Monday, 17 September 2018

Riesa aftermath - the boyo done good

We have a new winner on the European Tour, and it's this guy who I posted about in May:

Next to win a European Tour event:

1) Gerwyn Price - It was close between Price and White for who to put as number 5 above and number 1 here, given neither has won on the European Tour, and maybe I should have put Price higher as he's at least reached a major final, but I'll go round this way on account of Price simply not playing at quite the level of White right now, so if someone does burst through out of nowhere and nick a premier title very soon, it'll probably be White, while long term I'd think Price may be the more likely. Still, Price has made one final this year and looks to be getting the Premier League behind him. Should have just picked Durrant at number 5 above as he's better than both White and Price and despite only getting one shot per season, while it would be a surprise, I don't think it would shock anyone.

Well, now both White and Price have won one, and while nobody should get any huge kudos for picking the obvious, they still need to actually go and do it, and they have. Whitlock made the final, which should close to lock up a top 8 finish in the European Tour rankings (which apparently is all seeded like the Players Championship Finals, unlike last year where it was just the top 8 as seeds - meaning that, as things stand, Clayton would have been unseeded despite winning an event), always useful to have. Noppert and West made the semis, Danny probably just happy to make Dublin, while West may think what could have been having missed a match dart against Price to make the final. Still, if you keep putting yourself in those positions, one day it'll click - how many times did Mensur make a quarter or a semi before finally binking one?

It's the run in to Dublin now. We've got that BBC exbo next weekend, because we all need more events with the top 8 playing against each other. Although, in terms of quality, it really isn't the top 8 - in terms of points per turn it should be van Gerwen, Anderson, Cross, Cadby, Suljovic, Smith, Wright and White - leaving Chisnall in if you think Cadby doesn't have the sample. Gurney would be down at 14, and Whitlock doesn't even threaten the top 30. Although, that said, Whitlock is still in the top 8 of active players on the FRH rankings, so there is that. White would get in through that method as well.

Speaking of the FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Peter Wright
4 Gary Anderson
5 Daryl Gurney
6 Mensur Suljovic
7 Phil Taylor
8 Ian White (UP 1)
9 Simon Whitlock (UP 1)
10 Michael Smith (DOWN 2)
11 Gerwyn Price (UP 1)
12 Darren Webster (DOWN 1)
13 Dave Chisnall
14 James Wade
15 Jonny Clayton
16 Joe Cullen
17 Adrian Lewis
18 Mervyn King
19 Stephen Bunting
20 Kim Huybrechts

Price obviously moves a spot and is within 12k points of the top 10 - White had passed Smith before this event but Whitlock needed the final to get up a spot. West's semi final sees him close to within 1200 points of the top 20, John Henderson being sandwiched between him and Huybrechts. Barney is now down to number 25 and would have been out of it if Kyle had have won his game. Richardson and Schindler edge up to 45 and 46 respectively, Noppert is now well within the top 60, and Ryan Searle enters the top 64.

Meanwhile, there's a pretty good interview that ochepedia retweeted just now with Kirk Bevins here, if you like what you see here then I'd recommend having a read of it.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

European Tour 12 is an enormous mess

That was the state of my insides at this time last year after copious amounts of beer at the venue, but as far as the darts goes, this is it:

Yep, nobody's even got a 20% shot at winning the whole thing. That's quite bizarre, but nobody apart from Richardson is drawing close to dead at all. Whitlock's only really the favourite per the model at this stage because he has by far the easiest (on paper) draw at this point in time - hard to say what'd happen at the semi final stage, but if the favourites did win then you would expect all of them to move ahead of Whitlock (except for Webster, who's actually projecting as a tiny dog against Whitlock).

I don't actually fancy any bets. James has done well enough so far this tournament that despite Whitlock rolling off six fifteen dart or better legs against Beaton, he may be outperforming enough of late to nullify the season long edge indicated in the chart. 10/21 is thinking he wins about 68% of the time, so we don't need to knock off much edge for it to be a no bet. Webster's line is 8/11 which is more or less where we expected it to be, West's actually tempting at 21/10, but we keep backing against Adie and Adie keeps doing us over, so maybe we should hold off on this one - it's not as if West really repeated what he did yesterday and Clayton did miss multiple match darts. Finally Gezzy's coming in at 4/6 against 6/4 Searle, that's probably a bit too favoured in the way of the name player (who was another to survive match darts), but there's really not enough there.

Which leaves us down for the tournament. Although as it's one hundredth of a unit I don't think I'll be losing any sleep over it.

As I've chucked up chances to win the whole thing, you could actually look at the outright markets. Adie and Whitlock are both too short, Price at 6's might be worth a punt, Noppert's too short, Webster at 9's could be the each way bet, West at 12's is marginal, Searle at 14's I think you just bet the match markets, while Richardson I'm not touching with a barge pole.

Wright out? Searley you can't be serious - Riesa round 3

Well, it's nice to see a 5/1 punt come in. It'd be nicer to see the 4/1 punt on Joyce come in given that was a larger bet, frustratingly close to miss bull for the match (and then fail to hold in fifteen in the decider which would have done fine as well, Mensur only getting one dart at double 14 for the match but that's roughly how many he needs on average).

Searle saved what was otherwise a fairly poor bag - Chizzy not doing it against Richardson was the main hurt, but we had Lennon lose a decider, Wilson lose a decider (having eighteen darts in it and not getting one for the match), fortunately Beaton (albeit in a decider - again) and Schindler did the business and White was comfortable enough to make the overall damage for the tournament a tenth of a unit. If I hadn't gone for that Jenkins punt (that went well) it'd be bang on break even.

As an aside, I want to look at 124 at some point - was going to tie that up to the Joyce game but he was actually trying to take out 130, oops. If you hit the treble first dart, and really need to go out, is it the right thing to go for treble 14? I'm not talking in terms of hitting the big number to be sure of getting a punt at the bull - I'm talking in terms of moving really far outside and aiming for a very specific line whereby you try to get the double, but stay inside at all costs, something like this:

Aiming for a line primarily is something that players should be good at - it's called going for treble 20. It looks like you've got a lot more leeway in terms of height than if you go for treble, and if you do stray into double, then double 18 works a lot better than the double 11 you'd leave if you went for treble. It's probably something that'd need a bunch of figures from pro level players to see what works and what doesn't. Anyone want to send some data?

Today, Mensur is now the favourite, but is in the White half of the draw with Whitlock, Cullen and Webster all in play, his game against Noppert where Noppert must win to make Dublin is no gimmie either. Heck, Beaton's lived a charmed life, what's to say he can't go on a run? In the other half, with Wright gone it's opened up - Gurney and Lewis are the main guns, but Clayton's won before, West has the game to do so, Gurney and Lewis' opponents are Bunting and Price which won't be easy, then we've got Searle against Schindler. So, the projections:

White/Richardson - James hasn't done too bad, but the tests keep getting stronger (White's clearly a stronger test than Chisnall at this stage regardless of what the rankings say) - White was comfortable against Klaasen, Richardson was solid enough, but this is a hard one - 0.5u White 1/3, this should be a 1/5 game. Where did I hear that before?

Whitlock/Beaton - The model continues to love Beaton, who's come through two last leg deciders to get this far - Beaton's actually averaging higher per turn this season than Whitlock is, although the model gives Whitlock the edge as his points per turn when winning is higher than Steve's (although this means that Steve's scoring more when losing, consistency counts). I like this price a lot, although like many yesterday this could come down to the bull, and Whitlock likes a bull - 0.25u Beaton 15/8.

Cullen/Webster - Cullen overcame Smith yesterday despite Smith averaging 98, pinning six doubles from ten to shut him out at key moments. Webster defeated Mansell in a sloppy game where neither averaged 90, with Webster missing an unbelievable 24 darts at double - fortunately most of those didn't cost him, coming in legs where Mickey couldn't score. The model calls this right down the wire - Cullen being a favourite 50.03% to 49.97%. 0.25u Webster 6/4 as a result.

Suljovic/Noppert - I've mentioned already what a key game this is for Danny, it's effectively a £6k match. Suljovic now has some pressure of being the favourite to win this, but he should be used to that at this stage. Mensur was very solid yesterday, while in the first two games Danny's not really got quite enough scoring to really threaten, although he has been mostly tidy barring a couple of bad legs against Thornton where it didn't really matter. Noppie looks live and should raise his game knowing what's on the line, 0.1u Noppert 10/3, reducing as while the model gives Danny more than a one in three shot, it's probably not quite that high based on consistency and there's also the possibility that Noppert realises what he might do and cracks. He doesn't seem like the guy that will, but you never know.

Clayton/West - On to the second half and West was brutal in destroying Mervyn King, probably the performance of the round - averages count for nothing but when they're three figures and the second figure isn't a zero then you have to be impressed. Clayton edged Lennon having come from a 4-2 deficit, and the game is that tight that it's evens pick your man. No bet here - model is thinking that it's a Clayton game, but it's only 53%, and if West plays half as good as he did yesterday then I don't see how Jonny can compete.

Lewis/Bunting - Two former world champions collide, Lewis bagelling a disappointing Jenkins while Bunting hit the afterburners with three tidy legs after the occasionally dangerous Barry Lynn had split the first six legs with him. It's a huge opportunity for Lewis to go deep, but Stephen is no automatic out, his overall points per turn are over 90 this season compared to Lewis who's nearly at 92, the model is thinking it's a 60/40 split which, combining Bunting's performance and the odds we're getting points to 0.25u Bunting 5/2.

Gurney/Price - I was sure that these had played recently in Europe, so I checked the head to head and they never have, oops. That said, Gurney does have a pretty miserable 1-6 record against the Iceman, along with a 6-6 Premier League draw earlier in the year, Price also winning in the Masters a couple of weeks earlier - the two haven't met in a ranked game this year. The market is putting this out at around 60/40 in favour of Daryl, which sounded about right in my head but the model is giving Price better chances than that - 48%, which makes 6/4 look tempting. Both players won their legs yesterday in exactly the same fashion, making me think their form is similar - 0.25u Price 6/4.

Searle/Schindler - Our final game features two unseeded players who knocked out Peter Wright with a very good display, and Kim Huybrechts respectively. Schindler didn't play that great against Kim, only getting two legs won in fifteen darts (needing a 158 out in one of them), but he didn't need to as Huybrechts, one twelve darter from nowhere aside, just couldn't score. Searle's looking a lot more secure of recent for worlds qualification but every bit still counts, while Schindler will surely see this as a chance to make a deepest run yet on home soil for a German outside of the Hopp win. The line can't split them and neither can I, so no bet here.

Edit - in my drunken idiocy yesterday, I forgot to load the new data from yesterday into the master computer. It doesn't affect any bets, as a six leg sample compared to 400, 500, 600+ legs already in there isn't going to make much of a difference, but it did give Cullen an extra 0.5% so it wasn't quite as close as I made out. Unlike the Searle game, which is now exactly 50/50, which is odd given they have somewhat different distribution of killing speed, Schindler being better finishing within twelve and eighteen darts by a couple of percentage points, but Searle finishes within fifteen darts 3% more often. Very odd.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Riesa round 2

Huge win yesterday for Klaasen - not only was it 6-0 (although Perales didn't offer a great deal of resistance), it's bumped him over Keegan Brown for Dublin, while a win over White today (good luck with that) would make him absolutely safe by popping him above Meulenkamp, it's still the case that Noppert, himself one with a 6-0 win, could get by him with a quarter final run. With Wattimena up, anything could happen. Of the bets, Temple was more of a "bet against Richardson at those odds regardless of opponent" and James did enough decent legs, fair enough, although Temple had darts to make it 3-3 and 4-4, so it could have been. Searle was comfortable enough, not winning a leg in fifteen darts, but the other guy did OK I guess, Jenkins and Beaton got home (Beaton a bit fortunately I guess), while Joyce/Clemens (how these are both greyfaces on dartsdata when Dennant has a face I don't know) was a high quality encounter decided only by the bull, which we lost. Overall, the Beaton win put us up fairly small, so let's move on to today:

Huybrechts/Schindler - Should be a fairly even matchup to start featuring a home nation player (Riesa isn't actually that far from Berlin compared to other venues so it's closest enough to Martin's back yard) - such is the decline in Kim's reputation (or improvement of Schindler) that the market has it 60/40 Kim. Which I think is wrong - the model's showing Schindler as a small 55% favourite, and he's even more consistent, so 0.25u Schindler 13/10 straight off the bat.

Webster/Mansell - Mickey rolled DvD 6-0, but despite having a win on tour and a great first round game, the market's still only giving him a bit more than a one in three shot to get past Darren, such is the level of Webster's play. The line looks really close to accurate - Mansell's a very live dog but not quite live enough that we can consider a bet - 37% getting 7/4 is nothing really.

King/West - Two players around the cutoff for seedings in these, the market being unable to separate the two, making King a tiny favourite against West, who only barely beat Plooy yesterday in a deciding leg. It's a line that I agree with - getting King as a 54/46 favourite, it's 10/11 King, this could easily be decided by who wins the bull, it's that tight.

Bunting/Lynn - Barry got through Murschell fairly comfortably, but Bunting's an entirely different level - if Stephen turns up, which continues to be a question unfortunately for the Bullet. The line is thinking that Stephen should be a big favourite, and the model agrees - if the line was ever so slightly closer then I'd say fire on Stephen, but I'm only getting him at 76%, whereas 4/11 is saying that he's a 73% shot. If you want to stick him in an acca, it can't be bad, but I can't recommend a bet of any substance here.

Price/Henderson - Gerwyn's hanging around in the seeds despite it seemingly being quite a while since he's won anything or made a big run, whereas Henderson's on the edge of the seeds and is right up in the conversation for the best player that's not won a PDC event yet. He's in the 8/9 seed pod, so if Searle shocks the world against Wright (or Huybrechts/Schindler), then who knows? Market thinks it's 60/40, which is what the model's thinking for this one, give or take a percentage point or two, so no bets here.

Clayton/Lennon - Steve got through Kovacs easily enough, although he'd have liked to have closed out the whitewash having got to a 5-0 lead. Clayton's struggled somewhat since winning his European Tour event, and the market has adjusted to this, making it a 10/11 Clayton line, I think it should be the other way around but it's tight enough that I can't recommend a bet, like the King/West game this could come down to the bull. That said, if you filter down after Clayton won his event, Lennon reaches up to a 56% favourite... what the heck, Steve played well yesterday so 0.25u Lennon 11/10.

Chisnall/Richardson - Chizzy's got a decent draw here, but he's low enough in the seeds now that he'd play White tomorrow, James we talked about above, four from six legs in fifteen darts or less is a decent performance, but he's going to need to do that again against Dave, where he's a huge underdog. They're equally inconsistent, but I'm thinking this should be a 1/5 game, rather than the 0.5u Chisnall 2/7 line that we're actually being offered.

Wattimena/Noppert - Last game of the afternoon session, it's a Dutch derby with huge implications for Danny, and the market can't separate the two. I can barely separate them either, I think Noppie has the tiniest of edges, the market gives Noppie the tiniest of edges, 10/11 is exactly what my projections would call the line. Let's move on...

White/Klaasen - Jelle has probably done enough this weekend that the pressure will now be off, but against Ian it's going to need a bit more than having no pressure. Maybe a Noppert win will put it back on? European Tour winner Ian White (god that feels good to write) is a big favourite, I'm getting him winning more than three out of four trials, so 0.5u White 4/9 looks automatic.

Whitlock/Wilson - Intriguing matchup, Whitlock's shown spurts of form despite tinkering with his darts almost as much as Peter Wright has, while Wilson's been knocking on the door for a few months now, the line's giving Whitlock the edge, but not a big edge, only in the mid 50's. I've actually got Wilson as having a small edge, so 0.25u Wilson 13/10, why not.

Hopp/Beaton - Normally the seeds would be the other way around in this one, but Hopp on home soil is taking advantage of that European Tour win to get a free pass to this round against Beaton, who only just got past a resurgent van der Voort. This should be close, the bookies cannot separate them (I can't remember the last time there's been so many coinflips), but the model continues to be unconvinced with Hopp, thinking he has less than a 40% chance. Could come down to how drunk the German fans are, but 0.25u Beaton 11/10.

Cullen/Smith - Joe blew the best chance he'll have for years to make a final last weekend, and faces up against Ross Smith, who's been playing good stuff for a while now and was also knocking around on the final day last weekend. Market has this at 2/1, and this continues to underrate Smith - I thought they might have noticed by now, but I'm getting him over 40% so if they keep dangling these out I'll keep stabbing at them, 0.25u Smith 2/1.

Lewis/Jenkins - Is it really four years ago that this was a major final? Where Jenkins got completely owned? I think it was. Terry had no real issues winning 6-2 over Dennant, but Adie right now is a completely different ask, the line's 3/1 and I think that's worth a small stab - 0.1u Jenkins 3/1. It's only a tenth of a unit because Terry didn't throw a single fifteen darter yesterday - I'd like to have seen that, as he'll probably need to do it today several times to get home. With the model thinking this is nearer a 2/1 line we still need to bet, but I'm pulling it in. It's not like we've won any of the last three times we've tipped Adie to lose as a solid favourite.

Suljovic/Joyce - Ryan got through a tough tie with Clemens, holding serve being just enough to edge it out 6-5, and now faces Mensur, who should be rested up having taken last weekend off. The market really, really loves Mensur - apart from Wright next he's the biggest favourite of the round, I mean they are the 1 and 2 seeds to be fair, but regular readers will know that Joyce is really, really good. The model thinks he wins this more than one time in three. We know the model doesn't really like Suljovic and he still remains with a higher losing average than winning average over what's now an eight month sample (it's only half a point now). We tried this bet in Denmark at 3/1 and it ended 6-1 Mensur, but 0.25u Joyce 4/1, Suljovic really doesn't win this 80% of the time.

Wright/Searle - Ryan wasn't great in round one, but got through, and against the number 1 seed he's a 5/1 dog. Wright's rightly the favourite here to lift the title (although Suljovic has a higher overall points per turn), but the question is whether Searle can up his game from yesterday a lot to where it was at when he reached a Pro Tour final recently. Model is thinking he's got more than a 30% shot so 0.1u Searle 5/1, this may lose easily but it looks value.

Gurney/Marijanovic - Daryl's still yet to win one of these, or an event full stop this year, and he'd better think about it soon as he's not qualified for the Slam at this stage and really wouldn't want to have to go through qualifiers. Robert's looked good on occasions and put in a respectable performance to overcome Dekker late yesterday, but probably lacks the power to get past Daryl today - I'm thinking he's got about a 25% chance and he's around 3/1, so no bets here.

Should be a tight, entertaining set of games after a mediocre day one, let's go!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Riesa round 1 preview - now featuring multiple unknown players

Why yes, we've had a player come through the domestic qualifiers that I've never heard of. For a tournament in Germany that's quite an effort, but that's where we are.

Lennon/Kovacs - I have no idea who Steve's opponent is, other than knowing from dartsdatabase that he played the World Cup in 2016, and he took a leg off Ronny Huybrechts. Next...

Temple/Richardson - Terry has not had the best of times on the tour this year by any metric, and it's the first time he's qualified this season. Richardson's been almost as bad, as such the model reckons we should bet Temple - I'll do it small, 0.1u Temple 11/4 if only because he's done so little of note it's a bit hard to read. Hard to think of a reason to watch this one without having at least some small funking power going on.

van Duijvenbode/Mansell - This is rated as a flip, and Mansell's won an event this year while van Duijvenbode was close to leading the PDC in first round bricks, so it seems odd until the projections say that DVD should win this nearly 60% of the time. I'm passing on that as it just seems wrong to bet here.

Meulenkamp/Schindler - Another flip! Seems a similar edge to the previous game over year long stats in favour of Martin, but Ron's been playing a bit better of late so I'm alright in avoiding this one.

Pietreczko/Searle - Random domestic qualifier time, I have no idea who he is, he's probably really, really poor and Searle's in a bit of form - 0.5u Searle 2/9, if only because Ricardo beat nobody of note and has 50 euros lifetime winnings, and that was all in Luxembourg.

Lynn/Murschell - This is shaping up to be a fairly mundane afternoon session to the point where I'm glad I'm at work for it, Lynn has stung me before this year with a win from nowhere, but the line's such here that Dawson doesn't have enough to be favoured more than it at all, so that's a nice easy avoid.

Plooy/West - We saw Plooy a few times on the European Tour last year, but he went 0-5, and Steve West isn't the sort of player you want to face when making your first appearance of the season. He wasn't close in Q-School at all, did the first Challenge Tour weekend and won nothing, and won £250 in the UK Open qualifiers, so I'm thinking this will be one sided - that said, Plooy has enough in his game that 2/9 on West doesn't seem value, more that it's a correct line.

Justicia/Klaasen - Important one for Jelle in the race for the majors, after getting his card and having a good couple of early runs Perales has missed quite a lot of events, so while the projections indicate he should win this around 40% of the time, I'm inclined not to bet on him given that Jelle should be really up for this one given the importance of the match.

Caris/Henderson - Oh Magnus, you'll never retire it seems, he's not managed to qualify for any of these so far this year (Labanauskas being an added hindrance in a one spot qualification zone does that to you), so it's hard to say how he'll do. I think that Henderson might be value at 1/3, but without any good recent read it's hard to suggest a thing.

Thornton/Noppert - Danny's actually live to make the Grand Prix - if he can get through Thornton and Wattimena, he'd be in the last spot as long as neither Klaasen or Anderson gets a win, so that has to focus the mind. Thornton's on a good run of qualifying for these, but has left it a bit too late for it to count to most things, the market slightly favours Noppert as does the model, so let's move on.

Smith/Anderson - Huge, huge game for Kyle, who is just outside the Dublin spots and must win at least this game and then hope for permutations to work for him if he does nothing else, Ross Smith isn't the ideal draw (with Cullen to follow), and the line's underrating him almost enough to bet, I'm thinking it should be around a 5/3 line rather than 11/5, but Kyle should be keyed in and didn't exactly play badly last weekend until the wheels came off in his last game.

Jenkins/Dennant - Dennant, after doing awfully at Q-School, has made less than a grand from twelve Challenge Tour events this season, but managed to get into the last Players Championship event where he took three legs off Keegan Brown - too little data to say how he'll do against Terry, it should be safe to bet the Bull, what the heck, 0.25u Jenkins 5/11, I can't see how Matthew is really going to compete here.

Joyce/Clemens - Now this is a tasty one, two players with a fantastic floor record, Gabriel's been surprisingly bad in qualifying on the Euro Tour, while Joyce took a bit of time to get it but has been exclusively win on Friday then lose to the seed. Should be a good game to watch out for - the market has Joyce as the tiny favourite, but I'm liking Gabriel here - the model thinks he's the favourite, and up in the high fifties, he's in his home country as well so let's punt on 0.25u Clemens 5/4.

Wilson/Huckvale - James should quite comfortably keep up his good recent form here, Huckvale's not bad but Wilson's a good couple of tiers ahead here - the 1/3 line looks perfectly fair so no interest from me here.

Marijanovic/Dekker - Always going to be a case of which Dekker turns up. The line's 8/13 Dekker, which looks close to right, I've got him up in the high fifties which might point to tiny value on Marijanovic, but he's bricked the last few events while Jan's had a couple of OK runs of late so I'll pass on it.

Beaton/van der Voort - Final game, it should be a fun one to watch, neither messes about, surprised to see Vincent favoured but he has had a few decent outings this season - that said, Steve is favoured by the model and he made a quarter in the last Pro Tour, so let's go 0.25u Beaton 6/5.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

You're only as good as your last game

In a slow day at work today, I was thinking about how I calculate winning chances and whether I could come up with a better methodology. Right now, I'm using the simple method of seeing how often players win legs within four, five, six and seven or more visits and then working out the probability that they win a leg on their own throw from totals of those numbers. This seems to be working well enough, but it's running on a rather crude date slicer - I can pick any date range in my database, and then have it use only those legs won and lost during those dates.

Then again, do we want a leg someone has thrown in the UK Open qualifiers that we had at the start of the year to have the same significance as those that were thrown in Maastricht last weekend? I kind of think that we shouldn't - having a larger sample size to run projections is almost always beneficial, but players do get better and worse over the course of a year, and if someone's throwing like crap right now it's something that we probably ought to take into consideration.

What we can do is amend the way that I sum up the legs, and have it work on a sliding scale depending on recency - perhaps have any legs thrown within the last 30 days counting in full, those from 31-60 days earlier counting at 75%, those between 61-90 days earlier counting 50% and anything older counting just 25%. That way, you're still getting the benefit of a larger sample, but it weights recent games more heavily, which is kind of what we want.

The issue comes with something like we had in the Euro Tour that van Gerwen last won - prior to that, there was the Matchplay and nothing else in terms of competitive darts for a couple of months, so you're in danger at certain times of the year of reducing the section of your sample to more or less zero. That said, if you're just dividing all the figures for someone by four, then you're just getting the same methodology that you're using right now, so it really shouldn't make a difference, and if someone has had a good showing in the one recent tournament that we've had, then it ought to influence our decision making somewhat.

I may play with some coding at the weekend when I'm not making bets for the Riesa event. Is it really already a year ago since I was there?

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Well, looks like our secret's out

Ian White won a stage tournament! Woo hoo! Now that's got to slot him into the Premier League combined with his floor form, he's simply playing that well that even if he does nothing of real note in the remaining TV events (which I can't believe will be the case), he's made enough of a case already. As I posted earlier, there's not a huge amount of players outside of the core 6-7 that have made a case to say "pick me, pick me" - Ian's done that now, and if he crashes and burns, it's not like he's a Mark Webster or similar younger player - he's 48 already, give him the shot, if he doesn't perform in 2019 then he probably never will, there's really very little downside.

Ricky Evans made the final, a sharp turnaround from a month ago when he was losing to people a third of my age, and it's a key bump - he should make the Grand Prix now barring any severe weirdness (Burton's called Lennon, £250 ahead of him, in, so I guess it needs something like Terry Jenkins binking over Cristo Reyes), he'll now clearly make Dortmund and the worlds, all of which will help push him up the rankings, he's now #53 in the FRH rankings but will push up a chunk in the next few months. Ritchie Edhouse managed to get through to the semi, putting him into the equation for the worlds, whether he can do enough to get there is another question entirely, but at least he's given himself a chance.

Seems as if Lee Budgen, whoever he is, won the last Challenge Tour event of this weekend, over Michael Barnard, who continued his dominance of the tour, Boulton and Dennant getting to the semi final stage. Good luck to the lad, he didn't do anything of note at Q-School but has been getting progressively better on the Development Tour, so while binking this is still more or less out of nowhere, it should at least give him a bunch of confidence and put him on a list of players to watch down the road.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Peter Wright
4 Gary Anderson
5 Daryl Gurney
6 Mensur Suljovic
7 Phil Taylor
8 Michael Smith
9 Ian White (UP 1)
10 Simon Whitlock (DOWN 1)
11 Darren Webster
12 Gerwyn Price
13 Dave Chisnall
14 James Wade
15 Jonny Clayton
16 Joe Cullen
17 Adrian Lewis
18 Mervyn King
19 Stephen Bunting
20 Kim Huybrechts

Not a huge amount of movement, but lower down O'Connor has cracked the top 50, Evans is three places away from doing the same, Edhouse is now solidly in the top 90 and all of Smith (Ross), Marijanovic and Labanauskas are zooming in on the top 100. Also now cracked the 10 units up barrier for the year as a result of an overall two thirds of a unit profit this weekend. To Riesa and beyond!