Darts! It’s K.M. back at you with the resurrection, after a 5-2 for a +3.63 day on day 2 of my UK Open picks, moving me to 9-4 and +5.38 so far in the UK Open.
I nailed the exact scoreline with van Barneveld winning 9-5 over Brown, and I hit the Stompe and Jenkins upsets within one leg of perfection. Coupled with Phil “The Power” Taylor’s demolishing of “Frosty the Throwman” Mark Frost and James “The Machine” Wade’s beatdown of Michael Mansell, it was a great day. John Part got me, preventing me from going 3-0 on my upset calls, and I lost one of my future bets when Mervin King fell, but it’s hard to complain about a winning day, more or less a great winning day.
The round of 32 is going to be an afternoon UK start, which means it’s 8 am EST on Saturday for the round of 32 if you are in the States like me, with the round of 16 kicking off at 2 pm Saturday. I may not get a chance to get the round of 16 to you guys, but if I do, it will be right here on this post, so check back around lunch in the States if you are looking for some more winning picks.
But just like yesterday, I’m going to tell you who I like before the lines are out, to allow you guys to know who to look for before you have the chance to bet the matches. We are going first to 9 again for both sessions tomorrow, so nothing changes on the oche, and hopefully nothing changes with the results. Let’s get to it!
Phil Taylor -2000 vs. Dennis Priestley
What a great draw we got here in the UK Open. A match like this goes to show you why we call it the FA Cup of Darts. This is a rematch of the 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000 World Finals, the first won by Priestley, and as is Taylor’s revenge-loving way, the rest taking down by the most dominant force in sport, The Power. In fact, since the 1995 season, Dennis Priestly is 1-33-1 against Taylor, his only win a short first to 5 format. Taylor and Priestley are great friends, and this match has a ton of history behind it, but as for the victor, it is an absolute lock that Taylor can bring his C game and take out Priestley’s A+ game. Taylor brought the B game out and cruised 9-3 today over a player roughly of Priestley’s quality, this will probably be about the same.
Prediction: Taylor 9-3 Priestley
Mark Webster vs. Co Stompe +100
Another tasty treat from the random draw gods, we get Mark “Spider” Webster vs. “The Matchstick” Co Stompe. Webster seems to have left his embarrassing Premier League performance behind him mentally, but Stompe is playing elite darts right now after his upset of “The Wizard”. This is an interesting match I’m going to play a hunch on. This match is schedule to be the last match on board 2 tomorrow, but my gut and my predictions tell me that the main board will probably finish up well before the allotted time of the broadcast, and this match is going to be moved to the main stage with the whole crowd watching. I would LOVE to get a bet in against Webster in this spot. I lean Stompe no matter what, but if we get this to the main stage, I think Webster’s scoring folds. Go with Stompe here.
Prediction: Stompe 9-5 Webster
Reece Robinson vs. Andy Smith -175
Reece Robinson is making quite a name for himself during his run so far in the UK Open, getting some decent scalps. But Andy Smith, the man affectionately known as “The Pieman”, has had a really damn good 2011. After making the top 16 in the World Championship including a win over Mervin King, he went to the quarters of the Players Championship with a win over Ronnie “The Rocket” Baxter, and the quarters of day 2 in Vienna with a win over Thornton and a 6-5 loss to van der Voort, who went on to beat Taylor in that Finals. I’m a bit worried about the heat at the Reebok wearing The Pieman down, but Reece Robinson is overpriced right now, and Smith well udervalued, he’s in the form of his life and it’s not well known. Take the jolly fatman here.
Prediction: Smith 9-6 Robinson
Terry Jenkins vs. James Wade -188
Wow. That’s all I can say about the performance Jenkins put out today vs. world champion “Jackpot” Adrian Lewis. Jenkins scoring was top notch for a majority of the match, and while he faltered late and nearly let Lewis make an amazing comeback from 8-4 (or was it 8-3? I can’t exactly remember), Jenkins’ scoring power held off the champ. Meanwhile, Wade is just going about his business. We are getting “The Bull” Terry Jenkins after an impressive TV performance, he may have had the top average of the day yesterday, and getting “The Machine” James Wade after his Premier League failures he seems to have put behind him. I just love Wade here for a solid win, I can’t see Jenkins doing what he did again in the round of 32, but even if he does average that 100 or so, Wade has the quality to beat him. I’ll take Wade at any reasonable price, Wade is 17-2 vs. Jenkins since Wade became the James Wade we all know, including 2 wins in major finals. This is a great matchup, ignore The Bull’s last match and bet the wise side, The Machine.
Prediction: Wade 9-5 Jenkins
Raymond van Barneveld -700 vs. Michael Smith
Michael Smith had the tournament of his life in UK Open qualifier #2, beating 4 top players to win and qualify with ease for this UK Open. He’s moving well up in the darting world, but yet to prove he has what it takes to win a medium length contest against an elite player. van Barneveld sleptwalked to a 9-5 win in the round of 64, but his post match interview told me he is confident in his form and feeling good, likely excited about being back at the Open after missing last year. I just can’t see “Barney” losing to a non-elite player at the moment.
Prediction: van Barneveld 9-4 Smith
Gary Anderson -350 vs. Paul Nicholson
The defending Premier League champion “The Flying Scotsman” Gary Anders and Paul “The Asset” Nicholson have oddly had this battle of Scotland and Australia in the last 2 UK Opens! Goes to show what you can get in a random draw! Nicholson beat Anderson 6-4 in the early rounds in 2009, but in the best of 9 format Anderson won 9-7 on his way to the Finals. Nicholson has a great career record vs. Anderson, but of course the Anderson of the past is nothing like the amazing scoring power of Anderson that showed up at the last World Championship. Nicholson seemed to be at his best about 18 months ago, meanwhile Anderson is the clear world #2 right now, and I’m going to go with the talent differential as being just too much to overcome. Anderson has to be beat by someone who can score well enough to not give him enough chances at the doubles to overcome his poor finishing, this isn’t that player.
Prediction: Anderson 9-5 Nicholson
Dave Chisnall vs. Ronnie Baxter +110
I’m not a huge fan of this match, but it’s gonna be on the main stage, so I might as well call it. Chisnall is a former Lakeside (aka fake championship) runner up, while Baxter just kinda stays a top 20 player after being top 5 at the first half of the last decade. I guess we care about this match for some reason or another. Hell if I know why. I’ll take “The Rocket”. He’s pretty good.
Prediction: Baxter 9-7 Chisnall
That’s it for the round of 32, like I said, I’ll try to get to you guys between rounds for a quick round of 16 pick slate, but no promises. Enjoy day 3 of the UK Open!
UK Open picks record so far: 9-4 (+5.38 units)
Afternoon session 4-3 (-1.5 units)
2 brutal losses, Anderson up 7-4, Stompe up 6-0 and 8-4. What can you do?
Quickly, my round of 16
Andy Smith +100 vs. Denis Ovens
Dave Chisnall -400 vs. John Bowles
Raymond van Barneveld -175 vs. Wes Newton
Good luck all.