Chizzy to continue fine form
With the glamour of the Grand Prix now at an end, the PDC boys return to the nuts and bolts of the season with two Pro Tour events in Killarney over the weekend.
These floor tournaments always represent a wide open field, but no more so than in Ireland as for various reasons none of the world’s top three players will be competing. In all honesty it is a rare occurrence that any of Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis or James Wade actually pick up a tour title but with them out of the picture all of the chasing pack’s confidence will be boosted.
With the big boys out of the picture the favourite tags are placed on Dave Chisnall and Michael van Gerwen who are both available at 10/1 and given recent form it would be hard to bet against either. The pair have shared seven of the 14 tour events so far this year and with van Gerwen winning the Grand Prix and Chizzy romping to victory in Championship League Group Six they are very much the form horses on the circuit.
It does take some doing to win one of the floor events and it will almost certainly be a previous winner of one that takes home the £6,000 prize money for being the last man standing. Another man with great experience in doing just that is Justin Pipe who has based his surge up to 11th in the world largely on winning these Pro Tour competitions. He reached the quarters at the Grand Prix and looked good in doing so seeing off Simon Whitlock and Kevin Painter en route which is no mean feat. At 14/1 he looks a good price and is usually a safe bet to at least reach the latter stages.
The most recent winner of a tour title was Rob Thornton who has been in the form of his life of late and also looks a reasonable bet at 16/1. He was unlucky to bow out of the Grand Prix at the quarter-final stage as he bossed the averages against Mervyn King and will be confident nonetheless having knocked out the Power. A man who went one better in Dublin but is at the same price is Wes Newton who is another player with thoroughbred pedigree in the floor competitions.
Lower down the rankings there is obviously serious quality but a couple of players who have shown they can win these events stand out at 33/1. Paul Nicholson and Ronnie Baxter have both triumphed on a semi-regular basis away from the television cameras. Nicholson looked alright without being eye-catching in Dublin but he has been playing well in the Championship League and at this price he is a decent punt.
All-in-all these Pro Tour events are a bit of a lottery but the one man more than any who has made it predictable is the world number 14 Dave Chisnall who has won nearly a third of the competitions thus far and at 10/1 looks as good a bet as any.