Column #HR354 PDC Mid-summer Classic – July 16-24, but first…

Thursday, July 14, 2022
Column HR354
PDC Mid-summer Classic – July 16-24, but first…

Mr. John Lowe, MBE has stepped away from competing on the Senior Tour.  I have decided that I have contributed to introducing the senior’s championships.  I did not win any of my matches but felt I did play at a good and decent level for a senior, senior.  I’m pleased to say the board of the WSDT have asked me to join them in a non-playing ambassadorial role.  The WSDT will be adding a new event next year with the prize fund increased to £200,000.

American’s baseball has a Mid-summer Classic (the All-Star Game).  The PDC has the World Matchplay, called the Mid-summer Classic by the Old Dart Coach.  The top 16 from the Order of Merit and the top 16 Pro Tour Order of Merit play.  The Winter Gardens in Blackpool will again welcome the darting elite.  They’ll all be chasing defending champion Peter Wright for a piece of the £800,000 available.  Even first round losers pocket £10,000 – not too Chablis.  The winner collects £200,000, up from £150,000 last year.

On finals day, July 24, the Women’s Matchplay will be on stage in the afternoon chasing their World Matchplay title.  The winner gets £10,000, same as the men’s first round loser.  Yikes!

As a flag waving Yank, it’s obligatory for the ODC to mention that Larry Butler won the first PDC Matchplay 16-12 over Dennis Priestly.  Butler took home £10,000 from a £40,000 prize fund.  That was in 1994 when everything was cheaper.  Dennis Priestly never won the Matchplay, finishing second two more times – in 1995 to Phil Taylor and in 1996 to Peter Everson.  Taylor had 16 wins and a second in 24 appearances.  Both MvG and Rod Harrington have two wins.

Who will win this year?  The guess is that it will come from the bookmakers first 5 betting choices.  The line is 11/2 (or 5 ½ to 1 American odds) Michael van Gerwen with the defending champ Peter Wright at 15/2.  A pair of 8 and 9-1 shots, Jonny Clayton and Michael Smith, are also in play.  Dimitri Van den Bergh (champion in 2020) and Luke Humphries are 12/1.

First Round Preview

It will take 4 days to conclude the first round where the winner is first to 10.  Odds for the matches and times of telecast in North America are listed below.  Will there be some upsets?  Yes, indeed.

Many Colonists are not familiar with English betting odds.  In simple language the second number is what must be bet to win the first.  Krzysztof Ratajski is 8/11 to beat 11/10 Stephen Bunting.  So, an $11 bet on Ratajski (with a win) would return $8.  A winning bet on Bunting of $10 would return $11.  Got it?

First Round odds (not for betting porpoises) 

Saturday July 16: 2:00 PM EDT & 11AM PDT

8/11 Krzysztof Ratajski semifinalist last year beats “Family Guy” 11/10 Stephen Bunting

4/9 Dimitri Van den Bergh the 2020 Matchplay winner is on a roll.  Bye-bye 7/4 Callan Rydz

1/4 Peter Wright vs. 3/1 Madars Razma Wright rolls.

3/1 Jonny Clayton vs. 3/1 Rowby-John Rodriguez.  Even Steven Match.  Rowby-John has played good in spots.  Clayton down of late.  Pick’em.  Going with Clayton.

Sunday July 17: AFTERNOON 8:00 AM EDT & 5:00 AM PDT

4/6 Dirk van Duijvenbode vs. 6/5 Ryan Searle.  This could be a barn burner as DvD is exciting.  Searle, #3 on the Pro Tour, has moments.  Not enough against DvD.

4/9 Danny Noppert vs. 7/4 Brendan Dolan.  Going for the upset with Brendan Dolan.  He qualified last Monday with an 8-5 win over Jonny Clayton.

4/6 Gary Anderson vs. 6/5 Daryl Gurney.  The “Flying Scotsman” has a broken wing.  Only seed not favored – ready to be upset by Daryl ‘The Chin” Gurney.

1/3 Michael Smith vs. 23/10 Andrew Gilding.  Even with his hiccups Smith breezes.

July 17 – Evening: 2:30 PM EDT & 11:30 AM PDT

21/20 Joe Cullen vs. 4/ 5 Damon Heta.  This will kick off the evening in fine fashion, possibly providing (always hedge your bets) the best match so far.  Joe Cullen charged late, making the finals of the Premier League, losing to Michael van Gerwen 11-10.  Damon Heta is in the zone.  Going with Heta in a nail biter probably 11-10.

2/5 James Wade vs. 19/10 Martin Lukeman.  Wade sometimes lets his mouth yap before his brain is in action.  Misplaced ignorant remark at Wayne Mardle, “I won more in two weeks than he did in his career.”  This because Wayne correctly depicts James as up and down more than Pee Wee Herman at the theater.  Wade will win.

1/3 Michael van Gerwen vs. 23/10 Adrian Lewis.  Adrian “Big Baby” Lewis got his first ranking title in three years at Players Championship 20 last Sunday.  The gloomy Guses will say it was a field devoid of stars.  Wrong, Bucko.  Lewis beat Jonny Clayton (6-4) and Nathan Aspinall (7-2).  He’ll play well but lose to tourney favorite MvG, going for his third World Matchplay title.

4/7 Luke Humphries vs. 11/8 Nathan Aspinall.  “Cool Hand Luke” will have more than he can handle as the #2 on the Pro Tour advances for the second year in a row.

Monday, July 18: 2:00 PM EDT & 11:00 AM PDT  

4/7 Rob Cross vs. 7/5 Chris Dobey.  Cross, the winner of the Matchplay in 2019, could pose a problem down the road.  Chris Dobey out of Matchplay 2019, 2021 and 2022.  Adios Chris.

4/6 Jose de Sousa vs. 6/5 Gabriel Clemens.  de Sousa is called “The Special One”. Clemens was touted high going in to the World Cup.  Flopped.  de Sousa may toss the wrong out on occasion, but he’ll get enough right to move on.

4/11 Gerwyn Price vs. 21/10 Martin Schindler.  Price, when good is very good and when bad is very bad.  He’ll just need to be average against out-of-form Schindler who’s taken a step backward.

1/2 Dave Chisnall vs. 8/5 Kim Huybrechts.  Chisnall has made the quarters here 5 times although not since 2018.  Huybrechts made the quarters in 2018.  Not this time.  Nice draw Chizzy.

(Editor’s note: The editor has studied all the ODC picks and must conclude that he is a “Chalk Eating Weasel.”)

Mr. John Lowe will make a great ambassador for the Seniors.  He has been an advocate for the sport for 50 years – an original member of the World Players Professional Darts Players Association (WPPDA) which eventually begat the PDC, thanks to the late Tommy Cox.  When the WPPDA wanted compensation for arriving in Las Vegas early for the USA vs. England prior to the North American, Mr. Lowe stood firm with others refusing to play.  The WPPDA was weakened earlier in the year when Eric Bristow and his manager (Dick Allix) broke away from the WPPDA after Eric and Steve Brennen had a falling out at the MFI Matchplay.

 

Stay thirsty my friends.

 

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.