Sunday, 21 October 2018

Asian Tour 2 - Electric Boogaloo

While I wait for the final Players Championship of the year - congrats to Ratajski on binking it and probably securing a tour card as a result, pity for Dobey to lose in another final, and today's huge as the last event before a bunch of cutoffs, can Gilding get into the worlds? He's playing as good as he ever has but he needs to get results right now. But while I wait, Scothead180 made an interesting point on Reddit re: the Asian Tour, querying whether the stats would look better if we filtered down on just the quarter finals onwards, as in the earlier rounds, players may not play their best stuff. TheMaximum180 didn't make a good point, referencing irrelevancies like averages and one player having three good visits to the board once, but let's ignore that...

This is understandable reasoning given the general quality of the Asian Tour, or at least the spread of quality. That said, are players really going to take it that much easier dependent on the opponent? There's a few things in play here - first the nature of darts, this isn't a game like snooker where, if you're playing a worse player, you can try to keep it safe and wait for your opponent to make the first mistake, as he'd be more likely to do - outside of a few small spots where your opponent's score is going to potentially affect your choice of route on a checkout, the two players are in discrete games, and there's no real advantage to be gained by slowing things down. It's a six round, very occasionally seven round tournament - that isn't that long and it's only a race to five, it's not like the Challenge Tour where you're doing two events in a day and you might think about pacing yourself, if indeed you can - how easy is it to turn your A-game on and off anyway?

But let's think about one thing that might happen - if you're playing against a weaker player, and maybe you play things a bit safer or just having a bad leg, that bad leg is more likely to count than if you're playing in the worlds - against a 70 average player you'll get a seven visit kill count most of the time, against a top 10 player he's gone out and you just need to look into the losing averages at the same time and see if there's a huge difference in consistency. So let's do what Scothead suggested - I'm going to filter from the last sixteen onwards - firstly to give more sample, but secondly, that's around about the type of level where all the real crap is filtered out - while these five seem to be above the rest at least in terms of money won, if you chuck in the likes of Muramatsu, Perez, Harith Lim, Ono, Park etc, you'll have a competent enough opponent.

So what do the stats look like now? Let's see:

Player by player, Ilagan actually has worse stats than in the whole sample, although it's only ever so slightly, Malicdem's a bit better, getting his 15 or less above 40% and becoming one of two players in the sample to over 80%, albeit only just. Lim's got a huge jump in twelve darters, is up at 56% of legs in fifteen darts and over 88% of legs in eighteen darts - which is pretty damned solid really - it's similar numbers to Steve West and Keegan Brown, without the same level of four visit kill explosiveness (Brown has an 11.6/55.7/88.4 stat line, West 12.3/55.6/88.1). Lam is a little better in that he's got above 30% of legs won in fifteen darts and is now up to 75% of legs won in eighteen darts, but that's still nothing to threaten anybody, while Asada actually has an even larger sample of legs won very slowly, but at least has got up to 45% of legs won "in par" compared to just under 40% in the whole sample.

So do the numbers look better? Generally yes. Do they make the players look like they might compete? Apart from Lim, who looked the best before, no - but Paul Lim being a competitive darts player isn't exactly new and exciting news.

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