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Players Championship Starts Friday


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Back to Butlins, Minehead for this. Proper old fashioned darts. Gurney looking to keep hold of the trophy after beating MVG in the final last year. Looks a good tournament for betting, with lots of players in average form spells. MVG may not be at his sparkling best, but bottom line is he has won this tournament 3 of the last 4 years and made the final in the other.

Looks like a Peter Wright Vs Price Semi-final in the top half, but I can't be having Price at just 7/1 and I just can't trust Peter Wright to deliver so with that in mind, I will risk the bottom-half, where MVG is housed for some value and just take a little punt on the top half each-way. Quite a few in this section look quite tempting. MVG could easily lose to James Wade, if Wade turns up. He would then face Rob Cross and it's a similar story for Rob Cross.

I'll take Cross and Smith as my main bets this week. Both are big prices, especially Smith, who looks a huge price. I'll take very small stakes at big each-way value further afield too in the shape of Clemens, who I want to stick with for a few more weeks yet.

2pts R.Cross to win Players Championship 16/1 ladbrokes
1.5pts E/W M.Smith to win Players Championship 25/1 sportingbet
0.5pts E/W G.Clemens to win Players Championship 80/1 bet365
0.5pts E/W D.Noppert to win Players Championship 100/1 betvictor

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Day 1 :

The h2h between Bunting and Van Der Bergh is 2-2 and it's always a close match-up, but when you look at the imporant matches, the ones on TV, Van Der Bergh is definetely stronger. He managed a 100+ average at the Premier league, when drawing 6-6 with Wade. He's also beaten top players this year like Wade, Suljovic and Cross and has won a PDC event and got to a final of another. Bunting has about a 5 point less average this year and for me, isn't strong enough under pressure.

Brendan Dolan has had a decent spell of form recently. He is another one that has won a PDC event this year, winning Wattimena in the final of Event 22. He average over 100 a few times there and beat players like Chisnall along the way, so he will be fired up here on the main stage. I fancy him to beat Smith. Ricky Evans takes on Steve Beaton at 3.30pm and it's a close enough match to take away my interest normally, but the match is important for Evans. If he wins, it takes him to the Worlds and the fact he has the better form recently too, swings it his way for me.

In the afternoon I'm very tempted on Humphries on the handicap. I really rate him, and I think he can keep it as close as 6-3 but I would like evens atleast for that feat. I'm tempted by a couple of points on him as if he turns up, he is the type of player who can hit a 100+ average. I will take Wattimena to beat Hughest though. These guys played not long ago and I backed the same outcome (Wattimena won 6-1) and although it may not be so one-sided this time, I feel like Wattimena is getting used to the big stage

5pts Van Der Bergh to beat S.Bunting 4/5 sportingbet
5.5pts B.Dolan to beat R.Smith 8/11 betvictor
5pts R.Evans to beat S.Beaton 4/5 bet365
1pt MVG to beat L.Humphries 6-5 8/1 betvictor
5pts J.Wattimena to beat J.Hughes 4/5 bet365


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A few quarter bets I like. Quarter 1 is ofcourse expected to be won by Price. Other than Price though, it's quite open. Hence, Noppert being a choice for me in the outrights. I think another big price on a player albeit perhaps not a winner is De Sousa. Looking at the quarter betting, he's sitting at 10/1 and I think that is good value. I think he beats Richardson today and then he would face Van Der Bergh or Bunting. Both fo those players can blow hot'n'cold. Winner of that beats Jonny Clayton in my eyes and then it's a one-match showdown with the winner of Price/Suljovic.

In the 2nd quarter I like Aspinall, however I do think Van Barneveld is the worry in the opening round and that puts me off. He would need to beat Barney, Durrant and then Peter Wright for odds of 6/1. Not for me. I'm going to take a chance on De Zwaan. He's beaten Peter Wright already this year and has a nicer route (Whitlock, Henderson, Wright) and at 11/1 he is my outside pick for the 2nd quarter.

I'm going to leave the 4th quarter alone and the 3rd quarter, I'll throw a point at Luke Humphries. If he beats MVG, then that 100/1 turns into about 12/1. Enough for me.

1.5pts J.De Sousa to win Quarter 1 10/1 betfair
1.5pts J.De Zwaan to win Quarter 2 11/1 betfair
1pt L.Humphries to win Quarter 3 100/1 betfair

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2 i like today. First, Noppert to beat Suljovic. Hard to know if Noppert will play to his ability on the big stage but in general, he's already beaten Suljovic twice this year. The price is far too big on Noppert. Next, I'll take Meikle against Labanauskas. Both got 90 averages in the first round but Meikle won 6-0 and it's always hard to keep an average up when you're winning easy. 

5pts R.Meikle to beat D.Labanauskas 11/10 betfair
4pts D.Noppert to beat M.Suljovic 6/4 betfred

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Meikle does the business, but Noppert loses with darts to win. ugh. Absolute cull of my players yesterday. 4 going out and 3 of those with 100+ averages. Ah well.

I like Ian White from here. Merv king is the type of player who can beat MVG on any day and has recently and I fancy White today so I'll take the 12/1 available on him. O'Connor had the game of his last in the last round  (which didn't please me) and i'll be on White on the -2.5 handicap today also.

5pts I.White (-2.5 legs) to beat W.O'Connor evens paddypower
2pts I.White to win Players Championships 12/1 bet365

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