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What To Look Out For At The 2019 PDC World Darts Championship

What To Look Out For At The 2019 PDC World Darts Championship
iq_johal
Monday,December 10,2018
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Christmas is just around the corner which can only mean one thing, the darts is back! The PDC World Championship gets underway this Thursday and will be bigger and better than ever, with an increase in the number of players, matches and no doubt quality which seems to improve year upon year. It promises to be nearly three weeks of high drama, in what is arguably the most open championship for many a year, and here’s a run through of what to keep an eye out for during the festival of darts:

 

What’s new this year? Plenty. For starters, it will be the first PDC championship without 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, who bowed out losing 7-2 to Rob Cross in last year’s final. The number of players has increased from 72 to 96, with the top 32 players in the Order of Merit starting in round two, which means there’s an extra round, from six to seven. That also means there will be 95 matches played, while two women will take part for the first time, three time BDO women’s world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova will be joined by four time champion Lisa Ashton. The prize money has also increased, with the champion to take home £2.5 million, up from last year’s £1.8 million kitty for the winner.

 

How do the favourites shape up? Michael van Gerwen is clear favourite once again, as he usually is for every tournament he enters. The two time world champion will be desperate to make it a third after last year’s semi-final exit to eventual winner Rob Cross, and is 11/8 to do so with most bookies. But MVG hasn’t been his dominant self this year, despite three major titles including the Premier League and the World Grand Prix, down on last year’s six wins. His defeat to Daryl Gurney in last month’s Players Championship Finals ended a streak of 13 consecutive wins in finals, and has suffered a few shocks in recent months. While he’ll be determined to regain his crown, Mighty Mike is not as unbeatable as he has been in recent years, offering value in plenty of outsiders this year.

 

Gary Anderson is second favourite at threes, and seems in top form as usual. He picked up three major titles this year - UK Open, World Matchplay & Champions League - while was stunned 13-16 by Gerwen Price in an ill tempered Grand Slam Final last month. He’s been there or thereabouts in virtually every major in 2018, and will too be looking to right the wrongs of last year’s quarter-final exit, after three consecutive final appearances. With his heavy 180 scoring, don’t be surprised to see him make the final yet again.

 

Peter Wright is next up on the favourites list, but Snackbite has had an indifferent year. He was dumped out by Jamie Lewis in round two of last year’s tournament, while finished in a disappointing seventh at the Premier League. He also suffered a couple of final defeats in the Grand Prix and Champions League but his third seed means he’ll have favourable draws until the latter rounds.

 

A little bit behind Wright with the bookies is Michael Smith who is long overdue his first major title and could be worth backing at 14/1. 10th seed Smith has been knocking on the door for a while now, and had a breakthrough Premier League, finishing runner-up after an impressive campaign. However, he’s not been in great form since but usually saves himself for the big stage. Second seed world champion Rob Cross is only sixth favourites with the bookies and it’s obvious to see why. After reaching the semi-finals of the Premier League, he’s only made the quarter-final of one major since, including five first or second round defeats. Cross has been brought down to earth a bit after last year’s debut victory, and it would be a surprise to see him challenging once again.

 

What about the outsiders? As mentioned before, this seems to be one of the most open fields for years, with plenty of outsiders to back. That includes James Wade at 40/1, who has hit form at just the right time. His European Championship win against Simon Whitlock was his first major title since 2014, and he continued his winning streak by clinching the World Series of Darts a week later. The three time semi-finalist has a great chance to go far this time around and could be worth backing.

 

Simon Whitlock is another who has had a fairly decent year and is certainly capable of a few upsets. He reached the European Championship final, while he has appeared in a couple of major quarter-finals and made it to the second stage of the Premier League. Although at 80/1 he’s a big outsider, he could be value to make it to the closing stage of the tournament, but that depends which Whitlock turns up on the day. Both Gerwen Price and Daryl Gurney, who won a major a piece this year, could also be good options to make it far but this really could be the hardest world champs to predict so far.

 

Will you win big at i-pools? There’s plenty up for grabs if you know your darts, including £100k in our tournament Predictor. Enter for just £1, get all 11 questions correct to scoop the £100k! Questions include who you think will win the tournament, finish runner-up, what the correct score in the final will be, which round will defending champion Rob Cross make it to and more.

 

There’s also a total of £1,000 to play for in our Fantasy Pick 8, where you have to pick a player in each section of the draw, with the lower seeds scoring you more points. Lastly, a total of £1,000 is also up for grabs in the Last Longest. Simply pick a player to win each round to move through, but be shrewd as you can only pick the same player once throughout.

 

Good luck in the pools and enjoy the biggest show this Christmas in style!

 
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