The 2021 Unibet Premier League Darts season begins in Milton Keynes on Monday evening, and it promises to be another enthralling campaign, as Glen Durrant bids to retain the title that he captured so magnificently on debut last October.Continue reading “Premier League Darts 2021: Preview & Predictions”
Raymond van Barneveld is back. Less than 15 months since retiring from the sport, the five-time world champion has returned to the professional circuit, after reclaiming his PDC Tour Card at 2021 Qualifying School in Niedernhausen.Continue reading “Van Barneveld: “I’ve got a chance to put myself back on the map!””
Gerwyn Price believes the hostility he has received from darting crowds has fast-tracked his development into a world champion, as the Welshman outlines his desire to overhaul Dutch duo Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen in terms of world title wins.Continue reading “Price: ‘The crowds have brought my career forward’”
In the latest instalment of my darting classics series, I delve into the archives to reflect on a thrilling PDC World Championship quarter-final clash between Phil Taylor and Wayne Mardle at Alexandra Palace in December 2007.Continue reading “DARTING CLASSICS: Mardle topples Taylor at Ally Pally”
Since the PDC’s inception back in 1992, we have witnessed countless classic showdowns involving the sport’s main protagonists and I’ve taken a trip down memory lane to reflect on ten of the best matches in PDC history.Continue reading “OPINION: Ten of the best matches in PDC history”
When sporting legends call time on their careers, their impact is measured predominantly by their haul of silverware, and the vast majority of darters will be envious of Raymond van Barneveld’s extensive trophy cabinet.
Yet having also put darts on the map in the Netherlands whilst inspiring a generation of European talent in the process, his legacy remains just as prominent.Continue reading “Being Barney – the doyen of Dutch darts”
The anticipation surrounding last year’s Qualifying School was unparalleled. Glen Durrant’s future had been a constant source of speculation, with fans and pundits alike eager to see the BDO’s all-conquering three-time world champion pit his wits against the PDC elite.Continue reading “Durrant: “I put my reputation on the line””
There are few finer sights in sport than an individual or team staring down the barrel of defeat, only to summon up an inspired recovery and turn the tables in dramatic style. It’s sporting theatre at its best and there have been a multitude of classic darting comebacks in this mould over recent years.Continue reading “OPINION: Ten of the best darting comebacks since the turn of the century”
Who is the greatest darts player of all time? Who would form the top ten? It’s a debate that rages throughout forums and social media on a regular basis, but following on from my Fantasy World Championship, I’ve compiled my list of the ten greatest darts players of all time.Continue reading “OPINION: The ten greatest darts players of all time”
Welsh number one Gerwyn Price will make his homecoming in front of a sell-out crowd at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on Night Three of the Premier League, as ‘challenger’ Jonny Clayton prepares to make his tournament bow on a bumper night of action.Continue reading “Premier League Darts Predictions: Price to prevail on home soil?”
The Premier League roadshow heads to Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena on Thursday, with ‘challenger’ Fallon Sherrock the headline act as she faces three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant on Night Two.Continue reading “2020 Premier League Darts: Night Two predictions”
‘Risin’ up, straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive’
Raymond van Barneveld’s career has been littered with glory. He’s maintained his place in the elite for three decades and gone the distance against several darting legends, although the last survivor of his generation will indeed stop – this year’s World Championship marks his final competitive event before retirement.Continue reading “Raymond van Barneveld: The final chapter of the last survivor!”
When Gerwyn Price pinned tops to defeat Gary Anderson in last year’s Grand Slam finale, the Welshman’s triumph was met with unanimous hostility from the Wolverhampton crowd, with his win against ‘The Flying Scotsman’ marred by controversy.Continue reading “Gerwyn Price’s journey from vilification to vindication!”
Andy Hamilton has urged the British Darts Organisation to resolve their glaring administrative issues and improve their communication with players and fans alike following the controversy that marred the recent World Masters at the Circus Tavern.Continue reading “Hamilton urges BDO to resolve issues following World Masters chaos!”
There are just three major champions left standing heading into Finals Day at the European Championship in Gottingen, which could represent the perfect opportunity for a perennial challenger to finally break their major duck.Continue reading “Will a new major winner be crowned in Gottingen?”
On the latest episode of the Josh’s Dartistry Podcast, we were joined by Sky Sports expert Wayne Mardle to review the World Matchplay, discuss the key talking points from nine days of drama in Blackpool and assess how this will impact the rest of the darting season.Continue reading “Wayne Mardle’s World Matchplay Review!”
The 2019 World Matchplay gets underway at the iconic Winter Gardens on Saturday evening, with defending champion Gary Anderson headlining the opening night in Blackpool.
Ahead of one of the biggest events on the darting calendar, I caught up with PDC major winner and pundit Paul Nicholson to preview the action from the Winter Gardens and ‘The Asset’ believes this year’s event could be the most captivating in recent memory.Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: Nicholson tips Price for Matchplay glory!”
Scotland clinched their maiden World Cup of Darts title in Hamburg on Sunday evening, as Gary Anderson and Peter Wright defeated the unheralded Republic of Ireland duo of William O’Connor and Steve Lennon in a pulsating finale.Continue reading “World Cup of Darts: Five Talking Points!”
The 2018 BetVictor World Matchplay gets underway at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in just under a fortnight’s time. Josh’s Dartistry picks out four of the most intriguing first-round ties and runs the rule over the respective tussles…. Continue reading “World Matchplay 2018: The Four Standout Ties!”
Raymond van Barneveld rolled back the years in a thrilling Premier League double-header in Rotterdam this week, demonstrating that he’s still the man for the big occasion with memorable victories over Simon Whitlock and Michael van Gerwen in front of an adoring home crowd. Continue reading “OPINION: Barney remains the man for the big occasion!”
The 2018 Unibet Premier League gets underway at Dublin’s 3Arena on Thursday evening and it’s set to be an intriguing campaign, with six changes from last year’s line-up- which includes four debutants. Continue reading “2018 Premier League Darts: Tournament Preview!”
The 2018 PDC World Darts Championship gets underway at the Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening. Michael van Gerwen is bidding to retain his crown and win a third world title, whilst Phil Taylor prepares to say farewell to the professional game. Josh’s Dartistry examines four potential outsiders for the title! Continue reading “PDC World Championship 2018: Four Outsiders!”
The 2017 Premier League reached its halfway point in Cardiff last week, as Kim Huybrechts and Jelle Klaasen suffered elimination. As a result, Josh’s Dartistry takes this opportunity to assess the statistics from this year’s event, to determine whether or not they reflect the current league standings. Continue reading “2017 Premier League Darts: The statistics so far!”
The 2017 Coral UK Open Finals kicks off at the Butlin’s Minehead Resort on Friday afternoon. World champion Michael van Gerwen will be going in search of his third successive UK Open title, but in the tournament dubbed ‘The FA Cup of Darts’- anything is possible. Josh’s Dartistry picks out his five potential outsiders for the crown. Continue reading “2017 UK Open: Five Potential Outsiders!”
Phil Taylor has sensationally claimed that he thinks world number one Michael van Gerwen has got just a 25% chance of winning this year’s World Championship. Taylor was speaking to Josh’s Dartistry after his comprehensive 3-0 first-round triumph at the Ally Pally against DPA qualifier David Platt, and ‘The Power’ was in bullish mood.
Taylor performed impressively on Sunday night, averaging 101.93, landing three maximums and converting 50% of his double attempts. The 55-year-old bust an 81 finish in the final leg which would have seen him post the highest average of the tournament so far, and his highest first-round average at the Worlds since 2003.
Understandably, Taylor was in confident mood: “I’ve got a massive chance, trust me. I’m not going to bull**** you, I’m not that way, but I’ve got a massive chance of winning this; seriously. I can tell you now, the way I’m practicing, what I’ve been doing back home with our Christopher, I’ve got a massive chance of winning it. 102 is rubbish really, I’m going to improve, 100%.”
Taylor is priced at 10/1 to win his 17th World Championship title, which are his longest odds in the history of this competition. The main reason for Taylor’s price is that fact that he’s set to meet Michael van Gerwen in the semi-finals, but the Stoke-on-Trent ace was unconvinced about the Dutchman’s prospects of winning a second world title. Continue reading “Taylor: ‘I’ve got a massive chance. MvG won’t win it- not this year!’”
Mensur Suljovic has revealed that he has spoken to the PDC to confirm that he does not want to be considered for a Premier League place in 2017. In an exclusive interview with Josh’s Dartistry, the world number seven discussed his stunning revival over the past few years and explained his reasons for rejecting a potential Premier League invitation.
The Austrian is somewhat of a darting veteran these days. He began his career in the BDO, making his World Masters debut in 1999. He then made his World Championship debut at the Lakeside in 2002, beating a certain Vincent van der Voort in round-one. Yet he didn’t appear in the PDC World Championship until 2008.
Nevertheless, it’s only within the last few years where Suljovic has really made his mark. He opted to compete full-time on the Pro Tour circuit in 2015 and he reaped the rewards, reaching two major semi-finals, two major quarter-finals and breaking into the world’s top 20 after some extremely consistent Pro Tour performances.
However, 2016 has been even better for the man nicknamed ‘The Gentle’. Suljovic’s consistency on the Pro Tour and European Tour saw him finish the year second on the European Tour Order of Merit, after he won his maiden PDC title at the International Darts Open in September. Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE- Suljovic to reject Premier League invitation!”
Three-time Lakeside world champion Martin Adams bowed out of the 2016 Grand Slam of Darts on Monday evening after suffering a 5-3 defeat against former World Grand Prix finalist Brendan Dolan. ‘Wolfie’ needed to defeat the Northern Irishman by 5-3 or better to keep alive his qualification hopes, but he narrowly fell short.
Adams performed fantastically on his debut Grand Slam campaign twelve months ago where he defeated Jelle Klaasen, Ian White and Steve Beaton to reach the knockout stages, before losing in a deciding-leg shootout to Kim Huybrechts in the last 16. Adams was arguably ‘the story’ of the competition last year.
However, the 60-year-old was understandably unable to replicate such heroics this time around, largely due to his well-documented health problems. Despite this, he still firmly made his mark on the competition.
Adams’ participation in this year’s Grand Slam was cast into genuine doubt when it was revealed in September that he’d been battling prostate cancer for the last eight months, therefore the fact he was able to compete is a triumph in itself.
Martin began his second course of radiotherapy in August and his treatment concluded in mid-September, whilst he also underwent hormone treatment alongside the radiotherapy. Since his diagnosis last year, Martin has become an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK charity, working to raise awareness of the condition. Continue reading “COLUMN: Battling Martin Adams epitomises the word ‘legend!’”
The 2016 World Matchplay kicks off on Saturday evening, and Josh’s Dartistry casts his eye over the favourites, the contenders, the dark-horses, as well as the seeds under pressure. It promises to be a fantastic tournament at the Winter Gardens!
Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen is the favourite to retain his BetVictor World Matchplay title. He faces seven-time Pro Tour winner Jamie Caven in round-one, but ‘The Green Machine’ will be confident of progressing.
‘Jabba’ has only once gone beyond round-one at the Winter Gardens, and if MvG progresses, he will face either his good friend Vincent van der Voort, or Kyle Anderson in the last 16. Van Gerwen claimed victory in the recent Shanghai Darts Masters, but the world number one wasn’t in vintage form throughout the World Series.
World champion Gary Anderson will enter this tournament with real self-belief. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ has won three of the four World Series titles in 2016, beating Van Gerwen in two of those finals. The Scot is one of the select few who relishes the challenge of facing MvG, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these two face off in the final.
However, Anderson has been handed a difficult first-round assignment, against former Lakeside world finalist Alan Norris. Norris has been in fine form in the last 6 months and this promises to be a quick-fire contest. Anderson suffered a shock second-round defeat to Mensur Suljovic last year, so he’ll be determined to make amends this time around.
The top-four players in world darts collide as the Premier League heads to London’s O2 Arena for finals night on Thursday May 19th. For the first time in Premier League history, the top ten players on the PDC Order of Merit were selected for the event, and it’s rather fitting that the four semi-finalists all comprise the top four in the world rankings.
World number one Michael van Gerwen takes on Adrian Lewis in the first semi-final, whilst six-time Premier League champion Phil Taylor meets reigning champion Gary Anderson in the other semi-final clash. It’s set to be an explosive night of action in the capital!
Michael van Gerwen v Adrian Lewis
For the fourth year in succession, Michael van Gerwen topped the league phase after edging out Phil Taylor 7-5 in Rotterdam. Taylor and MvG have been involved in a thrilling rivalry throughout this campaign, but the Dutchman has secured the psychological edge by clinching top spot.
Adrian Lewis confirmed his play-off spot with a thumping 7-2 win over Gary Anderson last week. Neither player was anywhere near their best, but that performance typified Lewis’ campaign. He produced the key shots at the right moments, which he must also do against ‘The Green Machine’ on Thursday.
World champion Gary Anderson and fellow Scot Peter Wright face a defining double-header in the hunt for a Premier League play-off place at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on Thursday night. Wright faces Phil Taylor whilst Anderson meets Raymond van Barneveld, before the Scots reconvene to face off in the evening’s curtain-raiser.
Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen will aim to keep up the pressure on Phil Taylor when he faces James Wade, whilst Adrian Lewis meets Robert Thornton, who is five points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Peter Wright v Phil Taylor
Peter Wright’s play-off hopes will surely hinge on this week’s double-header against Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson. In many ways, this year has mirrored Wright’s debut Premier League campaign. Two years ago, Wright sat top of the tree after week eight, but fell away in the second half of the season.
Michael Smith and Dave Chisnall suffered elimination from the 2016 Premier League on Judgement Night in Cardiff last week, as the competition reached the half-way mark. Josh’s Dartistry takes this opportunity to assess the statistics from this year’s event, to see whether or not they reflect the current league standings.
Current League Table
|After Judgement Night||P||W||D||L||+/-||LWAT||Pts|
|Michael van Gerwen||9||5||3||1||+20||23||13|
|Raymond van Barneveld||9||3||1||5||-2||18||7|
|Dave Chisnall (E)||9||1||1||7||-14||17||3|
|Michael Smith (E)||9||1||1||7||-26||15||3|
This week, the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow hosts a huge week of Premier League action. Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor collide in a battle for top spot, whilst Gary Anderson faces a defining night on home soil.
Firstly, the reigning Premier League champion takes on Adrian Lewis in a repeat of this year’s World Championship final, before he completes the evening’s action with a clash against his compatriot Peter Wright.
Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall lock horns in a crucial contest, whilst James Wade goes in search of his third straight win against Robert Thornton, who has yet to register a Premier League victory in 2016 so far.
The 2016 Coral UK Open gets underway in Minehead on Friday afternoon as Michael van Gerwen looks to defend his title in the most unpredictable major tournament on the darting calendar. In the thirteen years since this event began, there have been thirteen different finalists. Josh’s Dartistry looks at 6 potential outsiders for the crown this year.
Alan Norris is one of the form men in the PDC at present. The 2014 Lakeside finalist made the switch in January 2015 and after a difficult start initially, ‘Chuck’ has produced a series of fine performances in the past six months, which saw him reach the quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace in his maiden PDC World Championship appearance.
Norris won his first PDC ranking title last October, in a Players Championship event in Ireland. This saw Alan qualify for the European Championships and the Players Championship Finals and he’s gone from strength-to-strength from this moment onwards.
After Michael van Gerwen’s astonishing world-record televised average last week, the Premier League road-show heads to Exeter, where MvG takes on current table-topper Peter Wright. Snakebite is the only unbeaten man left in this year’s competition, although ‘The Green Machine’ will provide a stern test of Wright’s credentials.
Elsewhere, Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis clash in an all-Stoke affair to kick off Thursday’s proceedings, whilst the Scottish duo of Robert Thornton and Gary Anderson lock horns.Dave Chisnall takes on eight-time major winner James Wade, whilst Premier League debutant Michael Smith meets five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
Aberdeen’s GE Oil and Gas Arena hosts week four of the 2016 Premier League and there are some enthralling clashes in prospect. World champion and Premier League holder Gary Anderson makes his return to home soil against five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, a Premier League winner himself back in 2014.
The Scottish duo of Peter Wright and Robert Thornton battle it out, in a clash between top against bottom. Elsewhere, world number one Michael van Gerwen takes on Michael Smith, 16-time world champion Phil Taylor meets last year’s semi-finalist Dave Chisnall, whilst Adrian Lewis and James Wade renew their rivalry in the night’s opener.
This week, the Premier League road-show heads to Dublin’s 3Arena, and there are some fantastic matches in store. The reigning world champion Gary Anderson takes on 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, whilst world number one Michael van Gerwen takes on current table-topper Adrian Lewis.
Elsewhere, eight-time major winner James Wade takes on world number five Peter Wright, World Grand-Prix champion Robert Thornton takes on five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, whilst Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith meet in an all-St Helen’s clash.
On February 16th 2006, ten years ago today, Raymond van Barneveld marked his PDC debut with a thumping 8-1 victory over Ronnie Baxter in the Premier League. Since then, van Barneveld has accomplished some tremendous feats, winning an array of major titles, as well as posting five televised nine-dart finishes. As we celebrate ten years of Raymond van Barneveld in the PDC, Josh’s Dartistry reflects on RvB’s 10 greatest moments.
10. Van Barneveld wins the 2007 Las Vegas Desert Classic!
Raymond always performed tremendously well in the Las Vegas Desert Classic, before the tournament was retired in 2010. He reached the final in both 2006 and 2009, losing to John Part and Phil Taylor respectively.
The Premier League road-show heads to Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena for week two of the Betway Premier League on Thursday. Gary Anderson will return to action after missing the opening week through illness, whilst Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor go in search of their first points of the 2016 season.
Michael Smith v James Wade
Michael Smith was set to face Robert Thornton in Newcastle this evening, but on Thursday morning, it was announced that Thornton would miss week two through illness, meaning James Wade plays twice, and takes on ‘Bully-Boy’ in tonight’s opener.
The waiting is over! The 2016 Premier League Darts kicks off at the First Direct Arena in Leeds tomorrow night, and there are five fantastic matches in store.
Defending Premier League champion, Gary Anderson, begins his title defence against Adrian Lewis in a repeat of last month’s World Championship final, whilst old rivals Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld also clash. Josh’s Dartistry assesses the week’s action and gives his predictions.
Peter Wright v Michael Smith
Premier League debutant Michael Smith will kick off the 2016 campaign when he faces 2014 World Championship finalist Peter Wright. Both have enjoyed similar success in recent events. Both men reached the World Championship quarter-finals last month, where they were beaten by Raymond van Barneveld and Adrian Lewis respectively.
The pair were also both beaten in the Unibet Masters quarter-finals last weekend. Wright was edged out 10-9 in an epic last eight tie by Phil Taylor, whilst Smith was on the receiving end of a Michael van Gerwen rampage. After trailing 8-0, ‘Bully-Boy’ eventually succumbed to a 10-3 defeat.
With the brief hiatus in the darting calendar, Josh’s Dartistry has made his 10 darting predictions for 2016. Have a read and see if you agree!
1. Phil Taylor to end his major drought with Matchplay glory.
Phil Taylor’s last major TV title came 14 months ago, at the 2014 Grand Slam of Darts. This is Taylor’s longest drought since winning his first World title 21 years ago, and this period without silverware would have been simply unfathomable just a few years ago.
However, Taylor has fallen to fourth in the world following Adrian Lewis’ run to the World Championship final, and ‘The Power’ faces a defining year in 2016, which may ultimately determine whether he still has the tools to compete consistently at the very highest-level.
However, the statistics illustrate that Taylor is still performing at an extremely high-level. He averaged 108 in departing the UK Open quarter-finals to Peter Wright, 103 in losing to James Wade at the World Matchplay semi-finals and 106 in losing to Adrian Lewis in the European Championship quarter-finals.
Gary Anderson began the defence of his World Championship title with a comprehensive straight-sets victory over Andy Boulton at the Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening. The Scot was professional throughout and averaged just under 100 en route to victory.
Anderson made a stunning start, hitting 5 perfect darts to secure an 11-darter in the opening leg. He then repeated the feat in leg two; hitting consecutive 140’s and producing a clinical 81 finish in two darts. The third leg was a scrappier affair, but the Flying Scotsman hit D10 to move 1-0 ahead.
As the 2016 PDC World Darts Championship kicks off tonight, I assess the chances of a man who has dominated the world of darts in 2015. Can he maintain his dominance to seal World Championship glory?
- Michael van Gerwen
Michael van Gerwen’s darting dominance over the last 12 months has only been matched or replicated by a certain Phil Taylor. The World Number One has won an astonishing 18 titles in this calendar year, and he has his sights firmly set on a second World Championship title in 2016.
Today, I had the opportunity to catch up with 19-year-old Dutch star Jeffrey De Zwaan, who will be making his PDC World Championship debut at the Alexandra Palace this year.
The Dutchman, mentored by Five-Time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld, earned his tour-card at Q-School this January and has since broken into the world’s top 64 on the PDC Order of Merit.
He competed in his maiden PDC TV tournament two months ago, and he is determined to make a big impression when he faces World Number 8 Michael Smith in his first-round clash at the World Championships next Monday.
With the 2016 PDC World Championships set to begin at the Alexandra Palace tomorrow night, I assess the chances of the man who has won the World Championship title on a record 16 occasions….
2. Phil Taylor
After enduring one of the most testing years in his professional career, Phil Taylor will be vying for his 17th World Championship crown when he begins his campaign at the Ally Pally on Saturday evening.
The 2016 PDC World Darts Championship gets under way in just over 48 hours. World Number One Michael van Gerwen is red-hot favourite for the crown, whilst Phil Taylor is second favourite to win his 17th World title. Nevertheless, you cannot write off the defending Champion!
3. Gary Anderson
Reigning World-Champion Gary Anderson will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s success when he begins the defence of his crown at Alexandra Palace on Thursday.
Today I assess the World Championship chances of Two-Time World Champion and number five seed Adrian Lewis, who is vying to replicate his 2011 and 2012 successes at Alexandra Palace this year.
4. Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis loves the Alexandra Palace stage. He famously recorded his maiden PDC World title victory in 2011, beating Gary Anderson 7-5 in a pulsating final. He then repeated this success the following year, as he defeated his fellow Stokie Andy Hamilton 7-3 in the final.
The 2016 PDC World Championships are just a matter of days away, and in this article, I assess one of the biggest contenders for this year’s title….Peter Wright’s progression over the past couple of years has been remarkable. But can he go one step further than two years ago and claim the Sid Waddell trophy?
5. Peter Wright
It seems to be a case of when, not if, Peter Wright will win a PDC TV major title. Snakebite has produced the best darts of his career in a year which has seen him establish a spot in the world’s top four.
The start of the 2016 PDC World Championships is now less than a week away and the anticipation is building. There are a host of big names capable of winning the crown this year, although there aren’t many players more adept at winning major titles than a certain James Wade.
6. James Wade
James Wade is one of the most decorated players in the history of the PDC. ‘The Machine’ has won eight major titles, including the Premier League, World Matchplay and World Grand-Prix.
However, the World Championships is the main piece of silverware that has eluded him in his career thus far. Can he rectify that at Alexandra Palace this year?
The 2016 PDC World Championships are now just one week away. Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson are three of the favourites to claim Ally Pally glory. However, today I assess the chances of arguably, the second-greatest darts player in history.
7. Raymond van Barneveld
5-Time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld is seeded 16 for this year’s World Championships; nevertheless, this ranking doesn’t reflect his current form or his undeniable class. Van Barneveld is still a genuine contender for major honours and he may relish the ‘underdog’ tag at Alexandra Palace.
With the 2016 PDC World-Championships just under a week away, I continue my assessment of the main challengers for this year’s title. One man who is going under the radar slightly, is World Number 6 and two-time major winner Robert Thornton.
8. Robert Thornton
Robert Thornton begins his assault for a maiden World-Championship crown with a very tough first-round tie against former Lakeside finalist Alan Norris. The tenacious Scot will be favourite to progress, however he will have to perform extremely well to overcome ‘Chuck’.
With the 2016 PDC World Championships just nine days away, today I assess the World Championship chances of another St Helen’s star, in the shape of Michael Smith, who enters this tournament as eighth seed.
9. Michael Smith
Michael Smith has enjoyed the best year of his PDC career so far, winning two European Tour events and reaching his maiden PDC major semi-final, just last month. Can Smith come of age and win the big one at Ally Pally in January?
With the 2016 PDC World Darts Championships just ten days away, I assess ten of the leading contenders for this year’s title. I begin by talking about a man still searching for his maiden PDC major crown. Can he break his duck by winning the big one?
10. Dave Chisnall
Dave Chisnall has slipped out of the World’s Top 10 over recent months and is seeded 13th for this year’s World Championships; however his ranking doesn’t provide an accurate reflection of his current form.
This week I had the pleasure of talking with Welsh darting star Jamie Lewis, as he looks ahead to the World Championships and reflects on the best year of his PDC career.
Jamie reached his maiden PDC TV quarter-final at the World Grand-Prix, where his run was only ended by a certain Michael van Gerwen.
The Welshman has also recorded victory on the World Matchplay stage this year, whilst he reached the last 16 of the Players Championship Finals in Minehead last weekend, beating World Grand-Prix Champion Robert Thornton in Round One.
Here, Jamie discusses the catalyst for his improvement on the big TV stage, his proudest moment in Darts, and reveals his love of everything Bob Marley!
Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with Hungarian darts player Pal Szekely, who is also the founder and creator of ‘Dart Math’; an interactive and educational software that was released earlier this year.
It’s a software that is aimed to primarily improve young children’s basic mathematics skills in an interactive and practical fashion. However, it is applicable for all ages and standards. Please check out my exclusive Q/A with Pal, as we discussed the concept behind the program, and his ambitions for the product’s future.
The inaugural staging of the World Series of Darts finals begins in Glasgow tomorrow afternoon, with Michael van Gerwen aiming to continue his phenomenal form.
The tournament consists of 24 players. The eight seeded players, who participated in the World Series events in Dubai, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have all received byes to the last 16.
The PDC have invited a further 12 players who they view as international prospects, whilst a further four sealed their spot in this tournament via a qualifying event. These 16 stars will battle for the right to take on the eight seeds on Saturday evening.
The 2015 Grand Slam of Darts begins in Wolverhampton on Saturday afternoon and the anticipation and excitement surrounding the event is tangible. It’s the only tournament on the darting calendar where the two darting codes, the PDC and BDO, lock horns.
The addition of Martin Adams and Andy Fordham to this year’s tournament simply adds to the overall spectacle and it will be absolutely fascinating to see how the BDO players fare against their PDC counterparts.
Here is my lowdown on this year’s eight BDO participants, as I also share my views on the ‘friction’ surrounding players from the different codes.
Raymond van Barneveld is in bullish mood ahead of this weekend’s Grand Slam of Darts, claiming that his current world ranking does not make him any less of a threat in this year’s competition.
The 5-Time World Champion is currently ranked 18th on the PDC Order of Merit, after suffering some early exits in recent ranking majors, whilst he also missed a number of European Tour events due to his Premier League commitments.
The 2015 European Championship gets underway in Hasselt tomorrow, with World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen looking to defend his title. Van Gerwen thrashed Terry Jenkins 11-4 in last year’s final and will be hoping for a repeat success.
However, there are a number of form-horses who will be confident of claiming the crown. Here, I run the rule over the potential dark horses, as well as the players under pressure to produce a good showing in Belgium.
Robert Thornton secured his maiden World Grand Prix title with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Michael van Gerwen, in undoubtedly one of the best ever finals in PDC history.
Michael van Gerwen hit an astonishing EIGHTEEN 180’s, but missed doubles cost him dearly, allowing the Scot to claim his second PDC major, after his UK Open triumph in 2012.
Michael van Gerwen continued his quest for a third World Grand Prix title in Dublin, whilst Robert Thornton, Mensur Suljovic and Mark Webster all battled through to the semi-finals at the Citywest.
In the opening match of the evening, Gary Anderson’s conqueror Ian White faced Robert Thornton. With just one place separating the pair in the PDC World Rankings, this had all the prospects of being a very evenly-matched contest. This is exactly what transpired.
Phil Taylor and James Wade both suffered sensational first-round exits at the World Grand Prix in a night of shocks at the Citywest in Dublin.
11-time Grand Prix Champion Taylor was beaten at the first-round stage for the fourth time in his career, as Vincent van der Voort produced one of his finest television performances to record a straight-sets victory over ‘The Power’.
In addition, James Wade was sensationally dumped out by Mensur Suljovic. The former Grand Prix Champion was highly fancied to challenge for the title given his affinity with the tournament and his recent excellent form, but he was outplayed by ‘The Gentle’.
However, the headlines will inevitably go to van der Voort, who secured his first ranking victory over Taylor since 2009. Over such a short format, the top players are always vulnerable in the early rounds and the Dutchman was tremendous throughout.
One of the most anticipated tournaments on the PDC calendar, the World Grand Prix, gets under way at the Citywest in Dublin this Sunday. This is the only tournament on the PDC calendar where you must start and finish on a double; along with the short format, this adds to the sheer unpredictability of the event. Defending Champion Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and James Wade are the stand-out favourites, but in such a strong field, upsets are inevitable. These are my 6 darkhorses to claim the crown…
Adrian Lewis will take on five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld in the pick of the first round matches at the World Grand Prix, when the double-in tournament begins next Sunday in Dublin.
Two-time World Champion Lewis will be participating in his 11th Grand Prix, but like van Barneveld, he is still searching for his maiden title in Ireland. Both Lewis and van Barneveld have been runners up previously; Lewis in 2010; van Barneveld in 2008 and 2009, however both men have been handed an extremely challenging route if they are to taste glory in Ireland’s capital city.
Michael van Gerwen secured his fifth European Tour event of 2015, as he beat Dave Chisnall 6-4 to win the European Darts Matchplay in Innsbruck, Austria. The final was initially a scrappy contest, but van Gerwen raced through the gears late on, winning three consecutive legs to seal the win.
Ironically, van Gerwen saved his lowest average of the day for the final, but he performed when it mattered, to continue his stunning recent record against Chizzy. The ‘Yellow Peril’ has now only won 1 of his last 14 meetings against the Green Machine, but he certainly had his chances in the final, missing 4 darts at double to establish a 4-2 lead.
Van Gerwen was in blistering form throughout the day. He thrashed compatriot Raymond van Barneveld 6-1 in the last 16, which was a major boost for the Boxtel man. Van Barneveld had won their last two meetings and was sensational against Stephen Bunting last night, but he wasn’t able to replicate this against his fellow countryman.
The PDC European Tour gets back underway after a prolonged break this weekend, as the European Darts Trophy is held at the RWE Sporthalle in Muelheim.
The German venue previously hosted the PDC’s European Championship in 2014, where Michael van Gerwen memorably hit a perfect nine-dart leg in his semi-final against Raymond van Barneveld, en route to his tournament win.
Van Gerwen will be aiming to rediscover that magical form after a rather underwhelming World Series by his exceptional standards, in Australia.
Adrian Lewis won the inaugural Auckland Darts Masters title in a pulsating last-leg decider, surviving 5 match darts from Raymond van Barneveld in the final leg.
Lewis and van Barneveld undoubtedly contested the best final in World Series history. It had everything; high scoring, brilliant finishing and incredible drama. Van Barneveld fought back from 10-8 down to restore parity and was in command of the 21st leg, but he was unable to convert his opportunity.
Lewis had missed a shot at 68 to secure victory, after van Barneveld earlier failed to take out 56, but Jackpot capitalised eventually, sealing a remarkable 11-10 victory on D1.
Raymond van Barneveld inflicted quarter-final defeat on Michael van Gerwen for the second tournament in succession, as MvG’s miserable World Series continues.
Van Barneveld fought back from 4-1 down to win four consecutive legs, before capitalising on missed doubles from van Gerwen, to win the final two legs and claim a stunning 8-7 victory on the bullseye.
Raymond van Barneveld produced a vintage performance as he dumped World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen out of the Sydney Darts Masters.
Van Barneveld had lost 11 of his last 13 meetings with MvG prior to their quarter-final clash in Sydney, but the veteran Dutchman was at his brilliant best as he comprehensively dispatched MvG 8-4, having led 5-1 and 7-2 at one stage.
Phil Taylor will be vying for a third consecutive World Series title as the Sydney Darts Masters gets underway this Thursday. Taylor will compete alongside Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright, James Wade, Adrian Lewis, Raymond van Barneveld and Stephen Bunting in the Australian city.
They will also be up against 8 Oceanic representatives; two of whom include Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson. Josh’s Dartistry assesses the favourite for the title, potential outside bets, as well as men under huge pressure to perform.
As 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor turns 55 today, Josh’s Dartistry reflects on some of Taylor’s best victories and most memorable darting moments.
First Ever Televised 9-Darter vs Chris Mason
(Via Sky Sports)
Taylor’s 9-darter in his 2002 World Matchplay quarter-final tie against Chris Mason is one of the most iconic moments in televised darts history. It was the first live televised 9-darter on British Television, which earned Taylor an incredible £100,000. Mason’s obvious joy for his opponent simply added to the spectacle. The Power has achieved the feat a record 10 times, however this will undoubtedly go down as one of the sweetest.