Grand Slam of Darts 2012 Day Seven Premium Picks

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Grand Slam of Darts Day Seven Premium Picks

A great night last night, not only because we had two great matches, but because we had a perfect night on the Premium Picks. Dean Winstanley got us off to the perfect start, beating the handicap comfortably in his 10-5 over Arron Monk. Then we had the perfect start to our Over 125.5 checkout in the King/Painter match. Painter produced solid darts to get the win there, while King looked like he had run out of steam. Then we had two great matches and two comfortable wins on the player to score most 180s. The stats didn’t let us down when Michael van Gerwen pummeled the treble 20, and the same can be said for Scott Waites. They’ll meet in the quarter-finals, and it’s going to be a cracker. I will say that the price I put down for the Waites/Thornton bet was wrong. I had 8/11, it was 6/5. My mistake, but it definitely wasn’t a terrible one.

So, that puts us at 25-18 with a profit of 19.8 units after six days of the Grand Slam of Darts.

The bottom half of the draw is in action tonight, and we start with John Part against Brendan Dolan in what can only be described as a potential scrappy encounter. Following that, Wes Newton takes on Christian Kist, and I’ve got high hopes for that one – both men potential stars of the future (yes, one is already a World Champion…), and it could just be a classic. Then it’s the marquee match with Andy Hamilton taking on Gary Anderson. And to round us off it’s an all-Dutch match, with Wesley Harms facing the elder statesman of Dutch darts, Raymond van Barneveld.

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John Part Vs Brendan Dolan

Like the Monk/Winstanley match last night, if you had predicted this match, you’ve done a lot better than me. While Dolan wasn’t too much of a shock, John Part topping a group with Tony O’Shea, Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson certainly was. Still, both men are here on merit, even if they haven’t been putting in performances like Michael van Gerwen and Scott Waites.

John Part comes into the second round having topped the group and having beat Tony O’Shea and Adrian Lewis, both in solid performances. The fact he only lost 5-4 to Gary Anderson sums up the consistent standard he’s shown this week. That being said, a tournament average of 81.45, 1 maximum and a highest checkout of 78 isn’t going to be setting the world on fire. In fact, Part’s highest average was 85.5 in his 5-4 defeat to Gary Anderson – his other two were on either side of the 80. But he’s got the results and that’s what matters.

Brendan Dolan is at it again, going on another run in a televised tournament. There’s no denying the fact that he’s a man playing with confidence. He came second in a group with Andy Hamilton and Paul Nicholson, so it wasn’t easy. However, he comfortably swept aside Paul Nicholson 5-2 and then demolished the lackluster Barrie Bates 5-0 to rightfully seal his place in the second round. His tournament average isn’t to shabby at 88.57, and he’s only scored 3 maximums and highest checkout of 76. So it’s not amazing darts, but it is consistent, and that’s what got him through to the second round, much like his opponent.

As easy as it is to say that John Part has been there and done that, he’s not actually been there and done that for quite some time, and the game is changing. One of the changes is that Brendan Dolan is a bit of a threat in televised tournaments, as a lot of the big names in the PDC can well attest to. Part’s tournament average is something of a worry, especially over a longer format – in a best of 9 legs match, you can just play shocking but still edge out a win if you can put a string of a few legs together around your other abysmal legs. His average being around 7 points lower than Dolan’s puts him around a dart behind each leg, which is a lot when you’re not taking out big combinations. So if Dolan’s sitting on 40, Part would be looking at a 2 dart out shot, in theory. Over the longer format, this definitely gives Dolan the edge. And when you look at the head to head, the fact Part’s only won once, while Dolan has won 4, including their most recent meeting in March this year. The more in-form player looks the pick here.

Brendan Dolan to beat John Part: 10/11 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Wes Newton Vs Christian Kist.

Group G winner against Group H runner up, and Wes Newton could easily have been facing Raymond van Barneveld instead of the BDO World Champion is results had been just slightly different.

Wes Newton topped his group, and although it may not have been the hardest group to get out of, he did it in a fashion that suggests he’s playing well. His 102.46 average in his 5-2 win over Terry Jenkins capping off a good round of group matches, where he finished undefeated. It brought his tournament average up to a nice 95.23, aided along by 9 maximums and a highest finish of 121. He’s confident on the oche at the moment, which is showing in his game, as he was hitting at least one treble on almost every visit against Terry Jenkins.

Christian Kist exploded onto the Sky Sport stage with a 5-1 win over Wayne Jones, and an average of 97.21. But then the performances started to dip, his 5-4 win over Barney bringing with it an average of 83.19, then his 5-4 defeat to Mark Walsh having a 90.09 average. It’s fair to say that while impressive in his first match, and the last leg against Raymond van Barneveld, the BDO World Champion has gone a bit off the boil.

There’s no head-to-head for these two, obviously, as it’s BDO Vs PDC. So all we can go on is the stats. Kist’s average of 90.16 is paired with 6 maximums and a highest checkout of 84, so all his stats pale into comparison against Wes Newton. Newton is 5 points ahead on the averages, 3 ahead on the maximums (and has played 4 legs less) and has a checkout 27 points greater than Kist. So all signs point to a Newton win, as do all the bookies. And I don’t blame them. I think the prices are about right, and if Newton starts well, it could be over quickly. That being said, I don’t like the prices on offer, as he’s just too short to be worth backing. What I do like the look of is the highest checkout line. Newton’s 121 is only a few points short of the 124.5 being put up, and he’s obviously capable of more, while Kist will need to take a few big ones out to keep up with Newton.

Highest checkout in Newton Vs Kist match over 124.5: 5/6 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 3 units.

Andy Hamilton Vs Gary Anderson.

The biggest match of the night and it’s the third match on the oche again. Two of the biggest names left in the tournament, and one is going to fall by the wayside in 19 legs or less.

Andy Hamilton comfortably won his group, winning all three games against Paul Nicholson, Barrie Bates and Brendan Dolan. He’s another man playing nice, consistent darts and not looking troubled. His tournament average is 91.62, with only 4 maximums, and a highest finish of 118. So it’s average darts, but enough to see off his opponents. It was his 97.31 against Paul Nicholson that was the highlight of his group stage, as he showed that under pressure he can up his game – he was never under pressure against Brendan Dolan or Barrie Bates, so never needed to up his game. Tonight will be different.

I don’t know how to sum up Gary Anderson’s performances in the group stages. I’ve used consistent to describe a few players tonight, but someone whose matches all ended up 5-4 and never veering too far from a 95 average is, by definition, consistent. He’s also scored 9 maximums and has a highest checkout of 130, so he’s playing a lot better than he had been in the first 9 months of the year. Maybe it’s those horrible shirts – they sort of worked for Wayne Mardle.

The head to head between these two is fascinating reading. Anderson leads 12-4, and won their last meeting in the Champions League Darts. Hamilton won the match before that. But what’s interesting is the results from the Premier League at the start of the year, where Anderson was struggling for form – one draw and one 8-2 win for the Scotsman. So, to me, it looks like Anderson has Hamilton’s number. Normally I’d be put off by Anderson’s poor form, but he’s shown signs this week that he’s back to somewhere near his best, and his averages have been nice and consistent, as has his 180 scoring. Hamilton has also played well, and I think it’s going to be a close one, but you can’t deny that Anderson has the mental edge over Hamilton and that could prove decisive. However, the price for Anderson is just a bit too short. What I do think we’ll see, like Anderson’s league games, is that it’s going to be a close one, and it could go 10-8, 10-9. The line for total legs is 16.5, which is nice, and worth a dabble.

Total legs in Gary Anderson Vs Andy Hamilton match over 16.5: 4/5 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Raymond van Barneveld Vs Wesley Harms.

Last match of the second round, and it’s older Dutchman against younger Dutchman. Wesley Harms claimed to have never seen Wes Newton throw before their game, but I can bet he’s seen Barney once or twice. This will be the first time they’ve faced each other in competition, so we’ve got little to go off, like a lot of the BDO Vs PDC clashes.

Barney coasted through what could have been a tough group, easily beating Wayne Jones and Mark Walsh, and losing 5-4 to Christian Kist in what was essentially a one-leg shootout. He hasn’t shown too much inconsistency, with a tournament average of 91.87, and a highest checkout of 141, as well as 4 maximums. It’s been steady darts, and he’s avoided getting flustered when going behind, which is always a huge help to Barney game.

Like his countryman, and fellow BDO star Chirstian Kist, Wesley Harms arrived at the Grand Slam of Darts like a whirlwind, destroying Terry Jenkins 5-2 with an average of 101.79. Needless to say, he never brought that level of performance back onto the stage, especially not against Wes Newton, where he was outclassed in a 5-2 defeat. Nerves might have been a factor involved in his 81.08 average, as he posted a nice 93.16 in his 5-2 in over Martin Phillips, all but confirming his place in the second round. So his 92.01 average was nicely evened out by his final group game.

This is going to come down to who can hold their nerve. Harms has only been around a fraction of the time Barney has, and Barney’s experience could be crucial here. However, Harms hasn’t disgraced himself in this tournament, and his 3 maximums aren’t far behind Barney’s tournament total. However, I think Barney should just edge it here, because by this point the crowd are going to be going mental – it’s a Friday night at the darts! Harms will have experienced hostile crowds, but I don’t think he’ll have experienced anything like the Barney Army. Of course, that’s why Barney is 1/3 to win tonight, and we’re not touching that, not even with counterfeit. The handicap at -3.5 is one of those that could really go either way, so we’ll avoid that, too. What I do like is the highest checkout line. Barney has a 141 to his name, and the line is 124.5, and I fancy he’ll get a few chances at some big outs tonight.

Highest checkout in Raymond van Barneveld Vs Wesley Harms match over 124.5: 5/6 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 1.5 units.

And that concludes the second round. We’ll have our quarter-final line up done and dusted, and I’ll be back tomorrow to dissect it.