Friday 30 September 2022

A few quick thoughts

Couple of days before the Matchplay, I'll have a full list of bets/predictions for the first round on Monday, always a bit tricky to work out how much, if at all, to adjust for the double in format, I've seen some other pundits make some shifts that seem quite severe (10%+ in a first round game seems rather lol) and we certainly won't be going that far, but maybe it'll push some marginal punts one way or another. I think that's the best way to handle it, just use it as a tiebreaker when we can't decide.

Chizzy binked in Belgium over Gilding, and that gives us new FRH rankings:

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

Gilding is up to #36 with his semi final, Clemens is getting fairly close to the top 20 after hitting another final session, while Schindler doesn't climb any places but continues to solidify his top 30 position.

PDC calendar has been announced for 2023, and it's really a bit lacklustre. Not that I was expecting anything revolutionary, but I was kind of hoping for a bit more diversity in terms of Euro Tour destinations. Eight events in Germany? Really? That's excessive and really limits the growth potential. One in each of the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Hungary and Czechia is good for those countries, but I would have thought they could have capped the German events at, say, six, and either hit a new country, have a second in one of the first couple I listed (particularly the Netherlands with the depth of quality of players they have there), or return to a previous location we've missed for a little bit. Oh well. Interesting that they've finally binned off Gib, I've always thought that's only ever been on the calendar to cater for gambling sponsors based on the island rather than for any sort of competitive purposes, so now that everything is sponsored by Cazoo, it's a bit of a pointless stop. Could have replaced it with an Iberian event? Oh well.

In terms of what I'm looking forward to in the Grand Prix, the top quarter isn't massively interesting - Cullen/Heta should be good and Schindler could have the game to test Price in what is an extremely short format, but the Cross side isn't that great. Remainder of the half isn't brilliant either - Smith/Aspinall might not be too bad given respective form, but the remainder look moderately predictable, at least through the first round. Third quarter has probably the hype match of the round between Clayton and van Duijvenbode, you've also got three of the four most recent Euro Tour finalists in there, Huybrechts is hitting a bit of confidence and might be able to test Wright, while Rydz/Ratajski might be under the radar in terms of a decent watch given neither appears on peak form and both could do with results to solidify decent worlds seeds. The bottom quarter is the spiciest though. MvG/Anderson is going to catch the public's attention despite the fact that it should in no way be competitive, de Sousa's in there against a resurgent Lewis, you've got two of the best young players in the game in Dobey and Humphries going at it, while Dolan against Bunting pits a former finalist against last year's semi finalist.

Some big names have missed out, and it seems to be mostly the elder statesmen - King's the highest rank player out and the only one of the current FRH top 30 not there after mincashes are applied, Suljovic isn't there, White isn't, Whitlock isn't. It's concerning times for some of these, the last two aren't even seeded for the worlds as of right now and White is in no way guaranteed to get there through the Pro Tour, sitting 23rd right now less than 4k ahead of the current last man out, and he doesn't have an appearance at Gibraltar to make possibly the easiest money on the table, draw dependent of course.

Will probably be back Sunday evening with tips for Leicester.

Sunday 25 September 2022

Takeaways from the afternoon session

Main takeaway is that de Sousa and Clayton looked good. Really good. I don't know what sort of correlation there is between playing excellently in the Sunday afternoon and taking the whole thing to the hoop, but these look like good signs for the players in question, so I've had a bit of each way on both of them just for a bit of interest. Noppert also did well to come back, other than that there was a bit of a lack of standout performances, so it's fairly hard to see past those three for who's going to take it. The Schindler/Gilding quarter final is going to be a really interesting watch, not sure about the rest.

As we didn't see any bets in the afternoon, it's completely natural to not see anything here, if the field's such that the estimations are accurate in a field of 16, then it'll take something special to find anything when that field has been cut in half. Gilding at 10/11 on 365 is close to being worth a punt, I'm thinking he's a few percentage points ahead of Schindler up at 58% to win the match, I would probably fire at evens to be fair. Clayton is perhaps a little bit too short against Clemens, I've got Gabriel taking it 30% of the time and we can get 3/1 on 365, so it's close, but here we've got the immediate standout performance from Clayton to worry about so I can easily pass that one. de Sousa/Chisnall is priced with Dave having a small edge, that looks right as I see 55/45, so an easier pass than the first two (especially with how JdS looked against Searle). That just leaves Lewis against Noppert, here the market thinks Noppert two thirds of the time - I'm not sure how fine I am with that, Danny looked a fair bit better earlier today, but Adie looked better yesterday and should be extremely fresh having only dropped the two legs so far this weekend. A projection safely into the 40% range would be fine to look at, but there's huge vig there. If we could get the inverse of Noppie at 4/9 which I can see on Betfair, I'd go with the shot, but we can't. So I'll continue with no bets.

I've had the chance to now look at the Asian Championship - congrats to Perez for winning it, but I surely can't be the only one that's a bit disappointed with the standard. Sure, it's the first big comp there for literally years with a lot on the line, so there's nerves as well as rust, and I already made the decision to only track from the knockout stages, but the winning averages were a bit shocking. In ascending order we had 74, 78, 78, 79, 79, 82, 83, 83, 84, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93, 96. It's a perfect 5-5-5 split between 70, 80 and 90 average, and there was only the one match at elite levels, and that was a 5-0 drubbing. Still, I think at this stage we should mostly be happy that the game is starting to get back going again in the region, and maybe we see a proper tour return there in 2023.

I'm now off to find this stream of the WDF event that supposedly exists to try to hack some data.

Belgium last 16

What an evening session. With the afternoon looking mostly chalky outside of the surprise upset of Heta, we lost both MvG and Wright to blow the tournament completely wide open. Could be any number of winners, but for now, let's see who we think will make the quarters.

Zonneveld/Gilding - Couple of deciding leg victors here, Niels got the huge scalp of Wright while Gilding outlasted Dimitri. Andrew's obviously the better player right now, but Niels is showing enough to take this around a third of the time. He is priced at 2/1, so nothing happening here.

Rodriguez/Schindler - Rusty nicked a decider against Heta to get to this stage, while Martin had few problems with Sedlacek. Got to fancy the German to progress to the quarters in a wide open section with just him as a seed remaining, he should do this a little bit less frequently than Gilding ought to, and is correctly priced ever so slightly longer than Gilding is. No bet here either.

van Duijvenbode/Clayton - Both players came through deciding legs against King and Barry respectively, Dirk scored alright while Jonny will probably need to improve a little bit to be competitive here. Clayton's a little bit of a favourite in the market, whereas I'd probably be pricing it as a straight coin flip. We can only get 6/5 on Dirk which is not long enough a price to consider punting.

Cross/Clemens - Gabriel looked great in destroying Ryan Meikle (lol at the tipper that said Clemens is out of form and just punt against him continually on general principle, seemingly not considering prices or opponents), while Rob needed ten legs in a little bit of a grind against de Decker. Rob should advance here, roughly two times out of three, Clemens is rated in the market a little bit of a longer shot, but again not enough to start thinking about a bet as there's not a solid edge to go with.

Searle/de Sousa - Ryan won through 6-1 despite not hitting a leg within fifteen darts, while Jose looked good against a Ross Smith averaging well into the 100's over all eleven legs. It feels like on current form that Jose should be favourite and he does have a small edge in the market, season long rates Searle a 55/45 favourite, which wouldn't be enough to consider at 11/10, but I think Jose's done his best work most recently and Ryan the opposite, so we won't touch this one.

Aspinall/Chisnall - The only all-English matchup, both players put up similar showings, Chizzy averaging 98 dropping two legs to Klaasen, Nathan less than a point below dropping one leg to Hughes. It's an intriguing matchup and one which I think Dave looks pretty live in, I thought Nathan might have been favoured in the market but it's a match where we can't get evens on either player. With Nathan being ascendant in recent weeks I think we can avoid this one again.

Cullen/Noppert - Joe didn't have any issues taking out Dennis Nilsson, while Danny needed all eleven legs to dispose of Madars Razma from 3-1 down with a real scrappy final leg. Seems to me as if Noppert has a similar edge as Chisnall has in the previous game, but we can only get 10/11 again, so we can't bet this one.

Huybrechts/Lewis - Kim sensationally took out MvG who missed infinity darts at double in the decisive leg to allow Huybrechts to take out 134 for the match, while Lewis looked really solid in cruising past Krcmar dropping just the one leg. Adie comes in as a moderate favourite in the 60/40 range, that looks pretty much spot on to me.

So we have no bets today. Looks like they're just starting the Asian Championship final right now between Perez and Nebrida, we've seen Christian a few times and he seems alright but basically just a guy on the top end of the game, while Paolo isn't a familiar name but someone who several pundits speak highly of, so let's see if he can lock up a Grand Slam spot to go with the worlds spot they both have already. Ilagan and Toru Suzuki will join them in returns to Ally Pally having reached the semis, got to feel for Baba who was 5-2 up for a worlds spot and then completely lost scoring power until the final leg, where he missed at least four, possibly six match darts. Oof.

Saturday 24 September 2022

Round one mixed, round two better?

Just about managed to scrape a tiny profit after Gilding completed the day with a decider win over Whitlock. Mostly went well apart from Kevin Doets - taking nothing away from Dennis, who played better than expected, particularly in the early stages, but if Kevin wasn't scoring poorly he was missing doubles in clumps in multiple legs, a simple B-game performance would have seen him at worst 4-4, but that didn't come. So we hit the last 32, the big takeaway from day one was that Smith got the win over Beaton, which barring a miracle run from Ryan Meikle, or someone binking the whole thing from nowhere, sets the Grand Prix field. Seemed a fairly poor day in terms of quality overall, even taking into account that there were a lot of domestic qualifiers from which we weren't expecting much (if anything, they all overperformed outside of possibly Baetens), so hopefully things improve today. Another 16 games today, no oddschecker so just comparing 365, Betfair and Ladbrokes.

Heta/Rodriguez - Should be a routine win for Damon, Rusty did what he needed yesterday but didn't look great in the process and has less than a one in four chance for this one, and the lines match appropriately.

Clemens/Meikle - Ryan needs the win to keep slim Grand Prix hopes alive and this isn't a bad draw against a promoted seed. Clemens is hanging around high enough to get those promotions and should be a favourite here, but only a small one as I'm seeing roughly 55/45 in the German's favour. We can only get very slightly odds against on Meikle so the line is set correctly.

Schindler/Sedlacek - Back to back German representation, and it's another back to back seed promotion, this time in Schindler, he'll play Karel who had few problems eliminating a domestic qualifier. Appears slightly more German-favoured this one, but just barely with Karel having over a 40% shot as far as I can see, 7/4 is not quite tempting enough to pull the trigger but you're certainly not going to want to put Martin in any accumulators as that's simply a bad bet.

Searle/Brooks - Bradley got one of the shocks of the round in outlasting Dobey, and he's got a decent draw against an up and down (at least of late) Ryan Searle, but despite that Ryan ought to be a prohibitive favourite with an 85% win chance. We can get a fair bit better than that on 365, 0.25u Searle 3/10

de Sousa/Smith - Ross has done the important job and can't really get any insurance against a miracle run without getting one himself, so this is a bit of a free hit against a resurging de Sousa. Appears the tightest game so far with the Portuguese ace being slightly favoured, weirdly the books are reflecting this as well.

Chisnall/Klaasen - Dave's just been quietly doing his work this season without making any real headlines, Jelle's done a good job of rebuilding on the WDF and secondary circuits, but looks outclassed here with Dave likely to win 75% of the time. He's a little bit shorter than that everywhere I see, so nothing doing here.

van Duijvenbode/King - Dirk will have liked that Mervyn couldn't get the 6-0 job done, Mervyn won't like letting Wouter come back into it from 5-0, the difference in quality now makes this look like just a one in four game for King, the market is there or there abouts.

Aspinall/Hughes - Nathan's got a moderately tricky draw here, Jamie was a bit up and down early but pulled away from VVDV to claim the 6-3 win despite the lower average. The model actually says a coinflip. We can get 6/4 across the board, which would normally be a play, but there is a fair bit of inconsistency in Jamie's stats, which is enough to pull me away from taking the shot. I'm looking full year here, if I narrowed it down to a bit more recently, Nathan's improving form over the last few months probably turn the projection more into his favour.

Cross/de Decker - Rob can't mind this draw against one of the local contingent, Mike struggling a bit against one of the local qualifiers, and Rob is at around 80% in the market. I'm seeing it a bit closer than that - Mike has a bit of a consistency issue, but if we ignore that then I'm seeing a bit more than a one in three shot. Pull that back to 30% from the 37% that the projection gives, and pop in a bit of home crowd support, and it's nearly worth a play at 3/1. Mediocre play yesterday is probably the deciding factor in not betting.

Clayton/Barry - Keane was one of the better players yesterday, cruising to an easy win over Baggish, and this isn't the worst draw against Clayton, Jonny being a little bit up and down of late, at least in ranked events. That said, I'm only seeing a one in four chance for Keane, and we can't even get 5/2 in this one. Sigh. Another correct line.

van den Bergh/Gilding - Andrew had the second highest average yesterday at just a fraction under a ton, and he's going to need all of that against the home town favourite. Such is the respect for Gilding in the market, we can't even get 6/4, which is what I'd need in a game which I'm calling as a pure flip. Would think about 11/8 but the crowd should be nicely warmed up at this stage, although Andrew doesn't seem the type to be affected by a partizan atmosphere.

Wright/Zonneveld - Peter is priced as a very comfortable winner against Niels, who got the win we thought he would against Soutar but never really got into top gear. Think he's got about a one in four shot, we can get 4/1 basically everywhere, that's not quite enough given a plodding performance yesterday, but Wright is certainly not safe to put into an accumulator.

Cullen/Nilsson - Another big favourite game here, Dennis pulling off the shock of the round but will be an even bigger dog here against Cullen, a winner at this level earlier this month. I'm seeing anywhere between 1/8 and 1/11 for Joe here, if anything it could be even shorter, I only see 5% chances for Dennis. I doubt he can play as well as he did in the first 4-5 legs yesterday for long enough to threaten Cullen in this one.

van Gerwen/Huybrechts - Number one seed against the number two Belgian in Belgium, this ought to be spicy, Kim was not great against West in another game that underwhelmed and will need a much improved effort to threaten MvG here. Chances look right in between 20% and 25%, so only being offered 3/1 I can't recommend any play here.

Lewis/Krcmar - Late game for Boris here after a very early one yesterday where he dropped just the one leg to Menzies despite only averaging in the mid 80's. Adie's been promoted to the 16 seed for this one, just sneaking in following a Pro Tour win a couple of months back, but should not be a big favourite, this feels 55/45 to me, sadly the best we can get is 11/8.

Noppert/Razma - Last game sees the newest new major champion against Razma, who was given a decent test by Andy Baetens but did just enough to get over the line. This is a big step up in quality and Madars only rates to win one out of four games here, lines look very good again.

So not a lot doing here, just the relatively small play (given the line, we normally think about half a unit that short) on Searle. Will report back later, on this as well as the Asian Championship which looks like it's getting to the business end right now. Would say some stuff about the England Classic, but data looks to be non-existent from what I can see.

Friday 23 September 2022

ET12 round one tips

Oddschecker's working (at least for the games not featuring qualifiers), and there's a good selection of lines on it, so I'll list the picks here, all the analysis is in the previous post so I won't repeat myself here:

0.5u Doets 4/11, really should be shorter
0.25u van Veen 7/4, seems underrated and there's enough edge here to go with a quarter unit play
0.25u Zonneveld 11/10, as mentioned in the analysis he's playing the better darts and appears better than 60%, so to get odds against is quite the coup
0.25u Hughes 10/11, I can see why they have priced this as evens given the relative OOM rankings, but we know better than to look at those
1u King 1/9, this seems like free money
0.25u Gilding 10/11, this seems like the exact same situation as the Hughes game, except with a little bit less edge.

Thursday 22 September 2022

ET12 round one thoughts

Another three withdrawals, sigh, seems a little bit silly that Lewis is now into the seeds until you recall that he did win a Pro Tour out of nowhere a couple of months back. Still, that's opened up five (5!) home nation qualifier spots, looking at the last ten that's going on right now I only recognise the names of Andy Baetens and Kevin Blomme so this could be a case of using FDI and common sense for a lot of spots, let's go through the schedule:

Nilsson/Doets - Fair bit of data on Dennis from the SDC, we know what we're going to get with him, occasional bit of quality but far below the level of Kevin, who's maybe not quite at the level he was in 2021 but still a very competent Pro Tour level player. Doets should be a prohibitive favourite and anything up to around 1/4 seems like it should be value.

van Veen/Meikle - Will be interesting to see how Gian, a Challenge Tour player this year, adapts to the stage against Ryan, who still has a very good chance of making the European Championship and a win here would help. We've actually got nearing 150 legs of data on Gian and he scores around the same as Ryan this season, and the projections actually put him ahead, albeit there's a bit of a consistency issue. If we see better than 6/4 on Gian, very possible just based on "not tour card holder", then I think we play.

Sedlacek/HNQ3 - This is Vandaele or Callaert, neither of whom rate highly although Callaert did get a 90 average in quals. Can't see either really threatening anyone of Sedlacek's quality, at least in this season. Update - it is Vandaele, who's got a pretty mediocre FDI rating and didn't crack 85 in the quals.

Krcmar/Menzies - Oof, a couple of players where you really don't know what you're going to get, both can be amazing, both can be ordinary. Appears fairly close in the projections and will be tough to find a winner, Boris looks to have a tiny edge but the market would need to be saying it's at least 60/40 one way or another before we consider a play.

Barry/Baggish - Danny's secured a worlds spot through the CDC but is going to need a couple of wins there minimum to stand any chance of retaining a card, so every little will help. It's a tough draw in Keane who's pushing up towards the top 32, but Baggish has chances against the young Irish sensation - it's not quite 40%, but may be a touch better than what the market thinks.

HNQ1/Razma - Madars is going to get Baetens or Blomme, who look to be the two picks of players that have got to the last round, Andy in particular looking dangerous based on previous WDF form and a ton plus average in early rounds of the qual. Razma should have just enough but if he's having a bit of an off day, as can happen with him, either qualifier could take advantage. Update - as it is Baetens, that danger is very real.

Zonneveld/Soutar - Niels has appeared quiet on the tour this year, despite being in a provisional WC spot right now, 1500 quid ahead of Soutar who's notably regressed this season compared to last, so it's an important game for both as they look to solidify their Ally Pally chances, an extra grand could well make the difference come the end of the Pro Tour. Niels looks to be playing the slightly better darts and should be priced up at around the 8/13 range here.

Klaasen/HNQ5 - Jelle's had a competent enough season that he ought to easily handle Francois Schweyen, who's just won, an 88 scoring clip is solid enough against someone who the only data I have is a 5-0 drubbing on one of the secondary tours where the average was in the 70's - similar to what was seen in the qualifier, although he did creep up to 83 in the last round. Should be a safe win for the Dutchman in this lowlands derby.

Rodriguez/Smith - Jeff's in some real danger of losing his tour card, currently outside the worlds looking in, not in the Pro Tour spots right now and didn't get enough done in the NA qualifiers, so this is a huge game against Rusty, who's also had a bit of a disappointing season, but only in the sense he didn't replicate what was a huge 2021. This is actually a rematch from Hungary, where Rusty won, and whether Jeff will be the favourite again (we did bet Rusty that time at odds against) is a big question. He shouldn't be as Rusty is right between 55% and 60% to claim the victory and I doubt they make the same mistake twice.

Brooks/Dobey - Bradley's another youngster who's had a quiet year, not picking up a huge deal of prize money so making the most of these chances is key, but he's got a tough draw in Chris, who's also not had an amazing year but is still in the top 20 of the Pro Tour rankings. Dobey should be far too strong here and 1/3 looks to be the fair line.

Beaton/Smith - This is by far the most important game of the day. Ross needs this for the Grand Prix spot, while Beaton is looking marginal for the Pro Tour worlds qualification rankings, only just about holding on to one of the last spots as of right now. If he were to lose his spot then retaining a tour card becomes a serious question. Ross ought to claim this a touch over 60% of the time, he had a bit of a bad start to 2022 but is turning things around and did have a nice Euro Tour run recently to draw confidence from.

Hughes/van der Voort - Couple of players here which we've not mentioned a great deal, we've barely talked about Hughes at all after his Euro Tour win which is several years ago now, but he's still holding on in the mid-50's of the rankings and should make the worlds comfortably enough, while van der Voort is retaining a top 30 FRH ranking and a worlds seeding despite rarely being talked about. Jamie is outscoring VVDV by a fair amount, enough to translate to a two in three win chance, which might not be recognised in the market.

King/HNQ2 - Mervyn seems to be regressing a bit, no longer scoring over 90 and not particularly close to the top 32 on the Pro Tour, and is starting to miss majors, but this should still easily be enough to despatch whatever a Wouter Vanrolleghem is, a player who isn't even on the FDI top 32 for Belgium and couldn't break 80 in any one of four qualification matches. King will be loving this draw and ought to be the shortest player on the coupon tomorrow morning.

de Decker/HNQ4 - Mike's got a compatriot in the first round after being one of the top ranked Belgians to get the auto spot (with Huybrechts), he's been thrown up against Remo Mandiau, who is at least on the FDI ranking table mentioned above, but down at a 1400-something rating, which isn't great, and similarly he didn't break 80 once in the qual and was down in the 60's in one match, albeit there looked to be a lot of mutual missed doubles dragging this down. de Decker is scoring just above 90 this season which is extremely respectable and should have too much.

West/Huybrechts - Ronny couldn't come through but Kim could, and he's looking for a big run to try to force his way into the European Championship. His scoring has dropped of from twelve months ago, he was looking like he might get his way back into the top 32 but isn't quite at that level now, although he is holding a provisional worlds seed for the time being, but West's regression is worse and is almost certain to lose his card after a horrific two year spell. Steve is still doing enough to maybe nick this 40% of the time, so if he can show up, maybe there is some value here.

Gilding/Whitlock - Final game's going to be a belter, with Andrew maybe the most improved player in 2022 (although it certainly isn't to new heights, just compared to 2021), while Whitlock still keeps hanging around, mainly just to beat van Gerwen repeatedly. Goldfinger's playing that much better that he should be 60-65% favoured to claim a second round match against the home nation favourite in DvdB.

Check for tips once the matches have been priced up in the morning.

Monday 19 September 2022

Bit of a catch up

Been a mental week or so down here, so not caught up after the Euro Tour the other week which Wright was able to win, breaking a surprising drought at that level considering the number he plays (or at least used to play, certainly murmurings that he will limit his schedule going forward). Good run for Dimi, Ratajski did enough with a quarter to keep himself the right side of the European cutoff for now, the disappointing one is that Rock couldn't do enough to get himself into Grand Prix contention - would have been a tough ask regardless, but would have been great to see. Ross Smith helped himself hugely - he is in the Belgium field, less than a grand behind Rowby, who isn't, and that's the last event before the cutoff as far as I can see. One win should do it - there's a jump ahead of Rowby of about four grand to Dolan, then below Smith there's more than four grand to the next player who is in the field (van der Voort) who could go on a run. As such, for all intents and purposes it looks like Smith just needs to win his opening game. I'm working off counting future mincashes which they usually do, if not Smudger would need to beat their seed as well, which is another question entirely.

FRH rankings as of right now (so will have had a week of degrading after Jena):

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

Humphries got a round further than Cross and that's enough to bump him up a spot, Heta and Ratajski just showing up was enough to shove them past Ando. One thing to watch for is that van Gerwen is now less than 30k behind Price - a good run at the Grand Prix, or even a moderate run if he binks in Belgium this weekend and Price has an early exit, could easily see him grab the #2 spot back, which is pretty rare to hold without having either of the previous two world titles.

Tournament was moderately chalky with only Smith (now 31st) reaching the quarters from outside the top 20, so no big jumps. Players sliding include Whitlock who's now outside the top 35, Petersen could easily be out of the top 50 very soon, while Durrant is now 70th.

We've had a whole weekend since then, and it's a bit of a mad combination of a weekend with both five Challenge Tours and a gold-rated WDF event clashing. Taking the latter first, Reece Colley, a name we've seen for a while on the secondary tours, managed to bink the bigger of the two events which will give him a Lakeside (?) spot, if and when that's ever scheduled, that it hasn't been yet is a touch concerning. Then again, a major train company here can't schedule trains for this weekend and they think that's fine, so meh. James Richardson got the other one, good for form and someone that we should really be seeing on the PDC tour.

Challenge Tour then - main thing is that Scott Williams binked another one, which is giving him a near four grand lead at the top of the table, so it's going to take a lot to deny him a tour card, a worlds spot (both of which he's looking pretty good to get through other means anyway), and a Grand Slam spot. On the Slam, will quickly mention that van Duijvenbode's improved his chances by finalling that exbo in the Netherlands at the weekend. Other winners were Robert Owen (now second in the rankings), Wesley Plaisier (not had a great season outside of that, but we've seen on the European Tour he's a very good player and will surely be one who'd be a favourite to claim a card at Q-School), Jurjen van der Velde (now fifth, one of six players in a tight race for the second card, or possibly both cards) and Christian Kist, who's a bit further back in eighth. Kist also made the final of the first event so has kind of come a bit from nowhere to contend for a card, also good to see some familiar names in Thornton, Tricole and Lauby getting all the way to the final. I don't know anything about Patrick Peters, but he's the last of your finalists.

The big interesting thing this weekend on top of the Euro Tour is going to be the Asian Championship. There's so many names that we've not seen outside of very limited opportunities for quite some time, as well as plenty of fairly new names, so we should get a fair bit of good data here given that the tournament looks like it will be on Dart Connect. Will be fun to observe for sure.

Saturday 10 September 2022

ET11 round 3

Well, Beaton worked. Can't complain. Other than that, the tournament has been completely chalky, with just DvD, Noppert (in a decider) and Searle dropping out, the key upshot is that Ratajski is keeping his Euros hopes alive. With a lot of seeds going through, I'm not expecting a great deal of value given latest trends indicating that the bookies are tightening up to my opinions a fair bit, and they've not been too far off on known players in the first place. But I can find a couple of plays:

0.1u Gurney 2/1 vs Cullen, you pretty much need the 365 line for it to be a play. I've been laying Cullen a lot of late, so maybe there's something in his underlying stats I've missed, but he needed a 12 in a decider to beat someone clearly worse than Daryl, who's just beaten someone in my opinion better than Cullen. That's worth a small play at 2/1.

0.1u Woodhouse 4/1 vs van den Bergh, he's just come off a solid couple of wins, Dimitri I feel is solid but not unbeatably solid, so with me seeing Luke at 30%, I'll take a line that indicates he should be 20% for a small play.

That's the lot, everything else seems in line. I will almost certainly not be able to make any sort of quarter final analysis.

ET11 round 2

Quick one here, little disappointing I didn't go to the expanded plays I was looking at, taking Evans and Sedlacek would have turned a small loss on Scutt into an even smaller gain overall, but no big deal, sixteen games today (wow!), will just mention the lines I'm liking for plays as I'm short of time:

0.1u Beaton 7/2 vs Aspinall, Steve's still got just about enough class and quality to take this one out of three, so an implied chance of down at 22% in the market gives us enough edge. Will preface this with saying that Aspinall's form is a natural concern, but we'll still take the shot.

And, oddly, that's it. There were one or two where we had a small edge, and I was tempted to take de Sousa at heavily odds on just because I can't believe Horvat's level of play will get him anywhere close, but nothing that is notable as even a maybe. Oh well.

Friday 9 September 2022

ET11 round one

Absurd amount of withdrawals again. The PDC must rectify this next season - either by moving the home nation qualifier back to the day before the event, by increasing the power of the DRA to enforce penalties, both, or something else entirely. Ideas? Anyway, there are twelve games today, oddschecker hasn't got its arse in gear, so let's do this.

Kleermaker/Evans - Seems disturbingly close on the projections, Evans has really disappointed with a card, while Martijn has got more results than his stats suggest, but it's been a quieter 2022 regardless. 5/2 on Evans would be the play to take, I should take it, but it just doesn't feel right.

Brooks/Williams - Ought to be easy enough for Scott, Bradley's not really pushed on this year, 70/30 looks right and the market is in that ballpark.

Barry/Woodhouse - Should be a good one, appears very evenly matched, as such the side to take is Woodhouse who is naturally priced as the dog, but too small a dog to fire a bet.

Hughes/Larsson - Can't really see Daniel troubling Jamie, but Hughes is priced too short to consider.

Sedlacek/Williams - This ought to be fun as well, this feels very much like the Barry game where they're too close to call, but there's not quite enough value on the underdog (Karel here) to actually recommend a bet. It's very, very close though, if you can get north of 6/4 take it.

Horvat/Smith - Lacking data on Dragutin, Jeff at shorter than 1/2 isn't exuding value, think he should have more than enough but I have to pass at that price.

van Trijp/Henderson - Actually got more data on Danny than I thought, as such I think that the 60/40 in favour of Hendo that I've got in projections seems to have enough sample size to be somewhat accurate, the market thinks John's a little better than that, but not enough to warrant a bet.

Rock/Nentjes - We could see this one in majors for years to come, will look to watch this one for sure. Geert is talented, but not at Josh's level right now, Rock at 2/7 best price is a bit of an overreaction (I'd have said 4/11) but not too much.

Gurney/Scott - Daryl was up and down last weekend while Connor's been quiet this year after an OK start. Gurney is priced too short here, 0.1u Scutt 5/2, projections I have give him just over 40% so I'll take this small stab.

Soutar/Wenig - Lukas has got a fair bit of experience this year while Alan's regressed in 2022 quite a bit, so much the market has it surprisingly close, I'd have thought a Wenig value bet would be on with a projection of 48%, but we can barely get odds against.

White/van Barneveld - Great first round tie here, Ian really needs a win, this is another that seems too close to call, market has them 10/11 the pair, no interest at that price.

Clemens/Lukeman - Another which the market has very close. Lukeman correctly is given the tiny edge.

So not much here. Scutt is the play, Evans and Sedlacek very close.

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Hungary aftermath

Congrats to Joe, becoming only the tenth player to have won three Euro Tour titles. Real strange event with Willie O'Connor coming from nowhere to get the runners' up spot and bump him from well outside the world qualification spots to into it. Rock having a good run means that with a deep run next weekend, he's still got an outside chance of the Grand Prix. But for now, new FRH rankings:

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

Not a huge deal of movement. Cullen's win is the main thing and he nips ahead of Searle by just 4 points. Mainly it's the players with deeper runs not being in the top 20 hunt - Willie jumps a couple of spots to 34, Aspinall's semi is offset by de Sousa's quarter, Chisnall was in a bit of an island anyway, Meikle solidifies a top 50 spot which might have been lost with Jim Williams and Boris Krcmar getting paid, Rusty dumps Glen Durrant out of the top 64, while Josh Rock is up to the top 70.

Will likely be back on Thursday with thoughts about ET11.

Sunday 4 September 2022

Hungary round three pick

Yikes, that was one heck of a day, MvG, Wright and Humphries (amongst other seeds) going out, so coupled with Price already having withdrawn, it's completely wide open and a great chance for someone to potentially pick up a first title, and a potential Grand Slam spot as well.

Betting was alright, 2/4 which when going all underdogs is decent enough, and we add one play today with a tenth of a unit on Jim Williams at 12/5 on 365 against Cullen. That seems long when he's already beaten a better player than Joe, I'd have thought maybe 6/4, 13/8 would be appropriate.

Back Tuesday I think.

Saturday 3 September 2022

Round one good, round two change of strategy

Not a bad opening day going 4/4, tournament seems quite chalky so far but we did have some moderately weak domestic qualifiers which created some betting mismatches, they didn't play badly but aren't at the required levels yet. Williams dodged a bullet, but we take those.

Tournament also marred with withdrawals, Rowby you can understand given the circumstances, but who knows why Price dropped. Shame really.

We've got a bit of a change of plan here in round two in that the only real value appears to be in taking what are fairly significant underdogs in two horse races, so we go a tenth of a unit on each of the following:

Rusty 7/2
Sedlacek 13/5
Lukeman 12/5
Bunting 6/4

RJR didn't look brilliant, but this line seems like a huge Noppert overadjustment to his actual level of play. Sedlacek we identified in advance. Lukeman is probably mostly just not believing Cullen's level of play. Bunting I think we should really be going a quarter of a unit given the perceived year long edge, but with Nathan being better of late and not having access to the master computer to query a smaller sample size, I'll play it cautiously despite Stephen getting the whitewash yesterday.

A few others were considered - Krcmar is very close but I'm always cautious when someone has an effective free win then gets thrown at an elite player like Humphries is. Similar with Barney, 2/1 isn't quite enough, but if we had a couple of extra ticks I'd probably play if he looked good in round one (and we have no data) and if I could see more recent data on de Sousa. Meikle is also fairly close, but this seems like the sort of game where he has a reasonable chance to convert statistics into results and doesn't do it. 5/2 instead of 2/1 and I probably say fuck it and bet.

Should be able to get last sixteen thoughts, but as I've not modelled that far in advance don't expect tips unless something seems obviously (but not a palp) out of line.

Thursday 1 September 2022

Round one bets

No formatting because phone, but a quarter of a unit on each of:

Jim Williams 2/5

Rusty Jake Rodriguez 13/10

Josh Rock 2/5

Martin Lukeman 21/20

First two on 365, last two on Ladbrokes