only allowed Connor two match darts, and I think even those might have been preventable). Down to the last 32, there's a few real interesting ties, let's go in running order:

Searle/van den Bergh - Think the line looks just about perfect. Maybe Searle is a touch undervalued, but it's really only that he should be 11/8 rather than 6/4, and some mediocre 2022 form coupled with Dimitri looking fantastic in round four, compensates enough for me. Actually, checked the best of 11 projection rather than best of 19 and it seems bang on on long term form.

Noppert/Petersen - Seems on point again. Noppert being 4/11 equates to a low 70% win chance, I think 77%, so I think Danny is acca safe, but I don't think there's quite enough edge there with Devon looking a little bit better yesterday, averaging 95 over a sixteen leg run is probably the best he's played since 2020.

Chisnall/Krcmar - This one should be very interesting, Dave won't hate the draw but Boris is a very formidable opponent whose back to back 93 averages are only a hint at what he can do. Projections I have see Dave winning two in three. He's a touch shorter than that, but not enough that we can consider betting on Krcmar really. If we had seen Boris do what he had done on some of the Pro Tour games, then maybe.

Waites/Evans - Scott isn't really firing on all cylinders with three averages of 87 yesterday, but I suppose he wasn't really getting any help from any of his opponents. Ricky made the best comeback of the year so far after looking very impressive in round three, and comes in as a marginal favourite. Model can't split them. Even if they were to play over the length of a world final it still rounds to 50/50. No bets here given most bookies list Scott at evens or 10/11 the pair.

Heta/van Gerwen - Tasty main stage tie, Damon's been looking very good on the Pro Tour, and was steady in a comfortable win over Andy Boulton, Michael won the most recent Premier League night and did enough against Gary Anderson, could have been a real banana skin but despite only averaging 93, he got through, Ando averaging the same helped I guess. Damon is definitely live, I see a touch over a one in three chance, basically smack bang in the middle of that and 40%, so I'm almost tempted to have a nibble at 12/5. I've just got a hunch that Heta will still be waiting for that first big TV win, if he'd knocked off one of the big three previously (and I don't believe he has, at least on stage) then I probably go for a small stab. But I'll pass and just enjoy the game.

Clemens/Smith - There's two Germans left standing and Gabriel is one of them, dumping out Rob Cross in a game that didn't look fantastic statistically, Smith took Dobey out by the same score of 10-7 with for all intents and purposes a hundred average, and enters as what looks like a prohibitive favourite at shorter than 1/3. As my projections say 74%, that's certainly prohibitive, but not inaccurate, Michael ought to move on as he still looks for a first major title.

van Duijvenbode/Schindler - This one should be fun, Dirk's moved through with a very good showing over William Borland, while Schindler's had to come from a few rounds further back, crushing Williams and Smith before edging a very close one with Ryan Joyce by one break. Schindler is at a level where he should only be a very small underdog to Dirk - 11/10 no vig line looks correct. We can get 6/4 which is extremely close to what we need, if he was to drift even just to 13/8 I think I would take it, but drilling into the match on oddschecker I can't actually see which bookie has that line and most say 11/8 best price, so that's not happening I guess.

Suljovic/Nentjes - Decent opportunity for both here, Mensur could do with the money to shore up a top 32 position but needed every single leg to defeat Huybrechts, one of the players looking to snatch it from him, Geert is still looking for a first statement run somewhere and has made the most of what, in fairness, has been a fairly favourable draw, and remains that way still. Geert looks about a 2/1 dog in the projections, and we're being offered 21/10, so they seem accurate there.

Wright/Whitlock - Almost tempted to take this one off the table, given Wright was, per ITV comms, close to withdrawing before knocking Cullen out yesterday. Whitlock needed all nineteen legs to dispose of Maik Kuivenhoven, who's certainly a competent operator but that's not what you want to see coming into a match against the world champ. I see that as somewhere between 75 and 80% for Peter, the line is around 1/3, a little bit shorter, which makes things easy from a punting perspective.

Clayton/de Sousa - Another good clash which has been relegated to board two sadly, Clayton was out on the outer boards yesterday and had a real scare against Martin Lukeman who's had a very nice start to 2022, Jose meanwhile wasn't scoring overly heavily and took out Steve West 10-7. I want to take a controversial bet on de Sousa here, as long form says that Clayton should only take this just over half the time on year long form, so 9/5 looks pretty huge on that, but that's ignoring what Clayton's done in unranked, and Jose hasn't been quite so good over the last few months, if I drop the sample to since the start of September he only wins 30%. So I'll ignore this one.

Zonneveld/Barry - Big chance for two players who've come through from the afternoon session, Niels has averaged in the 90's three times, needed a decider against Jon Worsley but won easily against van Peer and then got a surprisingly one sided scoreline against Jim Williams. Barry wasn't really troubled by either Evans or de Zwaan, the most issues so far being against Graham Hall. It is what it is. Long data says this is a flip, Keane enters at around 4/6, with the Irishman's ascendant form and that we can't get better than 13/10 on Niels, we can ignore this one as well.

White/Bialecki - Ian pulled off a little bit of a surprise in getting through Luke Humphries in a decider, 170 out to break in twelve with Luke sitting on 38 which I assume was after a missed dart at bull for the match. Nice way to win. Sebastian's the last non tour card holder remaining, beating a poor Matt Campbell, Murnan in a decider, Brown comfortably then Edhouse 10-6. Both players should be happy with the draw you would think, projections say Ian three times in four, need to be a little bit careful here with sample sizes but Bialecki has over 100 legs counting to that so I think it's safe enough. White is 4/9 so there's not really enough to play, kind of like the Noppert game, it's acca safe but not quite enough to punt.

Hughes/Price - Nice bit of a return to form for Yozza, Razma was easy enough and Gawlas was not able to score enough to trouble him. Price had a tough draw in Ratajski but he could only muster a 91 average which was only enough to net five legs in a comfortable win for the Welshman. Price is, as you would expect, a huge odds on favourite and the shortest of anyone in the round, I was thinking this might project enough that we can go small on Jamie, which I'd be able to defend a bit given we know the A-game that he has is capable of winning it. Then it said 15% which is near as damnit to the 11/2 we're offered. Bugger.

Meulenkamp/Wade - James won't mind this draw you would think, especially given how he played yesterday in a very high quality encounter with Lennon where only the last leg of the sixteen went beyond five visits and Wade, with a 104, had the lower average. That was on board two so will need to check that out later as I assume that's found its way to Youtube. Ron struggled over the line against Kciuk 10-9, a huge contrast to the 100 average he put up in a 6-2 win over Danny Baggish. Odd change of form. This looks like one where Ron doesn't quite have a one in three chance of winning, and we can get 10/3. Slightly shorter form makes this a no bet, but on form since the worlds, it looks like a flip, albeit Meulenkamp is very inconsistent in that sample and this isn't the opponent you want to gift opportunities to. I should probably bet Ron but I just can't trust him on that round 4 performance.

Rydz/van der Voort - Callan pipped Aspinall who missed match darts, looks like it was a scrappy one, Vincent averaged a fair bit higher and easily despatched Jermaine Wattimena 10-5. This is extremely similar to the Zonneveld/Barry game, it seems too close to call with Callan only having about a 3% edge, but there's a lot of vig in this market with Rydz 4/6 and VvdV 13/10. 6/4 I'd definitely consider.

O'Connor/Bunting - Final game, Willie escaped once already as mentioned before, but was much improved in round four, Heaver took seven legs while O'Connor was averaging 101 but it wasn't enough. Bunting took Mervyn King apart 10-4, I'm kind of worried for Mervyn right now, he has not looked good at all this year. Market has Bunting as a moderate favourite, I'd say it's 62/38 in favour of Stephen, so a general best price of 8/13 looks about perfect.

So, much to my surprise, I see no bets worth taking. Maybe round six will give us something?

Friday 4 March 2022

UK Open round 4 bets

Will go by kickoff time and board by board:

Dobey/Smith - 0.1u Dobey 11/5
Wattimena/van der Voort - no bet
Boulton/Heta - no bet
Edhouse/Bialecki - no bet
Joyce/Schindler - no bet, but close to going Schindler
King/Bunting - 0.25u Bunting 5/6
Searle/Lewis - no bet, but close to going Lewis
Williams/Zonneveld - no bet
Ratajski/Price - no bet, but close to going Ratajski
Gurney/van den Bergh - no bet
Kuivenhoven/Whitlock - no bet, but close to going Kuivenhoven
Heaver/O'Connor - no bet
Durrant/Waites - no bet
Nentjes/Hempel - no bet
Labanauskas/Evans - 0.25u Labanauskas 11/10
Huybrechts/Suljovic - no bet
van Gerwen/Anderson - no bet
Lennon/Wade - no bet
Woodhouse/Krcmar - no bet, but close to going Krcmar
Klaasen/Petersen - no bet
Dolan/Chisnall - no bet, but close to going Dolan
Hughes/Gawlas - 0.25u Hughes 8/11
van Duijvenbode/Borland - no bet, but extremely close to going DvD
Barry/Hall - 0.5u Barry 4/11
Cullen/Wright - no bet
Rydz/Aspinall - no bet, but close to going Aspinall
Meulenkamp/Kciuk - no bet
West/de Sousa - no bet
Noppert/Meikle - no bet
White/Humphries - no bet
Cross/Clemens - no bet
Lukeman/Clayton - no bet

Super fast round 4 projections

Ordered in terms of the highest ranked FRH player in the tie, first figure is the percentage chance of the first player to win on year long data, second figure is more form based from the worlds onwards.

(1) Wright v (10) Cullen - 69, 74
(2) Price v (13) Ratajski - 67, 74
(3) Smith v (28) Dobey - 41, 67
(4) Wade v (43) Lennon - 60, 75
(5) van Gerwen v (7) Anderson - 76, 56
(6) Clayton v (102) Lukeman - 87, 80
(8) Cross v (24) Clemens - 70, 91
(9) de Sousa v (72) West - 83, 42
(11) van den Bergh v (25) Gurney - 66, 68
(12) Searle v (39) Lewis - 58, 60
(14) Humphries v (29) White - 58, 75
(15) Chisnall v (22) Dolan - 57, 49
(16) Aspinall v (21) Rydz - 66, 63
(17) van Duijvenbode v (56) Borland - 78, 88
(18) King v (20) Bunting - 48, 14
(19) Noppert v (58) Meikle - 70, 38
(23) Heta v (65) Boulton - 78, 94
(26) Suljovic v (33) Huybrechts - 49, 46
(27) van der Voort v (38) Wattimena - 60, 75
(30) Whitlock v (52) Kuivenhoven - 62, 41
(31) Petersen v (95) Klaasen - 47, 57
(34) Joyce v (53) Schindler - 36, 76
(36) Durrant v (81) Waites - 30, 18
(37) O'Connor v (71) Heaver - 59, 74
(41) Evans v (42) Labanauskas - 43, 39
(45) Hempel v (117) Nentjes - 62, 54
(46) Woodhouse v (59) Krcmar - 41, 34
(47) Hughes v (82) Gawlas - 67, 75
(48) Barry v (196) Hall - 85, 87
(51) Edhouse v (172) Bialecki - 69, 33
(54) Meulenkamp v (94) Kciuk - 45, 78
(74) Williams v (80) Zonneveld - 54, 52

Bets following once oddschecker has got up to speed.

UK Open rounds 2-3 tips and live post

Will post updates periodically with thoughts and live tips as rounds 2/3 take place, but first, the matches that are already scheduled which we should have decent data on:

David Evans/Keane Barry - no bet
Lewy Williams/Martin Schindler - 0.25u Schindler 4/5
Jonathan Worsley/Niels Zonneveld - no bet
John Michael/Danny Baggish - 0.1u Michael 9/5
Berry van Peer/Kevin Doets - no bet
Geert Nentjes/Jake Jones - no bet
Krzysztof Kciuk/Brett Claydon - 0.25u Kciuk 4/7

Raymond van Barneveld/William Borland - 0.25u van Barneveld 4/9 although only because Borland has been so below par in 2022
Madars Razma/Jamie Hughes - no bet
Max Hopp/Ritchie Edhouse - no bet
Ryan Joyce/Mike de Decker - no bet, but de Decker is tempting

Further thoughts will be posted below in running and timestamped.

1053 - As clarification, I won't be using Oddschecker in running, I'll post up thoughts on where a line can be and I've got five mainline bookies open, will post the best price I can see where I think there's a bet and go with it.

1111 - Disappointingly slow start for Scott Taylor, averaging low 70's and 3-0 down, thought this one would be nip and tuck, if not that massively high quality. Only bet live now is on Wenig who's 3 up and looking good.

1121 - Jimmy Hendriks first man through, looked pretty decent. Killington and Pietreczko both one away and looking comfortable.

1123 - Ricardo now through. The KFL/Schmuztler game is now live, it's obv just being added on to Dart Connect post match. Our guy's down a break at 4-2.

1127 - Couple more second round matches confirmed - Evetts came from behind and will play Jack Main, looking about a 4/7 Ted match, Pietreczko will play Lerchbacher, seems 4/6 Zoran. Wenig just about got the job done just now as well.

1131 - Killington through a scrappy one and will play Gawlas, seems about 55-60% for Adam there. KFL throwing to get us to a decider on board 2.

1133 - First new lines filtering through, not seen anything out of line yet.

1136 - What I will take however is 0.25u Wenig 4/5 (365) against Kay. Much stronger player in sample size, neither player did anything convincing in round one to change my mind.

1137 - Schmutzler got the job done in the decider so we drop to 1-1, and it could get worse as Andersen is really struggling and 4-0 down to Steve Clayson. Did not see that one coming at all.

1139 - On the plus side, Jamie Clark's doing alright, but Rusty's in a little bit of a dogfight. Dan Read also off to a hot start against Portela, up three in under 45 darts.

1140 - And shit, KFL missed a match dart. Assumed that leg was done once Schmutzler opened 180. Oh well.

1146 - Disappointing from Rusty there. Harrington played well, but he really needs to get his act together when given the shots where it really matters as opposed to on the floor. Clark sweeps McDonald to salvage some of that loss though.

1155 - Clark will play Lukeman, and Szaganski, who just edged out Plaisier in a decider, plays Waites. Think Clark has a small edge, let's say 8/11 or 4/6, bit harder to tell with Radek but if Waites is any longer than 1/2 or possibly 2/5 I'd be surprised.

1158 - Dan Read looked decent against Portela. May be live against Montgomery or Colley who are just under way. Really poor from Campbell on board two, Bialecki cruises through. Looks like it's just 365 who can be bothered to get lines up in decent order. Dart Connect also being real slow to get board 2 stats up, may need to hack at this stage.

1201 - Wow, Bialecki had three holds in eight visits. Really Matt?

1204 - Wasn't expecting either player in the O'Shea/Rafferty game to go 4-0 up, but here we are, looking at the averages I assume it's scrappy and Nathan's missed some doubles.

1206 - Would expect Bialecki to be about 6/4, maybe 11/8 against Joe Murnan. Watching that line. Looks like we're losing the Colley punt as he's three down with four to play.

1209 - O'Shea completes that sweep without hitting a single five visit kill. Hudson up next for him, that's another one that could be scrappy. Rowby up 4-0 with the darts, you love to see it.

1213 - We get Burnett/Harrington. It's 1997 all over again.

1217 - Rowby through with the best performance of the day so far. Graham Hall's managed to oust Kevin Burness, didn't see that one coming at all. Rock been forced to a decider, rut roh.

1219 - WTF ROCK

1221 - Was going to add a bet on on O'Shea, but he's been backed in massively before I could fire. Hudson was 1/2 and has now drifted to 4/6. Sad timing.

1225 - No further bets as of yet, maybe Mathers is a bit long but against Rowby on the form he showed just now, don't think we can do anything there. Hogan through which is nice to see.

1228 - Solid performance from Danny Jansen just now. Didn't do much wrong, might give Mitchell a little bit of a worry if he plays like that again.

1233 - This is a missed double comedy show from Klaasen, Rice has the break. Looks like Mansell's in the process of a full collapse as well, sigh.

1239 - Extremely disappointing there from Alcinas, did not think he'd average below 80, even if being close to his peak was an unrealistic ask. Also seen Mansell blow a 3-0 lead and lose 6-4, marvellous.

1250 - Some decent scoring from Lerchbacher, looking to close the match out and cash. Kind of tempted by Peters against de Vos, I think he should be ever so slightly favoured and on the back of a clean sweep, he should be confident. 11/10 isn't quite enough but will watch it.

1259 - I think I'll take a small stab here, 0.1u Jansen 2/1 vs Mitchell, good showing and Scott might not be at his best. Only small because small sample on Danny.

1309 - That line's disappeared off 365, which is odd. Dunno what's going on there. Round 1's in the book now and people are finishing off in round two, already seen Wenig win which claws a bit more back.

1310 - It's there on Betfair though, and you can get 21/10. Go with that, I'll leave the posted price the same though.

1314 - Even money on Wilson against Henderson anyone? Actual model says it's closer than I thought at 55/45, would have thought that'd be an easy Lethal Biscuit punt, but I guess not. What I will take though is 0.25u Krcmar 4/6 against Lerchbacher on 365, Boris often not showing up in big moments and Zoran looking ok in round 2 is a concern, but this is a 70-75% game to me.

1322 - If I'm wrong with this I don't care, 0.25u Lauby evs against Hogan, Danny should surely win this 60% of the time?

1325 - Quite some performance by Klaasen to rout Menzies. Jason Lowe will be in trouble if he plays like that. If he plays like he did in round one, maybe not so much. Bialecki in the money again, game against Keegan Brown should be winnable you'd think.

1328 - Hudson/O'Shea now backed into 10/11 choice of two lol. Couple of interesting lines that I'm taking a look at now.

1329 - Was pondering plays on Kciuk and Hempel, but the lines look just about enough in order.

1330 - Great result from Berry van Peer, thought Doets would be able to nick that one but BvP did little wrong. Don't necessarily think either of Worsley or Zonneveld who are just closing up their game now is a big step up so chance for Berry here.

1334 - Great comeback from Scott Waites, going from 4-0 down to a 6-4 win, got to fancy himself now against Brian Raman after that.

1340 - Bialecki is evens against Brown, that isn't really enticing value to say the least. Waites is 1/2 against Raman, that's kind of similar. Do wonder with Wattimena's form whether we can take a nibble on Ross Montgomery at 6/5? I'm not sure.

1351 - Keeping a close eye on a couple of lines - Keane Barry might be undervalued against Jeffrey de Zwaan possibly, but more interesting would be what Martin Lukeman comes in at against Adam Hunt. Martin should come in as the favourite, but I doubt he does.

1354 - Danny Jansen gets home nicely, ones picked off in play generally doing a lot better than those in advance. Round 2 seems a fair bit better so far full stop.

1359 - Two plays being taken - 0.25u Lukeman 11/10, it's showed up on Betfair with 365 slacking, also 0.25u Schindler 8/11, these are against Adam Hunt and Jeff Smith respectively.

1404 - Cracking game between Graham Hall and Andrew Gilding, with Hall prevailing in a decider.

1408 - Urgh, Michael blew a 5-2 lead against Baggish, didn't need to see that.

1412 - Peters easily through 6-2 against de Vos, probably should have taken the slightly odds against in retrospect.

1415 - Wow, Michael was actually 5-1 up. ITV crew not doing their work. Oh my. Schmutzler's cashed, could be an interesting game against Lewis.

1419 - Extremely tempted to fire again on Jansen against Ricky Evans. Actually, I will - 0.1u Jansen 11/5, does anyone think that Ricky is significantly better than Scott Mitchell right now?

1425 - Connor Scutt confidently through against Jules van Dongen, he's got Willie O'Connor up next, might be the case that we've already missed any Scutt hype train, but maybe he's undervalued slightly. Will check in a bit.

1430 - Wow, Scutt is a favourite. That's not right. 0.25u O'Connor 6/5. Of course O'Shea won, chance missed there.

1434 - Nearly done with round 2, just the one game on the outside boards, TV boards are a bit behind. I'm confused as to why Lennon is so long against Harrington, 4/7 looks like it might be a decent price? And wow, Graham Hall's taken out Steve Beaton. That's an awful result in context for Steve.

1442 - Bit stunned by the completely non-darts related news of the death of Shane Warne. Only 52, my god. Jason Heaver's 7/4 against Kleermaker, that's worth a look for someone who's rated 45% in the model I have. Martijn tends to outperform that a little bit, so won't bet, but maybe if there's money the other way or if I see another book open up at, say, 11/5, I'll take it. James Wilson really struggling here.

1447 - Already seen the money talk on Lennon, shortened a tick on 365. Krcmar up a break against Lerchbacher, will be nice to hold from here.

1452 - Also good to see that the Schindler line has moved two ticks on 365 to 8/13, is 4/7 on Betfair. Krcmar's just got home for some more money back.

1505 - Good showing from Ricky Evans, ton average and not doing much wrong at all. Round 2 now done, so just closing out round three right now, O'Connor's off to a sluggish start and will do well to get out of this one.

1519 - I'll take a small stab here, 0.1u Meikle 13/8 against Rowby, long data says this looks like a bit of a flip, Rowby having a small edge, will only not go a quarter unit on account of the Austrian's performances earlier today.

1522 - Big result from O'Connor, where he pulled that one out from, I don't know. Harrington's one away against Lennon, that'd be a big result.

1535 - No further bets will be added as we know all the round three matches right now. Hempel was fortunate there, Wenig seemingly had darts at double in most of the legs he lost. Meikle off like a train, 4-0 up, Lukeman also three up with four to play.

1542 - Those two got home, so as long as one of Schindler and Barney (the latter starting now) get home, we're somehow up for the afternoon, which was looking pretty sketchy a few hours ago when Rock fucked it up to get us to probably the nadir of the swings.

1608 - LOL Barney, nice finishing in that last leg.

1619 - Schindler closes it out, so will close this live blog from here. Expect two quick posts after the draw - one with immediate win probabilities, then one with bets.

Thursday 3 March 2022

UK Open round 1 tips

Will post up rounds 2/3 that are already ready to pick in another post tomorrow morning and update it as matches are played, for now I'll go through the 31 games in round one and go with what I think is value. There's not going to be much insight in this post, read the previous to get an idea.

Bradley Brooks/Rowby John Rodriguez - 0.25u Rodriguez 4/5
Kai Fan Leung/Fabian Schmutzler - 0.25u Leung 8/11
Mario Vandenbogaerde/Jules van Dongen - no bet
Ted Evetts/Nick Fullwell - no bet
Richie Burnett/Tony Martinez - no bet
Martin Thomas/Kenny Neyens - no bet
Dan Read/Diogo Portela - no bet
James Wilson/Shaun Wilkinson - no bet
Jim Williams/Ryan Murray - no bet
Jurjen van der Velde/Mickey Mansell - 0.25u Mansell 10/21
Vladimir Andersen/Steve Clayson - 0.25u Andersen 4/6
Prakash Jiwa/Toni Alcinas - 0.25u Alcinas 8/15
Wesley Plaisier/Radoslaw Szaganski - no bet
Danny Jansen/Liam Meek - no bet
Shaun McDonald/Jamie Clark - 0.25u Clark 8/13
Luc Peters/Paul Marsh - no bet
Jelle Klaasen/Mark Rice - no bet
Matt Campbell/Sebastian Bialecki - no bet
Danny Lauby/Niko Springer - no bet
Ryan Harrington/Rusty Jake Rodriguez - 0.25u Rodriguez 1/2
Darren Webster/Jose Justicia - no bet
George Killington/Reece Robinson - no bet
Josh Rock/Damian Mol - 0.5u Rock 1/3
Matt Good/Keelan Kay - no bet
John O'Shea/Nathan Rafferty - no bet
Ricardo Pietreczko/Scott Taylor - no bet
Paul Hogan/Dom Taylor - no bet
Darren Beveridge/Jimmy Hendriks - no bet
Ross Montgomery/Reece Colley - 0.1u Colley 19/10
Adam Warner/Lukas Wenig - 0.25u Wenig 4/9
Kevin Burness/Graham Hall - no bet

I'll note that in the Rowby section, I thought that they were both straight through to round two when they weren't, the winner plays Mathers then the winner of that plays Meikle, but as there's a fair bit of similarity in playing levels between the lot, I don't feel the need to revise the post, it should be clear enough for anyone wanting to draw an inference if I don't tip in running.

Wednesday 2 March 2022

UK Open preview 8/8

(81) Niels Zonneveld/(141) Jonathan Worsley v (91) Kevin Doets/(145) Berry van Peer

We're at the stage where we know that someone out of left field is going to get through to round four. Zonneveld is on year two of a tour card having won it at the same stage as Worsley, Niels has done a bit more with it but neither were really in contention to make the worlds and are going to need a special season to avoid needing to requalify in January, we've got decent data on both and it seems around a near 2-1 edge for Niels. Doets was closer than either to making the worlds despite not having a tour card and will be in an all-Dutch affair with van Peer, who's getting his game back on track after some dartitis issues, although he'll probably lose his card at the end of the year as well. Another pair with good data, it seems a similar margin, Doets just over a 60% favourite. Doets against Zonneveld appears extremely close and I wouldn't want to pick a winner.

(82) Scott Waites/(178) Radek Szaganski or (280) Wesley Plaisier v (146) Brian Raman

Odd that all the ties fall into this spot. Waites would have played Unterbuchner in round one but Michael withdrew, and Raman would have played Koltsov but he withdrew as well (and, longer term, one only hopes Boris doesn't fall victim of this currently endless anti-Russian sentiment which is doing absolutely zero to solve the problem at hand and is just hurting the general public). As for the games, Plaisier did enough work on the Challenge Tour to qualify although we maybe know him most for his frequent appearances on the European Tour through the associate qualifiers, at least in 2019 and earlier. Good Q-School average though. Radek I vaguely knew but is now a card holder, he's done OK and should just have enough to advance through to play Waites, who was unfortunate to lose his card but won it straight back and is playing at a considerably stronger level, and I've got to feel he should eliminate Raman as well, who despite the WDF #1 tag, hasn't done much to impress me in 2022 as of yet, despite getting a couple of results at the weekend.

(85) Adam Gawlas/(171) George Killington or (210) Reece Robinson v (108) Darren Webster or (152) Jose Justicia/(109) Eddie Lovely

Several familiar names here. Killington has looked much improved since the last time we saw him on tour where, to be frank, it was a little bit early, and is about four points better on scoring this season than what Robinson managed on the Challenge Tour (his route of entry) last year, and what he did on the first weekend this year makes me think he's dropped a touch and George should be comfortable here. Gawlas is probably at a comparable level if he can play like he did at the weekend and can put together solid runs of legs, he seems to go missing a fair bit and this one probably gets decided by which player turns up. On the other side, Webster and Justicia both won back cards outright, and we have enough data to throw into the computer and I can't pick a winner. Jose is a few points higher in the Pro Tour averages in those four events so call that a tie breaker? Lovely did alright on his first year on tour in 2021 despite not making the worlds, and has played a little bit better over long form and is about a point higher than Justicia on the 2022 Pro Tour, Lovely is in the 55-60% range against both so could be a sneaky punt on non-name recognition basis. The final game looks incredibly tight as well whichever way you look at it, so good luck picking a winner out of this one. May be one to just take all the underdogs.

(126) Geert Nentjes/(170) Jake Jones v (147) Martin Thomas or (197) Kenny Neyens/(191) Jimmy Hendriks or (UR) Darren Beveridge

Now we're at the super wildcard stage. Geert is the highest ranked of the lot and one of two players with Jake in this section to make round two direct, Jones hasn't really done much since winning his card, while Geert has been a bit up and down and is yet to really fulfil the potential that is there. Nentjes looks better than a 2-1 favourite here. On the other side, Thomas nearly got a card in 2021 and generally did alright for himself getting a bunch of Pro Tour call ups, as well as enough on the Challenge Tour to qualify here. Neyens had the same Challenge Tour finish on the EU side, we saw him win one there and he's also come through a tough open quali to make the worlds in the past, so this one should be tight. Hendriks seems to have been around for a while despite not being 30 for another couple of years, he's already been to Lakeside a couple of times and burned through one tour card already, he's got a handful of wins so far in 2022 but not really done much damage statistically, and Beveridge, another player in this section in through the Challenge Tour, looked to be playing well enough at Q-School and clearly as well in 2021 on the secondary tour and some of the Live League stuff, to be able to fancy a bit of a run through this section, although oddly I can't see stats on the first weekend of the Challenge Tour. As to who advances, maybe Geert has the slight edge in that he'd probably be a bit fresher not having to come through two matches which rate to be close run things?

And we're done. Tips tomorrow, possibly Friday morning (I have the day off work obv)

UK Open preview 7/8

(60) Steve Beaton v (120) Andrew Gilding/(UR) Kevin Burness or (UR) Graham Hall

Quite a few old names here, who thought Beaton would be on part seven, but it is what it is. Hall's not an immediately familiar name, but seemingly did play this before ages ago and lost to Robbie Green, tried Q-School and averaged 81, had a little bit of a run in the England Open last year. Burness is more familiar, getting his card back and there's more than enough still in the tank with Kevin to think he should take the first round comfortably. Gilding's finest hour came in this event with that semi final run, he's probably a touch better than Burness but I don't think there's necessarily a massive amount in it. Nor for that matter against Beaton, again it's a case where I think he's incrementally slightly better, but it's fairly tight (master computer actually gives Gilding the tiniest of edges) and it'll be anyone's game.

(63) Joe Murnan/(95) Matt Campbell or (211) Sebastian Bialecki v (72) Keegan Brown

Will go through round by round. Campbell against Bialecki is arguably the tie of the first round, Matt's always looked very solid on TV and had a great Challenge Tour season last year, while Bialecki made a huge name for himself twelve months ago in the same event, we've got enough data on both to draw a line and it seems like it's around 55/45 in favour of the Canadian. Murnan's up next, the highest ranked player in this section and may be around the same level of favourite against Campbell as Matt was against the Pole, another tight one one the cards. Then we've got Keegan Brown, he won't necessarily like this draw and is in a critical season where he really needs to make the worlds to save his card, and anything he can do here could be really helpful. He's probably a little bit better than Joe, call it 60/40 after the best of Joe's form which was early 2021 has dropped off the sample, and he has shown some occasional flashes on the floor, but the pressure is on here to some extent.

(65) Andy Boulton v (112) Danny Lauby or (173) Niko Springer/(276) Dom Taylor or (UR) Paul Hogan

First opening game first, and it's one that's become a heck of a lot more interesting after Niko's exploits in Riesa. Before that I'd have said Lauby quite comfortably, at their peaks I'd say they're fairly similar players, the difference is that we've seen Niko's peak in the last week. On the other one we've got players at opposite ends of their careers, we all know Paul, and while I don't think he's quite at the same level he was when he was doing his giant killing exploits, it should still be a tough ask for Taylor, who seems steady enough and has had some Development Tour success which is why he's here. Maybe the wealth of experience Hogan has will see him through, but the kids these days don't care about that. Seems extremely tight all around, maybe the Lauby/Springer side has the slight edge. Boulton seems a little bit ahead of all of these, very steady player who's not going to give much away, probably one of the biggest surprises not to make the worlds, he should be able to make amends here but I wouldn't consider him a considerable favourite against any of these.

(73) Steve West v (154) John Brown/(216) Damian Mol or (UR) Josh Rock

This seems like an easier one to pick out. Rock's killing it right now, and Mol's level of play, while not bad, really shouldn't be able to get close to Josh on current form. Brown if anything is slightly worse, would be a tight match with Mol but I don't see that happening. West had an awful 2021 but is actually playing a little bit better in the early days of this season with an average of 93 right now on the Pro Tour, it's nothing compared to what Rock is doing, but it's certainly enough that if he can not make mistakes on his own throw, Josh isn't going to have it his own way. Much like Keegan a couple of sections up, West really needs to get some points on the board to save his card, trouble is he's run into maybe the single most in form player in the entire first three rounds.

UK Open preview 6/8

(54) Ron Meulenkamp v (89) Danny Baggish/(102) John Michael

Interesting round two tie here, Baggish is pretty consistent at finishing off within six visits, while Michael's a bit more up and down and you never know if he's going to go 11-12-13 or have a four leg spell where he averages 75. Projection's giving Michael the edge as a result but I think that's an inaccurate call for reasons described and this could go either way. Would be nice to see Danny get through to play Ron, Meulenkamp projects a bit more than 60/40 against Baggish, which is a couple of points more than John does, but it seems like a bit more of a reliable stat, will be still somewhat open given Ron's a little bit off his peak where he was very close to getting into the "tricky" majors, if he didn't actually get into them.

(55) Martin Schindler/(61) Lewy Williams v (62) Jeff Smith

Really interesting bit of the draw as we've got three players ranked very close to each other. Round two's between Williams, who is looking better and better as he continues to gain senior experience, and Schindler, who has continued where he left off at the start of 2022 and despite Lewy getting stronger and stronger, and looking the better of the two players who played in Riesa, doesn't project brilliantly against Martin with a 35% shot, which might be slightly unfair but Martin is still at a top 32 sort of level. If anything, Jeff is the weakest of the lot of these, maybe lacking a little bit in scoring but still extremely solid and won't give much away. I originally thought it was Schindler that got through to round 3 straight off, but it's actually Smith, as the lowest ranked player, who has. Smith rates about 25% against Schindler and 40% against Lewy.

(57) Rowby John Rodriguez/(70) Bradley Brooks v (58) Ryan Meikle/(84) Gordon Mathers

Tough section of the draw as we've got four players with a first round bye who are all solidly ranked in the FRH rankings. Rowby's the pick in terms of that just ahead of Meikle, and I think it's probably these two who advance. Brooks has had a good start to 2022, picking up a Development Tour title and not playing that badly on the main tour, but Rowby's that little bit better, which should project to around a two in three chance, maybe 70/30. Meikle is one who's been threatening to make a breakthrough performance for some time, and is very close to Rowby in the Pro Tour averages this year, and it's far too close to call on year long projections, Rowby having an edge but only by one or two percent, it's that tight. Ryan would need to get past Mathers though, the Australian looking to get money banked to try to retain his card after getting some help via the worlds backdoor, he's got a shot somewhere between one in three and 40% of getting into the money, but his scoring in the Pro Tour is more down at Bradley's level, so the two matches kind of rate to play out the same way.

(59) Boris Krcmar v (156) Zoran Lerchbacher/(187) Ricardo Pietreczko or (190) Scott Taylor

Bit of a European feel to this one, opening game is between Scott Taylor, who's back as a Riley's qualifier where he has made it all the way to round four from before, he comes up against Ricardo who was a bit of a surprise name to claim a card, but he did and in the limited stats we have is scoring kind of the same as Scott is. Maybe Taylor's experience pays off here and gets him into a game with Lerchbacher, who got his card back on points a year ago but hasn't done a great deal with it yet and the scoring doesn't look much better than either of the first round players, so maybe an opportunity here, although I get the feeling it's another game that could go either way. The third round not so much however, Krcmar has got to a Pro Tour semi already this year and is actually averaging higher there than Joe Cullen is, who's won two of them. Ought to easily take a game with Zoran three times out of four, this might be one of the easiest third round ties to call - if he doesn't fluff his lines.

UK Open preview 5/8

(49) Luke Woodhouse v (142) Jack Main/(78) Ted Evetts or (237) Nick Fullwell

First round we've got two players at the opposite ends of their careers, Evetts now being too old for the Development Tour (I think), but is still on the main tour having won his card back on points, the same as Fullwell, who's back after a few years working the Challenge Tour, which he does have a win on. Nick's had an OK start statistically but ranks a point or two behind Evetts so while I think Ted is favoured, it's not by much and Fullwell is certainly live. Main's not really made much of an impression on the second year of his tour card and has yet to win a board on the Pro Tour, scoring the wrong side of 85 makes me think either first round opponent should be favoured. Woodhouse would like a bit of a run here, he's one of many players in the 33-64 range that either need to bink a Pro Tour to get in majors or to progress here in order to push up the rankings, he can't be too displeased with this draw, looked solid last weekend and I think would have about a 60/40 edge on Evetts, and higher against others in all likelihood.

(50) Keane Barry v (69) Jeffrey de Zwaan/(117) David Evans

This is an awkward second round game to call. de Zwaan had an awful 2021 and this would be a good time to kick back into form, while Evans didn't really do the sort of damage many thought he was capable of after winning the Challenge Tour two years ago. Both could do with a result, de Zwaan we know has the better peak game and probably should be a two in three favourite or there abouts. Barry against de Zwaan should be spicy if that happens, Keane looked real good in Riesa and will surely fancy his chances against either, against de Zwaan on year long form the data model is saying it's a coinflip, but we've seen enough from Keane in 2022 that he's starting to turn his sky high potential into improved performances and results. Maybe there might be some value here, we'll see.

(51) Ritchie Edhouse v (75) Max Hopp

Edhouse is another player we saw in Riesa, not hitting the heights in terms of numbers but getting the good scalp of Ryan Searle, and can't be overly displeased with who he's got given that it's an all double bye matchup. Hopp's been a little bit of a forgotten man in the whole German darts scene over the last year or two and is frankly lucky to retain his card, we all know the peak game is easily good enough for the top 64, you don't win a Euro Tour by accident, he just needs to show it, here would be a good place to start as his tour card is in real trouble, this is in stark contrast to Ritchie who, like Evans, got his card through the Challenge Tour at the same time and has pretty much retained it already barring a complete collapse in form. Edhouse projects right between 55% and 60% in this one for me.

(52) Maik Kuivenhoven v (104) Pete Hudson/(110) Nathan Rafferty or (193) John O'Shea

Not really the draw either would like in the first round. Ought to be a very good well spirited game which is unfortunately buried on an outer board, we've got a lot more data on Nathan than John, but he's scoring within a point in my database, which is backed up by the Pro Tour averages where they're about half a point apart. Hudson is down a little bit on both, but not by much, shoving him and Rafferty into the master computer says coinflip which I think is being slightly generous towards Pete, going to be a hard set to call though. Maik can't be too displeased with this draw, he's scoring pretty close to 90 in my database and is projecting to win two in three against Hudson, so a good chance for the Netherlands native to make it to the last 64.

UK Open preview 4/8

(45) Jason Lowe v (157) Cameron Menzies/(101) Jelle Klaasen or (UR) Mark Rice

This kicks off with two Riley's qualifiers, one we know a touch more about than the other, Klaasen having a world title in the bank, but ended up only around the low 80's in averaging on the Challenge Tour, but that looks a bit down below where he's been at over the last year - although his Q-School average was basically the same. Rice won through the Chester qualifier and has qualified a couple of times before, didn't play the most recent one when it was a bit windy, did take three legs off Ronny Huybrechts when he was still relevant. Would think Jelle is good enough to advance, Menzies has hit some good form in the early stages of the Pro Tour season having won a board and you would think he'll have enough to handle Klaasen fairly comfortably on current form, while a matchup against Lowe, who's quietly doing business again after a bit of a leaner 2021 in comparison to 2020, ought to be too close to call.

(46) Florian Hempel v (181) Lukas Wenig or (UR) Adam Warner/(UR) Matt Good or (UR) Keelan Kay

We'll look at the second first round game first. Good made some headlines when he hit a nine in the Norwich qualifier (I believe this was the one played in comedy conditions), beyond that I don't know a great deal about him outside of what was on the Weekly Dartscast fairly recently. Keelan's someone who's been around on the under the 128 scene for a couple of years now, he's accumulated over 150 legs in my database in the last twelve months and is scoring 83, during which time he's made a couple of Dev Tour finals, and you think that ought to be enough to outclass a Riley's qualifier. Wenig is scoring 88 in my database over 200 legs, which makes me think he ought to be a solid favourite to cash, he's not on tour yet but got into quite a few Players Championships last year, so has decent experience. Warner won through Liverpool to make his debut and I'll give him some funking power as a fellow Sheffield alum, but I can't look past Wenig. Whether Lukas can trouble Florian is another question, year long stats make this out to be 60/40 so maybe there'll be some sneaky value in a possible all-German clash if we do see that game, given Hempel has been a little slow to start in 2022.

(47) Jamie Hughes v (53) Madars Razma

Awkward draw for both really, easily the strongest game between two players entering at round three. Hughes has been a bit quiet since lifting that Euro Tour what must be three years ago now, but isn't playing badly, if nowhere near the red hot levels he was at in 2019. Madars is scoring fairly similarly to Jamie but should come in as a small dog, the year long data saying it's near 60/40, maybe Razma is slightly higher, but he does understandably sound a little distracted over the past week or two and he did not look good against Cullen in Riesa.

(48) Raymond van Barneveld v (56) William Borland

Another match between two straight into round three, obviously picked for the main board, Barney is Barney and he'll just hope not to lose to a Scot on the afternoon session for the second straight season. Willie, after pinning that nine, would rate as just under a 30% chance on season long stats, but he's gone right off after that match, only averaging 82 in the four Pro Tours so far this season which is well down on what he's capable of. Not really the draw he'd have wanted as a result, but maybe the crowd will kick him back into gear.

Tuesday 1 March 2022

UK Open preview 3/8

(41) Ricky Evans v (67) Scott Mitchell/(177) Danny Jansen or (UR) Liam Meek

Meek got here from the UK Dev Tour, and the data I have saw him scoring below 82, he was averaging under 80 in the most recent Dev Tour weekend - that seems unlikely to cut it against a card holder in Jansen, who's scoring a good five points higher in his early PDC days, but seems wildly inconsistent which I guess would be expected to some extent. Neither looks likely to be able to run with Mitchell, despite his mediocre worlds performance, Scott's been scoring over 90 in the last twelve months which is around a point and a half better than what Evans has been doing, which is enough for him to rate as over a 55% favourite against the higher ranked player.

(42) Darius Labanauskas v (77) John Henderson/(96) James Wilson or (UR) Shaun Wilkinson

Wilkinson got himself onto the tour as a bit of a surprise name, and is looking for his first victory scoring barely over 80 per turn over a limited sample, which is not going to be enough to take on Wilson, who we've talked about at length as someone who's been playing an awful lot better than his results are showing. Doubt the first round game is close, and with Henderson's form remaining sketchy outside of World Cups, James rates to get through the second round game as a 60/40 favourite. A potential third round game against Labanauskas would be too close to call on paper, but maybe you have to rate Darius as being a small favourite on account of having more of a winning record of late.

(43) Adam Hunt v (107) Martin Lukeman/(176) Jamie Clark or (UR) Shaun McDonald

McDonald was right up there on the UK Challenge Tour rankings last season, I can't see he played the first weekend but looked very competent at Q-School, then again so did Clark, who's quietly been averaging in the top 40 on the Pro Tour so far, so you've got to think Jamie ought to be a solid favourite. Lukeman is at a comparable spot, much improved this year but Jamie is playing that little bit better and either will surely fancy their chances against Hunt, who did not have a great 2021 by any stretch of the imagination and has yet to really get going in 2022 with no wins yet. Clark's data is still a bit limited but over the last twelve months Lukeman would rate as more than a 60% favourite, so go from there.

(44) Steve Lennon v (68) Rusty Jake Rodriguez or (282) Ryan Harrington/(188) Richie Burnett or (239) Tony Martinez

Bit of a cluster this one. The first of the two first round games seems the easiest to call. Rusty's been that good that Harrington, averaging 84 in the opening Challenge Tour, seems a touch outclassed. The other one is a bit harder to call, Martinez is one we've not talked a huge amount about since he got his tour card and he looks to have occasional decent legs but many more weaker legs, which feels like something that a veteran like Burnett ought to be able to exploit. Neither seem to really be on Rusty's level with the limited stuff we have on Burnett being a good three points lower, maybe he can nick it one time in three or something like that. Rusty against Steve ought to be a good one. Lennon continues to play well but without getting results, maybe his form has tailed off a little bit as the numbers make this pretty darned close to a coin flip. It'd be a fun one to watch, which is why the PDC have buried it on board five.