Sunday 23 October 2022

If you smellllllllllllllll......

It's happened, Josh Rock's finally got a bink at the end of an interesting four days where he made a final earlier, losing out to Chisnall, while Cross and Heta also got binks. Let's post up the new FRH rankings, which include European Championship mincashes (if you exclude them, Rydz would hold #20 still):

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

Dirk made a final which is enough to get past Searle, Heta's closing in on the top 10 after getting two semis along with his bink. Lower down, Rock is now inside the top 40, a bit of a resurgent weekend for Alan Soutar sees him get up to #42, Mike de Decker looked alright and is now inside the top 60, while Ricardo Pietreczko got to a semi final as well as cashing all four events to get on the verge of the top 100.

Quite a few players had bad weekends of note. Dimitri bricked all four events, Searle only managed the one win, Gurney bricked the first three then skipped the fourth, Gilding did the same as Searle (only beating Keane Barry who also had a bad weekend, and most concerning was Ian White not getting any cash. He didn't play badly outside of one game, just didn't get results, and you have to go back to April for the last time he won a board. He's currently outside of the seeds for the worlds by nearly 20k, and he's now outside of the Pro Tour spots on tiebreakers. That would be unthinkable a couple of years ago, but it's very much a reality right now. Also on the outside looking in just looking at the main order of merit tour card race are Devon Petersen (who is at needing a bink stage, having lost in the African qualifier somehow), Ryan Joyce (who's only £250 out and looked a bit better this weekend), Labanauskas is going to need to rely on his Nordic/Baltic ranking, then the next man out is Steve Lennon, who at 7.5k back is going to need a miracle.

This does take me on to one thing I did want to take a look at, and that's super early warning signs as to who is in danger of losing a tour card next time around. The simple thing I think to look at is players who were in the top 64 at the end of the season, but who did not make the worlds. This one seems a pretty simple thing to look at logically - if you have not made the worlds, you must be doing pretty darned mediocre on the Pro Tour, so you're probably not making any other majors or otherwise have little in the bank, so a huge percentage of what you are defending will be coming off your ranking in the next twelve months. Who would these players have been for this season? They'd be:

Jeffrey de Zwaan, Steve West, Andy Boulton, Keegan Brown, Mike de Decker, Boris Krcmar, John Henderson, Max Hopp

This is how far they are all off retaining without any provisional money added:

de Decker currently safe
Krcmar currently safe
Brown 3250
Boulton 9500
Henderson 11750
de Zwaan 17250
Hopp 19000
West 25750

Krcmar's had a good UK Open run as well as going deep in multiple floor events, so that's one way to do it, will be in the worlds by the looks of things and could force his way into the Players Championship Finals. de Decker has similarly been solid enough on the floor to put himself provisionally in the worlds (just), as well as looking real solid for making the Players Championship Finals. Of the others, Brown clearly managed a bink from nowhere so with mincashes from majors he's going to make should be fine. Boulton is looking a bit dicey, but at just £250 off making the PC Finals, he could put together a run there to give himself a chance, he's a bit far off the worlds qualification cutoff but he feels like the sort of player who would have a very good chance of winning the PDPA qualifier. Henderson is only a couple of grand off making Minehead, so again could put himself into contention. de Zwaan isn't in Minehead right now, and isn't overly close, but is the last man in the worlds as of right now due to good European Tour performances, so one good weekend in early November and a decent draw, and he could save his card. Hopp is not overly close to either, but could backdoor into the worlds through the German Superleague and did make a first quarter today since god knows how long. West, barring a PDPA qualifier win and a hero run, is basically going to Q-School.

So who can we project as being in danger next season? Looking at the tour card race projections, you're looking at White, Joyce, Hempel, Petersen, Lennon, Lewy Williams, Murnan, Meulenkamp and Kuivenhoven. That said, players from probably Lennon down with the exception of Williams (who is guaranteed to retain a card anyway through the Development Tour, he's fourth behind Rafferty, Rock and Barry who all have cards for next season already) could easily be nudged down and out of a tour card next season if people have good worlds runs who are just below them in the rankings.

Next couple of days I'm going to update the 2nd/3rd Division Darts which I've not done for some time, post an updated 180 in 180 power rankings list, as well as get some European Championship projections up. Probably do the second of those tomorrow as we're hitting the business end of the season.

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