Newly crowned BDO world champion Wayne Warren has revealed his disappointment at the significantly reduced prize fund he received for his exploits last month, describing the situation as ‘gutting’.
The 57-year-old became the oldest first-time winner of the BDO World Championship and the oldest ever winner of a World Darts Championship with victory over his Welsh compatriot Jim Williams in last month’s final at the Indigo at the O2.
In the first BDO World Championship to be staged away from the iconic Lakeside Country Club in over 30 years, Warren performed superbly to become the fourth Welsh world champion, although the total prize fund remained unconfirmed on the night he lifted the trophy.
Just days after his triumph, it was announced that Warren would pocket a paltry £23,000 – despite Glen Durrant walking away with £100,000 for his 2019 success. It was also revealed that the overall prize pot for the men’s event had been slashed by a staggering 60%.
Warren’s sum was the lowest for a winner of the BDO Men’s World Championship since Jocky Wilson received £20,000 for defeating Eric Bristow in the 1989 final, with Phil Taylor remarkably scooping more than Warren for winning the first of his 16 world titles THIRTY years ago.
In an exclusive interview with his sponsors Red Dragon, Warren candidly revealed his frustration at the prize money saga, before opening up on his decision not to compete at PDC Qualifying School last month.
“We knew things weren’t right by a mile,” admitted Warren, speaking to Red Dragon Darts. “The prestige is winning the trophy, simple. But once you’ve lifted that cup you think about the money. I didn’t know what money I was going to get.
“I heard various different figures but when I actually had the figure told to me, it was gutting really. I’ve got the cup now and that’s it really, you’ve just got to get on with it.”
Warren was listed among the initial entrants for this year’s PDC Qualifying School, but the Rhondda thrower cited fatigue and the uncertainty surrounding the prize money as instrumental factors in his decision not to participate in Wigan.
“I came back from The O2 and to be honest I was mentally and physically tired,” added Warren. “I phoned my manager and I said about not going and he said ‘sit down and have a think about it’, which I was doing.
“Then I had an email about the money situation and to be honest, in my head, it was pointless me going up there. I can’t go to a tournament like that, especially a big one like Q School.
“Then I thought to myself, I need to generate money from that cup [BDO World Championship] so I’m going to be as busy as I can this year. I just didn’t want to do the tour, I can’t do the two together.
“PDC next year? Maybe. I hope it’s going to be a very busy year, that’s my plan, to push in as much work as I can. I’ll do the odd couple of tournaments but it won’t be as it was last year, no way.”
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC