Here is a blog post of interest to seven guys that have a chip and a chair in the first ever LPT darts invitational tournament. I have decided to rank the seven known participants (we will be adding an 8th player). No hard feelings if you rank lower than expected, you will have plenty of opportunity to stick it to me next Saturday.
Tier 1 – The contenders
Two players are ahead of the pack in the race to become our groups first dart champion. Tim was a cinch to head this list up to 3-4 months ago, but from what I have heard and witnessed last night, Shane has made significant strides in challenging Tim as the best dart player of the group. I feel hard pressed to imagine a scenario where neither of these 2 take the title, on paper this is definitely a 2 man race.
1 – Tim Drisdelle
As I mentioned earlier, Tim was the clear front runner before the last couple of months or so. He had been totally dominant over the rest of the field, but he has been having problems versus Shane in recent outings. Tim has a killer instinct in these competitions that the rest of the group can’t seem to shake off. Expect much of the same next Saturday.
2 – Shane Leighton
Shane has made the jump from being the obvious leader of the 2nd tier to becoming a legitimate threat to Tim’s reign. He has had good results versus Tim recently, and when he starts scoring well he is hard to stop. Don’t be shocked if he takes this coveted title.
Tier 2 – The peloton
The 2nd tier features 3 players that have an outside shot of winning the tournament. All three need to play at their best and could capitalize on the fact that the tournament features short matches. These guys could all surprise and win the tournament, but it’s a bit of a long shot. The 3 players in this group are very tightly grouped.
3- Chris Fournier
Chris is an interesting wildcard in this tournament. He hasn’t played many matches against the rest of the group, but from what I hear, he gives Tim headaches when they play. Based on that, we need to rank him at the head of the 2nd tier.
4 – Josh Richard
Josh is sort of the godfather of the LDT. He is the one that got Shane interested in play more darts and in turn Tim followed suite. Has not been playing a whole lot up until very recently. Has he had enough time to refine his game to contend for the title? I think Josh can make some noise in this tournament, but like the other 2 in this tier, he needs to catch some big breaks to win the tournament.
5 – Jeff Mcintyre
As much as I have made strides since Tim infamously beat me left headed in cricket, I am not quite ready to contend for the title. I might have an upset or two in me, but a middle of the pack finish is to be expected
Tier 3 – The underdogs
I don’t expect either of these two players to win the tournament, but they both can certainly upend members of the second tier and have a middle of the pack finish.
6 – Donnie Saunders
There is something scary about seeding Donnie this low and I had serious thoughts of putting him in the middle of the 2nd tier. He definitely can throw with anyone in the field, but I think lack of practice might be his undoing. Donnie can be very clutch in key situations and is a threat to make me look like an idiot for ranking him this low.
7 – Stefane Richard
Stef is in tough in this tournament. He admitting hasn’t played a whole lot of darts. He does have the ability to win a few matches and if he finds his swagger he could surprise.