Darts returns to Minehead for the Players Championship Finals and there’s sure to be plenty of top-class action in Somerset.
It’s an interesting tournament, with all the big-hitters in attendance, but there is a slight tweak to the seedings.
The event is made up of the top-64 players from the Players Championships Order of Merit qualified, which is solely based on prize money won in the Players Championships events during the season.
There are essentially the floor events, which have been put into blocks and rebranded as the Super Series. The last ten Super Series events were held in Barnsley in August, October and November and those ten tournaments produced ten different winners.
That gives you an indication of the competitiveness of the tour, and of course, those seedings will have a big impact on the Minehead draw.
First Quarter Looks Tough
Jose de Sousa is the top seed this year, but that ranking was achieved courtesy of some brilliant form earlier in the season and it was clear at the Grand Slam last week that a little of the Special One’s sparkle was missing in Wolverhampton.
Favourite Gerwyn Price is housed in the same quarter as De Sousa, Krzysztof Ratajski, Dave Chisnall and the in-form Chris Dobey.
You also have capable performers such as William O’Connor, Mervyn King and Ian White in the section. The Iceman was in superb form when winning the Grand Slam, but at 11/4 he can be skipped in Somerset.
Humphries Value in Bottom Half
The third quarter is a Dutchathon with Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld and Dirk van Duijvenbode all in attendance.
Chuck in Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, Stephen Bunting and Damon Heta and it’s a feverishly difficult section to unravel.
However, staying in the bottom half of the draw, the fourth section is where the value could be housed. Jonny Clayton has strong claims from a favourable looking draw, but he is only an 11/2 shot and the better value could lie with 40/1 poke Luke Humphries.
Cool Hand Luke is the 19th seed and that tells you plenty about his excellent floor form. We know that the Newbury arrowsmith can perform on the big stage, after making two World Championship quarter-finals and he also made the final of the UK Open in March.
A first-round tie against Jason Heaver looks very winnable and there isn’t too much to fear from the winner of Ross Smith and Rusty-Jake Rodriguez.
Clearly, a third-round clash against Clayton will be tough, but Humphries has the scoring-power to match anyone on his day and he may be a little too big at 40/1.
Cullen capable at a big price
Another player to consider in the bottom half is Joe Cullen and at 40/1 he is also worthy of support.
Rockstar is brilliant on the floor, hence his 6th-seed ranking and he is reproducing that form on the big stage on a more consistent basis.
Cullen was beaten in the second round of the Grand Slam last week, but his four-match averages in Wolverhampton were 92.04, 93.80, 98.33 and 98.88 and those sort of numbers indicate what the Bradford man has to offer.
Dimitri Van den Bergh and Danny Noppert are in the same section, but Rockstar can put on a show and eclipse his rivals.
*All odds correct at time of writing.