Monday, 20 November 2017

Players Championship Finals and more on how good van Gerwen is

I've now caught up with the stats, and I'll quickly say something about van Gerwen - he's truly back to his best. He won 73 legs this week, of which 26 were won in 12 darts or less, an average of over 35%. His season to date record, which includes the Grand Slam, is a pedestrian 26% in comparison (nobody with a sample size of 10 or more legs won this season is even in the twenties). Factor in legs won in less than 15 darts, and that's another 32 legs - 58 out of 73, or 79%, higher than his season long average of 76%. Of the field, even hitting 70% is tough - you have Lewis, Anderson, Bain (yes, really), Taylor and van Barneveld at that level with a sample of 30+ legs won. What about when he's not winning? Well in the Slam he finished five points short of a 100 average from 180 visits to the board, solidly above his season long average of just short of 96 - only Anderson and Taylor with at least 20 legs lost are even at 95.

The PDC have published the "draw" to the Players Championship final which we've all known for ages, so let's shove numbers into the master computer and see what people's chances of winning are, as always based on speed of kills, and assuming if we get to 5-5 that they start the last leg an equal amount of the time, i.e. winning the bull is a coinflip. If I've highlighted a player in green they've won less than 50 legs this year so sample size might be an issue but you should be OK to roll with it, if I've highlighted a player in yellow then they have won less than 25 legs this season and you should take care, if I've highlighted someone in red then they've won less than 10 legs this season and you should be ultra careful, if not flat out ignore the information. As always, this doesn't take into account form or injuries (if you bet on, say, Kist based on whatever these numbers suggest, then you're insane). I'll post in seeding order rather than draw order, in order to highlight a hopefully gradual trend from one sided games to coinflips, of course when people don't play the whole circuit, hilarity can ensue:

Rob Cross v Robert Owen - 76.73% Cross
Daryl Gurney v Jeffrey de Zwaan - 60.18% Gurney
Peter Wright v Steve Hine - no data on Hine
Gary Anderson v Mickey Mansell - 69.90% Anderson
Mensur Suljovic v Andy Boulton - 65.71% Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen v Paul Nicholson - 97.34% van Gerwen
Dave Chisnall v Joe Murnan - 66.04% Chisnall
Joe Cullen v Jamie Caven - 83.95% Cullen
Ian White v Raymond van Barneveld - 61.13% van Barneveld
Kyle Anderson v Ron Meulenkamp - 85.11% Anderson
Darren Webster v Antonio Alcinas - 97.85% Webster
Jonny Clayton v Jeffrey de Graaf - 68.37% Clayton
Alan Norris v Jelle Klaasen - 50.20% Klaasen
Michael Smith v Jan Dekker - 67.28% Smith
Kim Huybrechts v Chris Dobey - 85.90% Huybrechts
Richard North v Pete Hudson - 74.40% Hudson
Adrian Lewis v Mike de Decker - 91.88% Lewis
Robert Thornton v James Richardson - 60.49% Richardson
Simon Whitlock v Christian Kist - 62.10% Whitlock
Steve Beaton v Ronny Huybrechts - 61.62% Beaton
Gerwyn Price v Jimmy Hendriks - 77.86% Price
Mervyn King v Brendan Dolan - 90.35% King
Justin Pipe v Mark Webster - 58.08% Pipe
John Henderson v Darren Johnson - 55.80% Henderson
James Wade v Kevin Painter - 63.61% Wade
James Wilson v Willie O'Connor - 53.38% O'Connor
Steve West v Ryan Searle - 77.36% West
Stephen Bunting v Benito van de Pas - 53.95% Bunting
Jermaine Wattimena v Keegan Brown - 51.62% Brown
Peter Jacques v Cristo Reyes - 69.50% Reyes
Vincent van der Voort v Robbie Green - 59.60% van der Voort
Steve Lennon v Zoran Lerchbacher - 89.81% Lennon

Sunday, 19 November 2017

MvG wins again, film at 11

No real time to harvest the stats tonight, but I'll refresh the FRH rankings below, needless to say van Gerwen won yet again, Wright keeping it tight through the first two thirds but then falling to a spurt after that which was enough to get the Dutchman home. Elsewhere, Kenny Neyens binked the last remaining international qualifier, so we're getting very, very close to confirming the final field. Will update the betting tracker tomorrow, but as for all intents and purposes it's break even there's not much you'll miss there.

Current FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Peter Wright
3 Daryl Gurney
4 Gary Anderson
5 Mensur Suljovic
6 Phil Taylor (UP 1)
7 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 1)
8 Dave Chisnall
9 Michael Smith
10 Rob Cross (UP 2)
11 Alan Norris (DOWN 1)
12 Raymond van Barneveld (UP 4)
13 James Wade (UP 4)
14 Gerwyn Price
15 Benito van de Pas (DOWN 4)
16 Kim Huybrechts (DOWN 3)
17 Ian White (DOWN 2)
18 Jelle Klaasen
19 Joe Cullen
20 Adrian Lewis

Darren Webster's now within 10k of Lewis for the last top 20 spot, Robbie Green reclaims a top 40 spot, Steve Lennon's within the top 60, while just inside the top 70 are all of Berry van Peer, Glen Durrant and Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Back in the UK, and other Scooter references

On my phone and looking at the results from the quarter finals onwards. Some brief thoughts having not looked into the stats in huge detail:

- Very surprised that Gurney was only able to claim the four legs, would have imagined he'd have kept it close for longer and not dropped twelve straight. Just got to hope that it doesn't ruin his confidence really, there's another big event rapidly coming up where he should be able to get something going.

- On a related note, I see Phil appears to have been throwing moodies again, first criticising Gurney for apparently not having fun (how dare someone possibly be not 100% cheerful when having a bad day at, what is to all intents and purposes, work), then not exactly being sporting in defeat to MvG. It's your penultimate tournament, why not enjoy it yourself rather than sticking the knife in others.

- Cross is clearly getting more and more comfortable on the TV stage, I caught a bit of his game yesterday (what I could, somehow German TV isn't all digital yet and it was like watching through a snowstorm as early 90's satellite often was, that and falling asleep) and it's only a matter of time before he wins a big one.

- Wright at the end of the Anderson game seemed incredible, if I've read it right, he held twice in four visits, broke in four visits and held in five in the decider to claim the win. Will need to keep that up for longer in installment 94 of him against van Gerwen, seems unlikely, the market is where it's been for most of the time in their previous matches so I can't see any value.

- Munch to the worlds, really?

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Grand Slam - very quick quarter final thoughts

Haven't watched tonight or even looked too much at the stats, Gurney seemed incredibly free money but I will just look to the quarters and the prices:

Suljovic/Anderson - Can't see Anderson not being able to pull this off given he's got 31 legs to work with, that's a big haul for Suljovic and I can't think of too many spots where he's played that long a game, he's not played that many seven set matches in the worlds. Ando's about a 70% favourite, this seems to be fine given the distance, he's lit it up very well and is not giving away much at all in terms of duff legs, Suljovic will likely give him a break or two and that should be enough.

Durrant/Wright - I'm not sure what to make of this line. Durrant's a shorter price to beat the PDC number 2/3 (depending on what day of the week it is) in a race to 16 than he is a race to 5. Not that much can surely have changed in the course of less than a week, sure Durrant's won, and sure he's been playing well in this tournament, but for it to be a 2-1 game now?

Taylor/Gurney - Daryl rightly shrugged off Wade while Taylor did the same to Webster, it's the first proper test for both players and it will be interesting to see if Gurney can hang over a very long game against Taylor - you can compare to the Matchplay, where they had a common opponent in Peter Wright - Gurney lost 17-15, Taylor won 18-8. With Taylor only being an 8/13 favourite this may be a favourable line, but he's not really been setting the place on fire, and even tonight it's been mostly 15's rather than slamming in elite legs (even managing to lose the leg where he had seven perfect).

van Gerwen/Cross - Cross is only a point longer against van Gerwen than he was in a race that's less than a third of the length, he looked great value then but now I can't see how he is able to maintain that sort of level over this kind of distance with enough confidence or frequency to warrant a bet. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if he's able to get to 10-10 or 11-9, and he's shown tonight the ability to deal with some adversity, but it's a big ask to break what's becoming a bit of a streak in what I think is easily the longest match he's ever played.

So no bets, which is probably for the best on limited analysis. Away until Sunday afternoon, may get back in time for the final, we'll see.

Edit - corrected obvious typo in the Gurney - Wright score

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Grand Slam Day 6 - Last 16 Top Half Preview

Betting, er, didn't go to plan, nice of Phil to mail it in once qualified in the final game for a second year running

Michael van Gerwen v Steve Lennon

Legs won: van Gerwen 15 (7 twelve darters, 3 fifteen darters, 5 eighteen darters, 0 nineteen darters or worse), Lennon 10 (2/4/3/1)
Legs lost: van Gerwen 7 (99.79 average), Lennon 10 (91.88)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg (data from 2017 Lakeside onwards): van Gerwen 77.60%, Lennon 10.32%

Bit of caution needs to be applied here, Lennon has a very small sample size, only having made a handful of European Tour events and only getting the one win whilst there, so his stats look pretty decent without having to hit many elite legs at all. Getting here on account of whitewashing Jamie Hughes and being a beneficiary of Hughes nearly doing the same to Gerwyn Price, he's qualified with just the one win. van Gerwen won all three games but could easily have lost against Rob Cross, and naturally found matchups with Ross Montgomery and Joe Murnan fairly easily. For Lennon I think getting out of the group stages is job done, with van Gerwen being 1/25 I'm not going to be betting him either.

Raymond van Barneveld v Rob Cross

Legs won: van Barneveld 15 (0/13/1/1), Cross 14 (5/7/2/0)
Legs lost: van Barneveld 7 (87.52), Cross 8 (93.73)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg: van Barneveld 49.97%, Cross 30.61%

Now we get to a much more interesting event - this is somewhat of a statement game for Cross, who's hit some blistering peaks with five legs in twelve darts or less, while Barney has been very consistent, clocking off all his legs very quickly with all but two legs in five visits or better. Surprisingly, Barney's stats look better, with a greater percentage of legs won in four and five visits throughout the year, but this comes from a much smaller sample size than Cross who's not too far behind. Barney's an 11/8 underdog which hints at value based on season long results, but Cross' recent form and ability to stay close over a much larger sample evens things out enough for me.

Phil Taylor v Darren Webster

Legs won: Taylor 13 (2/6/3/2), Webster 9 (0/5/4/0)
Legs lost: Taylor 10 (88.43), Webster 12 (90.18)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg: Taylor 59.44%, Webster 22.73%

Firstly let me say what a joke it is that the PDC can't figure out better tie breakers that necessitate a nine dart shootout for Webster to make it through, should clearly be either legs won or head to head in some order, but he's here now and the market is giving him a little bit more than a 20% chance to make it. Taylor hasn't looked amazing, in particular against Wade he was awful statistically, but Webster's not exactly been forcing the issue, only really having a good performance against Noppert, if Darren had a touch more form then I might have fancied a little flyer, but this is a long event and Taylor will have had a day to rest up, so will avoid it with the value based on the stats being minimal, if it exists at all.

Daryl Gurney v James Wade

Legs won: Gurney 15 (1/9/4/1), Wade 11 (1/4/5/1)
Legs lost: Gurney 5 (91.36), Wade 9 (82.90)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg: Gurney 67.34%, Wade 17.02%

Right James, you've been given a reprieve by Phil having an uncharacteristic bad match, go and do something with it. Will he? Probably not. Wade's performing here has mirrored Wade's performing all season, not finishing half his legs in under fifteen darts, not getting close to the 90's in losing legs, not hitting very many twelves at all. Gurney's always been underrated in my stats for whatever reason, probably because like Wade he's not the tidiest on finishing in fifteen darts, but he's a lot better and has certainly been improving this of recent. Gurney's installed at 4/9, which looks good to me given Gurney's form, stats and ability to turn it on on TV this past year - 1u Gurney 4/9.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Grand Slam Day 5 - Last 16 Bottom Half Preview

Will post similar tomorrow for the top half once tonight's results are in, but that may be the last of anything in depth, I fly out to Germany for a booze/football weekend early on Friday morning so I very much doubt I can do the quarter finals justice (but may be able to get bets up).

Glen Durrant v Dave Chisnall

Legs won: Durrant 14 (3 twelve darters, 9 fifteen darters, 1 eighteen darter, 1 nineteen darter or worse), Chisnall 11 (3/3/4/1)
Legs lost: Durrant 10 (97.15 average), Chisnall 12 (85.38)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg (data from 2017 Lakeside onwards) - Chisnall 63.48%, Durrant 19.71%

Those chances of winning seem a bit deceptive - they come primarily from Lakeside where Durrant, as commented on this blog previously, wasn't hitting twelve dart legs with any sort of regularity, which is a big part of Chisnall's game. Just looking at the numbers in this event, and Durrant looks a lot, lot better - being extremely tidy, scoring heavily when he's not been able to win legs, whereas Chisnall has got away with getting some legs slowly, and not got away with quite a few others. Durrant is installed as the favourite, and that might be justified given Chisnall already lost two games here, but it wouldn't surprise me if Chisnall won - it just needs him to be consistent and hit some doubles, two things that have always been a huge problem for him.

Stephen Bunting v Peter Wright

Legs won: Bunting 15 (1/5/8/1), Wright 12 (1/7/4/0)
Legs lost: Bunting 10 (98.43), Wright 9 (101.40)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg: Wright 62.70%, Bunting 20.06%

Two players who could easily not have qualified, which seems odd given that Bunting swept his group and nobody else won more than one game - Bunting survived match darts against de Zwaan, and in a decider against Mitchell, had Scott throw probably his worst leg of the entire tournament to only leave 86 on throw after eighteen darts. Wright coasted against Cadby but was outplayed against Durrant and survived a match dart against Norris in a win or go home scenario. The bookies have Wright as a 3-1 favourite, if you look at the chances of winning then Wright's about three times more likely to do so based on the numbers we have, Bunting's numbers are a lot closer in this event than overall, but Stephen simply doesn't finish enough legs in fifteen darts to be able to hold on for long enough against someone of Wright's quality.

Mensur Suljovic v Berry van Peer

Legs won: Suljovic 15 (2/10/2/1), van Peer 11 (0/4/3/4)
Legs lost: Suljovic 10 (93.00) van Peer 13 (74.20)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg: Suljovic 96.28%, van Peer 1.08%

Let's take that last figure first - van Peer didn't qualify for any of the European Tour events, so the only sample we have is from this event, where it's fair to say he's not had the best of it. Suljovic swept his group but hasn't had things entirely his own way, being forced to a deciding leg twice, but realistically the van Peer story ends here, Suljovic is so incredibly consistent now that even if he threw in two or three duff legs and gifted Berry a chance, Suljovic will be able to grind it back pretty quickly, while he's got through, he's not killed quickly and will give Mensur more than enough chances. 2u Suljovic 1/16

Gary Anderson v Michael Smith

Legs won: Anderson 15 (4/7/3/1), Smith 14 (2/7/4/1)
Legs lost: Anderson 6 (97.10), Smith 12 (102.65)
Chances of winning before a deciding leg: Anderson 62.64%, Smith 20.33%

Similar betting scenario to the Bunting/Wright game where Anderson's around a 3-1 favourite and the chances of winning my model generates are somewhat similar. Anderson, however, has a limited sample size, consisting of more or less just the Matchplay and this, but in this he's looked excellent. Smith, however, has been no slouch himself, only missing out on sweeping the group by tiny margins, and it's excellent news that he appears to be returning to form. There might be very small Smith value, but given how quickly his form can disappear and that he is facing what looks to be a peaking Anderson, I'm not going to rush out to bet on it.

Grand Slam Day 4

Bottom half's now done, huge congrats to Berry van Peer, unbelievable what the lad's done. Nothing overly shocking elsewhere, last 16 preview will follow, but tonight's games first:

Mark Webster and Noppert are priced as a flip, don't want to get involved in this one but if I did it'd be on the Welshman, if he gets a couple of legs Noppert would be eliminated and might start mailing it in.

The other Webster's greater than 2/1 vs Gurney, who he of course beat to win his Pro Tour title this year, seems like a decent shot given he will likely need to win to advance, the only problem would come is if Mark won big and forced him to win big himself, so will avoid this one as well.

van Gerwen's basically never losing against Murnan, so straight on to Cross/Montgomery. Ross is longer than 4/1 in a race to five that's a straight elimination match. He's won six legs, five of those in fifteen darts of less, three of those being twelve darters or better. He's only averaged 86 in his losing legs though, which is a big gap, although if he nailed some of his doubles against van Gerwen like he did against Murnan then it might be a lot higher. He'll have to continue to play this standard, keep tight on the doubles as he did in game two, and probably hope that Cross has a slip or two, but I'm comfortable enough recommending a tiny underdog punt - 0.1u Montgomery 22/5.

Green should cruise against Machin, he's simply putting enough points on the board to get home - 0.5u Green 8/15. Wade needs to win against Taylor and I can't see how that happens ever, 0.5u Taylor 1/3.

Gerwyn Price is a big favourite against Jamie Hughes, I'm not sure that I love the odds enough despite Hughes struggling and already being out, the pressure will probably be off and in a home venue the crowd should become a factor. That just leaves Barney against Lennon, a similarly priced game and one Lennon probably has to win. He's looked OK and it could happen but it's the biggest game of his career and the pressure may tell, so I'll avoid this game as well.