Czech Darts Open Tips and Preview by James Punt
The Czech Darts open takes place this weekend in Prague. Dutch master MVG is the odds on favourite, but our expert James Punt has managed to pick out some value bets. He rattled the crossbar with 125/1 shot Chris Dobey last week who was beaten in the final. At least we landed our each way bets. Check out his Czech Darts Open Tips below…
Czech Darts Open Tips and Preview
A new addition to the European Tour is this weekend’s Czech Darts Open which takes place in the beautiful, beer drenched city of Prague. A great opportunity to visit a magnificent city, enjoy some of the best lagers on the planet and watch a very high-quality field play for the £25000 first prize.
A cold beer or two will be the order of the day as Europe is in the grip of an intense heatwave and the temperature in Prague this weekend will be over 30 degrees. Add in the TV lighting on the stage and heat is going to be an issue for the more rotund dartists. It will be hot and sweaty making it uncomfortable to play in. John Henderson and Merv King for example will not enjoy the conditions.
Hot Conditions Could Play A Part
The 2018 Austrian Open was played in similar conditions and that was won by Jonny Clayton with the super fit Gerwyn Price runner up. It will be interesting to see if the conditions play a part but it may be wise to take them into account when looking at matches featuring the larger, less fit players.
This is the ninth Euro Tour event of the season and so far we have seen Michael van Gerwen win four, Ian White win two with one each for Daryl Gurney and Dave Chisnall. Van Gerwen hasn’t won any of the last three titles, but he decided to skip the Danish Darts Open to take some time off and have a holiday.
It is going to be a very busy time ahead for those players who will be competing in the World Series events. It is off to Las Vegas next week for the US Masters before heading back to Germany for the German Masters the following week. The week after that it is the World Matchplay from Blackpool so you can see why MVG decided that it was a good time to take time off to recharge the batteries. Rob Cross will not be in Prague this weekend, preferring to take some time off ahead of this hectic schedule.
Czech Darts Open Tips: MVG Odds On
Michael van Gerwen is the odds-on favourite. He has won four of the seven Euro Tour events he has played in so the odds are justified if lacking in any real value. MVG won’t have been doing much practice during his time off and may be this will be a bit of a sharpener for the weeks ahead. He might be just a touch rusty which offers some hope that we may see someone else win the title.
He occupies the top quarter of the draw. The other seeds in it are the out of form Darren Webster, Mensur Suljovic and Ricky Evans who has been losing plenty of matches recently. Of the unseeded players in the quarter we have Keegan Brown who looks likely to face MVG in round two. That will get MVG’s attention as it was brown who knocked Van Gerwen out of the German Darts Championship also in round 2.
Noppert Should Progress
Danny Noppert will be the hot favourite to beat Swiss qualifier Stefan Bellmont and he will then face Webster. Two Scots meet to decide who faces Mensur Suljovic, William Borland vs. John Henderson. Ricky Evans has got a horrible draw as he faces the winner of Ratajski vs. Ted Evetts.
The second quarter seeds are Peter Wright, Daryl Gurney, Joe Cullen and Jonny Clayton. Wright faces the winner of Stephen Bunting vs. Robert Thornton while Gurney will play either a local qualifier or more than likely the bang in-form William O’Connor. Johnny Clayton faces the winner between Jermaine Wattimena or Kevin Garcia.
The third quarter sees Ian White who will very likely play Brendan Dolan. Nathan Aspinall will play Andrew Gilding or Rowby-John Rodriguez while Adrian Lewis will face a tough 2nd round match against Jamie Hughes or Devon Peterson. Steve Beaton is most likely to face Ron Meulenkamp.
The bottom quarter has James Wade, Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price and Simon Whitlock as the four seeds. Wade gets the winner between Steve West and Merv King. Smith will very likely face Aussie bad boy Corey Cadby, Gerwyn Price in all likelihood will play Glen Durrant and finally Simon Whitlock will play Madars Razma or Justin Pipe.
Czech Darts Open Tips: Ratajski A Lively Outsider
Of the unseeded players Krzysztof Ratajski is the real eye catcher. He won Player’s Championship 17 last Saturday and reached the semi final of PC18 on Sunday. Up to that 5-7 defeat to James Wade he had won twelve matches in a row and in seven of them he averaged over 100. It was a remarkable run of high-quality darts and is the best he has played for a while now. He must be considered as a real contender for this tournament. He has a tough first round match against another inform player, Ted Evetts, with the winner facing Ricky Evans who has been losing a lot of matches recently.
Ron The Bomb Meulenkamp is another unseeded player who is playing very well at the moment. He has won seven of his last ten matches and has reached two player’s championship semi-finals recently. That may not be tournament winning form but he could have a good run this weekend. He won six legs in a row when beating Glen Durrant 6-2 and averaged 108 just to remind how well he can play. If he can find consistency, then he will start winning titles.
Evetts On An Upward Curve
Ted Evetts continues to improve and he now tops the Development Tour OOM by some margin. He has won eight of his last ten matches and while half of those where on the Development Tour he is looking increasingly at home against the top players and hitting some big numbers. Evetts still lacks experience on the Euro Tour. However, he did reach the quarter final of the German Darts Grand Prix where he lost 5-6 to Van Gerwen. He is a winner waiting to happen but not many peoples first PDC title has been a Euro Tour event. He is also right up against it against Ratajski in round 1.
William O’Connor is another of the in-form players who are not seeded. He will face a home nation qualifier before an all-Ireland clash with Daryl Gurney. They last met in the semi-final of PC 13 and it was O’Connor who was the 7-5 winner. O’Connor went on to win the title and followed that up by reaching the final of the World Cup of Darts where he gave Rob Cross a bit of a lesson. He played well again last weekend winning seven of his nine players championship matches and reaching a quarter final. The Irishman only went full time this year and by giving darts his full attention his form has improved and he is one to watch. He needs a good run to the semi-final this weekend if he is to qualify for the Matchplay.
Pressure Off Dobey
Chris Dobey landed us some nice place money when reaching the final of the Danish Darts Open at 125/1. He has now made enough money to qualify for the World Matchplay and he can play with more freedom. His form remains very good and another good run is not out of the question. Actually winning titles remains his final hurdle however and he played poorly in the final against Chisnall.
Of the seeded players the form players are Michael van Gerwen, James Wade, Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall.
Van Gerwen has won eight of his last eight ten matches but he hasn’t played for three weeks. He will be well rested but his focus will be set on the two World Series events coming up and then the Matchplay. That said he has played well on the back of long breaks before. He should face Keegan Brown in the 2nd round and Brown will be relaxed. A first round win gets him into the Matchplay and drawing a local qualifier was perfect for him.
Machine Should Be Sharp
James Wade won his fourth Players Championship event of the year on Sunday. He had taken a three week break at the end of May and he was a bit unlucky in Denmark, averaging 101 but losing 2-6 to Jonny Clayton. He followed that up with a run to yet another pro tour title. That will have properly sharpened his game up.
Gerwyn Price has reached the semi-final of the last two Euro Tour events and his form remains very good. His average in the Danish Open was 101.6 and if he keeps that up, and he is playing that well consistently, he has to be fancied to go deep again.
Peter Wright has won seven of his last ten matches which is good form. However, he just doesn’t have that aura that he did a couple of years ago. Too often he has been putting in a poor match to end a good run but his scoring is getting more consistent and he hasn’t had a sub 90 average in his last nine matches. He is 5th on the Euro Tour OOM thanks to plenty of good runs. The only thing missing is a win but he is knocking on the door and he will sure get one soon.
Nathan Aspinall has also won seven of his last matches and was runner up to Ratajski in PC 17 at the weekend. Maybe his really heavy scoring hasn’t been on show as often as it was a few months ago but he’s not far off it. There aren’t any ‘easy’ quarters in the draw. There is a lot of strength in depth this weekend but Aspinall doesn’t have the worst draw.
Czech Darts Open Tips: Outright Selections
Aspinall should be too good for the winner of the Gilding vs. Rodriguez match and he should then face Ian White or Brendan Dolan. White has been phenomenal on the Euro Tour this season, winning two titles and being runner up twice. He has faltered a little in recent weeks and he has lost his last three matches, his scoring has tailed off just a fraction but that match will be a big test, if White gets past Dolan, which is not a given.
Gerwyn Price looks ready to win again. He hasn’t won a title since February, but he is getting to the business end of a lot of Euro Tour events with six quarter finals and he has gone on to the semi-final of the last two events. His draw isn’t too bad but it looks like he should face James Wade in the quarter final. Wade is one of the players who Price struggles against. He has failed to beat Wade in their last six matches and Wade is another player in good form.
Ratajski Can’t be Discounted
Ratajski doesn’t have a great draw but he can’t be passed over as he is playing so well. His world ranking is just 37th but on current form he has to be top 10. His scoring average on the pro tour is 96.6, the 7th best player in the rankings. He has yet to win on stage but with four pro tour wins under his belt it seems only a matter of time and his odds are very generous.
The second quarter looks the most open part of the draw and much hinges on the likely 2nd round match between O’Connor and Daryl Gurney. The H2H stats show a 4-2 lead for Gurney but O’Connor is at the top of his form and he has that recent win over Gurney to give him confidence. O’Connor’s odds tip the balance in his favour.
Czech Darts Open Tips: 1 point e/w James Wade to win @ 15.00 with Marathon Bet, Betvictor, Boylesports
Darts Czech Open Tips: 1 point e/w Krzysztof Ratajski to win @ 67.00 with Ladbrokes, Coral
Czech Darts Open Tips: 1 point e/w Nathan Aspinall to win @ 34.00 with Betvictor, Marathon Bet
Czech Darts Open Tips: 0.5 point e/w William O’Connor to win @ 125/1 with Ladbrokes, Coral