Tuesday 31 October 2023

It's the final countdown

OK, here we go, the back to back Pro Tours which will decide who's going to get to the biggest show in darts, who's going to have a Christmas off, and who might need to decamp to Wigan or wherever the fuck they're holding Q-School in January. The situation is this:

I think in all likelihood that the chances of enough players overhauling anyone from Zonneveld up is remote, but not unbelievable, so I'm going up as far as Ricky Evans - I had the cutoff at £25k tentatively, I'm just pushing it up slightly. Similarly, I'm not going below Suljovic, he already needs two board wins to stand a chance, anyone below needs even more, and given there's a clear £1k drop from Suljovic to Arron Monk, it seems pretty unlikely that unless someone goes on a Szaganski-esque miracle run, we're talking about seven from these twenty-one as to who's going to fill out the Pro Tour spots for Ally Pally. But the question is who are they going to be?

I think this is enormously form based, particularly short term form. As such, I'm going to give you two tables - one from the last twelve Pro Tours in terms of cash money won (so this is from those that started from late August on), and scoring from that same cutoff (which will include any European Tour events which have taken place, as well as anything like the Challenge Tour for the likes of Boulton etc who are eligible to play in non-Pro Tour events.

Let's look at the former first:

Obviously this looks good for Edhouse, seemingly only being outside on countback, and possibly good for Klose and van Dongen as well - but there's a difference between those, Daniel has got the neormous majority of his money from that one Pro Tour where he made the final, and that was moderately early in the sample, whereas van Dongen has been accumulating with just the one brick in the twelve events we're looking at. That's tough going - Kuivenhoven also has just the one first round exit, but ten second round exits, which if you follow expected trends is a bit of a problem for someone who's probably going to need to put on £4k if not more, chipping away £750 at a time isn't going to cut it. Who should be concerned are Brown and Brooks, both possibly hanging on by a thread at this stage.

But let's ignore results, what about how they are playing. As stated, we'll use a cutoff of 26/8/23 and see what we've got:

Here again it looks really good for van Dongen, while Boulton, very fresh off a Challenge Tour win, is likely the next best along with Suljovic. Again looking at what players are actually doing, it looks really bad for Brown and especially Brooks, neither of whom are throwing what they need to do right when they need to do it.

So who out of these 21 are grabbing the 7 spots? Let's go through it:

Evans - YES, appears to have enough of a combination of money in the bank, recent accumulation and decent recent play to be fairly sure.
van Dongen - YES, only 250 quid less than Evans in the bank and doing everything better.
Zonneveld - YES, is nowhere near as convincing as the two above, but points on the board is key and I can quite easily see him squeaking out the probable win or two he'll need to make himself absolutely safe.
Wattimena - NO, accumulation is not overly convincing, scoring the same, while it wouldn't surprise me if he sneaks in, I'm calling him just missing out.
Brown - NO, play has dropped off a cliff and looks like it needs a miraculous turn around to get there.
Brooks - NO, see Brown, but worse.
Kleermaker - YES, this might be a controversial call, but he seems up and down enough coupled with the quality he has in floor events that I think he scrapes the win or two to push himself above the few players immediately above him and just holds on.
Edhouse - YES, scoring is good, recent accumulation is very good, just continuing what he is doing ought to see him get there.
Hempel - YES, appears to be having an uptick in form, scoring appears to be there just about enough, I think he does just enough to get there.
Rodriguez - NO, numbers don't lie, he's been playing poorly all year, while he can turn it on if he needs to and it wouldn't surprise me for him to hit a quarter final from nowhere, it just seems unrealistic.
Boulton - YES, I can't discount the level of play he's been doing, peaking at the right time, and he has a winning mentality right now.
Meikle - NO, the peak game is clearly good enough to be able to force himself into the picture, but he's not shown it for too long and I doubt it happens this week.
Burton - NO, I fear he may be the last man out, he's been doing enough lately that he's certainly got a chance, but I think there's enough of a combination of being too far back and having enough competent players above him that he just falls short.
Hughes - NO, might have been a touch unlucky in terms of results, but the overall level of play just isn't there right now.
Soutar - NO, simply not able to get results, and the numbers he's putting up doesn't make me think it's a case of bad draws, the game's just not there at the moment.
Klose - NO, the metrics are good, don't get me wrong, but there's just too much of a gap. He has the game to get there, but the lack of consistent results makes me think that he could make a semi and give himself the chance on Wednesday then brick the first round on Thursday. Probably the best bet from relatively downtown, but still in the big ask stage.
Kuivenhoven - NO, can't recall really talking about him this year. Think it's another case where if we had six events left, he's doing enough to get there but there's not enough race to run at this stage.
Killington - NO, has shown some flashes but is likely too far behind. Recent results will give him confidence however so certainly wouldn't rule him out of winning a board on day one and giving himself a platform.
Landman - NO, he's really only in the equation due to a bit of a freak Pro Tour final, is not doing anywhere near enough however you look at it to be a realistic shot. But hey, if you've done it once...
Krcmar - NO, really struggling with results. Quality of play is not terrible, but it's basically asking him to produce the breakout performance we know is in there somewhere right where the pressure is highest. Which is a big ask.
Suljovic - NO, Mensur appears to be doing a bit better of late than he has been all year, but when back to back board wins would only give him a place on countback if nobody improves, it's just another case of being too far back.

So I'm going with everyone who currently has 25k in the bank upwards along with Kleermaker, Edhouse, Hempel and Boulton to get the job done and punch their Ally Pally tickets. Thoughts?

Monday 30 October 2023

Very brief post-Euros post

Did not expect a Wright > Wade final, but hey, good to see Peter hit a bit of form after what's been a bad year whichever way you look at it, also good to see Wade, who's not been playing badly, get himself into the Slam and get a nice wedge onto his ranking, which should solidify things although still see him a bit outside the top 16. New FRH rankings:

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

Schindler drops out, but is only a board win on the floor behind Wade. van Veen rises up to a solid #33, less than 1k behind Pietreczko. Challenge Tour is done - Owen Bates claimed the second spot after a good run in the final even to pip Hendo to the post, getting the two critical wins in deciding legs.

I'll try and get back tomorrow evening and do some quick stats on the race for the worlds ahead of a Wednesday/Thursday Pro Tour double header, which will also see many players see themselves needing to hit the PDPA qualifier in order to save their card.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Euros round two

What a couple of days of action! The number 1 seed gone, the defending champ gone, the tournament favourite should have been gone (Madars isn't going to get over that one in a while unfortunately), and while there's plenty of big guns still in there, it's already looking a bit of an interesting tournament. Up to first to ten now, while (as we've discussed before) it doesn't give as much of an advantage to the better player as many think, every little helps, so let's go with round two.

Dobey/Bunting - Chris took care of a slightly off Chisnall fairly comfortably, while Stephen eliminated Schindler even more solidly, and this one rates to be extremely close with the two of them side by side on scoring in the last six months. Maybe Dobey has the slightest of slight edges, but with the market shading him only a slight favourite as well, there's no betting interest here.

Price/Aspinall - Gerwyn didn't really need to get out of second gear to beat Keane Barry, while Nathan was asked a few questions by Searle and the 6-3 scoreline could easily have been closer on another day. Nathan's got decent chances here, it's more than 40% - but it's not really that much more than 40%, and with the market not giving us better than 13/8, while it's an OK price, I'm not feeling sufficient certainty about our edge to recommend a play here.

van Veen/Gurney - Gian looked excellent in eliminating Damon Heta, while Daryl continues an under the radar excellent season dropping just the two legs to Josh Rock who was averaging a ton. This seems moderately tight again, with Gian having an edge but it's only 55/45 or there abouts, and the market either isn't sufficiently on the GvV hype train or recognises Gurney's playing well, as they're only offering 11/10. No play here.

Smith/Wright - Matchup of players who did for our bets (two up, two down, tiny profit) - Michael didn't need to do anything special against Barney, while Peter forced a big comeback against Clemens, finishing in style in a decider, but while Wright played well Gabriel should really be finishing from there. Smith's got an edge, but it's not by that much, he's maybe playing better on TV than the floor where the bulk of the data is here so let's call it 60/40. Wright's 6/4, Smith's 4/7, we can move on easily.

Cross/Noppert - Rob won as expected against Dimitri, while Danny was outstanding in whitewashing Andrew Gilding, only trailing van Veen for the highest average of the round. Cross looks the better player overall though, with winning chances getting closer to 65% than 60%, and the market appears to have recognised it somewhat, pricing him at 4/6, which is better than break even but, like with other games, I don't have the confidence in such a small edge to recommend a play, particularly with Noppert's first round performance fresh in the memory.

Wade/de Sousa - James was pretty darned mediocre against Dirk, but with the Dutchman apparently struggling with some sort of injury he didn't need to be, while de Sousa got maybe the upset of the round in defeating Jonny Clayton, being the beneficiary of a comedy miscount for a change (Clayton going 18, 20 bull on 86 for reasons unknown). This rates to be extremely close - I'm actually seeing de Sousa as a tiny favourite in the projections (so small, it's closer to 50% than 55%), but with a decent consistency advantage to Wade, so I'm calling this a pure flip. The market likes Wade somewhat, and 13/10 on the Portuguese number one is the closest I've seen to a bet yet - 7/5 would probably be enough for a small nibble, so consider him if the market moves or you see better on exchanges.

van Gerwen/Pietreczko - Michael needed to dodge match darts against Madars Razma, while Ricardo got ahead early against Ross Smith and made no mistake seeing it out with an average solidly into three figures. Pietreczko isn't going to be intimidated given he defeated MvG on the way to winning his Euro Tour title, but he is a significant underdog here, not even projecting to win one in four, with the lines putting van Gerwen at 3/10, we're not even slightly interested in this one.

Humphries/Ratajski - Luke dropped one leg against Dolan in a match that was as comfortable as we thought it might be, while Krzysztof nearly hit a nine in a competitive game against Joe Cullen, which saw the usual Sportradar fuck up and scrambling to get the statistics from it. Luke's the better player, and while Ratajski is someone we do rate, he's a pretty big dog here in the 70/30 range, which I thought might be tighter. Luke's 1/3 so we're not touching that, Ratajski is nowhere near long enough to consider, we'd need more than 3/1 to even start thinking about it and with the market vig we're not there.

So no bets, but there's some spots where if you take a slightly more optimistic perspective on some players, you might find a bet of your own which would at least be break even. Should be back before the quarters.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Euros round one

Well that was one heck of a Pro Tour series, with unexpected winners and a lot of surprising deep runs, which have really thrown the cat amongst the pigeons in terms of the worlds race - I was thinking £25k would be enough, now I'm thinking that it could need nearer to £26k to be sure? Guess a lot will depend on the strength of field of PC29/30, we'll see. Anyway, we've got another major incoming, I'll hold off on new FRH rankings until after we're done, but let's look at round one:

Noppert/Gilding - Feels like neither is in top form, despite Noppert getting a Pro Tour win about a month ago, maybe he has the slightest of edges at around 55/45. Gilding's a touch longer than that, but only in some places and not longer enough to recommend a play.

Aspinall/Searle - Both appear quiet since the Matchplay at least, but the numbers are still solid for both, especially Nathan who looks to edge this around 55-60% of the time. He's 8/11, which looks a perfect line.

Chisnall/Dobey - Dave's been one of the standout players of the season, while Dobey is playing strong stuff, just not getting the results overly frequently, but still looks to be favoured about the same amount Aspinall is. The market puts him as at evens, which we'll take, 0.25u Dobey evs, ideally we'd want slightly odds against, but with this looking like a good spot for Chisnall to be under maybe more pressure given the seeding, I'll go with evens.

Cross/van den Bergh - Rob's defending champions money, but I don't think that'll matter so much against someone in such mediocre form as DvdB, Cross projecting just over a two in three favourite in this one. 4/7 looks really close to a play, 8/13 (which might be out there on obscure books) might be worth a small play, I'd really want 4/6 before opening up on this one.

Price/Barry - Not really sure what Keane's done to get here, I don't remember too many deep runs but he's here and that'll help his rankings, and I think there's a possible lottery ticket here despite Price's obvious quality. I'd put Keane at approaching 30%, 7/2 is there or there abouts, but I think I'd really want 4/1 or better before I could recommend a play to be honest. It might move closer to the off in our favour so keep an eye out.

Wright/Clemens - Pretty much the best sort of draw Clemens could want in getting someone who's been relatively out of sorts all season. Wright isn't even on page one of the stats and this looks truly like a flip. As such, we can go with the price Ladbrokes are offering, 0.25u Clemens 29/20, lots of books have this at about 5/4 but we need to be approaching 6/4 before we really want to punt, and we can do.

Smith/van Barneveld - Not sure what Barney has really done this season to get into the field and remain a seed in the Pro Tours, but he's doing something, which is more than what could be said for Smith, at least outside of TV. Michael I think ought to be comfortable enough, but Barney's got chances in the low 40% bracket, which would indicate we're looking for better than 2/1. Ladbrokes give us that, 0.25u van Barneveld 23/10

Schindler/Bunting - Martin's still looking for a first tour win, while Bunting continues to fly under the radar in terms of quality. Very hard one to call, I can't split the pair, so with the market favouring Stephen, we're looking at Schindler on home soil here, but with the odds not really shifting beyond 5/4, we're not quite getting the edge we want in this one.

Heta/van Veen - Gian's making what seems like an effective TV debut here, and Heta's not a great draw, although maybe a bit better than it would have been this time last year. van Veen I think is playing well enough that he's got a clear 60/40 edge, so of course we're snapping off the odds against 365 are offering, 0.25u van Veen 11/10

Ratajski/Cullen - Krzysztof has a win in one of these and is another player that appears undervalued, recovering form after a bit of a blip around twelve months ago, while Cullen is without a title this year as far as I can see, and looks like he's playing a touch better than Ratajski is. The line favours Joe marginally so we're not really interested in this one from a betting perspective.

Rock/Gurney - Nice local derby here, Josh perhaps surprisingly hasn't added to his title haul this season (yet), while Gurney is playing at a deceptively strong level, and has been pretty much all season. He's playing well enough that this only seems like a 45/55 dog situation here, and it's fairly surprising that we can't get better than 13/10 on Daryl, making this a no bet, but maybe a line that moves if there's a bit of Rock hype nearer the off.

Clayton/de Sousa - Jonny has a Euro Tour win this season, which is a lot more than Jose's done, it being hard to recall too much that he's done in 2023, but it's clearly been enough to get into the field. Clayton's around a two in three favourite in the market - maybe it should be a little bit tighter than that, but I don't think Jose's level of play is quite enough to really start considering 7/4 as a play.

van Duijvenbode/Wade - Dirk's been solid at floor level, but whiffed both finals at Euro Tour level and his best games seem to have been front loaded, which might help Wade, who feels like is playing at the best he has done for a few years. This appears really deceptive in terms of how close it is and I think Wade's got approaching 45% chances here - the market's caught on however and isn't offering better than 11/10 sadly.

Humphries/Dolan - Luke's broken through at major level and will look to go back to back against Dolan, who's not bad, but with scoring only just over 90 in the sample I'm looking at, feels like is making up the numbers at this level. Humphries looks like he should win somewhere between three in four and four in five times - so 2/7 looks a perfect line.

van Gerwen/Razma - Michael's actually outside the top three in scoring over the last six months, which does surprise but he'll have more than enough for Madars here, whose scoring is way down but appears to have just about enough that we're not just going to autoclick on van Gerwen at 1/6. If anything, we should be considering the 5/1 on Razma we can see here and there. There's a skill differential, but it's not quite as big as the market suggests.

Pietreczko/Smith - The newest Euro Tour winner on home soil against the defending champion is a real intriguing game to finish, this one should mean a little bit more for both, we'll see how it goes but Ross is hitting form at the right time having binked the latest Pro Tour, and should grab this one a touch closer to 65% of the time than 60%. The market gives us 8/11 which is close to worth considering.

That's the lot, fill your boots.

Monday 16 October 2023

Well that shakes things up

To go from having your European Championship qualification in the balance to binking, take a bow Ricardo. That's completely changed the lineup for that event (at least in terms of seedings), it's shaken up the Slam, Pietreczko nicking into the 14th spot with only two to be decided at the expense of Ratajski, it's also seen him likely lock up Matchplay and Grand Prix qualification next time around and move up to #35 in the FRH rankings. Not someone we had pegged to win at this level, but we did have him installed at #8 on our "next to win a Pro Tour title" list, and he's jumped that list completely. Nice job. It gives him a tasty tie against Ross Smith with a potential second round game against Michael van Gerwen to follow (with the draw for the European Championship of course having been finalised), that should be a fun one. New FRH rankings:

1 Michael Smith
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Luke Humphries
4 Nathan Aspinall
5 Gerwyn Price
6 Jonny Clayton
7 Peter Wright
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Joe Cullen
10 Dirk van Duijvenbode
11 Rob Cross
12 Danny Noppert
13 Damon Heta
14 Dimitri van den Bergh
15 Andrew Gilding
16 Ross Smith
17 Ryan Searle
18 Chris Dobey
19 Josh Rock
20 Martin Schindler

Wright's final doesn't really do much apart from give him a bit of breathing room from the onrushing Chisnall, indeed apart from Pietreczko and the rise of Jules van Dongen and George Killington into the top 90, there's really not much movement at all.

We're coming up to a run of four Pro Tours starting on Wednesday, which accounts for two thirds of the remaining Pro Tour money ahead of the World Championship. I'd guess that £25k is what's going to be needed to be really safe, so quite a bit of work to do for a lot of players in the upcoming days. Stay tuned.

Sunday 15 October 2023

Very very quick round three thoughts

Lennon had darts at double in both the legs he lost early to go up 5-0. Those are the fine margins you need to take in order to beat someone like MvG, if he's faltering slightly you've got to punish. Letting him break in seven visits and then not breaking in eighteen yourself when given the chance (heck, Lennon wasn't even on a double after eighteen), can't be doing that, but still confident enough that Steve is outperforming market value and we may well see him again later on this year. Real quick as we're close to go time:

Clemens/Smith - Looks moderately tight but the Englishman is favoured in projections by a near 60/40 margin, he's nominally around 4/6 so clear no bet.

van Gerwen/Cullen - 2/1 on Joe is half tempting. He looked OK yesterday, one mutual bad leg aside, and I'm seeing this around 60/40 as well, it's nearly enough, but not enough to really go with. I'll probably just wait until nearer the off, see if the exchange moves and have a small personal play.

Killington/Pietreczko - JFC what the hell did George do yesterday. Ricardo wasn't half bad either. This one actually looks fairly close on paper, believe it or not, although George has a much, much higher inconsistency rating, so I'd taper what was a wafer thin edge to George more towards 55/45 in favour of Ricardo, maybe more given the crowd and the pressure now being off Pietreczko in terms of making the Euros. Market is tending to give the German the edge ever so slightly so nothing here.

Bunting/van Dongen - This is a really wide open section, and another game where the initial projection calls it 60/40, that's just how well Jules has done of late to keep it that tight to someone consistently good like Bunting is. Yeah, it's another game where inconsistency is a factor, but I'll weigh that off against Jules' form being loaded towards the second half of my sample size and stick with the original numbers - which are putting van Dongen at about 11/8. Nothing to see here.

Heta/Lukeman - Martin's not without chances here, been playing better the last two weeks and he should sneak this more than one in three times - but not that much more. bet365's 13/8 is fairly close to where I'd have it, 7/4 looks like the correct line but it's another one where with the vig the bookies are giving up nothing.

Kurz/Wright - Do we keep on the Kurz hype train? I think it's an automatic play, 0.1u Kurz 3/1, someone who does what Kurz has done in the qualifier and then against Slevin and Clayton should be considered a strong enough opponent that he easily has more than a 25% chance against Peter Wright in his current form. Especially as match six of a card in Germany, regardless of how much they love Peter there.

Humphries/Wade - Damn, Wade is continuing to look strong. Maybe the best he's looked since the UK Open win? Humphries on the other hand also looked phenomenal in his first game as a major champion. I've got 71% Luke, he's 2/5 in a few places which is the exact corresponding line, so no bet.

Cross/Smith - Hmm, thought the markets might favour Michael a bit more, what with being the world champion and that, and ignore that the bulk of his games this season haven't been great (or at least world class level, still very good compared to mere mortals, or the bulk of the 128 for that matter) and actually Cross is outplaying him overall. They're not, but they're not really offering what I'm seeking on Smith here, I'd have shaded it as Cross 10/11 whereas you can get Cross 11/10, Betfair has 6/5 which I'm thinking about, I'll probably watch and see if the exchanges go out to about 2.3 or there abouts and then have a small play myself.

Will be watching the rugby later so no future tips likely, if Kurz does win then I think that we probably get an overreaction in pricing for the quarters and the value goes sadly.

Saturday 14 October 2023

Hildesheim round two - almost perfect

Very happy with yesterday. Scoreline flattered Kurz a bit and Slevin was probably value for at least one more leg if not a couple, but the win wasn't in doubt, Monk got home, then with Evans we're mostly looking for signs that we thought that Dobey 80% was incorrect - I think getting a shot at a 180 then two further match darts is enough. Sure, it'd be nicer for our book to actually hit on one of them, but it's process we're interested in, Evans is one we've touched on a couple of times before this season and we've hit before, and with him in a provisional worlds spot, he may be one we revisit in the near future. Real quick today so apologies for that, but quick is better than nothing:

Cross/van Veen - Nope, Cross correctly small favourite
Searle/Lukeman - Line might be favouring Searle a tad too much but still nope
Noppert/van Dongen - Think they've correctly recognised that Jules is doing better of late and cut the lines just enough that we can't play it as a small flier
Heta/Pilgrim - I mean this is a real tough one to judge. Head says Pilgrim might be small value but at the same time says that betting anyone who isn't a card holder at shorter than 2/1 against Heta is insanity
van Duijvenbode/Killington - Close to a Killington play, but need a bit more than 3/1, 4/1 I'd probably shoot
Rock/Bunting - Either the market's soured on Rock a lot, or Bunting's secret's out. Either way, Stephen's too short to consider and there's not enough value on Josh either
Clayton/Kurz - I feel like 4/1 ought to be considered, but Jonny's just been so solid this season I think that he doesn't allow the half chances that Nico may need to bring this one home
Smith/Gurney - Smith priced with small edge, this seems fine, maybe the short notice callup (how short though? When did Price say no?) affects him a little bit but that's too hard to quantify, if it's an issue at all
Cullen/Monk - I'm sort of half tempted with Monk again given 3/1 is available, but with Joe looking decent of late and Arron not exactly setting the world on fire yesterday, I'm OK to just say no to this one
Chisnall/Clemens - Line looks alright. Gabriel has a bit more than a one in three shot
Aspinall/Wade - Kind of similar to the above except Wade has a few more percent
Schindler/Pietreczko - Interesting dynamic, another 60/40 sort of game which the market has correctly priced with Martin being favoured
van Gerwen/Lennon - Lennon wasn't convincing yesterday, but we know he's been playing much better than his results for a long time now and is awfully underrated. 0.1u Lennon 5/1, I don't expect this to work much more than 30% of the time, but 17% of the time is break even and it feels clearly more than that to me
Wright/Dobey - Might be small value on Dobey here. Got him a smidgeon over 60%, so 4/5 on Ladbrokes, especially given he's dodged one bullet and might be in a spot where he goes on a run, might be worth a gander
Humphries/Krcmar - Luke's going to be too good. 4/1 might be slightly harsh on Boris, but only slightly
Smith/Soutar - Same as above, except move Alan's price in half a point and move his percentage chances up two or three

Friday 13 October 2023

Hildesheim round one evening

Let's continue while I've just got a few things refreshing at work:

Wilson/van Veen - Looks rather one sided this one, James will hit decent performances here and there but has never really regained the levels he was at within the BDO, or when he was in the periphery of the top 32 for that matter. Gian we know all about at this stage, maybe the odds listed are a slight exaggeration as I've got Wilson as probably closer to 30% than 20% to win it, but 7/2 doesn't seem unreasonable.

Hempel/Monk - Arron's had a few decent runs and games here and there, while Florian's been mostly anonymous for some time but has also had an occasional good game more often of late. Looks about 60/40 Monk to me, Monk has a fairly bad consistency score but so does Hempel, I don't think the home crowd will be that big a deal on a Friday night session, 0.25u Monk 6/5

Klaasen/Wade - Would be great to see Jelle back on the tour, but the numbers are not inspiring and against someone of Wade's calibre and consistency, it's hard to see the former Lakeside champion making any sort of inroads in this one that often. Fairly limited data says 35% but looking at how that's constructed it's a clear overestimate, Wade being 1/3 looks just fine to me.

van der Voort/Gurney - I'm not sure if I can recall a single game of Vincent's this season, and he is currently a fair bit out of the world championship picture which would seriously hurt his chances of retaining a card just over twelve months from now - if he doesn't decide to just pack it in as I believe he's at least mentioned as a possibility in some interviews. Daryl's continuing to appear in major events and has appeared to be trending upwards decently this year, and a position as a solid favourite is more than justified, I'm seeing right in the middle of 70% and 75%, so a price of 4/11 looks spot on.

Pietreczko/Mansell - Ricardo's been real unfortunate to miss majors this year, and he still has some work to do to get to Dortmund - one win over Mickey would probably do it, a Sunday appearance would surely lock it up, but Mansell's not been playing bad this year at all and his scoring is at a point where this really does look too close to call. 11/8 on Mansell is not a necessarily bad punt, I guess it comes down to if you think that the home crowd will be more of a factor than Ricardo presumably knowing that this is an important game. Make your own call.

Clemens/Jansen - Clemens is correctly a favourite here, it feels such a long time ago since Danny won that title out of nowhere, and while he's been pretty poor since, there have been some signs of improvement, albeit occasional. Gabriel being 1/4 is a tad harsh, but I'm just not comfortable looking at Danny until he's the inverse price - which he clearly isn't.

Dobey/Evans - Really important game for Chris here, currently in position 33 for Dortmund, a win would bump him above Beaton and level with Dolan, neither of whom are here (not sure what the countback situation is with the latter), and while this is in no way the worse draw he could get, Lee isn't someone you can take for granted, he is in a worlds spot right now and a steady 89 rate of scoring is enough to keep Dobey honest here. Sure, Dobey is favoured, but I'm going to take a stab against him, 0.1u Evans 4/1 on 365, this is one that's going to not work a lot of the time, but if I've got Lee as just over 30% and he's priced at 20%, that's too much edge to not have a small shot at.

Bunting/de Graaf - Jeffrey's in again through the Nordic tour, but he's got probably the worst draw he could have got, Stephen's going to continue to just plug away and put up great numbers quietly, and looks like he'll outclass de Graaf here. 5/1 on Jeffrey looks just about perfect.

So two in the evening session to add to Kurz in the afternoon session.

Hildesheim round one morning real quick post

Was meaning to get this out last night but was pretty wiped out, been under the weather all week so will just get this out sharpish and to the point.

Krcmar/Joyce - Looks a tight one on paper. Have Joyce as a tiny favourite, might be playing a bit better in general than Krcmar is, 8/13 might be a little bit of an exaggeration but I'm not liking the idea of jumping all over Boris at 6/4.

Lukeman/Razma - Another tight one on paper, here I've got Razma as a tiny favourite in the numbers, but it feels like Lukeman's improved somewhat over the last few months after a moderately barren first half of the season, so I'll call this one a pure flip. Again the market is a little bit off on this one, rating Razma as a 6/4 dog - if I restrict the data to just H2 of 2023, that's exactly what the projections say, so I guess it's a case of if you want to trust longer term quality or more recent form. With Madars needing the win to sure up a spot at Dortmund, there's that additional added pressure, so I'm fine with not going for it all things considered.

Waites/Killington - Bit of a free hit for both here, not heard a massive amount from either all season and neither are remotely near the Dortmund scenarios as they'd both need to bink. I was going to say this was a play on Killington looking at the initial line on oddschecker of evens, given I'm seeing it 65/35 - while George is a bit more inconsistent, he is scoring more than Scott is and I can't justify moving things down to more than 60/40, but when you go into the individual bookies, everywhere's shifted to 8/11, 4/6 sort of lines (indeed, a quick F5 of the main page does shift a best price into 4/5), which isn't really enticing.

Lennon/Kirchmann - Lennon's probably safe for the worlds already, but getting a HNQ in round one should be the safety net he needs. We still think Lennon's really good and just not getting the results, Kirchmann is relatively unknown but did finish the quali with back to back 90 averages running through Schlichting and Gotthardt 10-1 combined, so can clearly play somewhat - that's enough to say not to jump on to 1/7 on Lennon, as weirder things have happened.

Sedlacek/Soutar - Probably too much to ask for either player in this all-hair derby to get to Dortmund, but both are on the outside looking in for the worlds, but not by much, so it's kind of important for both players here. Another one that appears way too close to call, market putting Soutar at evens and Sedlacek slightly odds on appears perfectly fair to me.

Slevin/Kurz - The second HNQ comes in, and Kurz looked really, really good yesterday - 90 average or better in all five matches going 25-8 in legs is the sort of thing we thought he would be able to do more often if he set his mind to getting on the tour what must be at least five years ago now. Slevin, after what looked like a really promising start to the season, has failed to deliver somewhat since and is looking like real run of the mill scoring and I can only say he's worth the bet against given how good Nico looked yesterday - 0.25u Kurz 21/10 on Ladbrokes.

Smith/Pilgrim - Weird one where the veteran tour card holder with bundles of experience is the underdog to the non-card holder, but that's kind of where we are at, and it doesn't seem ridiculous - Darryl has been doing some fantastic stuff around the non-128 world and we've got enough data that using the master computer seems fair - and that says he should win five in eight games. So more or less bang on the 8/13 quoted.

Kovacs/van Dongen - Patrik makes another appearance on the Euro Tour, still yet to really trouble us and the numbers have not been fantastic, particularly given he's facing Jules, who's looked much, much improved over the last 2-3 months. I'm not sure than him being priced at near 5-1 on is necessarily a true reflection of the difference in quality between the players, but we can only get 4/1 on Kovacs and I don't see him winning much more than 20% of the time, if that much at all, to recommend a play.

I'll put out the evening session in a separate post, might be soon after, might be at lunchtime.

Monday 9 October 2023

Keith can shut up now

Best 138 finish ever amirite

Real life got in the way of getting anything out for the semis/final, but I doubt much of value was missed. Luke finally getting over the line clocks off #1 in the recent list of next players to win a first PDC major at the first time of asking, here's new FRH rankings:

1 Michael Smith
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Luke Humphries (UP 1)
4 Nathan Aspinall (DOWN 1)
5 Gerwyn Price (UP 1)
6 Jonny Clayton (DOWN 1)
7 Peter Wright
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Joe Cullen (UP 4)
10 Dirk van Duijvenbode (DOWN 1)
11 Rob Cross (DOWN 1)
12 Danny Noppert (DOWN 1)
13 Damon Heta (DOWN 1)
14 Dimitri van den Bergh
15 Andrew Gilding
16 Ross Smith
17 Ryan Searle
18 Chris Dobey (UP 1)
19 Josh Rock (DOWN 1)
20 Martin Schindler (NEW)

Schindler dumps out Clemens as a result of his quarter final run, but it's Cullen who makes the most strides with his semi final, the finalists only gaining the one place each just based on how the points were distributed.

Few more things have been going on, Muramatsu won the Asian Championship and is back at Ally Pally as a result, and it sounds like Baetens is continuing to get all the cake in the WDF, sadly there's no Dart Connect or any other sort of data available, I think there was a stream which I could decompile it off, but I really don't have the time to add minor events if they can't be bothered even minimal effort on their end.

We've got the final Euro Tour next weekend, which is going to lock down a lot of positions, then the week after we've got four of the six remaining Pro Tour events, so we're really getting close to the end of the year. Expect me back on Thursday.

Friday 6 October 2023

GP quarters

Dobey got it done to further push us into the black for the tournament, which would have been better if we'd have had the stones to actually go with Schindler as well. Do we like anything for the quarters?

Dobey/Cullen - Maybe we go with this? Dobey's slightly odds on at 5/6, but I'm thinking he's probably got slightly better chances than that, pushing up to around 60%. That's not enough for me, Joe's not exactly been playing badly so I'm happy enough to say that we don't have enough edge.

Price/Schindler - Probably the end of the road for Martin here, although Price has looked less than convincing and that 3-0 second round win was a bit misleading. Feels like a classic 75/25 sort of game, and Schindler's 10/3, so nothing really doing here.

Smith/Gilding - Michael's cruised through to this stage with very little resistance, while Gilding has been a bit fortunate to get to this stage, numbers not looking great and it's probably another case where he's probably dropping out at this stage. Projections are actually giving Andrew a bit more of a chance than the market is, floating around the 35% mark, such is the relative mediocrity of Smith's game this year - so we ought to be somewhat interested in odds approaching 3/1, the short term statistics are just too much of a turn off to realistically consider this one. Easy to believe this'll be a case of Smith stepping the game up when it matters.

Wright/Humphries - Should we be firing on Humphries in this one? Luke's not dropped a set yet, but the averages are kind of meh and he needed every leg in four of those five sets. Wright's not been good this year but the raw averages for this tournament look a bit higher than Luke's are. I'm seeing around 75% chances for Luke, maybe a touch more, I think this is enough to go with, 0.25u Humphries 1/2 with Coralbrokes, widely available 4/9 seems also fine, we've got enough edge here to fire on a favourite.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

GP lap 2

Two up one down in the first round for a steady profit, a few upsets but the big gun in each of the quarters is still there, last sixteen will go over the next two days, here's what we like:

Gilding/Anderson - Really not feeling this at the line posted. Ando is legitimately pushing up at around 80% to win this one, that's just how good he is playing right now, survived an opening scare but looked pretty good, Gilding needed to come from behind but was not convincing. No value in taking the underdog here and I doubt you find any pair of opponents at this stage of a major (with the possible exception of the UK Open) where betting at around 1/4 is ever a good idea.

Price/Ratajski - And Price definitely isn't one of those. Ratajski got us a win in round one but was perhaps a touch fortunate in doing so and will need to improve against Price, who was relatively comfortable against Noppert. If we take any side here we're looking at Krzysztof again, I think he's pushing up to a one in three chance on the numbers, but in reality it might be a touch less given the format and first round games, 10/3 I still don't think can ever be bad, but it's not enough to go with a proper tip.

Smith/Dolan - Michael was the joint easiest winner in round one, while Brendan pulled off one of the bigger shocks to come from behind and upset van Duijvenbode. This feels like the same as above - I'm seeing Brendan at around one in three, but we can only get 3/1, and the relative first round performances don't make me want to consider it as a play.

Bunting/Schindler - By far the most interesting tie of the first night, Stephen dumped out Aspinall in a last leg decider, Schindler nearly doing the same against Barney but getting the deciding set 3-1 after the first two went the distance. I can't split the two - I'm not seeing quite the odds to go with a play on a legit bookie (whatever StarSports is has enough, I'd want 6/4, can only really see 11/8), the exchanges might be a play, but for conventional sources we just need a little bit of line movement.

Humphries/Woodhouse - The better Luke moderately easily despatched Gurney, the other Luke turned over Chisnall with the same set pattern and was averaging better in the respective games. That makes me think the line is close to correct - 3/1 on Woody seems fair, I'm seeing Humphries as slightly better, but as one of the better doublers on the circuit (apparently) and with a better round one display, I think we can pull this one in to make this a clear no bet.

van Gerwen/Dobey - Michael looked really good in putting out a disappointing Josh Rock, while Dobey took out Dimitri in straight sets, albeit in a decider both times. I think Chris is live here, but will just go small with respective first round plays and a fair consistency differential, 0.1u Dobey 5/2. On just the winning legs, this is close to a flip, but we know it's more in MvG's favour than that. Just not that much more that we don't bet here.

Wright/Searle - Peter was able to get the win over a moderately disappointing Clemens in fairly short order, while Ryan was forced to work all the way by Damon Heta but got over the line. Line seems fair enough, I've got Searle as a little bit better, and the markets have neither player odds against, just shading the line in favour of Ryan, so no bet.

Smith/Cullen - Ross took out the player defending champion's money in moderately short order, Cullen looked a little bit better though in dropping Mike de Decker. Another moderately tight one, I've got Ross as a tiny favourite, the market has it basically pick em at evens, if you need to bet it'd not be on Joe, but we don't need to bet.

Back Friday for the quarters.

Sunday 1 October 2023

Pre Grand Prix thoughts

Will quickly get in new FRH rankings first following the Players Championship wins for Noppert, Chisnall and Anderson, these incorporate first round Grand Prix money but as only Huybrechts in the top 32 is not there (and he's 30th, Woodhouse being the player outside now up into 34th), nothing changes:

1 Michael Smith
2 Michael van Gerwen
3 Nathan Aspinall
4 Luke Humphries
5 Jonny Clayton (UP 1)
6 Gerwyn Price (DOWN 1)
7 Peter Wright
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Dirk van Duijvenbode
10 Rob Cross
11 Danny Noppert (UP 1)
12 Damon Heta (UP 1)
13 Joe Cullen (DOWN 2)
14 Dimitri van den Bergh
15 Andrew Gilding
16 Ross Smith
17 Ryan Searle
18 Josh Rock
19 Chris Dobey
20 Gabriel Clemens

Notable results lower down see Ryan Joyce back in the top 40, and Christian Kist up into the top 80 following a remarkable series.

OK, Grand Prix time, it's always a little bit hard to model given the double in format, and the quick first round format being really brutal with one mistake possibly costing you the match, but let's look and see if there's any value.

van Duijvenbode v Dolan - Line looks alright, it does feel like one where Dirk's a little bit better than a two in three shot.

de Sousa v Anderson - Gary might be the best player in the world right now. 8/15 looks moderately generous, I'd take him at over 70%, nearer half way to 75%, in a race to 11, set format might moderate that slightly, but there's not a chance in hell I'd pick Jose here.

Ratajski v Wade - Appears moderately close, but I think Krzysztof has the better chances here, pushing up to around the 60% marker, James isn't playing badly at all, probably outdoing his ranking, but the Pole has a recent win and should take this one way more often than the market suggests, 0.25u Ratajski evs, couple of random places have 11/10, if you trust them then go with them.

Schindler v van Barneveld - Schindi continues to play well but is still searching for a first win, while Barney is, dare I say, anonymous? When was the last time we saw him do something notable on the floor to get him here? Line looks fine, I have Martin slightly better but it's not by much.

Aspinall v Bunting - Bunting's a recent Euro Tour finalist but Nathan obviously has the most recent TV win, Stephen we think's underrated but not enough that there's a play, I'd give him in the low 40% range, which makes 11/8 an automatic no play.

Price v Noppert - Danny was in the winners enclosure this week, but can he put a glove on Price in this one? Probably not, Gerwyn might not be quite as red hot as he was earlier in the year but he's still doing enough to leave Danny looking at a one in three, one in four sort of win chance, 9/4 looks in that sort of ballpark.

Smith v Rydz - Smith has only been so-so in performances since winning the worlds, but Callan, outside of those occasional flashes which saw him bink to get into the field, isn't really close and a 5/2 line looks like an appropriate place to start.

Cross v Gilding - Rob continues to be undervalued by many, Gilding perhaps overvalued following his TV win, Rob is favoured but it's not by as much as two in three, but it does look over 60% to me. 2/1 on Andrew might offer a sliver of value but not enough to truly recommend a play.

Cullen v de Decker - Onto the Tuesday now, Joe it feels to me has had a fairly quiet season outside of the Matchplay, while Mike continues to progress and is into a second big major now, and is actually a replay of the first round from there. Joe's better, he's not that much better, Mike probably has a touch more than a 40% chance, but the odds are 11/8 so we're not going for this one.

Chisnall v Woodhouse - Dave is continuing to accumulate titles at an impressive rate, which makes this an unfortunate draw for Luke despite him avoiding all the seeds, he's not drawing dead by any means and I actually see him as having a touch more than a one in three chance - not enough of a touch that 21/10 is really worth a play. It's tiny value, nothing more, chuck in possible big stage nerves and it's an easy enough pass for me.

Heta v Searle - This one looks like it should be pretty close no matter how you choose to analyse it. I'd probably give the tiniest of edges to Ryan, maybe slightly more than normal given Damon's mediocre TV results, so maybe we could start to look at a play if the line moves more than the 11/10 that it is at present. 5/4 I'd certainly think is worth considering.

van den Bergh v Dobey - Dimitri has not had a great year, while Dobey has hoovered up a lot of telly experience and realistically speaking is the better player regardless of what the rankings say. This looks like another good spot like Ratajski, 0.25u Dobey evs, like Krzysztof I've got Chris up around the 60% marker which is more than enough to take even money.

Wright v Clemens - Peter could do with some results I think, while Gabriel is kind of in the same boat as he looks to push up the rankings, such is Wright's form, or lack of it, I can't split the two. 13/10 is not the sort of line that's really inspiring, although I don't completely hate a small play. Clemens has beaten Wright on bigger stages than this after all.

van Gerwen v Rock - Two players who continue in the world's top ten in terms of how well they're actually playing, MvG is a little higher obviously, but don't let Rock's lack of results fool you, he is not playing much worse than he was last year. I think we have to take the underdog here, 0.25u Rock 19/10 with Coralbrokes, my model has it as a flip, Rock is a bit more inconsistent but I can't justify a drop to less than 45% chances, which with a price of approaching 2/1, looks decent.

Clayton v Smith - Bit of pressure on Jonny defending winners' money, while Ross looks to become a multiple major winner himself, Ross isn't playing badly at all and is only a moderate amount behind Clayton in this one, it looks like around a 55/45 sort of game, maybe a touch more to Jonny, so 4/6 with Smith not close to 6/4 because vig appears a respectable line.

Humphries v Gurney - Luke is still looking for a first major title and has added another win and two finals to his resume this month, Gurney is looking to consolidate the top 32 positioning and then some, but appears outmatched here, I find it hard to give Daryl even a one in three poke at this, so with a line of 2/1, we're not touching it.

So three bets, two even money shots where it looks like players are undervalued (Ratajski) and overvalued (Dimitri) and then staying on the Rock hype train with the line reflecting that it has perhaps unfairly died off a bit more than it should have done. Back with the last sixteen once we know the line up.