Sunday 28 April 2024

Austria quarters

Two good wins there, Rock lost though despite having very good situations in legs 8/9 to go 5-4 up, oh well. Very quickly on the quarters - the first two games are priced very close to evens, Littler's at about 70% chances in the market and van Gerwen 65%. That points to these plays:

0.25u van Veen 10/11, Cullen's had an alright tournament, but Gian's possibly been better, and projects about 62%, or 10% more than the line implies. Even if you think that I'm undervaluing Cullen, I don't see how it can be by so much that this isn't a bad play.
0.1u Smith 15/8, their winning averages in the sample I am using are separated by less than a tenth of a point. Smith's about a point and a half below on losing average, but whichever way you look at it, this one is a lot closer than the market suggests and while the projections say it's a flip, if you move van Gerwen up 5% or even 10% on account of thinking I'm overrating Ross, it's still a bet.

Schindler and Bunting I can't separate so line is alright. Littler I've got smack bang in the middle of 70% and 75%, so 2/5 looks fair enough. 

Austria round 3

That was a tad frustrating. 1-3 for the day, Wright over Lauby (just) worked, but the other three didn't, although I don't think in retrospect any of them were bad plays. Nijman got all his legs in 15 or less and averaged 99 in the remainder, just a case of Noppert playing well. van Duijvenbode averaged 98 in the legs he lost, just a case of Edhouse playing well, while Labanauskas was like Nijman, getting three legs in five visits, a solid 96 average in the remainder, just can't really do much when Joe is getting four legs in under twelve. I'd take my chances with those again, but we'll have to wait for another tournament, as today we hit the last sixteen.

Chisnall v Cullen - Mentioned Joe above, Dave had some sloppy legs that he lost but the ones he won were pretty much flawless with all of them in 15 or less, I think that's a good enough to at least consider the 8/11 that Coralbrokes are offering, 4/6 I can pretty much leave, as I'm seeing Chizzy at a bit closer to 65% than 60%. With Joe looking alright, I can pass, but don't blame anyone for taking a shot here.

Edhouse v van Veen - Mentioned Ritchie above, another good display, while Gian had a hard fought match with Ryan Searle with both looking OK but neither on real top form, here I think we can play though, 0.25u van Veen 5/6, the difference being I've got Gian a touch over 65% and the price is stronger. Ritchie's on good form but we generally go with greater body of work and it's hard to see how form makes this even slightly -EV.

Gurney/Bunting - Daryl was a little bit of a surprising winner against Cross but put up a good display for sure, while Bunting also looked good but was forced all the way by Richard Veenstra, where if he didn't completely lose his scoring in the last leg we could be talking about another game. The market has this as Bunting just over 60%, I think that's pretty much spot on.

Clayton/Schindler - Jonny was a bit up and down against Dobey, but was able to get it done relatively comfortably, but nowhere near as comfortably as Schindler was able to whitewash Ricardo Pietreczko. 0.25u Schindler 8/13, Clayton's been a bit better of late for sure but the large data is putting Martin at nearer to 75% than 70%. And he's not exactly playing badly right now himself when compared to bigger samples.

Littler/Ratajski - Blistering finish from Luke to win the last four legs all in four visits as the last game, while Ratajski as the first game wasn't at his best but also got through for just the loss of a couple of legs against Dom Taylor. We generally think Ratajski is undervalued, but it's not by enough here, a shade over 3/1 when we've not even got him at 30% to win the game is nowhere near enough to consider going against Littler.

Rock/Noppert - Josh was another player to have a great last 32 game, first leg was a bit scruffy from both but otherwise it was very tidy. Danny we mentioned also had a good game, but should come into this as a small underdog with Josh having a touch above a 55% chance, so the market putting Noppert as the favourite is a tad confusing. 0.25u Rock 21/20 on Coralbrokes, evens is also fine.

Klose/Smith - Daniel took advantage of a pretty meh Gilding to win 6-2, while Ross was another player to hit four twelve dart kills in a deciding win over Barney, two of those coming back to back from 5-4 down to do it when it counts. Seems a pretty straightforward one here, Klose only really having about a one in four shot, neither side offers value at the odds offered.

van Gerwen/Wright - Michael did a professional job over de Zwaan just losing the one leg, while Wright certainly wasn't at his best but got through against Lauby. This is a redo from this week's Premier League, and it's hard to see past the same result, although with Peter having a touch more than a one in three shout, we really should be taking a small stab on Snakebite with some places touching 3/1. I'm kind of finding it hard to say do it, but let's leave it as don't put MvG in an acca, as the price you can get on him definitely doesn't appear value.

Saturday 27 April 2024

Austria round two

Going to have to be really quick here. Yesterday was super unfortunate where the thing we thought might happen 15-20% of the time did happen, a perfect storm of Joyce not scoring at his best, missing with three clear at double to force a decider with the darts, and Lauby hitting multiple three figure checkouts. Schindler clawed back some of it, but that does undo some of the good work in the last few tournaments. Let's see if we can get back on track today.

Ratajski/Taylor - Dom's pretty good, but may already be at the spot where he's a bit overrated? Or Krzysztof is still underrated? If we could get even slightly better than 4/6 on Ratajski, I'd go with it, and wouldn't blame you if you just went with it anyway.
Noppert/Nijman - 0.1u Nijman 8/5. Kid is really good. Probably actually projects to win more than Noppert does. Only small because I still feel Wessel has yet to make a "statement" win, but this could be it.
van Duijvenbode/Edhouse - Redo, boring. Ritchie's form is very good, but Dirk is still the better player. 0.1u van Duijvenbode 20/21
Bunting/Veenstra - Veenstra is slightly better than what the line suggests. But only slightly. Fair would be 7/4 as opposed to 2/1 so edge isn't quite there.
Searle/van Veen - Correctly priced tight. Correctly priced with Ryan having the small edge.
Cullen/Labanauskas - 0.1u Labanauskas 11/4, Joe doesn't seem to be in the right place given recent comments, Darius projects as winning more than one in three, we've got a great price, so let's take the stab.
Cross/Gurney - Looks like a pretty standard better player wins two out of three times line. As such this is really close to a play on Rob with 8/13 available in one place.
Chisnall/Dolan - The line looks alright on this one as well, which is odd seeing how I'd have expected to get 6/4 on Brendan despite Dolan actually projecting just over 40%.
Pietreczko/Schindler - Schindi continues to be underrated. Even as a 2/1 on favourite against a seed. I mean it's not enough to fire, but having a fraction over a 70% chance, it's kind of close to it.
Klose/Gilding - How the fuck does Daniel Klose get in here? That is a bit of a weird ruling, but whatever, line actually looks alright, maybe Daniel could actually be a tick or two shorter but it's not enough for a bet.
Smith/van Barneveld - Line seems fine here again. Ross is good enough to have a 60-65% chance against the multiple world champion, as such maybe it could even be shaded even more in his favour, but only just.
Rock/van den Bergh - Another good line. Dimi's doing enough that he's only a 45/55 dog, Josh is 4/5, let's move on.
van Gerwen/de Zwaan - Another redo from a few weeks ago. 4/1's about the right price though.
Wright/Lauby - Wow, that line on Coralbrokes is really short. I have to think that will be palped, regardless of how bad Peter is playing. I remain unconvinced by Danny, 0.25u Wright 8/15, he should win this more than three in four.
Clayton/Dobey - We fired on this one last week at 8/13. Now we can only get 8/15. That's still undervaluing Dobey, but it's close enough to correct that with Jonny maybe showing a bit more last week that we can pass on it.
Heta/Littler - What a game to finish, but another one where the line looks alright, Luke projects just over two in three and is 4/9.

So four bets, we go back to the laying Lauby well, a couple of other real close ones. Let's go.

Thursday 25 April 2024

Austria round one

Apologies if this is brief, but it's late and I have no confidence in being able to be awake before the off, so I'm going to rapid through the games not involving the HNQ's, for one I can't see lines on oddschecker, for two the performances are such that I don't want to touch it. Lerchbacher was awful. Haberl had flashes but meh. Schnier did nothing, and while Goedl was probably the best, it wasn't great, I'll check (if I'm awake) for any sort of outlier lines putting him hugely odds against versus Dom Taylor, but other than that it's just a waste of four games.

Nijman/Grbavac - not enough information, line seems relatively sensible.
de Zwaan/Sedlacek - Karel being slightly favoured doesn't seem silly. If he's on, he's better right now. If he's not, he's worse. In the middle, it's tight. No real interest here.
Lauby/Joyce - 0.5u Joyce 4/9, he's just playing so, so much better right now with a win chance looking more like 1/5 than this line that I'm happy to push the boat out a tad here.
Veenstra/Evans - this is a flip, simple as. Veenstra at 6/5 is the side you want to aim at, it's kind of close to a play but it's not quite there. Ricky has got better of late in fairness.
Labanauskas/Razma - lol this draw, the line seems kind of fine on a very quick glance having decent enough data on Darius still, which is good as I don't want to have to consider this one too much.
Monk/Edhouse - Monk might have slightly more chances than the odds suggest, market may be getting slightly ahead of itself but not by much.
Lukeman/Gurney - getting into the evening session where we have a lot of bigger names against each other and have good data, sadly so do the bookies. Maybe Lukeman is fractionally undervalued, but it's incredibly fractional.
de Sousa/van Veen - Jose still has enough about him to rate to get about 40% of the wins here. That's where the line is at, so no bet.
Hall/Dobey - line looks just about right. Hall has enough to nick this in the low 20% range. With the market as it is, that's of no interest.
Schindler/Wade - 0.25u Schindler 8/13 on Coralbrokes right now looks a damn good bet. He's over 70% for me. Nick it while you can.
van Barneveld/de Decker - this is tight. I'm seeing Mike as slightly better, as is the market, I'm seeing it as slightly more in favour of de Decker but it's too marginal to punt.
van den Bergh/Clemens - standard flip, market can't really separate, if anything I've got Gabriel as a tad better whereas the market has it the other way around so taking Clemens I guess is no worse than neutral EV.

So not much here, I may throw up a one line post if I see Taylor/Goedl lines that look comical tomorrow afternoon but don't bank on it.

Monday 22 April 2024

Ando takes it

Don't think there can be a more popular winner than that, as he stated it's been a while since he's won a stage title, and there can't be any doubt that he's at a level right now where he can still add a bigger one than that. Fair play to Ross for getting to the final, if things drop a bit differently maybe he nicks a first title, but it does at least solidify a top 16 position as we get closer and closer to the Matchplay. New FRH rankings:

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

Elsewhere, it was a pretty good weekend for Brandon Weening, picking up a brace of WDF titles, while on the Asian Tour it was a great weekend for Ryusei Azemoto, while Alexis Toylo is continuing to run away with the overall lead having got a win and a final this weekend, Azemoto got two titles and is looking pretty good to make the worlds as of right now. But it's no rest on the main circuit as we head to Graz for another Euro Tour - there's a few fun names that came through the qualifier, man of the moment Edhouse will look to continue his streak of form, Wessel Nijman and Dom Taylor should be interesting young threats, Danny Lauby, Madars Razma and Karel Sedlacek add good international feel to the event, Romeo Grbavac will get another shot at this level while we see Darius Labanauskas for the first time in a while. We don't know who the home nation qualifiers will be yet, but maybe we see Rusty in the field as well? Who knows. Back Thursday, not sure when as it's a bit of a funny night for me but should have some bets up at some point as we look to continue what's been two pretty good weekends of late.

Sunday 21 April 2024

QF bets

Not taking Ando, 8/15 I suppose isn't bad, but I'd just need fractionally more before going for the bet.
0.1u Cross 12/5 on 365, here I think he has just enough quality to get there often enough more than the line with the frequency that's worth a small stab.
0.1u Smith 5/4 on Ladbrokes, Heta's quality of play and Ross making heavy work of the last sixteen is a natural concern, but I do think Smith is the better player right now, and all the concerns are really doing is tempering my sizing.
0.1u Clemens 11/5 on 365, Gabriel looked very good earlier today, van Gerwen wasn't bad but was forced to work by Clayton, the numbers give this more of a high 30% chance than the low 30% chance the line suggests so I'll go with the flier here again.

ET4 quarters

OK, we got lucky with that Smith/Edhouse game, so I think our overall ups and downs are more or less level now. The last sixteen is still going on but I want to head out for the Cup game, so let's have a quick look at projections for the three that are finalised:

Rock/Anderson - 71/29 Anderson
Cross/Humphries - 61/39 Humphries
Smith/Heta - 57/43 Smith

Then in the last one, and these are without any sort of data on the last sixteen, MvG would be 55% against Chizzy and 61% against Clemens, while Clayton would be 37% against Clemens and 32% against Chisnall, so might be a case of betting whoever comes through the second game? Will post bets if any probably at half time or there abouts.

ET4 round 3

What an incredible display that was from everyone yesterday. I'm just looking at the numbers, I was watching El Crapico and didn't actually see any of it personally, but that's got to be close to, if not the best, days of European Tour ever, especially notable since it was only the Saturday, and we've got a great lineup today. On the betting I think we were a tad unlucky, Clemens winning got us out for relatively minor damage, but a combination of Clayton playing the best he has done in ages to even put Dobey into a position where he can miss three clear at double for a leg, including in the decider, is an unfortunate combination, Mansell did not play badly at all, it's just that Heta was playing so well he would have beaten anyone with that display, then Barney was able to take things all the way, if never looking like actually winning the match, although he had left himself on a two darter after twelve, so to ask the question of the other player in that spot I guess I'll take. Eight games today, what do we like?

Rock/Smith - Josh really wasn't in top gear against Sparidaans but didn't really need to be, Smith was pretty good but couldn't really put Barney away, my data literally cannot split the two (they're so close that a world final would be 50% to two decimal places), so if I lean either way I lean Rock, given a small consistency edge and the odds against tag, although he'll need to up his game from yesterday I feel. If it was any longer I'd probably take a small stab.

Anderson/Price - Two players who played back to back and both looked equally dangerous meet up for the latest encounter of a fabled series of matches. Market is having real trouble separating the two, but is perhaps surprisingly putting Price as the marginal favourite. I think there's close to a bet here - if you have Sporting Index and can get the 11/10 go with it, if anyone offered 6/5 then I think that's enough to go larger, but for now I'll just go 0.1u Anderson 21/20 on Coralbrokes/Betfred for a game that looks 55/45 in Gary's favour.

Noppert/Cross - Danny had another very solid game against Gurney, not really putting a step wrong at any point, while Rob needed all eleven legs to see off Schindler, coming from 3-1 down to fire in three twelve dart or better legs in a spell of four then holding out. Looks to be Cross for me, slap bang in the middle of 60% and two in three chances, which I think is enough chances at the prices to go small, 0.1u Cross 3/4 again on Coralbrokes, 8/11 is probably also fine but 4/6 isn't enough.

Humphries/Bunting - Luke came through a great 6-5 game against Littler, while Bunting dodged a bullet (see what I did there) against Ryan Searle to also come through in a decider. Stephen's doing enough to get just over 35% win chances, there's only really the spread companies that are offering better than 2/1 and that's only just, I'd probably need north of 9/4 before I could really start going against Humphries in this one.

Edhouse/Smith - Ritchie continues a push towards what looked like an optimistic Matchplay slot but is now looking more realistic with a steady win over a bit of a below par DvD, but 6-1 is still no joke, while Ross was another comfortable early winner, having 2-3 poor legs but not really being threatened seriously by Luke Woodhouse. Edhouse is full of confidence but Smith is no joke and I'm seeing him as right in the middle of the 70% to 75% range, which gives us a fairly easy bet, 0.25u Smith 8/13 on Betfred, 4/7 I think is just about close to enough as well, anything the right side of 1/2 I think is alright.

Williams/Heta - Scott had a very solid game, just the slow first leg in the first game of the day but otherwise barely slipped at all against Ratajski, while Heta was unplayable against Mansell in maybe the performance of the day where there were a LOT of contenders. Heta looks about a 65/35 shot here, so with the relative level of play yesterday, Damon generally being just a touch shorter than 1/2 at best seems fine to me.

van Gerwen/Clayton - Michael did a more than professional job in seeing off Johan Engstrom for the loss of just the one leg, while Clayton nicked a decider against Dobey in, as stated, maybe the best game he's played all year. MvG is obviously much the better player at this stage, looks like a 70% to 75% punt again, so 4/11 appears close to a perfect line.

Chisnall/Clemens - Dave was fairly sluggish but came through a equally mediocre Keane Barry in possibly the only real damp squib of a game yesterday, while Clemens beat Pietreczko 6-2, a poor first two legs aside he was completely on it. Chizzy only looks about a 55/45 favourite here, so with the German crowd, the 6/4 we're getting offered on Clemens is extremely close to being worth it. I'd probably only need one more tick, 13/8 would be a go.

Friday 19 April 2024

ET4 rapid round 2 stuff

Bunting won as expected, it's really rare that I pick someone that odds on, but it looked good, we will take our ten percent, lol cullen lol wright lol us not pushing margins more, this is going to be a ready money round and we're going to be bang bang bang and if I post more than one word it's because the game in question is not close to the line. Vamos.

Ratajski/Williams - close on Ratajski but no
Smith/Woodhouse - no
Searle/Bunting - no
van Duijvenbode/Edhouse - weird one this in that Carl questioned what this one might look like. I had a guess at what the line would look like. Paddy Power is replicating my line right now. People are paid to do this shit
Noppert/Gurney - no
Clayton/Dobey - 0.25u Dobey 8/13 on 365 at least, line should be the other side of 1/2
Chisnall/Barry - no
Rock/Sparidaans - maybe Rock isn't short enough but can't see the edge
Anderson/Perez - maybe Ando isn't short enough but can't see the edge
Price/Dolan - no
Smith/van Barneveld - 0.1u van Barneveld 11/5, still not overly convinced Smith is consistent enough, Barney in form, numbers place this a lot closer to 60/40 in Smith's favour than him being better than a 2-1 favourite
Heta/Mansell - 0.1u Mansell 11/4, yes Wright is much worse than Heta right now but Mansell is legitimately playing fine and has much, much more than a one in four shot, this is easily more than 65/35, 11/4 is great so we go with it
Cross/Schindler - that this is evens isn't them taking the Schindi kool-aid, it's legit
van Gerwen/Engstrom - not touching after missing the Johan boat, that sort of price might have worked against Cullen but not against MvG
Humphries/Littler - pure flip so no
Pietreczko/Clemens - 0.25u Clemens 10/11, this is projecting better than 60/40, Ricardo is a tad more consistent, but Clemens has just come off a real easy win, Ricardo is maybe not in the best form, we'll take the price

ET4 bets

Rydz/Sparidaans - line looks fine.
Burton/Barry - line might be favouring Barry too much but only fractionally.
Williams/Springer - if Niko had shown us something recently I might have had a flier, but lack of recent data makes it hard to be confident about his level of play.
Gilding/Dolan - line seems accurate enough.
Woodhouse/Lukeman - line's in close enough of a ballpark, if Woodhouse drifted a tick or two we might go for a small stab but that seems unlikely to happen.
Engstrom/Cullen - 15/2 seems like a big number, might be a bit too big, wouldn't hate the tiniest of tiny stabs at it.
Zonneveld/Perez - market might be underestimating Zonneveld, but it's only marginal at best.
de Sousa/Gurney - might be the closest we have to a bet here. While the projections say it's a coinflip, I get the sense Daryl is playing better. As such, while 11/8 on Jose might be at worst neutral EV, I won't recommend it officially.
Edhouse/Wade - market's caught up to Ritchie and we can only get 13/10. That's just not enough.
Bunting/Grbavac - 0.5u Bunting 1/10 on 365, this is long odds on but I really do not see how Romeo can even get close in this one.
Roetzsch/van Barneveld - I guess the line is close enough to correct. I like Franz's game but would need a bit more than 9/2 against someone with a recent Pro Tour title to think about it.
Dobey/White - Chris might be ever so slightly undervalued here, but we're only talking about him being 4/11 when he should be maybe 1/3, 3/10 or there abouts, not enough confidence to chase that sort of edge.
Merk/Littler - LOL.
Schindler/van Veen - Martin's 4/5 which represents exactly the 55% we see him having, next.
Wright/Mansell - maybe there's the tiniest of value on Mickey. 11/8 isn't a bad play but I'd probably need 6/4 to open up with a tenth of a unit. And after Wright dropped a 70-something average yesterday, I hardly see the public money flying in on him.
Clemens/Eidams - hard to tell on this one really. Best guess would be that 4/1 is being slightly harsh on Eidams, but not truly out of line so I'll ignore this.

So nothing really of interest, understandable if you don't want to invest heavy in getting a 10% return in the only one we suggest.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Ultra rapid ET4 thoughts

Just going to look at the first round for now:

Rydz/Sparidaans - Decent opportunity for both. Callan's the better player but it's not prohibitive and Jeffrey probably rates to nick this nearly one time in three, so could go either way.
Burton/Barry - Fairly close one. The sort of game Keane needs to be winning to make progress, the sort of game Burton needs to be winning to have real chances of retaining his tour card. Could go either way again, Barry is only a tiny favourite.
Williams/Springer - Not seen Niko in a while. Pretty much a whole year at any reasonable level. He has shown flashes in the past and Scott won't have it all his own way you feel, but Williams ought to be favoured.
Gilding/Dolan - Two players who are in the category in the previous post they wouldn't want to be, so prove me wrong gents. Dolan's ever so marginally better but not even 55/45, it is slightly more of a favourite than Keane is a couple of matches prior though.
Woodhouse/Lukeman - Another competitive game between two players who'd like to push up into the top 32, although Lukeman seems a fair bit further off right now. Real coinflip here.
Engstrom/Cullen - Joe won't hate this draw, been a minute since we've seen Johan play, he's not awful but even if Cullen isn't at his best it's hard to say that he's going to have much trouble here.
Zonneveld/Perez - Niels is a late call up and Christian is making a debut on this stage, and it's Perez who is probably the underdog here, Niels approaching a 70% win chance as he looks to solidify a top 64 place after a decent 2023.
de Sousa/Gurney - Two players on the periphery of the top 32 here, you can see from the previous post that we're liking Daryl's game a fair bit more at present, but in this clash of major champions the projections are having a real hard time separating them in the slightest.

Edhouse/Wade - James is always a tough opponent but Edhouse is in a rich vein of form and won't be fearing anyone, and is showing enough that Wade is favoured but only by a couple of percentage points, so a real competitive game to open the evening session.
Bunting/Grbavac - Stephen ought to be just fine here, Romeo's had a few cameos and could be a real useful World Cup partner, but his standard is way off Bunting's and it's hard to see Grbavac grabbing more than a leg or two if we're being realistic.
Roetzsch/van Barneveld - Another game featuring someone who's off to a good start in the Challenge Tour, Franz actually being a touch higher in the rankings than Romeo is, but this is a tough draw with Barney having got somewhat of the winning bug back, and the veteran ought to be solidly favoured here.
Dobey/White - Ian's the second of two late replacements, and while he's playing better is still going to find it tough against one of the toughest draws he could have got, Dobey being in the hunt for a first title at this level and with a great second round draw, Ian is just the wrong side of 25% in a match up that projects a bit more one sided than I thought it would.
Merk/Littler - Welcome to the European Tour Arno!
Schindler/van Veen - This one should be a real fun one that we could be seeing at levels much higher than this for the next decade or two, and such is the level that Schindi is at, coupled with Gian not being quite so red hot as he was six months ago, the newest winner at this level is actually favoured 55/45, which surprises me a little.
Wright/Mansell - Peter could have got worse draws, but so could Mickey, there's probably at least a dozen players that Mansell could arguably say he'd have preferred not to draw as opposed to Wright. Mansell is a dog, but he's not even a 45/55 dog, he's really playing just fine and it highlights how Wright's game, while not in the slightest a secret, is not where it was.
Clemens/Eidams - Home nation derby to finish things off, Gabriel could do with a good win here to spark a bit of momentum with a winnable seed up afterwards, Rene's always been a bit hit and miss and didn't really do anything outstanding in the quali (then again, the only player that did something notable more than once was Horvat, who isn't even here), so Clemens ought to be just fine.

Bets probably in the morning.

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Top 32

Matt Edgar posed an interesting question on X the other day, asking a pretty simple question - if the PDC wiped all the rankings/seedings etc clean, how many of the current top 32 would actually be top 32 players? That's one that I'm going to look at, and try to pick out who clearly is, who probably is, who's a marginal case and who isn't. I'm going to use the scoring figures from September to give the main idea, but will use a bit of subjectivity as there are likely going to be some that are close. I'm also generally going to work on the assumption that it'll take some time to have the results finalise, so I'm taking general trajectory somewhat into account. Let's go.

Obviously yes

1) Luke Humphries - world champ, second in scoring, easy.
2) Michael van Gerwen - sixth in scoring but one of the few players still a danger to win any tourney he enters.
3) Michael Smith - down at 20th in scoring, which is a fair bit of a difference, but I don't think there's any question he's top 32 at all, can up his game when needed.
4) Nathan Aspinall - he's only just in the top 16 in scoring, but he's won a major title in the last twelve months which makes a clear case.
5) Gerwyn Price - fourth in scoring, top five in the world, maybe not quite as red hot as he was twelve months ago but still in the world's elite.
6) Rob Cross - only the one spot behind Price in both the actual rankings and scoring, and yet still perhaps underrated.
7) Dave Chisnall - maybe had a bit of a quiet start to the year, but clearly in the top 16 in scoring, had a fantastic 2023, still looks more than competent.
10) Damon Heta - just on the outside looking in of the top ten in scoring, and still looking for that really big TV run to push to the next level, but I can't think of any format or metric that says he isn't a top 16 player at the very worst.
14) Chris Dobey - Premier League in 2023 did him a world of good, is in the top ten in scoring, really does feel like he's at the spot where it's just a case of him binking something bigger - be it a Euro Tour (that he still only has one final is insane) if not a major, he's getting into the business end on TV a lot now.
17) Stephen Bunting - his numbers are more or less identical to Ross Smith just above him in the rankings, but I'm putting him a tier up based on results - while I don't care about the Masters, he did win it, and the form at the back end of 2023 was undeniable and a ranked breakthrough seems more likely than not real soon.
20) Josh Rock - 2023 was not as explosive as 2022 was for sure, but he was not playing badly in the slightest, and a season of relative quiet is probably going to work out well for him. Still top 10 in scoring, bags of time on his side, he's rapidly gaining experience and a logical next step of a Euro Tour feels probable sooner rather than later.
24) Gary Anderson - still top of the world in scoring. That's all that needs to be said.
26) Luke Littler - obviously a top five player in the world, just needs time to get points on the board and for the rankings to correct themselves.

Safe, but not elite

9) Dimitri van den Bergh - similar to Wright, the scoring isn't there, actually scoring less than Wright in that sample, but it does look like he's turned a corner and, with the UK Open win, is heading back in the correct direction. It's not an obviously yes, but I can't think you can ever exclude him.
12) Danny Noppert - does have a recent win, scoring is outside the top 20 level, he's not really kicked on but he's nowhere near a point where he's not a top 32 player.
16) Ross Smith - statistically he's not too dissimilar to Dobey, but without the feeling that he's going to go and bink something big. Which, of course, he already has done, but while we all know he's good, he's still not someone that'd be on the dark horse list for a TV major for most people. But a clear top 32 player.
19) Ryan Searle - numbers very good, solidly inside the top 16. Early results in 2024 very promising. Putting him outside the 32 would be ridiculous but he does feel like a "well he could be the next to win a Euro Tour maybe" sort of player rather than a "he's a real contender for a TV title".
22) Martin Schindler - has just crept into the top 16 in the scoring rankings. Has just won a Euro Tour. Is still only 27. Now that the senior title monkey is off his back, he is surely only going to go in one direction with the added confidence he should now have.


8) Peter Wright - he's actually just outside the top 32 in scoring, so while I wanted to put him up a category, I'm not sure I can realistically do so, still shows up often enough at the right end of tournaments and has a major fairly recently so can't really exclude him.
11) Jonny Clayton - his game has really, really fallen off of late. Like Peter, he's outside the top 32 in scoring, but there's more than a dozen players that are between him and Wright, Clayton being on the wrong side of Wright. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt having got wins at the Euro Tour level and a major final in fairly recent history, but like Wright his best form might be permanently gone.
13) Dirk van Duijvenbode - is directly adjacent to Wright in the scoring charts. Has yet to properly regain the form he had in 2022 and early 2023, sadly down to injury, he may be over it now and may get back to binking titles, but results speak and he's in the marginal category until proven otherwise.
15) Joe Cullen - have mentioned Joe a few times in Euro Tour tips so far this year. What's he done recently? He got two major semis last year, so I think he's still in, but since then it's been really quiet and his numbers are pretty much splitting the difference between Wright and Clayton.
21) James Wade - numbers are pretty much on the top 32 borderline, but Wade often outperforms his numbers and the experience he has is undeniable, he's probably closer to being out than being in the top 16 for sure but finding 32 better players seems a stretch.
25) Krzysztof Ratajski - only real difference between him and Clemens is that Krzysztof has won a Euro Tour in the last twelve months, so is showing the ability to get results. Without that, I probably put him in the category below.
27) Daryl Gurney - ranking is in the mid 20's. Scoring is in the mid 20's. Has shown some occasional flashes and does have major title pedigree, is still young enough that he can rise back up the ranks for sure and just about holds a spot here.
30) Raymond van Barneveld - very much borderline, but has the same sort of scoring as Gurney has and has shown within the past month that he still has the ability to win titles, so a combination of just enough at both scoring and results is enough for me.

LOL nope

18) Andrew Gilding - this might seem harsh given that he won a major just over a year ago, but the numbers he's putting up are just not there, ranking outside the top 40, not really getting much of anything in terms of results, and we have seen his form tail off after a real purple patch at a UK Open before, except this time he's 53 and may not be able to get it back.
23) Gabriel Clemens - I can understand if you want to put him in the marginal spots, given he is just inside the top 32 in scoring, but he's really not kicked on from that worlds semi, decent Players Championship Finals run aside, and it doesn't feel like he's getting the results to justify a top 32 spot. He's only just outside, but outside for me.
28) Brendan Dolan - only really just about holding on in the top 32 thanks to that worlds quarters run. I can see an argument that he's just inside, the scoring would give some support to this, but I think that ranking money is just delaying the inevitable second slide outside the actual 32 given he's now into his 50's and does not feel like a player that has a title still in him.
29) Jose de Sousa - seems way too long since he's been a relevant player and is just one making up the numbers in the 32 at this stage. Not awful for sure, scoring has him around about the number 40 mark, but another one that's the wrong side of 50 and it's hard to make a case that he's going to be able to hold a spot after the next worlds.
31) Scott Williams - that worlds run was nice, but it's giving him maybe a little bit of an inflated ranking, with his scoring only just breaking 90, the last man on the charts to do so and the lowest player apart from Clayton on that metric. Still only in his mid 30's, he's got room to grow consistency in terms of results and his general level, but that's not 32 right now.
32) Ricardo Pietreczko - I could see an argument that he should be in the 32, but the numbers are more or less at Gilding's level and, outside of that Euro Tour win, I'm not sure he's put up enough consistent performances and results to warrant a top 32 spot. Yet - he is trending the right way but the ranking does seem a touch too high.

So there's six that I'm saying shouldn't be there, as such there should be six that should be in, right? Let's see:

Gian van Veen - still one of the hottest names in the sport, numbers aren't quite so red hot as they were say six to eight months ago, but it seems inevitable he'll win a senior title very soon.
Cameron Menzies - I think the secret's out on just how good he is, if he tidies up the occasional slack spot within matches and puts everything together throughout a tournament, there's no reason he can't win one right now.
Ryan Joyce - trending very much in the right direction, Pro Tour win at the back end of 2023, first major semi final soon after, numbers in the top 32, showing more frequent very good performances.
Mike de Decker - numbers still very strong, ranking safely inside the top 32, had a strong 2023 which saw a first breakthrough into the difficult TV majors, still under 30 and a lot of the inconsistency that was in his game a few years back looks to be getting ironed out and is showing the ability to beat the big names more frequently. Bit of work to do to secure a Matchplay return but could easily do it.
Jim Williams - now this one might be controversial given I'm not sure that he will ever play enough of the circuit to actually get up to where he should be in the rankings, but in terms of pure quality he is absolutely a top 32 player. Numbers are there, he's shown a big stage TV game, he's won a Pro Tour, let's hope he can turn a current provisional Grand Prix spot into an actual one.
Andy Baetens - alright, this might be regarded as a stretch and I won't disagree with anyone that says that, but we're dealing in the context of a complete seeding/ranking reset, so I think that would negate a lot of the adaptation that he's needing to do to the PDC tour, and the level of scores he's putting up is pretty much bang on the top 32 level. Pretty clearly the best player outside the PDC system in 2023, I do think he's that good and at just 35, he's got more than enough time to turn that into reality.

Expect me back tomorrow with thoughts on the next Euro Tour once the draw is out, I'm not sure what time though and it might be a brief post with things I might be doing tomorrow.

Monday 15 April 2024

ET3 aftermath

So it's Schindler that gets a first Euro Tour title, and a first senior title of any description, it's been well overdue and very well deserved given how he played this weekend - let's see what it's done to the FRH rankings:

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

Price's final sees him up exactly 3k compared to Aspinall, while Searle making the final session puts him a bit less than that ahead of Wade. Smith edges out Ando and Rock with a good run to get back into the 20. Schindler is now up to 24 after his win, not far behind Gilding for the 23 spot, and more importantly he's now the highest ranked German, one place ahead of Clemens. Final day runs for Richard Veenstra and Cameron Menzies see them inch up into the mid 40's, Edhouse's final session sees him back into the top 60.

Really good event for the betting - we put nine bets in play and won seven of them to claim a unit of profit and get into the black for the season, however as four of those winning bets were on Schindler and Menzies, I do wonder if we've lost a bit of an opportunity going forward. We'll have to see again on Friday - Menzies isn't there for that one but Schindler is along with a pretty exciting selection of qualifiers. We've got a great selection of youth with Barry and Littler, Edhouse is back again, Perez will make a debut (I think), we get to see early Challenge Tour contenders in Grbavac and Roetzsch, it looks like it should be a good one. I may update in midweek to do a "next players to win at this level" post, it'll depend on time though and I might wait until the start of May once we've got another couple of Euro Tours in the books, as it feels like there's a lot of players that could break through at that level real soon. Be back Thursday in any case for thoughts as we head into Sindelfingen.

Sunday 14 April 2024

ET3 quarters

The Menzies money printing streak comes to an end, really just missed doubles, missing three clear in multiple legs (and busting when just looking to hit big 3 to get another two clear) isn't something to make a habit of. Oh well, we move on to the quarters, looking at things I have the following projections - Schindler 61/39 Noppert, Searle 44/56 Dobey, Bunting 70/30 Edhouse and Price 61/39 Smith. Will reign the Schindler one in a tad due to consistency, the rest all seem pretty much in line with each other. As such, I'll take 0.1u Schindler 6/5 which is on 365 right now, the Dobey and Bunting games look close enough to correct just looking at the one market, 365 have Smith at 2/1 which I'd be thinking about were it not for Price's obscenely good display against Pietreczko.

ET3 round 3

This is real quick as I'm late up this morning:

Veenstra/Schindler - Market may be finally taking notice of Schindler. I'm seeing it about a one in three shot for Veenstra, 13/8 clearly is not of interest, Schindler being slightly longer than 1/2 isn't bad but there's not the edge there.

Aspinall/Noppert - Looks about a 60/40 in the favour of the Asp for me, looked really good yesterday, 4/5 is pretty close to being worth a play but it's not quite there for me and I don't think it ever gets any longer than that.

Heta/Searle - Kind of a similar spot where we don't quite have the edge, but it's close. I'm seeing Ryan as just short of a 55% favourite, we can get even money, going with it isn't bad but again, I'd want slightly more to recommend a play officially.

Clemens/Dobey - Dobey 60/40 for me, so we're again in the ballpark where we can consider looking at Clemens. 7/4 is not a bad bet, but there's not quite enough there for the third game running, and that's without considering just how fantastic Chris played today.

Humphries/Bunting - Stephen's certainly a live dog here. Luke's not even projecting to win this two out of three, I've got the Bullet as fractionally over 35%. That said Humphries is 1/2 so with vig it's a clear move on quickly spot.

Cross/Edhouse - Rob's the better player here, around 75/25, and he is priced at 1/3. Ritchie's doing OK of late and it was a fantastic kill to win, but the market does look to have his value correct right now.

Price/Pietreczko - Same price as the above with Gerwyn being 1/3. I think this could even be a tick shorter, I'm getting Price as a touch closer to 80% than 20%, but that's not even as good a spot as the Aspinall/Searle thoughts, chuck in the crowd and I can ignore this one easily enough.

Menzies/Smith - Pure coinflip for me. Cammy needed to ride his luck slightly, but got there. Ross was generally pretty solid on the legs he won (where O'Connor averaged over a ton), but was mediocre on the five legs Willie won, a really, really slow start to go 4-1 down. I think we can go small here, 0.1u Menzies 11/8, it's a couple of extra percent which I think is enough to open the wallet and try to repeat what we had yesterday.

Saturday 13 April 2024

ET3 round two

Ok first day. Evans completely didn't turn up against Rydz who absolutely was there for the taking, but Edhouse was comfortable, Menzies was mostly comfortable and Clemens rode his luck but got there, we take those and have booked a small profit for the day. Onto round two now:

Smith v O'Connor - Willie was OK yesterday but nothing special, but it was enough to beat King, Ross is going to be a big step up but I'm thinking he can get home one in three times, maybe a fraction more. At 7/4 we're not taking a punt though. 

Heta v Rydz - Callan was very rusty yesterday but Evans couldn't capitalise. Try that again and Heta's off the stage in 10-15 minutes tops. I've got Rydz's chances as a little bit better than the 2/1 you can get, but with the unpredictable nature of his game and a right poor first game, we're not touching it with a barge pole.

Searle v Gurney - Daryl just did a professional job against an interesting qualifier, can't really draw much of anything from that one. Searle should make for a good contest, think the market is marginally overvaluing Daryl but not enough where we can start to think about taking Ryan.

Ratajski v Dobey - Chris looked, if not in top gear, certainly solid in a trivial win over Dylan Slevin and rightly comes into this one as a favourite. Maybe a bit too much of a favourite, Ratajski is still a really good player and the line should probably be 6/4 and not 7/4 for me, but I'd need slightly more than that to open the clip, 2/1 probably.

Noppert v van den Bergh - Dimitri was a bit up and down in round one but never really threatened, and comes into a game with Danny as more or less his equal. 5/4 is really close to a bet on the Belgian - if he had shown a bit more yesterday, or if Noppert wasn't coming off a Pro Tour win, I'd probably go small, and wouldn't dissuade anyone wanting to take that price on for all intents and purposes a coinflip.

Bunting v Unterbuchner - Michael caused pretty much the only upset yesterday to dump Luke Woodhouse out, didn't look as good as we have seen him in the past, but it was OK. It wasn't enough to make me think he has much of a chance against Stephen, 1/5 seems about fair to me.

Clayton v Aspinall - Nathan could easily have been dumped out by Owen Bates, who hit a very nice 350 out in six, but then missed match darts, so maybe a good omen for the Asp? He's rated in the market as having low 60% chances, which to me is really too low, Clayton is a name player but his level of play has been average at best and this looks a 70/30. As such, 0.25u Aspinall 8/13 on Coralbrokes, typically available 4/7 also looks fine.

Smith v Edhouse - Ritchie had a couple of good legs against Jitse, but generally didn't need to push too hard to get the easy win. He'll need to up it today, he's rated just shorter than 3/1 which looks fine to me.

Pietreczko v Wade - James wasn't bad against de Decker, and now comes into a game with Ricardo where neither myself nor the market can find any real differences between the players. As such, easy no bet.

Chisnall v Veenstra - Richard was made to work by Andrew Gilding, but looked more than competent and he has more than enough game to take this match from Chisnall just over 35% of the time in my estimation. We can't even get 2/1 though, so we're not interested in bets. 

Cullen v Schindler - Martin was pretty much flying, just having the one duff leg which the qualifier was able to nick, so seems in good form into a game with Joe, who's outperformed projections a couple of times but has been fairly quiet for a while. I'm getting Martin as a near 2-1 favourite - even if we say that we are wildly underestimating Cullen and he actually has 10% more chances than that, it's still a play. 0.25u Schindler evs 

Price v Dolan - Brendan looked really good against Gotthardt, who wasn't playing bad at all and just unfortunate to run into Dolan playing as he did, against probably half the field we're still talking about Kai today. Gerwyn is a different story, if Brendan continues this level he's more than capable of causing a few problems, but the 2/5 line for Price seems accurate to me as to how often the former world champ lets that happen.

Rock v Menzies - Cameron won all his legs in 15 darts or legs and was averaging in the mid 90s in the ones he didn't, so the game is on. That is more than enough to trouble Rock, who we still love, but such is the level of play from Menzies I don't think Josh should be the favourite here. It looks close still, call it 55/45, but that makes things easy enough for us, 0.25u Menzies 13/10, we absolutely take odds against here.

Humphries v de Sousa - Jose came through with a good late spurt to put away a spirited Cor Dekker, who played well himself to keep things tight at 3-3, and there's enough there on that display to indicate that he might be able to ask some questions of Luke in this one. I've got it slightly tighter than the 4/1 that is available, but not by much. The edge isn't there to fire, but if you want an underdog play then I don't think it's -EV at all.

van Duijvenbode v Clemens - Touched on Clemens above, he nicked the scrappy legs and otherwise had just about enough to get home, and we have another game that is too close to call. Can't see value in this one, Gabriel is slightly odds against in places, but I've likewise got Dirk as a really tiny favourite. In Germany, I guess you're not losing money in the long term if you take Clemens here but that's really gambling for the sake of it to me.

Cross v van Veen - Gian had things a little bit easier against Barney this time, first four legs were not great from either player, but he picked things up albeit not really hitting his stride at any point. Will need to clean things up a bit against Cross, it's absolutely a game he can win and it looks around 60/40 to me, I'm thinking Rob's chances are being overstated slightly at 8/13, but there isn't the value there to go on GvV.

So three bets, they all seem solid to me, let's clean up.

Friday 12 April 2024

ET3 round 1 bets

van der Wal/Edhouse - Think this is good enough to be worth a play, 0.25u Edhouse 4/9, Ritchie's in good form and Jitse hasn't done a great deal this year, this looks to me to be at least 75/25 and as such 4/9 is a take.

Gotthardt/Dolan - No play, maybe there's some angle here as Brendan's shorter than 1/3 and Kai has shown enough of late to make me think that he's a live dog, but I'd want a bit more before I'd take a stab.

Unterbuchner/Woodhouse - Same sort of prices here, think this one is closer as I'm thinking Michael's probably a touch more likely to win than Kai is, but still not confident enough against a decent opponent to play it.

Masek/van den Bergh - I mean there's a couple of places that are offering 1/8 which surely isn't that bad?

Gurney/Klingelhoefer - Not really interested in this one. The qualifier is not good and Gurney's 1/14 at best.

Veenstra/Gilding - I think they've got who has the tiny edge the wrong way round, but as both are so tiny we only have a tiny edge, and we don't play tiny edges.

Rydz/Evans - 0.1u Evans 7/4, I took better than 2.8 on the exchanges yesterday immediately on seeing the draw, but he is certainly live enough against in fairness a dangerous but inconsistent opponent.

O'Connor/King - Looks to be round about the right line. Mervyn's maybe a touch undervalued which is likely just the market not quite getting to pace with both players' relative form this season, but it's only by a tick so nothing worth punting here.

de Sousa/Dekker - Cor's half tempting here. Against an opponent who's not been outstanding when you're getting close to 4/1 and the underdog has shown a little bit of recent form is a formula that works sometimes, but I'd ideally want 9/2, maybe 5/1 before I go with it.

Dobey/Slevin - Chris is pretty short in the market as expected, perhaps he could be a bit shorter even compared to what he is, but it'd be a pretty slim bit of value that we'd be pushing and I wouldn't even be certain it's there in the first place.

Dueckers/Schindler - Martin's big odds on, that seems fine.

de Decker/Wade - Market can barely separate the two, but they do correctly have Mike as being the favourite. 5/6 would be kind of a marginal play, if you're aggressive then I don't hate it, I would probably want 10/11 before I actually recommend a play but I don't think I'll ever see it and if anything the exchanges are bullish on de Decker.

Menzies/Whitlock - 0.25u Menzies 8/13, took even better than this on the exchange yesterday, 4/7 also looks more than OK for this one, that's just a case of how much better Cameron is right now.

van Veen/van Barneveld - Line seems near enough to me. Gian's better, but he's not that much better, this is pretty similar to the de Decker game where if you have more risk tolerance than me you can push 4/5, but I won't officially recommend the play.

Clemens/Wright - 0.1u Clemens 11/10, there's a couple of places which are offering this price including Hills which I think is enough to make a pushy small stab. The extra couple of percent compared to van Veen or de Decker, plus the intangibles of Wright having to make an awkward trip (having been to Riesa I would not want to get from Birmingham to Riesa in under 24 hours) and Clemens being at home gives me enough confidence to play it.

Bates/Aspinall - Half tempted with Owen, 3/1 I don't think is awful and I wouldn't disagree with anyone that says go for it, I just don't know where his confidence is at really.

So four plays, good luck everyone.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Into Riesa

Running into a busy period of the schedule, and an important one as we start getting closer and closer to the Matchplay, the next three weekends having half the Euro Tour events before the cutoff so a huge chunk of the money is at stake this month. Before then, of course, we had a couple of Pro Tour events, with Chris Dobey and Danny Noppert being both surprising (given the strength of the fields) and unsurprising (given they're both bloody good players in their own rights) winners, which has done the following to the FRH rankings (which include minimum money for ET3):

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

The big one is van Gerwen overtaking Smith by less than 100 points, but Smith can regain the number 2 spot just by winning one game at ET3 with van Gerwen absent. Heta's bump appears to just be to do with Wright being in bad form, Chizzy and Clayton being in a similar spot. Bunting has had some OK decent runs, obviously Dobey and Noppert won this week, while Rock made a final and Ando's getting the benefits of good form.

So, onto Riesa, and we've got no less than five players who'll enter the FRH rankings so a few names who we'll not have great data on, but they're not all unfamiliar, let's go through in running order.

Jitse van der Wal v Ritchie Edhouse (Michael Smith) - Jitse's a fairly new tour card holder, and has done well to win through to here given he's had a bad start, with just one win and pretty miserable numbers, and plays Edhouse who got qualification to two future Euro Tours yesterday and has had some pretty nice performances, and rates something like an 80/20 favourite albeit on rather limited data. Smith I believe is who Edhouse beat on TV a couple of years back at something like the PC Finals, and he's merely been OK for someone with world champion money on his rankings, maybe only being about a 70/30 favourite against Ritchie.

Kai Gotthardt v Brendan Dolan (Gerwyn Price) - Kai is a name we've seen occasionally, I thought he'd made the Euro Tour more than once before but that's what it looks like, we've also seen him in things like the German Superleague and he's off to a pretty good start on the Challenge Tour, so maybe showing signs of improvement, although he only peaked in the mid 80's in the quali, which is likely not going to be enough to trouble someone as competent as Dolan, who's not had a bad start to 2024 relatively speaking. Price can't complain with this draw and he does like the event, and is doing well enough that he's closer to a three in four than two in three shot for this one.

Alexander Masek v Dimitri van den Bergh (Danny Noppert) - Masek won the Eastern qualifier, and will make his debut having got through to the second stage of Q-School but otherwise being basically unknown, and apart from a real good first round win, didn't threaten much more than mid 80's at any point in that quali, which against someone with the renewed confidence of a recent major win just isn't going to cut it. Another player with recent confidence will of course be Noppert, and that second round game rates as too close to call.

Richard Veenstra v Andrew Gilding (Dave Chisnall) - Stupidly good game to have in the afternoon session of round one, but that's the new quali rules for you, Andrew had a nice run in the last Euro Tour while Veenstra hasn't really kicked on massively after a good worlds, but still looks good enough to make this one an effective coinflip with Goldfinger having only the tiniest of edges. Chisnall won't particularly like this matchup in round two whoever comes through, but still should be in the 60-65% range against either of them, which is an edge but not a game he can remotely take for granted.

Daryl Gurney v Patrick Klingelhoefer (Ryan Searle) - Patrick's pretty much unknown, first appearing in the PDC for real at this Q-School, not making stage two but he does have three Challenge Tour cashes now and makes his debut, albeit only getting higher than the low 80's in one round of the qualifier, so he may well not be able to put up too much resistance against Gurney, who's looked pretty good as he looks to hold in a race to partner Rock at the World Cup. Searle is going to be an interesting opponent, he's better but not that much better and a second round game only gives Searle slightly closer to 60% than 55% chances.

Callan Rydz v Lee Evans (Damon Heta) - Rydz had a couple of good early runs to start 2024 off but has tailed off a bit since then, while Evans has merely been steady if not spectacular, but doing enough to be possible value with Callan only rating around a 55/45 favourite in this opening round encounter. Heta shouldn't be too displeased with this draw, but they both look dangerous enough opponents to warrant having a chance somewhere in the 30% range, Rydz naturally being a bit higher, so it's a good but not perfect draw for the Aussie.

Willie O'Connor v Mervyn King (Ross Smith) - Willie has been pretty average on the floor so far this season, but it's a bit more than King's been doing as Mervyn's battling to save his tour card, although King did at least have the consolation of a solid UK Open run to give him a bit more of a chance. It's the sort of game he needs to win and he's got around a 45% chance to do so, so certainly not out of things, and Ross is kind of in the same spot of "I'll take it but it could be better" in terms of draws, he's just dropped out of the FRH top 20 but, like Heta again, has got somewhere in the 60% chances to win against either opponent, so may be able to nick the spot back dependent on other results, or claim it back outright, a final session run ought to be enough for that.

Michael Unterbuchner v Luke Woodhouse (Stephen Bunting) - Michael is in a second appearance of the season, which is a nice return to form for someone who was making a bit of a name for himself in the BDO days and probably has the best numbers of any of the qualifiers we've looked at so far, not breaking 90 but being closer to that than 80 for the most part. Woodhouse had a good UK Open and has had a good run in midweek as he looks to lock down a Matchplay spot, he's in good shape and ought to be able to get through this one, but then Bunting in round two, although maybe not doing quite as well as he might have done in 2024 given his red hot form towards the end of the year, is going to be a tricky one with the Bullet being closer to 65% than 60% to advance past Woody to a potential matchup with the world champion in the last sixteen.

Jose de Sousa v Cor Dekker (Luke Humphries) - de Sousa is now out of the FRH top 32 and hasn't really been doing enough to make us think he'll be out of the top 32 proper this time next year, currently solidly on the outside looking into the Matchplay reckoning and it's not ridiculous to think he won't be seeded for the worlds this season. Dekker however isn't the worst opponent as the Norwegian makes a first Euro Tour since 2019, he's a name that's been known for some time who's had World Cup appearances, but was wildly up and down in the quali with a couple of 90's but one game down in the low 70's, although did back up making this event in weekend 1 of the Nordic series with making the final of an event last weekend. Jose should have enough, but Humphries should easily win the second round game at least 75% of the time.

Chris Dobey v Dylan Slevin (Krzysztof Ratajski) - An all card holder battle here, Dobey's right in form for reasons stated above, while Dylan has had an OK start to 2024 but nothing quite as good as what he had in early 2023, which is looking more and more like an outlier, albeit in a career that's still very much in its infancy with plenty of time to grow some more consistency to the game as we know the peak game is pretty good. Dobey ought to be extremely comfortable here, a projection of nearly 85% may be a touch overkill but not completely outrageous, and in Ratajski he's got one of the better seeds he could get and looks about a 60/40 favourite in that second round game, assuming he gets past Slevin.

Jan Dueckers v Martin Schindler (Joe Cullen) - Dueckers is another player who's pretty much unknown, did Q-School but didn't make stage two, and did play the German leg of the Challenge Tour picking up one mincash. In the quali he had a good 6-2 win with a 90 average against the in form Franz Roetzsch, but was below 80 in three of the other four games and only just over in the other one, so it's hard to see Schindler having problems here. Cullen ought to be a good test, the projections I'm getting are showing Cullen as a fairly significant underdog with having just a one in three chance, but he's not actually looked bad when we've seen him, so despite pretty middling results in 2024 it might play out a bit closer than what a 2-1 game ought to look like.

Mike de Decker v James Wade (Ricardo Pietreczko) - Real interesting section which could go any way. de Decker got qualification for another Euro Tour this past week, has made the final day once already this season, and is within touching distance of a Matchplay return, while Wade is not actually guaranteed to get there himself and hasn't had the most fantastic start to the season, and actually comes into this game as just less than a 40/60 dog, that's just how competent de Decker is right now. Ricardo isn't a bad seed to draw and has had his moments over the past few months, and actually rates as possibly the worst player of the three, being a 65/35 dog to de Decker and being on the wrong end of a coinflip against Wade, although he will have the benefit of a first game on evening session crowd which always helps.

Cameron Menzies v Simon Whitlock (Josh Rock) - Menzies is continuing to play really good stuff as we move into 2024, with some moderately good runs, while Whitlock is struggling to put up results, and is now out of the FRH top 50 and rates as less than a one in four shot against Cameron, that's just how good he's playing right now (and/or how middle of the road Simon has been of late). Rock made another final this week so looks to be playing well - but actually projects as a tiny underdog if he were to face Menzies in the second round.

Gian van Veen v Raymond van Barneveld (Rob Cross) - Didn't we have this in the last event? Why yes, yes we did. van Veen won that one 6-5, and that sort of close scoreline doesn't look out of the question, with the younger Dutch player projecting up towards, but not quite at, 60%. Really could go either way. Cross would have a similar sort of edge against van Veen, so while Rob will be looking for a deep run and to go one better than he did in Belgium, this is a nasty draw and while there's a logical order to the players in terms of chances of getting through, making an argument that any of them might progress would not be ridiculous in the slightest.

Gabriel Clemens v Peter Wright (Dirk van Duijvenbode) - Clemens is still continuing to look for a first tour win, and hasn't really been getting close this year so far with just the one board win. Wright's been a bit more up and down with a couple of semi final runs, but nobody can realistically say that Peter is anywhere near his best game and we may well be at a stage where that best game is forever in the past - although he still has enough game to be competitive, albeit Clemens does project as a 55/45 favourite despite a lack of results in 2024. Dirk has had a final run on the floor and is probably off our do not touch list, and looks to be flipping against Clemens and having a similar edge against Wright as the German does in round one, so this may well be the tightest mini section of the lot.

Owen Bates v Nathan Aspinall (Jonny Clayton) - Tough draw for the Master here, Owen hasn't gotten off to a fantastic start on the tour with more first round losses than wins and not even a board final to his name yet, but he got through the quali here for what appears to be a debut on this stage. Aspinall's no joke though and being in the playoff spots more than half way through the Premier League is seriously good play. Nathan is actually only projecting around 70/30, which does surprise me and feels like an underestimate, Owen's numbers are a bit inconsistent. Then again, so are Aspinall's. Clayton it feels is someone who's just there right now and kind of making up the numbers of the top sixteen, feels like some time since he's done anything hugely notable - probably since the Matchplay game he lost to Aspinall to be honest. Aspinall actually rates about the same sort of edge to repeat that result as he does against Bates, which seems kind of nuts but Clayton's only just scoring over 90 a turn since the start of September, which is behind a lot of players who are not even in the top 32 in the world right now.

Bets tomorrow morning, don't know if oddschecker will make things easy for us but lines are at least out.

Monday 1 April 2024

Day 3 quick bets

Rock/Smith - Got quite excited when I saw Rock being quoted at 2/1 on oddschecker on VC, but naturally that was quickly corrected to 11/8, that I don't think is an awful play with there not being much of anything to choose between the players and I'll go small, 0.1u Rock 11/8 which is also there on 365, I would probably go a bit larger if I could get longer than 6/4 given how good Smith looked in round two.

Price/Searle - Not touching it, I'm seeing Ryan as having a touch over a one in three shot, and he's best priced at 7/4 so nothing doing here.

Cross/Noppert - Maybe there's a sliver of value on Rob in this one, I'm seeing him just shy of a two in three chance, and some of the spread companies have him at longer than 4/6, if you've got money there then I don't think that's bad, but the traditional bookies aren't giving better than 4/6 which isn't quite fat enough particularly in the context of Danny looking fantastic in round two.

Humphries/Joyce - Line looks fair enough, Joyce being priced at 3/1 I think is a fair enough reflection that he's a good player but running into probably the best player in the world right now, maybe he should be a tick or two shorter but that's neither here nor there and 3/1 certainly doesn't represent value. Might have a tiny dabble on the exchange if we can get bigger possibly.

Aspinall/Smith - Another one where I was momentarily excited when I saw oddschecker's front page showing 6/5, which when I'm seeing the game the other way around would provide enough of an edge to fire, but going in we're not actually getting better than evens, which I don't think is dreadful or -EV, but it's close enough to correct to ignore as a punt.

Schindler/Dobey - Chris is maybe ever so slightly shorter than he ought to be, this is one of the few matches we're likely to see at this stage where we've got someone who is maybe a little overvalued against someone who is a little undervalued, and a partizan home crowd would certainly help Schindler, but that's Dobey's best price. We can't get better than 11/8 on Martin, which is just break even and we're not interested in betting for the sake of betting without a better edge than "bet Germans in Germany".

van Gerwen/Cullen - Line looks fair enough again. Joe's a touch longer than 2/1, we've got him at a touch less than a 30% chance, but there's enough data points to show that Joe might be a tad better than the projections say. Certainly not enough to make us even remotely think that 11/5 is a good bet though.

Chisnall/Wattimena - We finish with another no bet. The angle we'd be looking at is on Dave, 4/9 is maybe a little bit undervaluing just how good he has been playing for the last year or so, and he is the most recent Pro Tour winner, so if you want to go for it, there's tiny value there. I won't recommend it as an actual play as Jermaine's shown enough over the first couple of Euro Tours to indicate he may be playing a bit better than the numbers suggest, but I can't think that price is in anyway bad if you want to bet on Chisnall.

So just the one play, and we're back to Josh Rock. Is it 2022 again?