Friday 10 May 2024

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.

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