Opening match sees Pipe on first v Walsh in what could prove to be a very methodical match between 2 of the more deliberate players on tour. Pipe didn't play well in his opening match v Jenkins but he got the job done with minimum fuss and if the Players champs is anything to go by he is at least getting used to the big stage. I never saw the Walsh match but based on averages it looked like he also did a job without pulling up trees. I'm on Pipe outright but on the prices here I don't fancy anything and am happy to have a watching brief.
Van Der Voort bt Stuart Kellett 3-0 Ave: 89.01 180's: 2 HC: 76 CO%: 26%
Winstanley overcame King in a cracking match in R1 and showed his usual level of heavy scoring mixed with some iffy doubling. He's a player I really like just because it looks like he has fun and seems a decent fella. VDV beat Kellett 3-0 but by all accounts it wasn't a particularly convincing performance. Hes had a poor year and all the other players who came thru R1 off the back of a bad year have lost in R2 so that might prove the same for him. I like a couple of bets in this one based around the 180's market. Both of them on their day are very heavy hitters and I fancy there to be a few here. I'm having a bigger bet on Winstanley individual maxes as VDV's iffy form puts me off a bit but hopefully both bets cop.
Recommendations: 4pts win Winstanley over 6.5 maxes @ 5/6 (365) & 2pts win over 10 maxes @ 10/11 (Sky)
Final match of the afternoon session sees the increasingly unpredictable Wade take on the former world champion Steve Beaton. Wade came through pretty easily in his first match but was under very little pressure in my view from Hudson. He's clearly still got lots of problems away from the oche and he seemingly spent more time in a clinic recently for his ongoing health problems. Beaton was pretty poor in his win and was flattered by winning 3-0. He is capable of playing great stuff though but on the other hand can also play dreadfully so never sure what you're going to get. I am going to risk a small bet on him though as I think the price is slightly too big.
Recommendation: 0.5pt win Steve Beaton @ 3/1 (Sky)
Michael Van Gerwen v Peter Wright:
R1 - Van Gerwen bt Paul Lim 3-0 Ave: 90.64 180's: 4 HC: 116 CO%: 25%
Last match in the second round sees the form horse Van Gerwen take on the man with the crazy hair Peter Wright. Van Gerwen won comfortably in R1 without showing the fireworks that he has been of late. We know how good he is once he gets going but we also know he can throw in a stinker from time to time. Wright wasnt happy with his win but I actually thought he played pretty well. He's also trying to get into MVG's head with a few verbals which could help or hinder him. Bet I like here is the HC as Michael hits large outs for fun and Wright showed in his opener he is also more than capable.
Recommendation: 1.5pts win over 130.5 HC @ 5/6 (General)
Jenkins bt John Part 4-1 Ave: 98.18 180's: 6 HC: 116 CO%: 57%
First match of the 3rd round promises to be a good fight if both bring their form of the first 2 matches. Hamilton is a very consistent performer who almost averages in the mid to high 90's and he is full of confidence after his past 12 months. Jenkins is also flying under the radar a bit and has cruised through to this stage with minimum fuss. He knows this stage well and is not scared to win and I can see this being a ding dong affair between the 2 players. My original fancy here was the max bet but given the highest line in R2 was over 10 and this is now over 13 I have had to swerve it. There could easily be 14+ here but if it goes 4 or 5 sets then 14 maxes is a big ask especially as the tournament progresses. I'm instead going for the HC again as both of them are high on my list of players who can string together the sequence needed.
Recommendation: 1pt win over HC over 131 @ 5/6 (Sky)
Phil Taylor v Robert Thornton:
R2 - Taylor bt Jerry Hendricks 4-1 Ave: 90.23 180's: 3 HC: 120 CO%: 35%
Final match before christmas sees the 15 time world champion take on an opponent in Thornton who has beaten him twice on tv already this year. Taylor has averaged 92 and 90 in his 2 wins and if he continues to play like that he is going to lose sooner or later. He may well up his game and hit a 105 average but I am not convinced about his body language and the way he is talking in the build up. If he doesnt bring better then I fancy him to lose here. Thornton has averaged 99 and 95 in his 2 wins and I thought he played really well in beating Nicho. He took out some crucial shots at vital times and he now knows he can beat Phil on the big stage. He has to start well but if he does I think he can do him for the 3rd time this year.
Recommendation: 1pt win Robert Thornton @ 11/4 (General)
Summary: Lots of bets tomorrow but the main bets centre around heavy scoring in the Winstanley match. I also fancy a couple of rags in Beaton & Thornton and the safer way to bet them might be on the h'cap. I'm going straight for the throat though and betting them straight up.
All the best to the regulars who contribute to this and all bets welcome to be highlighted if I missed anything obvious. Hopefully its a good day for everyone and we can win some cash to pay for Christmas! HH
Comparing Ronnie Baxter to Ronnie O'Sullivan for no other reason as far as I can tell than because they share a name and a nickname is my fave Taylor namedrop. You can tell that it always occurs to him after he's said it and tries to justify it that Ronnie Baxter is no more comparable to Ronnie than an Adrian Lewis or Gary Anderson or MVG is. Infact less so.
Comparing Ronnie Baxter to Ronnie O'Sullivan for no other reason as far as I can tell than because they share a name and a nickname is my fave Taylor namedrop. You can tell that it always occurs to him after he's said it and tries to justify it that