Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Players Championship 1/2

Been busy continuing to import the UK Open qualifiers data into my database which is now two thirds done, fortunately the Players Championship events will take half the time, so it's not adding too much to a backlog.

Michael van Gerwen was the winner of both events, never really being troubled apart from needing a deciding leg against Ryan Searle and Luke Woodhouse on the Sunday (the latter missing match darts apparently), outside of him, it was a good weekend for Corey Cadby who's already looking good for all major events, James Wade had a return to form on the Saturday to reach the final, while relatively unknown Ryan Joyce had a storming weekend to reach a semi final and a quarter final, kicking off his tour card with a bang (although why he didn't play the second weekend of UK Open qualifiers is a bit of a mystery). Lower down the ranks, Simon Stevenson hit some of the form we've not seen for about fifteen months, while Danny Noppert continued a consistent start to the season with two board wins.

In terms of disappointing weekends, Peter Wright only grabbing £500 is a weird one, Joe Cullen whiffed twice in losing deciding legs to Chris Dobey and Jarred Cole, and perhaps surprisingly Justin Pipe did the same, after a good run in the UK Open qualis he lost out to James Richardson (fair enough) and Stephen Burton (a bit odd perhaps).

Not much else to add at present, I'm pouring all the time into getting the UK Open data ready before the preview for that one, so here's the updated FRH rankings:

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

Lower down, Cadby's climbed ten places this weekend to be on the brink of the top 60, Noppert is less than two grand away from the top 100, while Joyce debuts within the top 150.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

UK Open qualifiers roundup

We now know our field, barring the last few Rileys qualifiers, and we saw two debut winners at PDC senior level over the pro qualifiers - Cadby you'd expect sooner or later, but Ratajski binking one was more of a surprise, while we know he's able to mix it, to be able to do so on the PDC stage consistently enough to get through all the way is another matter that I didn't think he had in him at this stage of his career. Credit to the guy, 17 grand in the Pro Tour bank (including mincashes for two European Tour events that he's apparently qualified for) will take him a long way to making the worlds again this year, and possibly some other major events - including claiming the tour card he so nearly got last season.

Some surprising misses on the pro level that didn't qualify - Suljovic didn't play, which seems an odd choice, he could have entered events 4-6 and would only have needed to win his first two matches in event 4 and then withdrawn in order to qualify, but it's his choice and if it keeps him fresher for later in the year then that's fair enough, he doesn't know quite how much the Premier League might take out of him. From those that did attempt to qualify, I was most surprised by Dekker missing out, he looked in hot form late last year but couldn't get close, Lennon, old Huybrechts and Green are also surprising misses.

I've been able to hack out a list of the dartconnect links from the source to avoid having to use quite so much of their interface, but sadly they don't seem to have any sort of API to grab the information in an easy to parse manner (despite an email to them to see what they could do, which isn't much at this stage), as such it's a slow process, I've got half of one event done, and with more events starting this weekend it's going to be a big backlog. Being away for a chunk of the off weekend before the UK Open doesn't help matters either really.

New FRH rankings:

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

Ratajski rises to #47 with his win, while Cadby is just one place outside the top 70 already. Elsewhere lower down, Steve West's good weekend sees him claim a top 30 spot, Jeffrey de Zwaan's final sees him crack the top 60, while Dave Pallett's resurgence sees him in the top 80.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Second Division Darts results page

Will use this post as a holding page for results that affect the Second Division Darts table and edit it throughout the year:

UK Open Q1 - no games
UK Open Q2 - Darren Webster 6-5 Alan Norris, Darren Webster 6-4 Ian White
UK Open Q3 - no games
UK Open Q4 - no games
UK Open Q5 - no games
UK Open Q6 - no games
PC 1 - Adrian Lewis 6-4 Jamie Lewis
PC 2 - no games

Current table:

Darren Webster 9.58
Adrian Lewis 9.4
Everyone else 9
Alan Norris 8.82
Ian White, Jamie Lewis 8.6

UK Open qualifiers weekend 1

This year I don't think I'll do what I did last year and give explicit props for best/worst performances on a given weekend, I'll just look through the results and say what did and didn't surprise me:

- Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith both had excellent weekends, chopping the titles between them with Smith getting a final to go with his win yesterday, good to see early season form for Smith.
- Rob Cross going 0-3 is hugely surprising. Cadby you can perhaps understand the loss to as on any given day he can outplay anyone, but Jamie Hughes and Ryan Meikle?
- Similarly odd results for Barney, seemingly not playing the third qualifier but busting to Ratajski twice is odd.
- Good run to the final for Darren Webster to lock up a third round spot, sixth leg of the final looked to be the killer where he couldn't hold in eighteen darts but he's got to be happy enough with that score.
- No signs that Benito is returning to form any time soon, three first round busts to Kantele, Mansell and Newell winning just six legs combined, oh wow.
- No super deep runs, but Mervyn King had a consistent weekend, putting four grand in the bank which'll be good enough to go straight into the money.
- Another final for Zoran Lerchbacher, which should set him up very nicely for the season to come. Bumps him up close to Matchplay spots as it stands, pity his previous final looks to get removed just before the cutoff.
- Dave Pallett with a nice semi final should restore some confidence after losing his tour card, probably still needs a last 32 in one of the remaining events to get straight to the money though.
- Jamie Hughes is likely already there though, a last 16 and a quarter final combining for a very solid weekend.
- Matt Edgar is also probably in, with £250 less than Hughes after two last 16 runs and a mincash, missing out on the last 16 with £3250 would be a bit surprising.
- Dave Prins is also going to be there, who saw that coming?

Elsewhere, Andy Hamilton and Alex Roy are among the amateur qualifiers for the UK Open as we aim to repeat 2007, while Mark McGeeney retained the Dutch Open, getting some revenge for the worlds by beating Glen Durrant in the final. Remarkable achievement to win this back to back given the huge fields and short format, there's so many potential landmines to step on.

I've looked at that dartconnect site, and my god, the information they've got there is incredible - it basically has everything I currently put into my database for TV events, except for floor events. This should be hugely useful to get lots and lots of data, although how to get it efficiently is the big question. There's been over 700 matches played this weekend!

Updated FRH rankings:

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

Saturday, 3 February 2018

A selection of random thoughts

- Won't say much about the Masters, it's a non-event as far as I'm concerned, but it was good to see Barney back firing, the guy that runs the Darts Elo Twitter account, like me, has Barney making the top 4 of the Premier League, so it's good that he's showing form in an unranked exhibition where we're predicting him to do well in an unranked exhibition.

- Won't say too much about the Premier League either, interesting to see Whitlock play really well and Anderson choke away an unassailable lead, but the rest of the results didn't really tell us too much and those games could easily just be variance.

- Dutch Open is under way, looks like they didn't have quite as many entrants as originally planned (obviously in an event like this there's going to be plenty registering but not showing), but it still seems like an epic event. I really want to try to make it to the next one as it sounds like it's amazing.

- There were a few players on Twitter (Darren Johnson was at least one, Diogo Portela mentioned it on the weekly podcast) saying that the Challenge Tour days were far too long, and I've got to agree. They've got 200+ runners and they've got to run through all of them twice, that's a big ask. The answer, as far as I'm concerned, is to run them all concurrently. You can certainly save a bunch of time by making sure that as many boards as possible are being used at all times. What I'd do is this:

- Start the weekend on the Friday night, say at 6pm. Play through to the last 128 of events 1 and 2 of the weekend as a minimum, if time permits start playing the last 128 (say last game starts at 10pm). Do event 1 first, then event 2, and don't use the current system of people "winning their board" - draw up a running order, and allocate matches as boards get freed up. This also allows you to tweak the running order, if someone's drawn early in event 2 and late in event 1 you can move their game back to give them rest (you can even do this in advance, if someone's in the last 32 games on in a previous tournament you put the matches of those 64 players to the back of the queue). Only run events 1 and 2 on the Friday so that if players can't get time off work (if you play on a bank holiday weekend you can extend the session a bit) and can only play the weekend proper, they can still play events 3 and 4.
- On the Saturday and onwards, kick off events 3 and 4 first to have them catch up, then once you're at the last 64, you play all of event 1's games at the same time (I think they use 32 boards in these, if it's only 16 then it's shifted a round to play everything concurrently), then all of event 2's, etc etc. At the last 32 stage, you can now play two events concurrently - you'll need to tweak the running order a touch as there'll be players in both events as needed. I've not timed things properly but this should be a lot quicker, but the whole point is that you don't have spots where you're at the quarter finals of the first event and you've got many boards going unused.

- PDC are using something called DartConnect which sounds like it might be the holy grail of floor stats, but I've not seen what it can actually produce yet, and whether it can be worked to farm everything efficiently.

- Adrian Lewis is a bit of a silly boy. You need to work on the floor to stay in the qualifying places for majors as you're not in the top 16, and you go and get yourself suspended in the very first tournament. That's just about as unprofessional as it gets.

- First UK Open qualifier in the books, quite a few of the usual names at the business end but some surprises - the new Spanish kid having a real deep run, Dave Prins showing up, Cross going out before the money to Cadby, who should have had a good run but missed every match dart in the world against Whitlock, and some new/interesting names putting themselves on the brink of qualification already like Nentjes, Rickwood and Rod's lad. Also great to put Shayne Burgess back in the rankings, it's just like the old days.