How you living, TSHQ nation? K.M. back after delivering the darting goods on day one with a +1.75 unit day. For those of you who might have just cruised by the results and did the math on my day yesterday and said “Hey, you lost half a bet, you didn’t win 1.75 bets!”, we had an odd substory to day one, where Suljovic, despite being IN THE BUILDING, failed to make it to his board in the allotted 5 minutes and was forced to forfeit. So that is, of course, no action.
We got a great win over Peter “Twenty-One Dart” Manley, we lost against “Martial Dartist” Kirk Shepherd, Colin “Jaws” Lloyd had a great comeback against “The Matador” Jelle Klaasen, “The Ace of Herts” Alex Roy got RKO’ed in a terrible performance, but van Gerwin and Scholten had a difficult and easy win, respectively, to make it a very good day. Plus, I happened to go 8-0 picking all the first round matches that were on the main board of the Sky Sports telecast, so if you read my mind yesterday somehow, you could have done even better!
So, on to day 2, where the biggest names in Darts are going to show up and give us some serious value. Let’s preview the biggest matches. I don’t see any lines up yet, but hell, just bet who I like, don’t sweat the price, I know about what lines to expect, it’s cool. It’s a big step up in match length, instead of first to 4, it’s first to 9 now, so less volatility, more straight value.
Phil Taylor -5000 vs. Mark Frost
Mark Frost is like the 120th best darter in the world today. Phil “The Power” Taylor is the greatest darter there is, the greatest darter there was, and the greatest darter there ever will be. I’m sure Taylor will be like -3000 (Hmm, 2000 off, which isn’t really as far as you’d think). Who cares? Blowout city for the 4 time UK open champion.
Prediction: Taylor 9-1 Frost
Mervin King -175 vs. Mark Walsh
Walsh is a pretty quality player, who made the top 16 in the World Championship this year and was the 2005 UK Open runner up, but to be fair, in this year’s World Championship he did beat nobody and got beat 4-0 in sets by The Bull when he finally played a top 10 player. Mervin King is a top 10 player who is on right now. I got him as my darkhorse to win. This isn’t the best draw for King, but it’s good enough I’ll roll with him.
Prediction: King 9-5 Walsh – Best Bet
Co Stompe +175 vs. Simon Whitlock
What a treat! “The Matchstick” Co Stompe is in pretty good form right now, and while he had to survive a bit of a scare in round 2, he nearly hit the 9-darter in round 1 and doubled well, by his own account. Meanwhile “The Wizard” Simon Whitlock is just a top notch player, world top 7 without any debate. Whitlock has shown at times top 3 form, but at the end of the Premier League, his trademark doubling began to leave him. This is a good place to try to pull an upset, I’m going to go with Stompe in a very close match and try to cash a plus money play.
Prediction: Stompe 9-8 Whitlock
Terry “The Bull” Jenkins +163 vs. Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis
The reigning and defending world champion “Jackpot” comes up against the consistent but clearly weaker Raging Bull in the top match of Friday’s round of 64. Quite frankly, there should be no debate that Jackpot, if he plays well, will take this match. But The Bull drew Jackpot in the Premier League, and Jackpot may be overpriced after his upset of Phil Taylor in the Premier League semis, and messed up in the head after being thrashed by Anderson in the Premier League finals. Bad Jackpot is pretty damn terrible, and to be fair, Jenkins last 6 weeks in the Premier League were pretty good darts all in all. His scoring is slightly up, a nice change for him. Again, I’m going out on a limb and I’m going to try to steal some plus money and hope the bad Addy shows up Friday.
Prediction: Jenkins 9-6 Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld -350 vs. Steve Brown
Steve “The Bomber” Brown is a great darts player that most people don’t know about. He KILLED the UK Open qualifiers, with one win, one semifinal spot, and one quarterfinal spot. An impressive run. Then again, “Barney” is top notch. I’m hoping Brown is a bit overpriced here, because while he has the quality to beat “Oche Balboa” on his best night, I see RvB taking this one down without a lot of fuss, van Barneveld is a top 4 player in the world for a reason. Plus, as a player with the talent to win this event (he’s done it twice, after all), it would be nice to get a bit of easy money from Barney on his way to the Finals just in case he makes the run all the way.
Prediction: van Barneveld 9-5 Brown
Roland Scholten +150 v John Part
For the hardcore darts fan, this is just an excellent match. Scholten is a tough player who will not concede much of anything and who threw great on Thursday. Meanwhile Part is a former world champion, the real kind of world champion, and after a few years of his game being off, “Darth Maple” is back and maybe better then ever. However, it’s no secret that Part has picked his game up a ton in recent months, so I’m going to go with my 3rd upset here and say that Roland Scholten shocks the Reebok Arena and beats Part in a tight game, and hope to get paid big money if the 2004 UK open Finals rematch we have right here has the same result in 2011 as it did back them.
Prediction: Scholten 9-7 Part
James Wade -400 vs. Michael Mansell
After calling 3 upsets, I want a free win. Wade is world’s better then Mansell, and perhaps now that “The Machine” is getting his bi-polar depression ADHD whatever is so wrong with his head he spent most of this year living in a mental care unit on suicide watch (yes, you Americans, this is real, I’m telling you people, darts is full of bizarre storylines) in order, we can expect more of the consistent best from Wade, who is as good as nearly anyone. Lay that chalk.
Prediction: Wade 9-4 Mansell
Yea, that’s plenty for day 2. See you guys on day 3! I’ll update this post with lines if I can find them and have the time before the darts kick off at 2 pm EST tomorrow!
UK open so far: 4-2, +1.75 units