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BDO 2014 World Championship Day Two Premium Picks.
We saw everything the BDO has to offer yesterday. It was a classic day of BDO darts. See, the thing is, if you watch it and are expecting the same level of coverage you get on Sky Sports, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you know what you’re going to get – interviews in the bar with Scott Waites, and at home with Wolfie while he’s wearing his England Captain shirt, along with a great THUD every time the dart goes into the board – you’re going to love it. The BDO charm came through yesterday, and Alan Norris caused a huge shock beating Scott Waites. Norris looked impressive, Waites looked terrible. Martin Adams looked in decent form in disposing of David Cameron 3-1. Wesley Harms started his run for the title against a disappointing Paul Jennings. Jeffery de Graf was shocking in his 3-0 defeat to Martin Atkins. And in the prelims, Michael Meaney and Madars Razma won through to the first round proper. I don’t think the 3-0 scoreline did Harley Kemp much justice, and John Michael will have felt unlucky, considering his average was better than Martin Atkins, who won 3-0.
yesterday was a disappointing day, with all the form lines basically thrown out of the window. Alan Norris didn’t let us down, but then the wheels fell off. John Michael was unlucky, but the rest, well, nothing went to form apart from Martin Adams, and even the odds-on 3-0 shot got turned over. So, we start off 1-4-5.3 units, which is definitely not the start I was expecting, as I had a lot of confidence, especially in Harley. Still, another double session today to get us back on track, and we start with former Champion Christian Kist taking on qualifier Hiroaki Shimizu. Robbie Green is up next against last year’s semi-finalist Richie George. Gary Robson finishes the afternoon session against Ron Meulenkamp. The evening session start off with Mike Day taking on up-and-coming youngster Sam Head in a prelim match, followed by Jim Widmayer and Garry Thompson in another prelim match. Then it’s back to Round One action as Remco van Eijden takes on Rick Hofstra. Not as much of a stellar line-up as yesterday, but hey, it’s darting action, and I’ll take that any day of the week.
Hiroaki Shimizu Vs Christian Kist
Another recent champion having to face a prelim match as Christian Kist takes on Hiroaki Shimizu. If you don’t know, it’s Kist that’s the former champion! Shimizu isn’t one of the big guns from Japan – that honour falls to Morihiro Hashimoto and Haruki Muramatsu. Shimizu did make the quarter-finals of the PDC Qualifying Event for Japan, and lost 3-0 in his first match at the World Masters last year, but he did win two matches at the World Cup, before losing in the Last 32. The long and short of it, though, is that he’s not in the same league as Christian Kist. Kist didn’t have a stellar 2013, although he didn’t play many tournaments, much like 2012, and that’s why he’s in the prelims. That being said, he looked good at the Grand Slam of Darts, even though he didn’t get out of his group – he averaged over 90 in all of his games, and a performance like that would be more than enough to get past Shimizu. If you look at the form of Hashimoto at the PDC World Championship, Shimizu is perhaps a level below him, and Hashimito aveaged 76.5 against Michael Smith in the first round. Even if Shimizu can put that average in, Kist is at least 10 points to the good, and should be winning this 3-0.
Christian Kist to beat Hiroaki Shimizu 3-0 Best price 4/6 (Various)
Recommend: 3 units.
Robbie Green vs Richie George
Two men with big reputations here, and something’s going to give. Richie George has a reputation from his run to the semi-finals last year, while Robbie Green is one of the BDO’s big names. Green made the quarter-finals here last year, losing 5-3 to Tony O’Shea in a Lakeside classic. Since then, he’s become Mr Consistency in the BDO, making semi-final after semi-final towards the end of the year. He also made an appearance in the PDC’s UK Open, losing in the prelim round. It’s been a big year for Green, and his consistency is paying off, as I like his draw. Richie George, well, he’s not really kicked on from last year, and he lost in the World Masters in controversial circumstances. But he’s not been progressing much past the Last 32, and it’s no surprise, as he seems to have found his level. He showed at the Grand Slam of Darts that he’s not really ready to hang with the big guns just yet – I think he does have a future at the top level, but he needs to add another 10 points onto his game consistently. And he just doesn’t have it yet. It’s going to be a comfortable win for Green, the handicap is the play.
Robbie Green -1.5 sets to beat Richie George Best price 4/5 (Paddy Power)
Recommend: 2.5 units.
Gary Robson vs Ron Meulenkamp
Gary Robson is one of those players I can never get right. And I’ve also heard a few scare stories about him to put me off backing him for life. He’s had a decent year, putting together a run to the quarter-finals in Zuiderduin, the final of the Czech Open and winning the Granite City Open. It’s been a decent year for the Scotsman. It’s not been a bad year for his Dutch opponent, either. Ron Meulenkamp made the final of the Finnish Open back in May, and has made several quarter-final and semi-final appearances this season. He made the final of the Romanian Open, losing 6-1 to Tony O’Shea. I can’t split them, but the bookies can. The 11/8 on Meulenkamp is a decent price, and I think the Dutchman should be a bit shorter, perhaps 10/11. Robson, as far as I’m concerned, is a liability at times, and Meulenkamp has enough class to get past the Scotsman.
Ron Meulenkamp to beat Gary Robson Best price 11/8 (Sporting Bet)
Recommend: 1 unit.
Mike Day Vs Sam Head
A prelim match here that has me intrigued. Sam Head has been plying his trade quite impressively this year for a youngster, and he’s been going well on the PDC Challenge Tour, making one final along the way. He’s also made a few quarter-finals in WDF events, and has impressed with some of his results. Mike Day, I have to admit, I know little about, but there is one interesting result in the New Zealand PDC Qualifying Event, where he lost 3-2 to Rob Szabo, the man who pushed Phil Taylor in the First Round of the PDC World Championship. Day was one set away from getting to the Alexandra Palace. Szabo impressed, and for Day to push him all the way shows he’s not too bad, and he might just give young Head a challenge. I can see Head winning this, but I don’t think he’ll have it his own way, so let’s get on the total legs in the match, as we could be in for a long one.
Over 15.5 legs in Day Vs Head match Best price 11/13 (bWin)
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Jim Widmayer vs Garry Thompson
Two veterans here, but only one you might have heard of. Jim Widmayer has been there and done that, as has Garry Thompson, and Thompson will be disappointed, like others, to have to be playing a prelim match. Widmayer has done the rounds and has been playing well in North America, but playing Garry Thompson at the Lakeside is a different story. All the footage I’ve seen of Widmayer doesn’t instill me with confidence, especially on his doubles. While Thompson isn’t a superstar on the doubles, I think he’s much steadier than Widmayer. Thompson actually won the British Open this year, beating the in-form James Wilson in the final. He also won the English National Championship, beating Scott Mitchell in the final, so he’s had a decent 2013, that’s for sure. His form in 2013 eclipses that of Widmayer, and I can only see one result here, and one convincing result at that. The bookies seem to think it might not be as comfortable, but I disagree. Get on the handicap.
Garry Thompson -1.5 sets to beat Jim Widmayer Best price 9/10 (Boylesports)
Recommend: 2.5 units.
Remco van Eijden vs Rick Hofstra
Final match of the night and it’s an all-Dutch class, as it becoming the norm around the Lakeside, and it’s a tricky one to split. neither man has been in exceptional form, but they haven’t been in terrible form either. Remco van Eijden made the quarter-finals of the World Masters, the final of the British Classic, and went through a purple patch in June, winning Swiss Open and the Austria Open. He’s playing decent darts, and will fancy his chances against his Dutch opponent. Rick Hofstra, he won the German Open this year, and made the final of Tops of Ghent, losing to Ross Montgomery in the final 3-2. Like his opponent, Hofstra went through a purple patch in June/July, making three semi-finals in Switzerland and Wales, and also the British Classic, losing to Tony Eccles, who beat Van Eijden in the final. For me, it’s another coin-flip, and I think Hofstra is huge value here, as he should be 10/11, not 6/4. He’s the value here, so we’ll be betting accordingly.
Rick Hofstra to beat Remco van Eijden Best price 6/4 (Various)
Recommend: 1 unit.
That’s all for the Day Two of the 2014 BDO World Championship. I’ll be back tomorrow with more Premium Picks.