Grand Slam of Darts 2012 Day Two Premium Picks

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Grand Slam of Darts Day Two Premium Picks

Well, the first day of the Grand Slam of Darts wasn’t exactly the greatest day for us. It started off poorly, but then we got back on track, thanks to Steve Beaton’s 180 scoring, and also Simon Whitlock and Arron Monk. To be fair, Arron Monk’s success was more down to James Wade’s doubling, as he only hit 9% of his doubles. Still, a 7/4 winner was a good end to a night that started off terribly.

The other tips were more or less beaten soundly, although Dean Winstanley got up to his usual shenanignas on the doubles at the most important times, going down 5-4. Ted Hankey, well, if he could have hit some of his doubles, he could have challenged Robert Thornton. The fact they averaged roughly the same sums up how important Hankey’s misses were. So we ended up 3-5 with a loss of -4.4 units. One result goes our way instead of a defeat and that’s a profit. Anyway, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, especially as we’ve got two sessions, and 16 games in total today. I do love the first Sunday of the GSOD – so much darts action.

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Paul Nicholson Vs Brendan Dolan.

Not exactly a match that’s going to get the juices flowing to start the day, but it’s interesting none the less.

Paul Nicholson has shown a bit of a resurgence of late. He reached the final of the Dutch Masters, where he lost to Simon Whitlock, which followed a run to the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix, where he played some great darts.

What to say about Brendan Dolan? If it’s not Dublin, he’s not interested. To be fair, that’s not strictly true, but he’s secured himself a nice spot in the rankings for the next few years thanks to his exploits at the last two World Grand Prix.

The worry for Nicholson backers is that the Aussie hasn’t beaten the Northern Irishman in four matches, and he actually lost both their meetings in the Champions League Darts. I can’t find a winner here, but I think it will be close, especially as their first meeting in the Champions League was 6-5. The line for total legs is 7.5, and I think we’ll get that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went all the way.

Over 7.5 legs in Paul Nicholson versus Brendan Dolan match: 8/11 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Andy Hamilton Vs Barrie Bates.
I don’t want to waste too much time here, as I had forgot Barrie Bates was even eligible for this tournament until a couple of weeks ago. Bates hasn’t done anything of note in the past year, while Hamilton is one of the top players in the PDC at the moment. Hamilton will win, and win comfortably. He’s 1/5, and you should know we don’t touch prices like that. The handicap is -2.5 and we’re definitely hitting that up.

Andy Hamilton -2.5 legs to beat Barrie Bates 8/11 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 4 units.

Terry Jenkins Vs Wesley Harms.

Another old guard vs new blood match, with Terry Jenkins taking on one of the players seen as the future of darts.

Terry Jenkins is perhaps the forgotten man of the PDC at the moment. But he’s been playing sold darts in the floor tournaments and going OK in the majors, without making massive in-roads. He’s just plugging away, and that’s the type of player he is. But he’ll fancy his chances of a decent run here.

Since his incredible run to the semi-finals of the BDO World Championship in January, Wesley Harms has taken the BDO by storm, and he’s ranked 3rd in the BDO rankings, which is impressive for a youngster who appeared almost from nowhere. Since then, he’s picked up the Swiss Open, the England Open and the French Open, while also reaching the semi-finals of the World Masters. He’s an exciting prospect, for sure.

Close doesn’t begin to describe this match. We have one solid veteran of the game, who’s playing OK, and then we have this young upstart, who’s taken the BDO by storm. I like the youngster here, as he’ll be playing with no fear and nothing to lose. The price is nice, so we’ll be having a dabble on Harms.

Wesley Harms to beat Terry Jenkins: 11/8 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 1 unit.

Raymond van Barneveld Vs Mark Walsh.
An interesting match in prospect, as both men haven’t been firing on all cylinders over the past 12 months, and both men have a lot to prove coming into the GSOD.

Barney’s slowly dropping down the PDC rankings, but that isn’t to say he’s not playing well. It’s just that he’s not winning tournaments like he used to. Add in the fact he’s playing less and less floor tournaments, and the drop was inevitable. He’s not even the top Dutch player any more – that title now belongs to Michael van Gerwen. He’s still putting in the big averages, but he’s now prone to slipping up more than usual, especially in the majors.

A quiet year for Mark Walsh, until the Champions League Darts, where he reached the winners group, but only managed one win in the company of the PDC’s elite. That being said, it was a welcome return to form for a man who hadn’t made a quarter-final since June. Walsh has gone well here in the past, so he likes the venue, and we know how important confidence at venues are in darts thanks to Brendan Dolan.

All in all, Barney is playing the better darts of the two. He’s still going deep in the floor tournaments he plays, just coming unstuck most of the time at the business end of the tournament. The same can’t be said of Walsh. Barney leads the head-to-head 5-4, and they haven’t played each other since January. The short format can cause upsets, but Barney’s not having much trouble on the floor, where it’s best of 11. The odds are prohibitive on the outright, but I think Barney can get a break or two and the handicap is where we’re going.

Raymond van Barneveld -1.5 legs to beat Mark Walsh: 10/11 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Adrian Lewis Vs Tony O’Shea.

This is the match of the afternoon session for me. Tony O’Shea is a natural entertainer on the oche, he gets the crowd behind him, and he’s playing the two-time World Champion, Adrian Lewis. It’s going to be a classic. At least I hope it is.

Adrian Lewis has had an up and down year. He starts it as World Champion, then won the World Cup with Phil Taylor, and then it started to unravel, with a 6th place finish in the Premier League – a tournament he never really got going in. Then he got some good results on the floor, mixed in with average showings in the majors. So it’s been a funny year for the World No.2 and he won’t be coming in full of confidence after his elimination in the second round of the World Grand Prix.

As I mentioned, the crowd love Tony O’Shea. He’s a power scorer, just like Lewis, he hits the big checkouts, just like Lewis, but there’s something likable about O’Shea that Lewis just doesn’t seem to have. He’s had a good year, reaching the final of the BDO World Championship, then winning the Dutch Open and Polish Open. Then, in May, he reached the final of the Welsh Open, and then reached the final of the World Masters in October. So he’s a man in good form.

This all comes down to which Adrian Lewis turns up. And you can’t take the risk on him at such a short price, simply because he’s playing a man who can quite easily beat him, even if Lewis plays well. Sure, if Lewis plays at his best, there’s only one winner, but it doesn’t happen often. O’Shea is solid, will have the crowd behind him and is coming into the tournament in good form. To me, he’s a huge price, and I’m loving it.

Tony O’Shea to beat Adrian Lewis: 2/1 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Gary Anderson Vs John Part.
I don’t know about this one. MY heart says Gary Anderson is a liability and shouldn’t be trusted at ANY price. My head says John Part is a liability, too. Part’s not been playing too great on the floor, but neither has Gary Anderson. The prices are about right, so stay well away and watch the ensuing drama.

Recommend: No bet.

Christian Kist Vs Wayne Jones.
World Champion against an out-of-form “journeyman”. It’s not going to be a classics, but it’s going to be interesting to see how Christian Kist takes to the seriously big stage.

Kist came out and shocked the darting world with his victory at the 2012 BDO World Championship, and he was the deserved winner, scoring heavily and putting in some nice finishes. He’s just won the World Pairs title, in the few ranking tournaments he’s played this year, and he’s also made the final of the Europe Cup right after the World Pairs win, so he’s certainly in a rich vein of form.

Wayne Jones is another forgotten man of the PDC, perhaps even moreso than Terry Jenkins. In fact, his only notable result was his recent semi-final at the Dutch Masters, but apart from that he’s not even made a quarter-final this year.

I think this is a big chance for Christian Kist to come of age, and prove his World Championship result was no fluke. He’s playing a man out of form, and there’s no better chance for him to get off the mark than now. He’s a heavy scorer, he’ll be confident, and I like him a lot, especially on the handicap.

Christian Kist -1.5 legs to beat Wayne Jones: Evens @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Wes Newton Vs Martin Phillips.

Another young vs old match-up here, with the “future” of the PDC, Wes Newton, playing the old guard of the BDO, Martin Phillips. It’s a tale of two careers, and both men have a lot to prove here, and both men will want to have a big run just to prove their doubters wrong.

Wes Newton is moving on up the rankings, and he’s playing very solid darts, where his peers are faltering. He’s climbing the rankings thanks to solid performances both on the floor and in the majors. He’s a real threat to everyone, and he’ll be happy with his draw.

Martin Phillips has had another steady year. He’s 28th in the BDO rankings, but he’s picked up minor success at the Turkish Open at the end of October, beating Darryl Fitton in the final. So he’s in decent form, especially when you consider he beat Scott Waites in the semis of the same tournament. So it’s safe to say he’s still playing at a decent level.

I can only see one winner here, and so can the bookies. While Phillips seems to be playing well, Newton is now reaching the upper-echelons of the PDC. Newton is around 1/2, and we can’t dabble at that price. It could be close, but I think we’ll just sit back and enjoy the last match of the session.

Recommend: No bet.

Evening Session

Scott Waites Vs Co Stompe.

Waites losing to Mark Webster last night was a bit of a shock, while Stompe losing to Phil Taylor wasn’t really. Waites averaged around 92 in his first match, while Stompe was around the 88 mark. Stompe only got 2 attempts at a double, which is a surprise, while Waites hit 43% of his, which is encouraging.

I like Waites here, but he’s no real value. However, the handicap line looks interesting to me. Stompe, while playing OK against Taylor, didn’t really cause him a threat. Waites will be confident, as his showing against Webster was pretty good, even if he didn’t win – his scoring was solid, and his finishing was sharp.

Scott Waites -1.5 legs to beat Co Stompe: 4/5 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 2 units.

Ted Hankey Vs Steve Beaton.
The former BDO World Champions meet up, and I’m looking forward to it. Hankey had a shocked against Robert Thornton, averaging 84.57, and missing 7 doubles out of 7. Beaton averaged 92.71, and was 33% on his doubles in his 5-2 defeat at the hands of Michael van Gerwen. The main thing in his match was the 3 maximums he posted. When you compare that to Hankey’s 0 maximums, Beaton looks a solid prospect here. However, Hankey had his chances, and if he had hit the doubles, the match against Thornton might have gone a completely different direction. Again, if Hankey can hit the doubles (and he is capable), he’ll bring the game to Beaton. The Count’s price is a bit high, so we’re going to keep the faith and trust him to keep his GSOD hopes alive.

Ted Hankey to beat Steve Beaton: 5/4 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 1 unit.

James Wade Vs Jan Dekker.
Two men who will want to forget last night’s matches. James Wade showed he’s lacking match practice, while Jan Dekker never got going against Mervyn King. That being said, Dekker’s 73.45 average was absymal, and I would fancy James Wade, even at this low ebb in his year, to punish the youngster. We’ll avoid this match, as there’s too many variables, considering Wade’s instability at the moment.

Recommend: No bet.

Dean Winstanley Vs James Hubbard.

Another two of last night’s losers, and Dean Winstanley lost in style, while James Hubbard put up a good fight against a strong Simon Whitlock. Hubbard managed a 91.42 average in that match, scoring 3 maximums, while Wintanley averaged 89.77, with only 1 maximum. The key here is going to be the finishing. Both players can score heavily, and on their first round performances, it’s going to be tight, so it’s going to come down to the business end of each leg. I think Winstanley’s experience is going to be key here, he’s made the final of the BDO World Championship, and has shown, at the World Matchplay, that he thrives under pressure. But the 4/7 is not tempting in the slightest. So we’ll again turn to the handicap, as I think we’ll get a 5-3 or a 5-2 here, just because Hubbard is stepping up in class slightly, and he showed against Simon Whitlock that the pressure can get to him.

Dean Winstanley -1.5 legs to beat James Hubbard: 4/5 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 1.5 units.

Mervyn King Vs Arron Monk.

A seriously solid performance from Mervyn King last night. He put in a nice average of 91.78 and never looked in trouble against Jan Dekker. Arron Monk, on the other hand, was scrappy, averaging 79.49 in his 5-1 win over James Wade. It’s a huge gulf in the averages, but the bookies have this one right. King should win this comfortably, but he’s 2/5, and we don’t touch those ones, so we’ll leave this match alone.

Recommend: No bet.

Phil Taylor Vs Mark Webster.

Mark Webster shocked us by playing out of his skin against Scott Waites. His 94.32 average was unexpected, and his 71% of finishing harked back to his best form. But his 94.32 is no match for Taylor’s 100.38, coupled with 68% finishing. Like most Taylor matches, there’s not much going on in the markets, and although I hate advising ANOTHER no bet, I think we have to stay away.

Recommend: No bet.

Simon Whitlock Vs Kevin Painter.

An 88.18 average from Painter in his first match, and an average of 96.5 from Whitlock. It’s easy to see why Whitlock is favourite here. He’s carried on his great form, and got past James Hubbard without too much trouble. I’ve got this being quite close, as both men know each other well. Again, there’s no real play here, as the bookies have this right – they’ve been pricing these two up quite a bit, especially in the Premier League. So let’s see how the two get on, and we can use this yo our advantage in the final round of matches.

Recommend: No bet.

Michael van Gerwen Vs Robert Thornton.

The two men of the moment bring the long day of darts to a close, and I can see only one winner – Michael van Gerwen. Van Gerwen averaged 103.42 in his win over Steve Beaton, while Thornton averaged 84.44, so nearly a 20 point difference. Van Gerwen is going to be dangerous to every person in this tournament, as he’s shown he’s mastered the short format, picking up a few floor tournaments this year. The surprise here is the price; I would have had him shorter, so we have to go in on the young Dutchman.

Michael van Gerwen to beat Robert Thornton: 4/6 @ 888sport.

Recommend: 3 units.

And that’s it. Finally! We’ve got a long day of darts ahead of us, so get yourself comfortable, and enjoy the show!