Monday 27 May 2024

Can't stop the rock

Long overdue first Euro Tour for Josh, coming through Jonny Clayton in a final at last. If only Menzies had have held that lead he had in the last sixteen, then maybe it's him coming through instead, and we'd make a nice pickup as opposed to just being on the right side of break even. Still, it's not a loss, so we'll look forward - the main tour goes on a little bit of a ranking hiatus until just before the Euros, with a couple of Pro Tours just in the lead up to that, and some World Series events that I won't bother looking at. A few silver ranked WDF events are in the offing as well, we've got some Challenge Tour events, annoyingly for some the same weekend as the England Open in the WDF, there's Asian Tour events from Mongolia (which looks to be timed right after WDF events there, so nice collaboration to allow more players to make the trip affordably I guess), there's also a Nordic/Baltic tour weekend going on. So we've got quite a bit of stuff going on, I don't know how much I'll post about it, maybe I put something up right before the Pro Tours along with some sort of Matchplay race analysis, we've only got four Pro Tours and one Euro Tour before the cutoff so it's getting tight. For now, new FRH rankings:

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

Nathan giving this one a miss didn't really matter as even if Heta had have taken it off as well, he'd have still been ahead. Clayton's final brings him up one above Wright, who's now within 4,000 points of dropping from the top 10, and with Littler's points all being front loaded, that might happen before the next update organically. Rock re-enters the top 20 and knocks James Wade out. Schinlder's semi puts him up to 22, but he's got a bit of a gap to Wade above and will need another deep run to really push to the top 20. Woodhouse making the quarters didn't really do a great deal, he's still just outside the top 32 and has a big cushion down to de Decker below him. Wattimena, Menzies and Edhouse all continue decent form and are pushing up in the 40's, while Jeffrey de Graaf is just outside the top 64.

As stated, probably won't have too much in terms of updates for the next couple of weeks so it's likely not worth checking the blog until we're in the run up to Leverkusen on the 21st.

Saturday 25 May 2024

Netherlands last 16

Only bet yesterday won, took a little bit of time for Searle to take control, but he did and that's all that mattered, seemed to be a weird mix of really quick games and ones that went deep, but that's neither here nor there, I'm going to do a quick power through round three.

Chisnall/Clayton - 0.25u Chisnall 8/13, Betfair have this available (in the sportsbook) amongst others, Chizzy really should be 1/2 as a fair price, that looks a good enough edge for me.

Searle/de Graaf - Ryan's much better. May be slightly better than the market line, which is offering a tad better than 1/3, I've got him a touch more than three in four, not quite enough to push though.

Noppert/Wattimena - Line seems fair. I've got it as 65/35, Danny's just the right side of 1/2, let's move on.

van Gerwen/Dobey - I kid you not, I did not look at the last sixteen draw when I made the notes I did on Chris in the previous post. I do think he's slightly better right now - 0.1u Dobey 11/8, it is only because of the location of the event that I don't consider going more and I do think that will be a factor given how historically elite Michael has been in Euro Tours in the Netherlands.

Edhouse/Woodhouse - Got to love a house derby, thinking Luke's a bit better, but not by much, call it 55/45, he's actually the underdog here, but while I can understand the logic I'm going to take the 365 price every day of the week for a small nibble, 0.1u Woodhouse 13/10

van den Bergh/Schindler - Dimi's looked alright this weekend, which is kind of annoying as Schindler is priced right on the margins of where we would fire a bet unless we could find a good reason not to bet on him. As Schindi did look alright himself I'll go for another narrow stab, 0.1u Schindler 4/5, with him projecting a fraction better than 60/40 I think we have enough, but would not be surprised if this is one that turns out wrong.

Price/van Veen - Pretty much a tale of opposites for how their round two games went, not sure how much that will be a factor but it can't really help Gian, who I see as a tad under a one in three shot. Market has him at 7/4, so a bit better than a one in three shot, it is on home soil which my model makes no attempts to look at and is reliant on me to take these intangibles into account. Fine to pass this one.

Rock/Menzies - Menzies is just better at this stage. Just need to look at the Woodhouse game, it's the same projection and the same price, so we go with the same thing, 0.1u Menzies 13/10

So, surprisingly active given the relative lack of bets in the first two rounds. Granted, most are small plays and we're pushing small edges, but those are better than no edges. Severely doubt that I'll be able to get anything before the quarters with Leeds/Southampton going on. Should be back post event for some analysis.

Netherlands day 2

1 up 1 down yesterday, fortunately the up one got us a fair bit more than the down one lost us (pretty nice game by Taylor in fairness) so a little bit of profit was generated. Sixteen more games today:

Bunting/de Graaf - Fairly competent game by Jeffrey yesterday, but nothing special, and will need to up his game somewhat to get close to Stephen, who's projecting as winning three in four, with the market having it ever so slightly even more in his favour. Certainly not enough to bet at 2/7, and we're not remotely interested in JdG at 10/3.

Gurney/Woodhouse - Luke made heavy work of Ryan Meikle in a game that wasn't pretty, needing to come from 4-1 down, but it's an important win. The model can't separate him and Daryl, Gurney has a little bit of a consistency edge but it's not major, so I'm calling this pretty much a flip, Woodhouse at 13/10 is not the price I'm interested in on yesterday's showing.

Heta/Edhouse - Ritchie got past the interesting action of Brejcha yesterday eventually, one real duff leg and never really got through the gears, so hopefully that was a case of just doing enough as he comes up against Damon, who it feels as if has been a tad quiet in 2024, while still producing very good numbers. Almost good enough that we want to bet - I've got it at 65/35, the market has it 4/6, I'll give Edhouse enough credit over the last couple of months to say he's been a touch better than that, which brings it into the no bet range.

Chisnall/Zonneveld - Niels did not perform particularly well against Puha but got the deciding leg win, just about, will need to be much, much improved today against Chizzy, but he's generally been alright and has approaching a one in three shot and the crowds have certainly been helping the Dutch players. Market more or less agrees with that assessment with Zonneveld at 9/4, toning his numbers down a notch on yesterday where no legs were won (by him at least) in fifteen or better appears reasonable enough.

Clayton/van Velzen - Big win for Marvin, creeping past Kist from 5-4 down despite also not getting a single leg won in fifteen or better. Clayton is not a bad seed to come up against right now, but I think Clayton will be there in six visits on throw or five against more than often enough here. No real data to work with, 10/3 on Marvin might be slightly harsh, but nothing was shown yesterday to give me confidence in that line.

Pietreczko/Wattimena - Jermaine got through a bit of a spicy one with Cullen in a last leg, and you've got to feel the fans will be on his side again here. I'm finding this one hard to call, Ricardo's been very hit and miss since winning his Euro Tour, and I've actually got Jermaine as the ever so slight favourite. 8/11 is a bit much, but Pietreczko is not good enough in this situation to make 13/10 a viable play.

Noppert/Gilding - Andrew was given a surprisingly good test by Damian Mol and needed a bit of luck to get over the line, but he did, and now faces a much harder opponent in Noppert here. Bit odd they couldn't work this into the evening session, but what have you, it's a solid closing two to the afternoon. Noppert looks to be about 65/35 to me, market has him just shorter than 1/2, so maybe favouring him a bit much, but we are playing in the Netherlands so I'll allow it.

Searle/Wade - Wade predictably had zero issues with the Finnish qualifier, winning 6-0 without ever really doing anything special, hopefully that's just keeping things in the tank for the much stronger opponent that is Searle, who I've got as projecting as a pretty big favourite here, just more than two in three, not quite 70%. Let's draw it back to pure two in three with a small consistency edge for Wade, at the best price it's enough for a first bet, 0.25u Searle 4/6

Dobey/Blom - Into the evening session and we have Dobey, probably one of the top ten players in the world right now if not better (would you be surprised to hear that since October, he's outscoring van Gerwen?), and he's up against one of the domestic qualifiers that came through in Blom, who it has to be said looked really good in his victory over Ryan Joyce. If he plays like that again, prices of more than 4/1 could end up looking rather silly - I just can't help but think that it's a wild outlier and/or it's taken a lot out of his play. I'll lay Dobey for a tiny fraction on the exchanges personally, but won't recommend anything.

Price/Mansell - Gerwyn's still continuing to manufacture really good numbers, and Mansell only dropped two legs against O'Connor, have seen better performances but he did what he needed to do. Price is projecting at near 80/20, Mickey will need to be a bit better than he was yesterday to get close to that sort of projection, the markets have it ever so slightly closer so maybe fractional value in Price in this one.

Rock/van Duijvenbode - We're still waiting for Josh to make a breakthrough at this level, his numbers of late aren't quite top ten, but are still top sixteen so it is not as if he has fallen off a cliff, and Dirk is going to be a very interesting opponent who looked very good in the legs he won against Rydz yesterday but a bit average in the ones he didn't. Appears moderately close - seeing Rock as about a 55/45 favourite, he's 8/11, so that looks to be a close enough line to correct for me.

van Gerwen/Doets - Michael could do with a nice run here to start gearing up for the Matchplay, as there are hints he could be being slightly left behind at the very top levels of the game, and he will get a derby against Kevin, who edged out a really inconsistent Mike de Decker 6-5 in a game where he showed the occasional flash but was primarily just cleaning up Mike's mistakes. That's not going to cut it against MvG, I'm seeing a projection in the high 70's, he is 1/4 so we're not going to touch this one.

Schindler/Dolan - Martin's back in the seeds here, and will face Dolan, who got into a 4-0 lead against a badly misfiring Owen Bates, without ever really doing anything himself. Brendan can, and should, play a lot better here, and will need to against an in form opponent who is so strong right now that Dolan is only projecting as a one in three chance. As such, Schindler looks acca safe at 4/7, but there's not the edge there to bet, unless you think Brendan cannot up his game from yesterday.

Wright/Menzies - Cameron got maybe the performance of yesterday, steamrollering van Barneveld with an obscene run to go 5-0 up and then claim it 6-1, and that sort of game is going to take Wright apart you would think - if Menzies can replicate it, of course. He does project as just over a 60/40 shot against Peter, the market appears to have adjusted and puts him at 8/11. Hopefully that's just a temporary adjustment to yesterday, otherwise the party might be over.

Smith/van den Bergh - Was able to get Dimi 6-5 just before the off yesterday, and was looking good until Clemens just couldn't score heavily enough to get us to a decider. Ross Smith is up next, another player putting up fantastic numbers and kind of going a bit unnoticed. I've got a projection right in the middle of 60% and 65%, oddschecker was showing 4/5 on the main page which was looking momentarily exciting, but that's long gone, 8/11 is fairly close to what you'd need but I think a tick more is required for it to be a play. DvdB did look good yesterday after all.

van Veen/Taylor - Here we've got Taylor, who goes from first on yesterday with a very strong showing against Jose de Sousa, to last on against van Veen, who is up into the seeds here for I want to say the first time, and will have a boisterous crowd at this stage on his side. Maybe he's not putting up quite as good numbers as he was doing late in 2023, but it's still enough to project a 65/35 edge here, Dom quietly doing well enough to keep it at that range. Gian is 8/13, so I think there might be a tiny edge, but certainly not enough to officially recommend.

So just the one play on Ryan Searle, but there's quite a few that are marginal, if your opinions are slightly more weighted one way or another than mine, maybe you can find some more punts to go with. Back tomorrow morning with the last sixteen.

Friday 24 May 2024

Day 1 evening session

Harju/Wade - Teemu is a name I've seen around on the Nordic lists for a bit now, have a handful of legs of data on him which float around the high 70's per turn, which isn't really going to trouble someone like Wade in the slightest. I'm almost half tempted to play given the odds - 1/8 is widely available, which I don't think is that ridiculous at all.

Blom/Joyce - Moreno's the last of the qualifiers from yesterday to play, it's someone I've got 30-something legs on, and his numbers are pretty much bang on 80. That's not going to give Ryan any issues, 1/4 given current form doesn't seem too outlandish, although maybe Blom is a tad better than the data I have given yesterday. Great performance against Telnekes in the opener, again like Mol it's probably the case that he got his hardest game first, but unlike Mol, Moreno was consistently in the high 80's throughout the remainder. Think there's enough uncertainty that I can just avoid this one.

de Decker/Doets - Good game against two still fairly young players who are battling it out on the periphery of the Matchplay race, and you kind of feel it's a must win for both. This'd be one I'd pay to see, I was initially "wait, that can't be right" when I saw a projection giving Kevin less than a one in four chance, but while there is a little bit of a consistency issue, his numbers have dropped off alarmingly and he does appear to have quietly gone out of form. I'll use the consistency and give him the benefit of the doubt to not fire on Mike, we can only get 8/15 anyway which is alright but if I drag the actual projection down to, say, 70/30 (and I find it hard to say with a straight face that Doets would actually have less chances than that), it's not really what I'd need.

Cullen/Wattimena - Let's see if Joe can get another bit of a run going here, he's up against a home player in Jermaine which will always give that little bit extra, which might make a difference. I've got this tight, Joe's projecting 55/45 but Jermaine has enough of a consistency advantage that he actually has the higher points per turn in the sample. Nobody's offering significantly longer than evens on Wattimena, looks like a flip to me, so no real bets here.

Meikle/Woodhouse - Ryan's shown the odd flash over the past few weeks after having a real rough time of it, while Luke's looking to get the critical wins to get over the line and into Blackpool. This actually projects close - Meikle only being the slight dog, that said he has an enormous consistency number (bad), so I think I've got to bring him down a few points for that, it's the sort of number where you feel Luke's going to get a couple of free legs which could cost the match. At numbers approaching 7/4 I might have a small personal play for some funking value, but it seems dangerous to recommend as a general bet.

van Barneveld/Menzies - Raymond's looking like he's probably going to be safe for Blackpool following getting a tour title earlier in the year, but probably could do with a couple more wins here and there to make things completely sure, making the final day here would surely be enough, while Cameron's a little bit back and needs to go on a run somewhere to close down what will be a 10k gap after Wade (surely) wins earlier in the session. He absolutely is good enough to do so, Wright as a seed here is somewhat of an opening, and I'm seeing a projection in the low 60's. That's more than enough to bet at the price offered - 0.25u Menzies 10/11

Rydz/van Duijvenbode - God, this one is going to be hard to call, Callan's a tad all over the place and we still don't really know where Dirk is at. The market's having similar issues, giving Rydz the tiny edge, I've got Dirk as ever so slightly better, but this one could really be anywhere. Easy enough to avoid, I don't have the edge needed on Dirk even if I was confident in the numbers, which I'm not.

van den Bergh/Clemens - This is the third time we've seen this game on the Euro Tour this season, and Dimi's won the previous two in deciding legs. This intuitively feels close, I've got it as no more than 51/49 in the Belgian's favour, I guess it's that tight that the play is to see who wins the bull and bet 6-5 correct score on them?

So really little to add here. We'll keep betting Menzies until his form drops massively or he binks something it seems like.

Netherlands day 1

Apparently Littler did something in an exbo yesterday, but who cares about that, we're now at the midpoint of the Euro Tour so let's blast through day 1.

Taylor/de Sousa - This was one where on a first glance I was thinking "hmm, Dom should probably be the favourite here", and was disappointed to see that he actually was in the market. On further review however, Jose is actually projecting to win it - although Taylor has truly fantastic consistency stats while Jose's are, if not bad, below average. I'd then rate this as 50/50 and take JdS small, 0.1u de Sousa 13/10 with Hills.

Edhouse/Brejcha - Know very little about Jiri, can only really look to the quali, where he couldn't get better than 85 at all. Not the greatest standard but little to suggest he can cut it against Ritchie, 1/8 isn't really tempting either.

Razma/de Graaf - Fun one which we must have seen on the Nordic tour at some point surely? Rates to be pretty tight, maybe Razma's slightly better but not by much, market also slightly favours him so nothing to see here.

Kist/van Velzen - Two players from yesterday's quali collide, we know where Kist is at (or de we?), Marvin's a name I've seen in despatches but don't really know a great deal about, but just looking at the quali he might have been playing slightly better than Christian. Market has Kist as a small favourite, with the relative experience difference at this level I think that's fair enough.

Dolan/Bates - Brendan's in a pretty darned tight race to get into the World Cup, and this isn't a bad spot to pick up some crucial ranking money. Owen's alright, but Dolan's just that bit better and this rates as just under a two in three spot for him - the market likes Brendan even more than that, but 5/2 isn't really offering the edge needed to go with Bates here, although it's at least close.

O'Connor/Mansell - Another fun match up here, feels like Willie's been quiet for a while, while Mickey's also been quiet, but quietly good for the past year or so, and playing well enough that he is only a fractional underdog. If anything I thought it'd be the other way around, but it isn't. Mansell's 11/10 in the market se we're in general agreement.

Zonneveld/Puha - Haupai hasn't really done a great deal of note since winning his card, although let's be fair, it is a big switch and a fair step up, but Niels isn't a bad player in the slightest and looks much better here, probably calling this just over three in four. 4/9 on Coralbrokes is probably worth considering, but Haupai has a fair consistency advantage (he is only a tenth of a point per turn worse on losing legs than winning ones, compared to a database-wide five) so I think there's enough thought that Puha might be slightly underrated that I won't recommend the play.

Gilding/Mol - Damian's back after an underwhelming couple of years on the tour, had a great first game in the quali but was bang average in the remainder (although that opening match might have been the toughest opponent he got drawn against). 4/11 on Andrew may be a touch of an overstatement, but I didn't really see enough from Mol yesterday to feel slightly confident in taking an underdog flier here.

I'll post up the evening session shortly, just want to get the morning out there for now.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Post-Kiel FRH update

Looks like that was another final for the ages, congrats to Rob, but I'll just drop in a quick FRH rankings update and be done with tonight:

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
9 Peter Wright
10 Jonny Clayton
11 Luke Littler (UP 3)
12 Stephen Bunting
13 Dimitri van den Bergh (DOWN 2)
14 Chris Dobey (DOWN 1)
15 Danny Noppert (UP 2)
16 Joe Cullen
17 Gary Anderson (DOWN 2)
18 Ryan Searle
19 Ross Smith (UP 1)
20 James Wade (DOWN 1)

Last update was from before Austria, so that explains Littler moving up. Looking forward, we've got a break of a week or two before we head to the Netherlands, and we're getting closer and closer to the Matchplay cutoff. Frankly, I could do with this little bit of downtime, but one thing I did post on X earlier today was a updated 180 in 180 in visual format. Question for everyone - is van Gerwen one of the best five players in the world right now?

Quarter final projections

Check for bets in about an hour:

van Gerwen 38/62 Humphries
Noppert 48/52 de Decker
Edhouse 27/73 Cross
Searle 74/26 Razma

Edit - will add 0.1u de Decker 6/4, that seems more than enough of a price to take the small stab, just small given how Danny has been looking good. Considered Cross given how the price is the right side of 1/2 but maybe being excessively cautious given Edhouse's current form

Quick day 3 bets

A big part of the danger of betting against elite level players is that you run into them playing a game where there's nothing you can do. Granted, Nijman probably wasn't at his best, but it's hard to see what he could have done against that level of display from van Gerwen. Still, it's only a minimal loss, let's see what we can do to recover from here, and it's him first up.

van Gerwen/Gilding - Might be the case that van Gerwen is a touch overrated, and that Gilding is a tad underrated. 7/2 is a pretty big number for what is still a fairly recent major champion against anyone. It's really close, I'm seeing Andrew as having a little bit over 30% - I really should play this one, I'm just not that convinced he's playing quite well enough very recently to realise what the larger form numbers should say.

Humphries/Smith - This we can bet though, 0.1u Smith 23/10 on Betfred, anything better than 2/1 looks good. Ross is quietly putting up devastating numbers, and is for me a top ten player in the world just looking at raw statistics. I'm seeing this in the neighbourhood of 40% chances, nearly 10% more than what the line's suggesting. Only going small, if only because there's always that danger that Luke says "nope, not today" and puts in a level of performance that's unplayable, but Ross is severely undervalued here.

Roetzsch/Noppert - Still lacking enough data on Franz for a projection to be reliable. 4/1 might be a tad too long, but Danny looked excellent yesterday so I can't see that being anything more than marginal value.

Heta/de Decker - This one's actually rating fairly close for me. Heta's only outscoring de Decker by about a point, and most of that is consistency, which might arguably be enough to flip a 52/48 in favour of Mike (which is what the projection shows) the other way in reality, but with the odds available, it's still more than enough chances to go with another small play, 0.1u de Decker 13/8

Edhouse/Pietreczko - Market might now be overadjusting for Ritchie's recent level of play right now. Yes, I do project him as a favourite and anything other than that would be a surprise, but it's only just. It's not enough to start betting Ricardo at a pretty weak 7/5 price though.

Cross/Bunting - Market pretty much can't separate these two. Neither is odds against, Rob is the one that is odds on with Stephen at evens. That seems fair enough to me, I've got this as being in favour of Cross but only like 55/45, if that, so nothing of interest here.

Gurney/Searle - This is a pretty strange one - Ryan is priced as if he is only a marginal favourite, where as I'm seeing Daryl as only having a one in three chance. That seems a fair bit of a disparity in terms of chances - I could drag Searle down a couple of points due to consistency for sure, but he did look better today and the lines, even without considering vig, give him less than a 60% chance. We'll take that fairly comfortably, 0.25u Searle 8/11

Razma/Cullen - This one is an awkward one to read - Madars is still somewhat all over the place, just need to look at yesterday for the prime example, was bang average for the first six legs but then excellent for the last five, while Joe continues to look pretty ordinary in the scoring, basically having the numbers of a less consistent Martin Lukeman, but will get much better results than what those numbers show - but only some of the time. Razma would probably be the angle here, I'm seeing this as about 60/40 in favour of Cullen but that looks to be a bit wild in terms of how accurate that might be, as Madars is a touch longer than 2/1 in places that's probably worth a small stab, I'll probably have a private shot just to have some funking power, but won't officially recommend a play.

Should be back with quick projections right after the Cullen game, and then any quarter final plays at half time in the football I'd guess.

Saturday 11 May 2024

Quick day 2 bets

This is just going to be a yes/no/maybe rundown:


0.1u Nijman 19/10 v van Gerwen - I think that's just about long enough that we can take a stab. He's had his signature win now, this is a complete freeroll and the numbers put him much closer to Michael than generally indicated.


van Duijvenbode > Gurney - Honestly I should be throwing out a small play here given we project that Dirk is just the favourite and we can get 11/8, but I still think he's lacking a real big performance since the injury issues.
Hilger > Pietreczko - He didn't look too bad yesterday and we can get pretty big odds against one of the weaker seeds. Hard to know if yesterday was just a real outlier though.
Humphries > Bialecki - Luke's just playing so, so well right now that it might be the case that 1/6 is worth a play. Sebastian can hit nice spots of form though, so I won't go with it.


Heta/van Veen
Noppert/van Barneveld
Ratajski/de Decker

Frankly a lot of the no's are a tick off where I'd put the perfect line, so there may be extremely fractional value if you go off the numbers in the previous post and compare to the odds. Back probably tomorrow morning with the last sixteen.

Friday 10 May 2024

Not an ideal day 1. Day 2 maybe?

OK, so de Sousa missed a match dart and Dimitri completely shat the bed, that's less than ideal, but let's just power through some quick raw number predictions, and I'll pick up bets in the morning:

Rock/Roetzsch - sample size issue
DvD/Gurney - 53/47
Searle/Wattimena - 71/29
Smith/Woodhouse - 68/32
Heta/van Veen - 52/48
Cullen/Wade - 51/49
Cross/Kuivenhoven - 76/24
Pietreczko/Hilger - sample size issue
Clayton/Edhouse - 47/53
Noppert/van Barneveld - 59/41
Wright/Gilding - 56/44
Humphries/Bialecki - sample size issue
van Gerwen/Nijman - 56/44
Ratajski/de Decker - 48/52
Bunting/Baetens - 67/33
Chisnall/Razma - 73/27

Kiel day 1

A little bit behind on updates, as we've had a couple of Pro Tours and a Development Tour weekend recently, not to mention fairly major WDF events in Denmark, but I'll catch up on the FRH rankings after the magnificently titled Baltic Sea Darts Open, and let's look at what games we have today. As an aside, looking at the dataset I'm using for these projections, the top three are Ando, Littler and Price, all separated by less than one twentieth of a point per turn. That's close!

Bialecki/de Sousa - Seems like it's been a bit since we've seen Bialecki mentioned, having been moderately quiet on the Development Tour, and not really having much of a sample size to speak of right now. Jose's also been quiet, but his scoring is still just above 90, and while Sebastian can be dangerous, I don't think he gets home anywhere near often enough for it not to be a good play on the Portuguese ace. 0.25u de Sousa 8/15

Kuivenhoven/Toonders - Maik's another one of those players who's been around for a while and is in that sort of category where if the cutoff for tour cards was 80, he'd probably never lose it, but it isn't, so he does, while Toonders is a pretty young German player who came through the domestic qualifier, and actually played the UK Open this year through the Dev Tour, where this year he's not been that impressive at all, same with the quali, pretty much an 80 average seems to be where he's at which isn't going to cut it against someone like Kuivenhoven. 1/4 isn't really tempting though, Maik's certainly no world beater and I'd need to be very sure Toonders is worse than what he's showing like to actually go with that.

Tricole/Gilding - Pretty simple one this. Thibault's OK, but Gilding is a lot better. This is showing as Tricole having maybe a one in four chance. It's priced nothing like that. 0.25u Gilding 4/6, could arguably go more.

Puha/Roetzsch - Haupai's on the tour now, but has maybe been a little bit quiet. That, or just not quite up to speed yet. Franz played the midweek events, but I think is showing a bit of a gap in terms of quality from looking pretty decent on the secondary tour to actually being a card holder level. Haupai being the right side of a 60/40 in the market feels intuitively correct, Roetzsch has his chances but isn't the better player.

Hilger/Dennant - Moritz is not a particularly familiar name to me, coming through the qualis with one mid 80 average but otherwise floating one side or the other of 80, which isn't going to trouble Dennant, who's made a steady start to Pro Tour life and scoring OK, and can't be displeased with this draw. It's another one like the Kuivenhoven game though where we have nowhere near enough certainty to go with Matt at his price (even shorter than Kuivenhoven), although it may transpire it was the correct play.

Dolan/Wattimena - Brendan won an event! Real nice. Was a little bit of a weird one in terms of who got deep, but hey, a win's a win, and will give great confidence coming in against Jermaine. This one feels like it should be moderately close, indeed Jermaine's doing enough that this projects as 60/40. Market has it marginally closer, it's not enough to fire on Dolan, but if you believe in such ethereal nonsense like "momentum", then it's not going to be a -EV bet at 8/11.

Woodhouse/Joyce - This ought to be a real fun game between two players ranked very close in the FRH rankings, Joyce has likely already done enough to get to Blackpool but Luke probably has a bit of work to do, and wins like this would help. Market can barely separate them, just shading Ryan as the marginal favourite, that seems fine, I'd probably have put him at 8/11 and not 5/6, but it's close enough that we don't want to go with it. Another one where if you maybe favour short term form you can push to a Joyce bet.

Wade/Zonneveld - James is currently outside the Matchplay quali spots. Read that again. A win here would put him back in, sure, but that's still kind of remarkable. Niels is no pushover though and is only priced as a real marginal underdog. Which is actually fair - I'm seeing this as no more than a 52/48 in favour of Wade. Pretty easy pass form a betting standpoint accordingly.

Razma/Dobey - Feels like Madars has had a slow start to the year, and he's currently outside of the worlds spots, albeit at a very early stage of the year. As such, Dobey's not the player he'd want to draw, with Chris projecting as a three in four favourite. The market has it around there, if not shorter - Coralbrokes have Dobey as much less of a favourite than most and there is a small arb available, but we're not punting on this one.

Troppmann/van Veen - Kevin's another qualifier, and didn't look too bad in the quali - typically 83 or 84 averages with very little variation. Unfortunately, he's running into Gian van Veen, who's good enough that him being double digits to one on is not completely absurd.

Gurney/van den Bergh - Another one of these sort of good "second tier" games that we're seeing a lot on Fridays with the new Euro Tour rules, with Daryl actually being priced as a tiny favourite in this clash of major champions. I'm really not sure that is correct. Dimitri's projecting as a near 60/40 favourite in my stats, there is a fair bit of inconsistency at play, so we really don't want to see him take any legs off, but I think at odds against we need to go with it, 0.25u van den Bergh 11/10

van Barneveld/Larsson - Barney's got a favourable draw here, but certainly not a gimmie against Larsson, who as part of a really resurgent Swedish darts scene has a fair bit of experience behind him at this stage and certainly has the potential to ask Raymond some questions. A 3/1 price feels like it's about right though, if it was more I could certainly have seen a small nibble as being reasonable.

Baetens/Clemens - This is kind of a good test for Andy, against an established player in a potentially tricky environment, but against a player who maybe isn't in the best of form. Clemens is still doing enough to project on the right side of the 60/40, and that's just about reflected in the odds - the market has it a bit tighter, which I guess in context is fine, but come through this and give Bunting a good game and maybe there'll be more belief in Andy.

Edhouse/Aspinall - Ritchie didn't add to any Euro Tour qualifications midweek, but could well get reserve call ups, so for now will need to make the most of chances to sure up Euro qualification, where he's not looking too bad but may need a bit more before the end of the season. Aspinall's a bastard draw though, with Nathan projecting at 70/30 - the market has it closer, which in the context of Ritchie's form is fine, but 4/7 is kind of close to the sort of odds we'd need to bet the favourite. Certainly wouldn't be touching Edhouse at 13/8.

Schindler/de Decker - This one ought to be alright, Schindler is playing extremely well right now, but Mike's been doing just about enough to have decent chances, a bit between 40% and 45% is what I'm seeing, maybe tone it down to the lower end based on Martin's excellent short data form. 17/10 on Mike doesn't look a horrible bet, but with Schindler in such red hot form (and being at home, which always helps), I think I'd want north of 2/1 before I'd start seriously considering the Belgian here.

Littler/Nijman - What a game to finish, and a real test for Wessel, who maybe has slightly more of a chance than the market's thinking. That says 3/1, I'm thinking he's got enough in his locker that this is more of a 70/30 game - that's not enough to do the dangerous thing of backing against Luke at this point in time.

So we've got three plays - two on possibly declining older talents but still with a good performance in them, and one on our most recent major champion. Should be back later this evening with round two, although it may be a give projections and then real quick bet post in the morning sort of thing.