PDC World Matchplay 2013 Day Two Premium Picks.
Not the greatest start to the World Matchplay last night, hitting the bar on the highest checkout in the Wade/Part match, with Part missing double 7 for a win for us. And Jelle Klaasen almost got us a big win. Andy Smith was never at the races, and we came nowhere near on the 180s in the Barneveld/Suljovic match. I think Suljovic’s rhythm just disrupted his opponent a bit, even though Barney made it through comfortably.
Tonight, sessions of darts, the afternoon session starting at 1pm, the evening session starting at 7pm. So eight matches for us to get through, so without further ado I’ll get onto them now.
Again,, I just want to remind you of Victor Chandler’s great money-back offer if the match you get on goes to sudden death. So, on any of our outright match win picks, I’d advise backing them at Victor Chandler, just so you have that added insurance if you’re on the wrong side of a sudden death defeat.
Justin Pipe (9) Vs Mark Webster
This isn’t the match you want to be kicking off your day – it could be scrappy. Both men are struggling a bit for form, but there will be a winner, and it’s going to be the man who shows enough fight to get through. So we won’t be getting anything flashy, but for the darts purists out there, it might be one they’ll enjoy.
Just a few years ago, Justin Pipe was always mentioned as the player that was amazing on the practice board, but couldn’t translate that form to the tournaments. Then he came alive in 2011, and climbed up the rankings through that year and then 2012, to get up to 9 in the Order of Merit. Has he capitalised on that? In a word, no. Pipe’s form has been distinctly average this year, and he’ll be in trouble of slipping down the rankings as quickly as he moved up them if he doesn’t start defending all that prize money he’s won over the last two years. He had 3 tournament wins in 2011, 2 in 2012, but he’s yet to get on the board this year. In fact, his best result is one semi-final, followed by three quarter-finals. He’s also lost quite a few first round matches on the ProTour, which shows hos poor his form as of late has been. However, he does have obvious talent, and he’ll be pleased to draw someone who’s in just as poor form as he is.
Yes, Mark Webster is in poor form, too. He scraped into the tournament, and this former World Champion will be hoping for a return to form here to get him back up the rankings where he’ll no doubt feel he belongs. However, with one quarter-final to his name this year, and a string of last 32 appearances, form is just not coming for the Welshman. He was full of confidence with a late entry into the European Championship, but a 6-2 defeat at the hands of James Wade put that to rest.
So, this is a match between two men in need of a win to kickstart their season. Like I say, I don’t think this will be pretty, and one man does have to win (although maybe they’ll get to 9-9 and just call it a draw, and both men will be knocked out). What makes my decision easier here is that Mark Webster just looks like value to me. He’s 7/4 in a match which could go either way, and we have seen the TV cameras bring out the best in him, while Pipe often blows it on the big stage, leaving his best for the floor tournaments. There’s great value to be had, as I think Webster should be shorter.
Mark Webster to beat Justin Pip: Best price 7/4
Recommend: 2 units.
Kevin Painter (12) Vs Jamie Lewis.
Youth versus experience here, with Painter a dab hand on the Winter Gardens stage, while Jamie Lewis is making his bow in the tournament thanks to his run to the final of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy last month in what was obviously the biggest result to date for the youngster. Both men will be happy enough with the draw, and it could be an interesting match.
So far, 2013 has been distinctly average for Kevin Painter. For someone who was looking to be tearing up the rankings in the last couple of years, he’s just not been as consistent, with 3 quarter-finals and two semi-finals to his name, but also mixed in are a fair few early defeats, like a lot of the inconsistent players on the ProTour at the moment. It’s fair to say, like John Part last night, you know what you’re going to be getting from Kevin Painter – a solid average around the 90 mark, and a lot of double 16s hit. But the interesting thing is Painter’s poor form in Blackpool, considering how many times he’s played here. Painter has only ever reached the quarter-finals here once, and that was in 2010. So there’s a bit of a hoodoo considering he’s a World Championship runner-up, and a UK Open semi-finalist.
Jamie Lewis is one of the emerging talents out of the PDC’s youth system, and he finally hit the big time at the end of June in Gibraltar. It was a bit of a bolt out of the blue, to be fair, as his best result on the senior tour before that was a last 32 appearance back at the end of February. So it’s hard to say whether the result was a bit of a fluke, or if Lewis’s game has finally turned a corner, much like Michael van Gerwen’s did at the World Grand Prix last year. This afternoon will be the test.
There’s no denying you’re going to be hearing a lot about Jamie Lewis over the next ten years or so, but I’m yet to be convinced that his run to the final in Gibraltar was anything more than a fluke. His results this year has been shocking, and he’s got some convincing to do if I’m going to back him against the big guns of the PDC. However, Painter’s form isn’t exactly scintilating. But Painter has been here and done it all before, and it’s no surprise he’s a short price to win. I like the handicap line here, and although some books are going -2.5, I think Painter could easily win this 10-6 or better, so the -3.5 on offer at Victor Chandler is good enough for us.
Kevin Painter -3.5 legs to beat Jamie Lewis: Best price 11/10
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Kim Huybrechts (15) Vs Peter Wright.
This could be the tie of the round, and both men will be gutted to have drawn each other, as they’re both going the right way up the PDC rankings. The first question that needs to be answered, however, is: what will Peter Wright’s hair look like this afternoon? After that’s been answered, we can answer the next question: who the hell is going to win this?
On the oche, this has been a great year for Kim Huybrechts. Yes, the heartbreak in his personal life has been well documented, but he’s found some great form this year, winning a floor tournament, getting to the final of the World Cup of Darts with his brother, Ronny, and he’s also made another final on the floor, as well as one semi-final and three quarter-finals. He’s a real danger, and the fact he’s 15th seed doesn’t do his form justice. The problem Huybrechts seems to have is that he’s been inconsistent on the TV stage – we know he can do the business, and he has had some big wins on TV, he’s also bottled it under pressure, and he’s going to be pressured this afternoon by the high-scoring Peter Wright.
Yes, Peter Wright is a high-scorer, and he’s a real threat to anyone in the PDC, as his run to the semi-finals of this year’s UK Open shows. He’s always impressed me when he’s been on TV, giving Michael van Gerwen a fright last year at the World Championship, and his power scoring has got him into some great positions – the only problem he’s seemed to have is closing out matches. But a floor tournament win in Crawley in June might have put an end to that. He’s also made four other semi-finals, and three quarter-finals, so the form is there, the confidence has always been there and maybe his game is coming together.
I get the feeling that we could be seeing this match-up a lot more over the next couple of years is both men can keep this form up. They’ll both safely be in the top 16 soon enough, and we’ll see this match later in tournaments instead of the first round. This, to me, is a coin-flip, and that’s the way the bookies see it, too. Around 5/6 the pair is right. Yes, Wright is coming into this off the back of a great run at the UK Open, but Huybrechts has just been solid for the past 18 months. There is a much more interesting proposition here, anyway, and that’s the Player To Score Most 180s. As I say, Wright is a power scorer, up there with the likes of Lewis and Chisnall, and the bookies have him as the outsider of the pair to score most 180s. While Huybrechts is no slouch on the treble, Wright can put a string of them together if he gets into the groove. The price looks extremely generous.
Peter Wright to score more 180s than Kim Huybrechts: Best price 6/4
Recommend: 2 units.
Brendan Dolan (14) Vs Steve Beaton.
After the potential fireworks of Huybrechts/Wright, we get this match between two PDC grinders. Brendan Dolan is one man who confounds me, while Steve Beaton is one who frustrates me no end.
Brendan Dolan is perhaps the least flashy of the PDC’s Top 16 – he’s the definition of a grinder, no frills and someone who somehow gets the job done. He fully deserves his place in the Top 16, having reached one floor tournament final this year, a semi-final and a quarter-final, as well as a last 16 finish at the UK Open, which isn’t too bad. Like Part and Painter, you know what you’ll get with Dolan, which is an honest performance. He’s in decent form, and while not quite in the rich vein of form as someone like Van Gerwen, or Wright, he’s doing OK for himself this year.
Steve Beaton, well, he’s a veteran of the sport now. Another former World Champion, he’s now entering the twilight of his career, and we’re seeing him less and less on our TV screens. That being said, he also rightfully earned his place in the field, albeit late in the day, thanks to a good run of results in May and June, with a quarter-final in Wigan back in May, followed up by a semi-final in Austria and a quarter-final in Gibraltar. So he’s playing just as well as most of the unseeded players in this field, and some of the seeded ones, too. He’s made the semi-finals in Blackpool before, although it was 12 years ago. Beaton always does seem to save his best for the TV, when there’s no pressure on him, and this just might be the case this afternoon.
It’s another coin flip for the bookies, and it’s a coin flip for me. Both men are going to put in averages around the 90 mark, they’ll probably push each other all the way, and we’re going to see who has the bottle to get over the line. Like the Wright/Huybrechts match, I agree with the bookies – I can’t split them. I wouldn’t even like to hazard a guess, as it’s finely balanced, especially with Beaton’s recent form no doubt giving him some much-needed confidence in his game that was maybe missing last year. I think we’ll get a lot of legs, and a lot of chances at some big finishes. Beaton is one who always loves a big combination checkout, and Dolan can pull them out the bag, too. The line is 126.5, and I think that’s low enough for these players.
Highest checkout in Dolan Vs Beaton match over 126.5: Best price 5/6.
Recommend: 2 units.
Mervyn King (13) Vs Gary Anderson.
Yep, that’s right, Gary Anderson is unseeded for the World Matchplay. While it might be a bit of a shock considering Anderon’s history, given the last 18 months it’s no surprise. It’a s shocking draw for both men, and in the past it would have been worthy of a final, but now it’s a first round match, and one that isn’t as exciting as it would have been just a few years ago.
The Mervyn King comeback has stuttered slightly throughout 2013, until the Austrian Open in June, that is. He had been plodding away on the Tour this year, getting to one final and two quarter-finals, mixed with a lot of last 32s. But it was the resurgence that started almost this time last year (at the World Grand Prix), and King looked back to near his best. The problem that King brings is that you don’t know if he’ll bring his much touted A-game, or if he’ll try and scrape through with a high-80 average.
I was going to write a piece and slate Gary Anderson’s recent form, but on retrospect, that wouldn’t be fair. Forget his personal issues, he’s actually had some good runs on the floor, reaching four semi-finals and four quarter-finals this year, which is pretty impressive. The one issue is that he’s had problems with his eye this year, causing him to miss the recent European Championship. However, he played in Gibraltar, beat Dylan Duo 6-0 and narrowly lost out to Andy Hmailton 6-5. So while it reads like an early exit, he was playing a man in great form in the shape of Andy Hamilton. Anderson’s shocking performances in the Premier League are also worrying, but you it’s safe to say that as soon as Anderson felt he was out, his heart wasn’t in it.
This could be exciting, as the former BDO underachievers meet in the first round of a PDC event, both hoping to go deep here. King’s in a bit of form, Anderson’s trying to get the form back, and it could be a classic. Anderson is a relatively short priced favourite here, and it’s too short for us. 4/6 is no price when you consider Anderson’s recent health issues, his mindset and just the fact he’s not been great on TV recently. I think King is just a bit of value here, considering he’s in similar, if not better form that Anderson.
Mervyn King to beat Gary Anderson: Best price 5/4
Recommend: 1 unit.
Dave Chisnall (10) Vs Paul Nicholson.
It wasn’t long ago that I would have thought this would be a classic, with high scoring, great finishes and real passion from two of the up-and-coming talents in the PDC. However, it’s now a battle between two out-of-form players looking to string some wins together to keep their place on the Order of Merit.
Dave Chisnall, a sensation on the floor in 2011 and 2012 is now becoming a bit of an enigma. Where he was once blazing through the floor tournaments, he’s now struggling to get a decent string of results together. However, he’s made one final, one semi-final and three quarter-finals this year, but that’s coupled with results like a 6-0 defeat to Jamie Caven in the first round of the European Championship. It’s worrying to see such a talent struggling to recapture the form of the last 24 months.
The above could almost also apply to Paul Nicholson. However, he has made two finals this year, one in April, one in May. But, like Chisnall, he’s also struggled to make it past the last 32 more often than not. He’s a man that can play himself into form, though, and when he was written off last year, he reached the final of the Dutch Darts Masters. He has all the confidence in the world around his game, and that’s important, because even though he might not be playing well, he’ll think he can still beat anyone.
If this had been 12 months ago, I would have been advising a bet on Chisnall. However, Chissy has never made it past the last 32 here, and his form in the big events recently doesn’t make him a safe bet. Nicholson actually looks like a spot of value here, simply because he has confidence in his game, while Chisnall doesn’t strike me as the most confident player when things are going wrong. The other interesting market is the Player To Score The highest Checkout. Chisnall isn’t known for his great doubling ability – in fact he’s caused me no end of frustration on the doubles, while Nicholson is handy with the big combinations. And the bookies can’t agree who should be favourite here. It SHOULD be Nicholson, but Paddy Power are the only ones to see it that way!
Paul Nicholson to beat Dave Chisnall: Best price 13/8
Recommend: 1 unit.
Paul Nicholson to score highest checkout versus Dave Chisnall: Best price 11/10
Recommend: 2 units.
Phil Taylor (1) Vs Stuart Kellett.
Another old guard versus new guard match here, although Kellett isn’t quite as young as Jamie Lewis. We know the PDC newcomer will be up against it, as Taylor looks strong, and his triumph at the UK Open proves that. However, Kellett has nothing to lose here, and he’ll be happy with his progress throughout the year.
Phil Taylor has risen to the challenge Michael van Gerwen has set him. He’s got the upper-hand thanks to the UK Open triumph, followed up by a win in Gibraltar. Although, to be fair, he has had a few slip-ups in the smaller tournaments, most notably in April where he went out in the last 64 three tournaments in a row. So Phil Taylor isn’t unbeatable, it just seems that way. Apart from that, there’s not much left to say about The Power.
Which brings us on to Stuart Kellett, a man who let us down at the World Championship – not that I hold a grudge. But he’s come on leaps and bounds, reaching the final of the UK Masters early in the year, and then reaching a Players Championship final in Wigan, losing 6-1 to Michael van Gerwen. But what’s notable about that floor tournament is the semi-final match where Kellett beat Phil Taylor 6-4. So he knows he can beat Phil Taylor, and he’s going to be going in with nothing to lose here.
Look, as I say, Kellett is leading on the head-to-head thanks to that win in Wigan. However, Taylor has admitted he hates short format matches, and the World Matchplay is a slightly longer format in the early stages. While best of 19 isn’t very long, it’s long enough. I can’t see past Taylor here, and although Kellett is 8/1, the worry is that he’s frozen on the big PDC stage, while Taylor has been there done that and won this tournament more times than you can shake a stick at. However, what’s interesting is the line is -5.5, and I think that’s a bit of an insult to Kellet, as I think he’s more than capable of taking 5 legs off of Taylor, especially considering the last time they met he got the 6 he required. It’s a little bit of value in an otherwise bleak market.
Stuart Kellett +5.5 legs to beat Phil Taylor: Best price 4/5
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Michael van Gerwen Vs Colin Lloyd.
Last but not least, it’s the man of the moment taking on Colin Lloyd. Michael van Gerwen is the man the fans are coming to see now, and putting him on last is a smart move – of course, there’s going to be a lot of rowdy drunks by this point, so be prepared to watch this on mute.
What can I say about Michael van Gerwen that you don’t already know? He’s winning everything, he’s playing great darts and he doesn’t seem to be scared of anyone. He’s got 10 tournament wins this year, one runner-up spot, four semi-finals and two quarter-finals. Considering he’s only played 22 tournaments this year, that’s really not too bad a record.
I feel a bit sorry for Colin Lloyd, as this would have been a great chance for him to get back up the rankings if the draw had gone better. If he had gotten one of the weaker seeds, he would have fancied his chances – but as it stands, he’s got the worst draw he could have hoped for. The other problem is his form – he’s only made it past the last 16 of a tournament once this year on the PDC Tour, and that isn’t the kind of form you want to be bringing into a match against the hottest player in the PDC. If there’s one thing going for Lloyd is that he’s done it all before, and is the 2005 winner of the World Matchplay.
Like the previous match, I can’t look past the favourite. There shouldn’t be a shock here, as Lloyd’s form is just woeful. The other interesting statistic is that out of the last 9 matches, the Dutchman has won them all. Before that, Lloyd won 8 on the bounce. So something turned in 2011, where Van Gerwen became Lloyd’s bogey player. In fact, Lloyd hasn’t taken more than 2 legs from Van Gerwen in over 2 years (World Championship excluded, but he lost 4-1 in sets), so the handicap is an interesting proposition. The line, like Taylor/Kellett is -5.5, but I truly feel that Lloyd struggles against Van Gerwen, and he could be on the end of a real hiding here.
Michael van Gerwen -5.5 legs to beat Colin Lloyd: Best price 11/10
Recommend: 1 unit.
And that’s all the Premium Picks for Day Two of the 2013 World Matchplay. We’ve got 19 matches left, and I like our selections for today’s matches. It promises to be a lot more exciting than last night. So, get your feet up, flick between the darts and the golf if you have to, and enjoy the great day of sporting action.