Thursday 29 June 2023

ET10 round 1 thoughts and tips

Been a moderately quiet couple of weeks, but we've got the big one now in terms of the last Euro Tour (and event full stop) before the Matchplay cutoff, will go through each of the games and the Matchplay implications:

Joyce/Evetts - Interesting matchup to start between two players who've been around for a while, and both probably a bit below where they'd like to be, seems closer than I thought at a first glance with Joyce only in between 55% and 60%, I'd have guessed above 60%. Evetts might be a touch undervalued in the market but it's not by much. Matchplay implications: Nothing realistic, both need to bink to get in.

Klose/Sedlak - Klose hasn't really set the tour on fire as some people might have done, while Sedlak makes a second appearance of the season having looked OK in losing to Chris Dobey in Austria. Not really enough data to make a real good assessment on Sedlak (if he'd qualified for Prague, and I was a bit surprised he didn't, then maybe we could), but this feels about 2-1 in favour of Klose. 8/11 on Hills is kind of close to a play, don't hate it, but won't recommend just due to sample size. Matchplay implications: Neither can make it.

van Veen/Kist - Good third game here between one of the hottest young talents in the game, and a resurgent former Lakeside champion who's well involved in the race to get the second card from the Challenge Tour. Gian should be very strongly favoured here, roughly a 3-1 favourite, and that's not down to lack of data on Christian. 0.25u van Veen 4/7 on Hills looks a good play. Matchplay implications: Both need a bink, Kist would also need first round results to be favourable, van Veen is good enough to threaten but that would be one heck of a run.

Hall/Lukeman - Tough one to call potentially, Lukeman should be favoured and definitely will have the greater state experience, but isn't having as good a year as last time by any stretch and Graham is competent enough to have about a 40% shot. I almost like the price we can get, some places are offering a bit longer than 2/1 on Hall. Matchplay implications: Both need a bink which doesn't seem realistic.

Scutt/Dolan - Another interesting game, Connor tends to show in flashes and is a name I've noticed a bit over the last couple of months, while Dolan has been steady but not spectacular of late, and only rates just over 50% to take it. The market is giving 13/10 on Scutt which isn't really the edge we're looking at. Matchplay implications: Huge. Not for Connor who would need to win, but Dolan is the last man in now. A win here would force anyone wanting to nick his spot to make the last eight rather than just the Sunday.

Pilgrim/Gilding - Andrew got a late call up to this one and goes up against Pilgrim, who's primarily notable for having good averages in one or two games and distorting the Dart Connect stats for some time. The numbers on Darryl aren't bad, but the size is limited, Gilding is too good at the moment, would call it about 70% to be conservative, which the market thinks is not enough and it should be higher. Matchplay implications: None, Gilding's in and Darryl can't make it.

Mansell/Campbell - This one might not be too bad between a couple of players moderately similar on the FRH rankings, both have looked decent in spots in 2023 so this ought to be competitive. I can barely split the two, giving it Campbell by only one or two percent, so will take a huge 0.25u Mansell 11/5 price on 365. Matchplay implications: Both probably left too much to do, Mansell would need an outright win, while Campbell would have a good chance with a final, but an in form Cross in round two would be a significant hurdle.

Burton/Rydz - Another late call up here, Callan has been struggling for form for some time now and is the highest ranked player not in the Matchplay as of right now by some distance, and Stephen might fancy his chances, but I'm actually projecting Rydz by a huge amount, better than 3-1. If we cut it down to just since April it's still better than 60/40 for Rydz, so 4/6 would be the side if we went for a bet, but I'll pass on it. Matchplay implications: Burton is too new on the tour to threaten, Rydz could theoretically get in with a final, but realistically would need to win which on current form seems unlikely.

Maendl-Lawrance/Kantele - How to call this one? Liam's looked alright when we've seen him and has also had some WDF success of late, while Marko's been cruising in the SDC but not really translated things elsewhere. Too close to call, both player's stats are limited but they look fairly even, I would lean towards Kantele based on experience if you wanted to bet and he is the player who is odds against, albeit not quite enough for me to stab. Matchplay implications: Not card holders, neither has a chance.

Herz/Pietreczko - Not sure if Fabian is a known name or not, it sounds familiar but not someone I've seen for a while and I may be confusing a couple of German players and making it into one by mistake, he did nothing special in the qualifier and Ricardo should be easily too good, hard to quantify a number but 2/5 that is available doesn't look unreasonable, might even be a bit of value. Matchplay implications: Obviously Herz isn't getting in, Ricardo has an outside shot though. Getting to the quarters should get him in, Dimi isn't the worst seed you can draw, but Dirk in the last sixteen might be too big of a gatekeeper.

Huybrechts/Barry - This might not be too bad, Kim's been good this year albeit was in the news for the wrong reasons during the World Cup, while Barry made a debut he'd like to forget. Seems tight, I've actually got Keane as a really marginal favourite, the market has it the other way around with Barry the dog but only at evens, which isn't an edge to bet. Matchplay implications: Huybrechts is not completely safe at #15 in the Pro Tour list, a win here would give some security, as would a Dolan first round defeat. Keane isn't actually too many places out, but has a fair bit of money to catch up, needing a minimum final, hitting that final I think would surely be enough. Tough ask though especially with the world champ waiting in round two.

O'Connor/Wade - More Irish action follows, with Willie in a critical game against Wade, and he's playing well enough to have a chance at this one - James is favoured, but it's not by much - give him a 5% edge, nothing more. The price we can get on Willie is close enough to take a small punt, 0.1u O'Connor 13/8 on 365. Matchplay implications: Also huge. Wade is in regardless but could theoretically lose seeding if one of Ross Smith or de Sousa binked, so you're thinking he will be seeded. O'Connor however is the last man out and must win through to a minimum of round three to stand a chance, so Wade and then Clayton is definitely doing it the hard way. That's not guaranteed either, if both Huybrechts and Dolan win their first games he'll need to make the final session.

Killington/van Barneveld - Good to see George making one of these, not seen him too much so let's see how he does against a legend of the game, he actually seems moderately live, the numbers I'm seeing on year long projections give him more than a 35% chance, and on the last three months it's really close. There is a huge consistency caveat with Killington's game, but I'm thinking a tiny flier is fine, 0.1u Killington 3/1. Matchplay implications: Barney is not mathematically in yet, but it would take a weird combination of results to knock him out, and with Huybrechts and Dolan in the same part of the draw I don't think it's actually possible. George needs to win it all, so good luck with that.

de Sousa/Clemens - This is a pretty huge game for a first rounder with two top 20 order of merit players meeting, the market cannot separate the two. I'm giving a bit of an edge to Jose, but maybe the dataset is undervaluing Gabriel a touch and 56% on 10/11 odds is neither here nor there. Matchplay implications: None, both are safely in through the Pro Tour, theoretically JdS can get seeded if he binks.

Whitlock/Wilson - Simon is continuing to show moments of form although it is surely in the twilight of his career, with overall numbers ticking steadily downwards, while Wilson looks great for a couple of months at a time then goes missing for huge periods, often through no fault of his own, but is not really near the peak of his game. Whitlock's a solid favourite here, not quite 70/30 but better than two out of three. Market favours him a bit more than that but no reason to look at James as a dog play given the vig in the market. Matchplay implications: James can't make it but Whitlock certainly can, he needs to win this one, then beat Noppert (not the worst draw), then dependent on results elsewhere may need to get a win over probably Aspinall in the last sixteen.

Woodhouse/Bunting - Luke's finally starting to turn numbers into runs, hitting a final fairly recently although looking completely spent once he got there, while Stephen is due a run with extremely solid numbers not really being reflected in prize money. Bunting is a touch better than 60% in my estimation for this one, with Woodhouse at 6/4 and Bunting only just longer than 1/2 we can pass this one. Matchplay implications: Bunting is safely in, while Luke gave himself a chance with that final. A minimum of the quarters is needed, he's got the 16 seed (Smith) at least, but that means Humphries to actually get to where is needed. More likely than not other results would mean he'd need to win one more game again as quarter final money would only just sneak him up to 15th if nobody else improves as things stand.

That's your preview, more tomorrow.

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