Tuesday 5 July 2022

Humphries winning everything

Jesus christ, Humphries looks in incredible form right now. Another 25 grand in the bank putting him in a potentially extremely winnable match against Gary Anderson at the Matchplay as things stand, although the spots just below him are incredibly tight, so a bad set of Pro Tours could still see a bunch of things change. Breakout weekend for Rowby as well, thankfully he didn't actually win as he's one of the few players still in our circle of betting trust (but for how much longer), as of right now he's less than 500 quid out of the Matchplay so a good weekend (I say weekend, it's now four events) and he can get in. It's extremely tight from Gilding in 14th down to about Williams in 22nd with less than five grand separating the lot. Would think that Clemens will be fine, there's enough of a buffer that while you could see one, maybe two players passing him, four seems incredibly unlikely especially given that, at the last check, there are not too many players giving the event a miss.

New FRH rankings:

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

Heta through to Aspinall are separated by less than 2k, so Damon's quarter, along with nobody else doing a great deal, gets him up to what is surely a new high. Bunting's semi gets him up to the last man out of the rankings, although he is still some way off Rydz. White's quarter sees him hold a top 30 spot, he'd be in there anyway but by a bit more than 8 points as of right now, while Rowby hits the top 40. Surprise semi finalist Razma is only a couple of places further back, while Martin Lukeman and Luke Woodhouse, after final day runs, are not far off the top 50.

So I said I'd rant about the World Cup. I think if we saw anything, it is that the tournament desperately needs a shake up. There's so much disparity between the top nations and everyone else in this format - I was able to hit a twelve-fold on round one with very little trouble. All the seeds made the quarter finals, and it was only Australia's run which prevented it from being complete chalk - Heta likely being underrated being the only reason they weren't the higher seed than Belgium, then the matches with England and Wales were in fair upsets.

But how to reform it? One thing I've suggested before is to expand - if you move to 36 or 40 teams and have a play in round between the weakest teams, you at least have a chance to eliminate the complete garbage (Italy, I'm looking in your direction) and allow a few more teams to enter. That, or seed 16 teams - give teams ranked 9-16 a one round bye, and teams 1-8 a two round bye. 17-32 enter at the opening stage, winners play 9-16, winners of those play 1-8. Looking at who might have got those extra seeds, I would guess that Poland, Ireland, Czech Republic, Canada, Austria and Spain would get one for sure, then it's a case of which two you get from the teams which have one good player and then someone unranked. Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania and South Africa would be those included, although you would think with de Sousa's presence, it'd win any tiebreakers. Still, a lot can change between now and next year, maybe Gates/Lauby/Baggish can win or re-win their card and van Dongen can pick up form. Maybe we see someone join one of the Nordic/Baltic country representatives and nick a card. Who knows. Something needs doing though - and I have zero interest in "all pairs" or suggestions like that.

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