Phil Taylor may have retired from competitive action a couple of years ago, but the 16-time world champion is still being tipped to win titles, having been installed as an 11/4 favourite to win the PDC’s inaugural Walk-on World Cup.
Amid the darting hiatus caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the PDC devised the Walk-On World Cup competition via their official twitter account on Friday, encouraging fans to determine which of the selected 64 players has the best entrance in the sport.
The tournament features current stars and former professionals, with fans encouraged to cast their votes via a series of social media polls. Unibet are offering an outright market under their ‘Odds Boost’ section on site, and all profits will be donated to Parkinson’s UK charity.
Taylor achieved unprecedented success throughout his illustrious career, lifting over 100 major televised titles. However, he’s been tipped to add to his trophy haul and his iconic ‘Power’ entrance makes him the favourite at 11/4.
Taylor overcame Joe Cullen in his opener and now he meets a familiar face in round-two – Sky Sports expert Wayne Mardle. Mardle’s magnificent ‘Hawaii Five-0’ walk-on still delights fans on the exhibition circuit and he’s moved into 6/1 after staying alive at the expense of Steve Beaton.
Five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld was one of the sport’s most popular figures and his ‘Eye of The Tiger’ entrance always created a box-office atmosphere – particularly during the Premier League visits to Rotterdam.
Van Barneveld eased past two-time world champion Adrian Lewis in Saturday’s opening round and the doyen of Dutch darts is being backed by bookmakers to renew his rivalry with old foe Taylor in the final, with RvB the 4/1 second favourite to secure the inaugural title.
Michael van Gerwen is third favourite at 11/2 and the three-time world champion received over 80% of the votes for his ‘Seven Nation Army’ walk-on after cruising past Darren Webster and his Bruce Springsteen tune, ‘Dancing in the Dark’.
There are a number of outside bets for the title, including South African star Devon Petersen. ‘The African Warrior’ is renowned for his slick dance moves, as is former World Youth champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, who accounted for Rob Cross in the first round.
Three-time world champion John Part enjoyed one of the most unforgettable entrances in darting history during the 2008 World Championship and his Star Wars effort makes him a 16/1 outsider, having stormed past Jermaine Wattimena in the last 64.
‘Sweet Caroline’ is a synonymous tune within the sports of Football, Boxing and Darts and Daryl Gurney is also 16/1 with Unibet to be crowned champion, whilst Vincent van der Voort is a good value price at 25/1 with KC and the Sunshine Band.
Current world champion Peter Wright is fifth favourite, but ‘Snakebite’ only just overcame Nathan Aspinall in an all-Premier League first round showdown. ‘The Asp’ makes his way to the stage to ‘Mr Brightside’ by the Killers, but the party hasn’t been stopped yet for the colourful Scot.
The Walk-on-World Cup is contested purely through social media polls and tournament odds are available exclusively at Unibet. The first round concluded on Saturday evening and we’re now down to the last 32 stage, which kicks off at 12pm on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC