Sunday 5 November 2023

So the floor season is done

We're into the home stretch of 2023 for sure now, with all the floor events in the books. Congrats to everyone that secured their qualification for Minehead and Ally Pally, the latter of which seems very much like it's going to be a changing of the guard season, with big names like Soutar, King, van der Voort, Lewis (albeit for different reasons) and Suljovic all currently outside and reliant on the PDPA qualifier. We've also had a pretty solid set of players coming through the Grand Slam qualifier - I think it's unanimous that eight spots is way too many, and that there should be more people qualifying directly. Some wouldn't go as far as me and say that they should accept everyone who wins a European or Pro Tour event, and only hold a qualifier to fill the remaining spots, but we can't really argue with a lineup of Noppert, Bunting, Searle, Rafferty, Heta, Lennon, Kleermaker and Dolan. Not bad at all and no real complete randoms. Particularly for the three who weren't seeded, getting here could be the difference between losing and retaining a card, so it's a big chance for them. Even getting third place in the group could be the difference between Q-School and no Q-School.

New FRH rankings - these include minimum cashes for the Slam and PC Finals, nobody's ranking is affected for the latter with only Aspinall and Wright not being there (which is pretty shocking), while Cullen would be above Noppert on account Noppert's Slam money. Cullen didn't even try to qualify so he can lose the place early as far as I'm concerned:

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

Notable changes lower down - van Veen has now cracked the top 30, Jim Williams is up to the top 40 following his final in Barnsley, Kleermaker sneaking into the Slam puts him back up into the top 50 for now, Rafferty sneaks back into the top 70, van Peer hits the top 90, while Chris Landman having minimum money for Minehead puts him into the top 100. We're also down to less than 300 players in the rankings overall with the last few people who played in the 2021 Pro Tour dropping off, it's currently Alan Tabern propping up the table in 297th. We'll be back up to over 300 once all the international qualifiers for the worlds get added.

Expect more on the Slam later this week, we're expecting the draw tomorrow, but looking at the bracket for Minehead there's some great first round ties - Huybrechts/Schindler, Dobey/Barney, van den Bergh/Jim Williams and Michael Smith/Veenstra being my picks, one from each quarter being coincidence, while if things go as expected we could see last 32 ties such as Bunting/van Veen, van Gerwen/Ross Smith, Chisnall/whoever wins the Dobey match, Wade/Gilding, Searle/Pietreczko, van Duijvenbode/Michael Smith - the quality of players is so, so deep these days. Also going to update the 2nd/3rd Division Darts to make it correct as of now shortly. Check back in probably Tuesday for Slam thoughts. 

No comments:

Post a Comment