Dec 21 2014

World Championships Day 4

Two more big long sessions of darts today (Sunday), as we have lots more first round games to get through before Xmas.

A shock or two yesterday – my mate Justin Pipe didn’t play well at all, and was punished by the Australian Loz Ryder.  Steve Beaton also had an early bath – going out to Aussie Kyle Anderson.  Gary Anderson strugged again the soft tip American Scott Kirchner, who has an unusual throwing style of throwing an imaginary darts before each set of 3 days, as some form of mental visualisation.  The slowness seemed to rile Anderson, but he managed to grind through it.

If you’re looking for somewhere to put your bets today, I’d suggest Benito van de Pas has a good chance to beat Paul Nicholson, who hasn’t found his darts form for some time now.   It’s all live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel – so there’s no excuse not to watch it.  12.30 it starts, so something to go with Sunday lunch.

Fancy a flutter?  To view all 35 markets on the William Hill World Darts Championship including Stage of Elimination, 170 Checkout etc. Please click here.

UPDATE:  Paul Nicholson did an interview after his loss today, but he was in tears and left his darts on the stage he was so upset.  He’d already ‘gone back to basics’ with no shades, clean shaven and a sports top on, but he still couldn’t quite manage the win.  I like Paul, and hope he can make the game simple and enjoy throwing his darts.

Sunday December 21
Afternoon Session

Paul Nicholson (25) 2-3 Benito van de Pas
Boris Koltsov 4
-2 Haruki Muramatsu (P)
Mark Webster (31) 3-1 Ron Meulenkamp
Dean Winstanley (26) 3-2 Wayne Jones
Kevin Painter (20) 3-1 Boris Koltsov

Evening Session

Kim Huybrechts (18) 3-0 Michael Mansell
Jani Haavisto 1-4 John Michael (P)
Dave Chisnall (8) 3-0 Ryan De Vreede
James Wade (6) 3-1 Jamie Lewis
Ian White (15) 3-1 John Michael


Gary Anderson v Kirchner

Anderson got through a tough frustraiting game (Pic Lustig/PDC)

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Dec 20 2014

2015 World Championships Day 3

I’m going to be rushed back from London to watch the darts this afternoon, bad news is I’m going to miss a lot of the evening session as its family night down the pub. Oh well there’s lots of darts to come!

Preliminary & First Rounds
Saturday December 20, 
Afternoon Session (12.30pm)

Andy Smith (28) 0-3 Ronny Huybrechts
Scott Mackenzie 3-4 Daryl Gurney (P)
Justin Pipe (17) 2-3 Laurence Ryder
Robert Thornton (9) 3-0 Andrew Gilding
Ronnie Baxter (24) 3-1 Daryl Gurney

Evening Session (7pm)

Steve Beaton (21) 0-3 Kyle Anderson
Mark McGrath 0-4 Scott Kirchner (P)
Terry Jenkins (16) 3-1 John Weber
Simon Whitlock (7) 1-3 Darren Webster
Gary Anderson (4) 3-1 Scott Kirchner

Stein with a shock win over Kellett last night

Stein with a shock win over Kellett last night (Pic Lawrence Lustig/PDC)





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Dec 19 2014

2015 World Championships Day 2

Wez Newton not a happy man

Wez Newton not a happy man last night (Pic Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

It really did feel like Xmas was here last night – sitting with a beer and the decorations out as the darts was on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel.  If you’ve not noticed, they are putting out wall to wall darts, filling the time with classic world championships games.  That does mean a LOT of Phil Taylor finals of course :-)

Last night’s Keegan Brown win over John Part was far from a shock – I’d predicted as much in my preview, and the bookies actually had Brown as the favourite.  More of a shock was Wes Newton going out to Cristo Reyes – who to be fair threw some great darts early in the game.  But later on I thought Wes had his measure and would still win the game.  It went down to the last deciding leg, and in a very very rare referee mistake, Paul Hinks asked Reyes to continue throwing (and not bull up after he’d already hit a 25).  That confused both players, and once they were down to the 300’s, Paul realised his mistake and stopped the game, and had them restart the leg on the bull.   Wes was quite obviously fuming afterwards, calling it a ‘shambles’ on twitter (possibly fine coming his way as the DRA monitor social media) – hard to blame a player for letting off steam after the pressure cooker on that stage, but who can say if it changed the result?  My advice to players – give your phone to someone before your games and tell em not to let you have it back until you’ve cooled down. 

No mistakes tonight we hope – on a night when I’m actually OUT and NOT ABLE TO WATCH THE DARTS the Power starts his bid to win his 17th world title.   Watch out for the Welshman Gerwyn Price, who has been in good form recently, and could shock Peter Wright if he’s not on his game.

Fancy a flutter?  To view all 35 markets on the William Hill World Darts Championship including Stage of Elimination, 170 Checkout etc. Please click here.

Friday December 19

Andy Hamilton (12) 3-2 Dave Richardson
Kim Viljanen 1-4 Sascha Stein (P)
Peter Wright (5) 3-0 Gerwyn Price
Phil Taylor (2) 3-0 Jyhan Artut
Stuart Kellett (32) 1-3 Sascha Stein

Preliminary Round – Best of seven legs
First Round – Best of five sets

Prize Fund
Winner £250,000
Runner-Up £120,000
Semi-Finalists £60,000
Quarter-Finalists £35,000
Third Round Losers £18,000
Second Round Losers £12,000
First Round Losers £8,000
Preliminary Round Losers £3,500
Total £1,250,000

In addition, a £10,000 bonus is on offer for a nine-dart finish. Should more than one nine-dart finish be hit during the tournament, the bonus would be shared on a pro-rata basis.

MvG and Joe Cullen

MvG beats Joe Cullen in a game Joe will think he should have won (Pic Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

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Dec 18 2014

William Hill World Darts Day 1

HERE IT COMES!  The William Hill World Championship of darts starts tonight, all live on the new special Sky Sports Darts channel.  They are currently showing back to back historic world finals, so if you’re not at work, why not tune in now!

If you fancy a flutter, check out what William Hill are offering on the players here.  

Check out my little preview of the first round action here – I can’t see past my ‘big 5′ players for the title.. but round 1 is the round to have the shocks.  Remember James Richardson beating Barney three years ago tonight?  It can happen.   Tonight my tip for a ‘shock’ has to be young Keegan Brown beating John Part…

As normal I’ll be updating the scores below pretty much ‘live’ – it’s a set competition so I’ll update sets won not legs.

If you’re not going, the official programme will also be available to purchase online through Programme Master at this link.

Thursday December 18

7.10pm John Part (30) 2-3 Keegan Brown
8.15pm Christian Perez 0-4 Cristo Reyes (P)
9.00pm Jelle Klaasen (29) 3-1 Christian Kist
10.00pm Michael van Gerwen (1) 3-1 Joe Cullen
11.00pm Wes Newton (13) 2-3 Cristo Reyes

UPDATE:  Well I’ve never seen a leg re-started at the worlds, but when Newton came back in the game to force a last leg decider, the ref unfortunately made a mistake and asked the players to ‘play on’, when it should have been a bull up.  Reyes actually had thrown for the bull, hitting 25, and then continued scoring with his next 2 darts.  After a couple of throws each, Paul Hinks the ref must have got a nod, because he apologised and asked the players to re-start the leg on the bull.  Reyes hit his 25 again, and Wez, obviously upset, was outside, and went on to lose the leg and the game.

Best of 5 sets.  Prelim best of 7 legs.

Cristo Reyes

Cristo Reyes beats Wes Newton after a very rare referee mistake in the deciding leg (which gets restarted!) (Pic Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

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Dec 18 2014

William Hill Darts Odds

If you do fancy a bet on tonight’s darts – please do use this link to William Hill, as you’ll get a £25 free matched bet, and you’ll be helping this site out a little.  And as Tesco’s say, “Every little helps!”.

Michael van Gerwen, World Champion

Michael van Gerwen, can he do it again? (Pic Steve Welsh, William Hill)

William Hill, the new sponsors of the William Hill World Darts Championship, are expecting to take a record breaking £10 million in bets during the course of the Christmas darts extravaganza.  The leading bookmakers have installed 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor as their 2/1 favourite to win this year’s tournament and regain the Sid Waddell Trophy.

Taylor last won the trophy in 2013 and has been very well backed to break his own record number of titles.

Michael van Gerwen, the reigning World Champion, is the 11/4 second favourite to defend his title, while last year’s runner-up Peter Wright is available at 40/1.  Other big contenders include the Cash Converters Players Championship Finals winner Gary Anderson (13/2) and the two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis (12/1).

Previous Lakeside Champions Stephen Bunting, Christian Kist and Jelle Klaasen are available at 22/1, 250/1 and 300/1 respectively.  Some of the future stars of the game have also been well backed including Michael Smith (66/1), Keegan Brown (125/1) and Benito van de Pas (300/1).

“We’re expecting our turnover on the William Hill World Darts Championship to smash £10 million for the first time this year,” said William Hill spokesman Tony Kenny.

“Gary Anderson and Stephen Bunting are the two biggest losers in our book at the moment, but we’re expecting to see big money for Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen over the next 24 hours.”

To view all 35 markets on the William Hill World Darts Championship including Stage of Elimination, 170 Checkout etc. Please click here.

To win the William Hill World Darts Championship: (Sponsors bet):
2/1 Phil Taylor, 11/4 Michael van Gerwen, 13/2 Gary Anderson, 12/1 Adrian Lewis, 16/1 James Wade, 22/1 Stephen Bunting, 40/1 Dave Chisnall, 40/1 Peter Wright, 50/1 Raymond van Barneveld, 66/1 Kim Huybrechts, 66/1 Michael Smith, 66/1 Simon Whitlock, 80/1 Mervyn King, 80/1 Robert Thornton, 100/1 Terry Jenkins, 125/1 Keegan Brown, 150/1 Ian White, 150/1 Wes Newton, 200/1 Andy Hamilton, 200/1 Brendan Dolan, 200/1 Jamie Caven, 200/1 Justin Pipe, 200/1 Vincent van der Voort, 250/1 Christian Kist, 250/1 Dean Winstanley, 300/1 Benito van de Pas, 300/1 Jelle Klaasen, 300/1 Kevin Painter, 400/1 Andrew Gilding, 400/1 Paul Nicholson, 500/1 Darren Webster, 500/1 Gerwyn Price, 500/1 Kyle Anderson, 500/1 Mark Webster, 500/1 Ronny Huybrechts, 500/1 Steve Beaton, 750/1 Daryl Gurney, 750/1 Ronnie Baxter, 1000/1 Andy Smith, 1000/1 Joe Cullen, 1000/1 John Part, 1000/1 Mensur Suljovic, 1000/1 Micky Mansell, 1000/1 Rowby-John Rodriguez, 1000/1 Stuart Kellett, 1500/1 Dave Pallett, 1500/1 Jamie Lewis, 1500/1 Jani Haavisto, 1500/1 Jason Hogg, 1500/1 John Henderson, 1500/1  Jyhan Artut, 1500/1 Max Hopp, 1500/1 Ron Meulenkamp, 1500/1 Ryan de Vreede, 1500/1 Wayne Jones, 2000/1 Christian Perez, 2000/1 Cristo Reyes, 2000/1 Dave Richardson, 2000/1 Jermaine Wattimena, 2000/1 John Michael, 2000/1 John Weber, 2000/1 Laurence Ryder, 2000/1 Robert Marijanovic, 2000/1 Scott Mackenzie, 2500/1 Alex Hon, 2500/1 Boris Koltsov, 2500/1 Haruki Muramatsu, 2500/1 Kim Viljanen, 2500/1 Mark McGrath, 2500/1 Nolan Arendse, 2500/1 Sascha Stein, 2500/1 Scott Kirchner

(1/2 Odds Place 1,2) – William Hill are ‘Best or joint best price’ on all players to win the William Hill World Darts Championship between 9am Thursday December 11 and 7pm Thursday December 18 (First Dart) in comparison to Ladbrokes, Bet365 and Paddy Power, displayed on

First Round Match Betting
7/4 John Part v Keegan Brown 4/9
4/5 Jelle Klaasen v Christian Kist EVS
1/33 Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen 11/1
1/4 Andy Hamilton v Dave Richardson 3/1
1/6 Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price 4/1
1/25 Phil Taylor v Jyhan Artut 10/1
10/11 Andy Smith v Ronny Huybrechts 10/11
1/7 Justin Pipe v Laurence Ryder 9/2
1/3 Robert Thornton v Andrew Gilding 9/4
4/6 Steve Beaton v Kyle Anderson 6/5
1/10 Terry Jenkins v John Weber 6/1
1/4 Simon Whitlock v Darren Webster 3/1
4/5 Paul Nicholson v Benito van de Pas EVS
4/11 Mark Webster v Ron Meulenkamp 21/10
4/11 Dean Winstanley v Wayne Jones 21/10
1/5 Kim Huybrechts v Michael Mansell 7/2
1/9 Dave Chisnall v Ryan de Vreede 11/2
1/10 James Wade v Jamie Lewis 6/1
2/9 Jamie Caven v Jason Hogg 16/5
1/4 Michael Smith v Mensur Suljovic 3/1
1/5 Raymond van Barneveld v Rowby-John Rodriguez 7/2
4/9 Vincent van der Voort v John Henderson 7/4
1/6 Mervyn King v Max Hopp 4/1
1/20 Adrian Lewis v David Pallett 9/1

6/5 None
6/4 One
11/4 Two or More

Straight Forecast
11/2 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Michael van Gerwen
13/2 1st Michael van Gerwen 2nd Phil Taylor
8/1 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Gary Anderson
16/1 1st Michael van Gerwen 2nd Adrian Lewis
16/1 1st Gary Anderson 2nd Phil Taylor
22/1 1st Michael van Gerwen 2nd James Wade
25/1 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Dave Chisnall
25/1 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Peter Wright
25/1 1st Adrian Lewis 2nd Michael van Gerwen
33/1 1st Gary Anderson 2nd Adrian Lewis
33/1 1st Michael van Gerwen 2nd Stephen Bunting
33/1 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Robert Thornton
40/1 1st Michael van Gerwen 2nd Raymond van Barneveld
50/1 1st Gary Anderson 2nd James Wade
50/1 1st James Wade 2nd Michael van Gerwen
66/1 1st James Wade 2nd Gary Anderson
66/1 1st Gary Anderson 2nd Stephen Bunting
66/1 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Wes Newton
66/1 1st Michael van Gerwen 2nd Kim Huybrechts
80/1 1st Gary Anderson 2nd Raymond van Barneveld
80/1 1st Michael van Gerwen 2nd Michael Smith
80/1 1st Stephen Bunting 2nd Michael van Gerwen
80/1 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Terry Jenkins
80/1 1st Phil Taylor 2nd Justin Pipe
100/1 1st Gary Anderson 2nd Simon Whitlock
100/1 1st Stephen Bunting 2nd Gary Anderson

Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 15 2014

Darts Preview; Here Comes the Worlds!

Viagogo Year in Review

Viagogo Year in review; The PDC World Darts Champs are their THIRD biggest draw!

Well I’m starting this article Sunday night, just four days away from the start of the 2015 William Hill World Championships.  For many (PDC) darts fans, 7pm Thursday night will be when Xmas really starts, as that music starts up and Sky Sports bring us all the glitz from the Ally Pally.

The full TV schedule can be found here – I’ll just share a few thoughts about some of the players to watch out for, and the first round games I’m most looking forward too.

Before I do that – I’ll be asked “who do I think will win it?”.  Well it’s not easy at the moment to give one name, as a lot of players are competing at the top level at the moment, so the list of names I think the winner will come from are;

  • Phil Taylor – I think he’s desperate to win at least once more, and prove he can do it with the Target darts.
  • Michael van Gerwen – he’ll be looking to start a period of domination, if he’s ever to match Phil Taylor’s acheivements.
  • Adrian Lewis – his form appears to be returning, and he’s done this before; have a quiet year then win the worlds.  Ade is also back with Keith Deller who helped get him ready to win his two previous world championships.
  • Gary Anderson – possibly the best player not to have won a worlds?  A massive talent, who is now appearing to deliver on all the promises.  The form horse going into the worlds.
  • James Wade – he’s got his head in a good place, and he’s enjoying darts again, and the form and results are showing that.  He’s won many majors, so is a proven winner.  I’m sure he’ll be focussing on taking that trophy home.

If you don’t follow the darts as closely as me, you may want to know some names that might be worth a punt on for winning their first rounds games, maybe for a sneaky accy bet where you could win a pot of gold from the bookies.

The first game of the tournament could see a former world champ, John Part, go out to a young talent.  Keegan Brown certainly has the game and stage confidence to beat John if he’s not throwing well, so we could see a shock there.

Benito van der Pas could also spoil Paul Nicholson’s Xmas in their first round clash.  Benito is another young confident player who has been playing well this year.

Jason Hogg came through a tough qualifier to be at the worlds, and he again is a player who has been doing pretty well on the pro tour.  He’ll have to play his best to beat Jabba, but it’s possible.

Dave Pallett is a player not lacking in confidence, and he’s already been joking with Adrian Lewis about him being better looking.  He’s a good player, and while I think Lewis could win the title, first rounds are always tricky in the short format.

So it all kicks of Thursday – the first set of games are;

Thursday December 18
7.10pm John Part (30) v Keegan Brown
8.15pm Christian Perez v Cristo Reyes (P)
9.00pm Jelle Klaasen (29) v Christian Kist
10.00pm Michael van Gerwen (1) v Joe Cullen
11.00pm Wes Newton (13) v Christian Perez/Cristo Reyes

Enjoy – and have a great Xmas!


Defending champion Michael van Gerwen has issued a warning to his darting rivals as he prepares to return to the scene of the crowning moment of his career so far, declaring: “I won’t give my title up without a fight.”

The 25-year-old Dutch darting superstar will be one of the major attractions in the PDC World Championship at Alexandra Palace in London over the festive period.

Van Gerwen has revelled in his year as world champion after lifting the title for the first time with a final victory over Peter Wright 12 months ago, and has vowed to give his all in a bid to keep hold of the trophy.

“Winning the World Championship was amazing and it’s been a fantastic year,” said van Gerwen, who is sponsored by leading trade paint manufacturer Leyland Paints.

“I worked for a lot of years to be the world champion and it felt as good as I thought it would.

“I’m desperate to have those same feelings by winning it again and I certainly won’t be giving up my title without a fight.

“There will be a bit of extra pressure on me as defending champion but I enjoy that. I’ve won it before so I know I can cope with the pressure and I can’t wait for the next couple of weeks.”

Van Gerwen will ensure the tournament gets off to a flying start with an appearance on the opening night on Thursday December 18 against first round opponent Joe Cullen.

“Joe’s a great player and I will have to be at my best right from the very start,” added van Gerwen.

“There are a lot of players performing well leading into the World Championship so you know if you don’t play well, you will be going home.

“But I’m very pleased with my form so hopefully I can rise to the occasion and win the tournament again.”

Van Gerwen will be joined at the World Championship by fellow Leyland Paint ambassadors Simon Whitlock, who is ranked seven for the tournament, and former world champion Mark Webster, who are also both members of ‘Team Leyland.’


Simon Whitlock is hopeful that his past success on darts’ biggest stage will prove significant when the PDC World Championship gets underway.

The 45-year-old Wizard of Oz has struggled to hit top form recently but believes that he can put himself in contention for glory at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Whitlock, who is sponsored by leading trade paint manufacturer Leyland Paints, said: “I haven’t quite been firing on all cylinders recently, which has been a bit disappointing.

“But the World Championship is what every player looks forward to – and I feel like I’m ready.

“It’s a competition which I’ve had some success in previously and I love playing at Ally Pally, so hopefully that will stand me in good stead.”

Whitlock reached the final of the competition in 2010 before falling to Phil Taylor, while he was also a semi-finalist in 2012, despite playing with a broken ankle, and made the quarter-finals last year.

Seventh seed Whitlock is one of three Australians in action on Saturday December 20 as he takes on Norwich-based Darren Webster.

The winner of that clash will face either Dean Winstanley or Wayne Jones on Sunday December 28.

Despite not being in peak form throughout 2014, Whitlock has still reached the semi-finals of the World Matchplay and final of the Singapore Masters this year.

“When things aren’t going quite right, all you can do is keep practicing and keep your self-belief,” said Whitlock, who now lives in Waterlooville.

“I’ve been working hard and I’m really looking forward to the most exciting fortnight of the darting calendar.”


Former world champion Mark Webster insists he would relish the challenge of a festive showdown against darts legend Phil Taylor – but the Welsh thrower is refusing to contemplate the prospect too much.

Denbigh-based Webster is on a PDC World Championship collision course with 16-times winner Taylor at Alexandra Palace if both players win their opening match.

But the 2008 BDO world champion insists he is not looking beyond his first round meeting with Dutchman Ron Meulenkamp, which takes place in the afternoon session on Sunday, December 21.

“It would be great to play Phil in a high profile match at the World Championships and I’m sure Ron will be thinking the same,” said Webster, who is sponsored by leading trade paint manufacturer Leyland Paints.

“But I’m not looking beyond that first game with Ron. We played each other a number of years ago in the BDO system but that was only a best of five leg match and this is a totally different situation.

“It will be a tough game but they all are. The days that you might have gone to the World Championship and had a relatively straight-forward first round match are long gone.

“The aim is to try and get through that game against Ron and have a great game against Phil to look forward to over Christmas.”

After reaching the quarter-finals in this event 12 months ago, Webster is excited about his return to the sport’s biggest stage.

He added: “I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve not been on television for a while so that will be something to get used to again.

“A few months ago I was struggling for a bit of form but I’ve been throwing pretty well recently, without getting too many results.

“The challenge now is to try and turn those positive performances into wins.

“A lot of people don’t get on the tour until they are in their late 30s and early 40s and I’m only 31.

“I feel as though I have got a lot of good times ahead of me and hopefully they can start here.”

Leyland Paints was founded in 1922 and has a long and distinguished history of affordable, trade quality paints.

Thanks to Viagogo for the infographic showing just how popular the darts tickets are!  Viagogo are an official ticket partner of the PDC.

Michael van Gerwen, World Champion

Michael van Gerwen, World Champion (Pic Steve Welsh, William Hill)


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