Shot Darts

World Championship Preview Part Two.
Part two arrives. Following on from yesterday's warmly-received beginning, it's time to take a look at the next four matches in section one of the first round. And yes, that does mean a slight change to the original format. I quickly realised that eight matches analysed in such depth was just too long of a read, and as such I will be cutting down the amount of matches per post to four. This part is particularly interesting as it features not only one of the surprise packages of the year in Krzysztof Ratajski, but also the first of two women competing at the Alexandra Palace in Anastasia Dobromyslova. Strap in, we're in for another potentially long ride!

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Match Five: Ryan Joyce (1/8) vs Anastasia Dobromyslova (5/1)

Tale of the Tape:
33 -Age- 34
10th Pro Tour -Qualification Route- Rest of World Ladies
21g BitofBully -Darts Used- 22g Unicorn
1000/1 -Tournament Odds- 2000/1

First of all, I have to say that I find those odds absolutely incredible. I would expect Anastasia to be around that price if she was coming up against a player in the PDC's top 16, but Joyce isn't that. For as good as he is, I do not think he represents value for money in any way, shape or form at 1/8 against a three-time World Champion. If I'm being completely honest, having odds such as these suggest to me that bookmakers are treating the PDC's inclusion of women in their tournament as nothing more than a publicity stunt. And I do not think they could not be more mistaken. 

I mean, just look at Joyce's tournament odds. He's the same price to go on and win it as players like Matthew Edgar and Daniel Larsson. That fact does not scream comfortable win. I mean, don't get it wrong, Joyce has had a spectacularly solid debut year on the PDC circuit. He is a bit like Danny Noppert in the sense that he seems to always make the last 16 of Players Championship events, and even managed to qualify for five events on the Euro Tour. Add to that the fact that he made semi-final of the first Players Championship event of the season and then the quarter-final of the second event a day later and you have a successful dart player. Plus runs in those events included wins over solid tour performers Steve West and Cristo Reyes. 

Then you have the other half of this contest, Anastasia Dobromyslova. The 34-year-old Russian is a phenom of ladies darts, and has found remarkable success over in the BDO. Not only is she a three-time World Champion, but she has won every single major tournament on offer from the organisation. Dobromyslova is a World Masters winner, a World Darts Trophy winner (both in 2014) and a three-time Finder Masters champion as well. Simply put, she is a winner. And 2018 has been no different. Since January the first she has reached the final of the World Championship, won tournaments in Scotland and twice in England, and reached several other finals. 

This one makes for an intriguing clash of former-BDO players, and honestly it's a tough one to call. There's a large part of me that wants to pick Anastasia just because of this ignorant odds, but I'm not sure I can go down that route. Anastasia is a wonderful player in her own right, and seeing her and Lisa Ashton on the big stage should be something all darts fans are eagerly anticipating. For Anastasia, however, her stay in London is short-lived. Joyce is too solid and for me wins after being put through the ringer a little bit early on in the piece. 

Prediction: Ryan Joyce 3-1 Anastasia Dobromyslova

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Match Six: Steve Lennon (2/9) vs James Bailey (10/3)

Tale of the Tape:
25 -Age- 49
5th Pro Tour -Qualification Route- Oceanic Masters
23g Bulls -Darts Used- 20g
300/1 -Tournament Odds- 2000/1

Now, that's more like it in terms of odds. This, and a couple of other ties, do unfortunately smack of the International Qualifier being outclasses by their Pro Tour counterpart. And that's not to say that an upset or two can't occur of course. I mean, both players start from 0 with three darts in their hands, and Bailey does have the experience over his relatively young opponent, but I just do not see the Aussie producing any kind of upset here. 

Lennon is another who is as solid as they come, maybe even a little better than solid, and has spent much of 2018 manufacturing the best year of his professional career to date. The young Irishman reached the quarter-finals of the PDC's most recent TV event the Players Championship Finals, and reached his maiden Euro Tour final back in May, losing out 8-5 to Michael van Gerwen. Lennon makes up one half of a very interesting Republic of Ireland World Cup team with compatriot William O'Connor, and the pair narrowly to Belgium earlier in the year. Lennon is also no stranger to the Alexandra Palace stage, having lost out 3-2 in a thriller during the opening round of last year's competition, despite averaging two points higher than Bully Boy. 

His opponent, Aussie James Bailey, is an older player with not a whole lot of high-level experience to draw on. Bailey had much of 2017 off, featuring in only one tournament all year, before spending much of his January competing in England. Bailey entered all four days of Q-School competition, but failed to manage anything better than a top 64 finish. A week or so later, and he stayed on in the UK to compete in the first four Challenge Tour events of the season, where he did find a little bit of success in a top 32 effort during the fourth event. Since returning to his native Australia Bailey has done pretty well, winning twice and making another two finals before taking the Oceanic Masters title that booked his ticket to the Alexandra Palace. Although it has to be said that all of those competitions were pretty bereft of any real competition and a case could be made for Bailey being the best of a relatively bad bunch. 

This one, in truth, should be a quick one. Lennon is a cool, ruthless operator on the oche, and Bailey just does not have anything about his game that suggests anything other than a one-sided victory for the Irishman. And that's my prediction. 

Prediction: Steve Lennon 3-0 James Bailey

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Match Seven: Krzysztof Ratajski (1/4) vs Seigo Asada (3/1)

Tale of the Tape:
41 -Age- 38
2nd Pro Tour -Qualification Route- Japanese Qualifier
20g Bulls -Darts Used- 20g Unicorn
125/1 -Tournament Odds- 2000/1

This one is a real body blow for Asada, because I do genuinely believe that the only Japanese representative in the field this year does possess a whole load of genuine quality. It just so happens that he's managed to draw one of the biggest surprise packages and most consistent performers from the entire PDC roster in 2018. I mean, Ratajski's odds of lifting the trophy on New Year's Day are as short as 125/1, which is a fact that speaks for itself in terms of just how good the Pole is. 

Ratajski's 2018 is nothing short of miraculous. The Polish Eagle didn't even have a tour card at the beginning of 2018, failed to secure one at Q-School, and then went on to win a combined eleven events across multiple tours regardless. Incredible. The Pole also has a 92% success rate in finals, having lost just one for the entire year. He also has three semi-final appearances to his name for the year, and has competed in seven Euro Tour events. Quite simply, Ratajski has been one of the best performing dart players on the planet in 2018. His successes haven't exactly been handed to him either, as he overcame Daryl Gurney, Michael Smith, Kyle Anderson & two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis just to win his first Players Championship event. Victories against James Wilson & Steve Beaton followed the next day as he became just the third player behind Michael van Gerwen & Gary Anderson to win back-to-back Players Championship events in 2018. 

But don't think that this match features only one player who can consider 2018 a success. His opponent, Japan's Seigo Asada also has multiple tournament wins under his belt this year. Seigo has played in eight Asian Tour events in 2018, and has won three including victories over the likes of Royden Lam & the legendary Paul Lim in finals. He also secured his World Championship berth with a resounding 5-1 over Shingo Enomata in the Japanese qualifier. No stranger to World Championship stages, Asada 5th World Championship in total (2 in the PDC and 3 BDO). He has a wealth of experience to his name, and providing he doesn't find the bar on his way to the oche, should represent himself well in the first round. 

This one, however, has to be a win for Ratajski. I just think he's beaten players much better than Asada on a regular basis to be too troubled by what the Japanese competitor has to throw at him. This match could be a potential banana skin, but could be the beginning of a wonderful World Championship run should he prevail. 

Prediction: Krzysztof Ratajski 3-1 Seigo Asada 

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Match Eight: Keegan Brown (1/6) vs Karel Sedlacek (4/1)

Tale of the Tape:
26 -Age- 39
12th Pro Tour -Qualification Route- Eastern Europe Qualifier
22g Unicorn -Darts Used- 23g Unicorn
200/1 -Tournament Odds- 2000/1

This is another match where I believe the odds are a little bit disrespectful to the outsider. Yes, Keegan Brown is a good player, but 1/6 good? I don't see it. Having said that, this one does appear on paper to be a straight-forward result. Keegan is a player with much more big stage experience, and his Czech counterpart has only appeared in 15 events all year. 

Keegan Brown is a source or great irritation for me as a fan of darts. the 2014 World Youth Champion has all the tools required to be a serial winner on the PDC tour, and was once tipped to be the British equivalent of Michael van Gerwen. I mean, how many times did he win the World Youth Championship? That has to count for something, right? In all seriousness, when he won that tournament the darting world was abuzz. We found darts next biggest thing, or so many thought. The reality of the situation is that Keegan hasn't won a professional darts tournament since 2015, and has only appeared in one other final since. 2018 has been a slight improvement as career-best runs to the last 32 of the UK open and the Players Championship Finals as well as a last 16 appearance in last year's World Championship have shown. Form is fair, but the blue touch paper is yet to be lit for the 26-year-old. 

Keegan's Opponent is 39-year-old Czech Karel Sedlacek. Karel is seldom-seen on the PDC circuit, a statement which is evidenced by the fact that of his fifteen outings in professional darts in 2018, ten of them have come in some form of qualifier. Having said that, he has made seven finals in 2018, winning three. It's impressive form, but much like James Bailey from earlier the question is with the quality of the fields he has overcome to win the events. A two-time World Cup competitor, Sedlacek secured his place at Alexandra Palace after overcoming unknown player Pal Szekely back in September. Since then, he has competed in one other tournament, winning the Czech Open just last month. Form is good for the experienced Czech, but questions are rife about just how much top-level darts he has played. 

Overall, this has the potential to be a banana skin for Keegan Brown if he isn't thoroughly professional in his preparation and his performance, but if there's any tournament in the world that a dart player should thorough in preparing for, it's the World Championship. Brown wins this match, because his opponent just isn't that great. 

Prediction: Keegan Brown 3-0 Karel Sedlacek

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So, it's 4/4 for the Pro Tour competitors this time around. Ratajski, Joyce & Brown could all be tested should they fail to perform to the best of their abilities, but ultimately they all should come through their respective matches as better players for their experiences. Dobromyslova will go well, and will be a treat to watch. As always, I hope you guys enjoyed my musings. Let me know all of your thoughts, feelings and comments below. See you all next time for part three. 
Reply
Another quality analysis +1

Unfortunately I think you're right about James Bailey being outmatched by Lennon. Bailey is capable of throwing low games but can he string enough together to get home? Let's hope so but at the same time remember what a massive achievement it is for these guys to make it to the Ally Pally stage.

Keegan Brown is an odd one. As you say, looked like he had the game to go places but it hasn't really happened for him. He's still has enough years of darts ahead of him to make his mark but, as you say, it seems as if he needs something to get him going.

Would love to see Ana (and Lisa) win or, failing that, throw well.

You're spot on (again) about Asada. Imagine everyone wanted to avoid The Eagle given the year he has had.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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Hard to find fault with your analysis.  Becoming a much anticipated read, well done again...
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(12-05-2018, 01:43 AM)Banz Wrote: Another quality analysis +1

Unfortunately I think you're right about James Bailey being outmatched by Lennon. Bailey is capable of throwing low games but can he string enough together to get home? Let's hope so but at the same time remember what a massive achievement it is for these guys to make it to the Ally Pally stage.

Keegan Brown is an odd one. As you say, looked like he had the game to go places but it hasn't really happened for him. He's still has enough years of darts ahead of him to make his mark but, as you say, it seems as if he needs something to get him going.

Would love to see Ana (and Lisa) win or, failing that, throw well.

You're spot on (again) about Asada. Imagine everyone wanted to avoid The Eagle given the year he has had.

I really, really don't foresee an upset in the Bailey game. Fortunately though, Australia are well represented this year. Both Whitlock & Anderson have had good years in 2018 and I fully expect them to play well in the World Championship.

I'm with you when it comes to the women, though. I'm really excited to see how they perform, especially considering that they have both achieved so much within the game.

Out of interest, as an Aussie, what are your thoughts on Corey Cadby? I feel like he's a big miss from the tournament, but it's hard to tell how much of that is his own doing.

(12-05-2018, 02:41 AM)nixer55 Wrote: Hard to find fault with your analysis.  Becoming a much anticipated read, well done again...

Thank you very much. I really appreciate knowing that there are people on this site that look forward to reading what I have to say, and hopefully I can keep things as interesting as a lot of people on here seem to think I'm being.
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(12-05-2018, 03:05 AM)leon0677 Wrote: Out of interest, as an Aussie, what are your thoughts on Corey Cadby? I feel like he's a big miss from the tournament, but it's hard to tell how much of that is his own doing.

The Aussie dart community is a small one but I have only met Corey Cadby once and that was as a fan to get his autograph after the Brisbane World Series event. As such I have no direct knowledge of why he has not competed this year and I would rather not speculate.

I will just say that, as a darts fan, I have missed seeing him on the PDC tour this year. He can play and has a stage presence which would have made him a good addition to tournaments. We have seen he is well capable of beating the top players on his day.

Whatever the story is I would love to see him getting his career back on track in 2019.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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(12-05-2018, 03:23 AM)Banz Wrote:
(12-05-2018, 03:05 AM)leon0677 Wrote: Out of interest, as an Aussie, what are your thoughts on Corey Cadby? I feel like he's a big miss from the tournament, but it's hard to tell how much of that is his own doing.

The Aussie dart community is a small one but I have only met Corey Cadby once and that was as a fan to get his autograph after the Brisbane World Series event. As such I have no direct knowledge of why he has not competed this year and I would rather not speculate.

I will just say that, as a darts fan, I have missed seeing him on the PDC tour this year. He can play and has a stage presence which would have made him a good addition to tournaments. We have seen he is well capable of beating the top players on his day.

Whatever the story is I would love to see him getting his career back on track in 2019.

I guess we shouldn't speculate, but he's definitely missed. He did incredibly well to reach the UK Open final this year, and I'm keen to see where his career takes him next. Between him, Whitlock. Anderson, and even Paul Nicholson and Raymond Smith the Aussie contingent is wonderfully strong in 2018, and who knows where they could end up next season?
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(12-05-2018, 05:03 AM)leon0677 Wrote:
(12-05-2018, 03:23 AM)Banz Wrote:
(12-05-2018, 03:05 AM)leon0677 Wrote: Out of interest, as an Aussie, what are your thoughts on Corey Cadby? I feel like he's a big miss from the tournament, but it's hard to tell how much of that is his own doing.

The Aussie dart community is a small one but I have only met Corey Cadby once and that was as a fan to get his autograph after the Brisbane World Series event.  As such I have no direct knowledge of why he has not competed this year and I would rather not speculate.

I will just say that, as a darts fan, I have missed seeing him on the PDC tour this year.  He can play and has a stage presence which would have made him a good addition to tournaments.  We have seen he is well capable of beating the top players on his day.

Whatever the story is I would love to see him getting his career back on track in 2019.

I guess we shouldn't speculate, but he's definitely missed. He did incredibly well to reach the UK Open final this year, and I'm keen to see where his career takes him next. Between him, Whitlock. Anderson, and even Paul Nicholson and Raymond Smith the Aussie contingent is wonderfully strong in 2018, and who knows where they could end up next season?

With the "no speculation" thing I was just trying to stay out of it as I have no direct knowledge of what is going on.  I have no issue with others speculating as it is an interesting situation given where Corey was a year ago and what was expected of him for 2018.

Australian darts is moving in the right direction I would say.  The recent World Series events down here showed that the local qualifiers were more than just cannon fodder.  On top of that you have Simon in resurgent form and going deep into tournaments.  As my signature would suggest I'm a big Kyle Anderson fan and love to see him throwing like he was 18 months ago.  A run in the Worlds would be great to see from him.

I think the World Series events are great for both Australian dart fans, who get to see the best players in the world, and Australian dart players, who get the chance to play against them.  If we were to add into this environment the sight of Corey Cadby winning matches in TV tournaments then the prospect of more Australians making the move is a very real one.

Darts: Harrows Glen Durrant Duzza Series 2 24g, short Harrows Supergrip shafts, Harrows flights (Marathon/Retina/Optix/Rapide) 


Best 501: 13 darts (League), 14 darts (Pro Darter)

Best Checkout: 154 (League), 160 (Pro Darter)
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Like the first one awesome read really enjoyed it, keep up the work ans thanks for spending so much time and effort +1 from me. Lookin forward to the next ones Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

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Board: Winmau Blade 5 DC
Darts : Cosmo Cyclone Mickey Mansell 23.9 g 
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Another great, well researched read and another easy +1. Looking forward to part 3 now Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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"Match Five: Ryan Joyce (1/8) vs Anastasia Dobromyslova (5/1)

Tale of the Tape:
33 -Age- 34
10th Pro Tour -Qualification Route- Rest of World Ladies
21g BitofBully -Darts Used- 22g Unicorn
1000/1 -Tournament Odds- 2000/1"


Anastasia uses Monster Darts now.
Reply
Thanks again, another very good read.

Though if I'm being honest, I think the odds on Anastasia are short if anything. I would have her about 7/1 personally. Don't get me wrong, I love to see the ladies there, I just believe that right now, there is a big gap in ability and consistency between the best ladies and the regular pro tour players.
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Nice job again Leon Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.

Have another +1 Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Great read again!
I think Ratajski will have an excellent run. I would say quarters (yes even by James Wade) and then if MVG goes before, Semis.
Current Setup: 18g James Wades
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Best game: 10 darts
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Kevin a.k.a. "Sniper".  Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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Another nice one Leon, cheers again. Guests cannot see images in the messages. Please register at the forum by clicking here to see images.
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