One hunded and eiiigghhttyyyy! by Rob Ellis licensed under CC BY 2.0.

With the 1st Round drawing to a close after Thursday’s games, who comes out on top between the number of 180’s so far or the number of “Stand up if you love the Darts” chants!? Neck and neck I reckon!
No real upsets so far in Round 1 other than our 1st Round tip Darren Webster beating Stephen Bunting in a quality game, giving you punters a 7/4 winner! Hope you were on! Other than that all results pretty much went to the favs with only Johnny Clayton beating an out of sorts Gerwyn Price.


Michael Smith: “Bully Boy” had only won one on TV game up until beating “Rapid” Ricky Evans in one of the ties of the 1st Round averaging 96.78 in a 3-2 win. It wasn’t just the returning scoring which was pleasing to see, it was his attitude. All year, Michael has been wallowing in self pity however he was bang up for this. Aggressive at the right time, he did not let poor scores affect him for the next throw, eager to make amends each and every throw. He hit some clutch outshots and doubles which should bring an enormous confidence.

MICHAEL SMITH IN ACTION (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Simon Whitlock: The Australian “Wizard” was simply brilliant in a 3-0 win over German Qualifier Dragutin Horvat averaging 98.70 in the process. Although he was expected to win comfortably, Simon showed he is oh so close to returning to the form which saw him reach the final of this tournament in 2010. Watch the last 2 legs again and see how well he’s playing. First of all a beautiful 170 and finally a 158 checkout to seal it. He’s oozing confidence right now and everyone should be scared to play him.


I have to side with the above two to win both their 2nd Round games after impressing.
  • Smith is playing Mervyn King who somehow came through to beat Steve West 3-2. “Westy” should have put the game to bed and won 3 zip, but King hit a stunning 136 checkout while West was left on 36 for the match. If it wasn’t for this, King would be out, no doubt about it, but West crumbled and ended up losing 3-2. King will have to up his average by about 10 points to stand a chance of staying with the powerhouse of Smith’s scoring. Smith to beat King at 4/9 with Ladbrokes here.
  • Simon is playing our 1st Round Tip in Darren Webster. Although the game will be close as both are playing some of the best darts on TV of their career’s, I fancy Whitlock’s game to be too strong to Webster. His scoring and outshots will be just too much for Webster I believe. Whitlock to beat Webster at 4/9 with Ladbrokes here.
  • Finally, back “Superchin” Daryl Gurney to beat Robert “The Thorn” Thornton. Daryl has had a fantastic year climbing the rankings through consistent, high quality darts. He beat Jermaine Wattimena 3-1 in the 1st Round, averaging 96.85. He has finally realized that talent only gets you so far and has really been putting in the hours on the practice board to raise his game. I would be disappointment if he cannot be a struggling Robert Thornton. Thornton has had a dreadful year, lacking confidence steamed from off the board issues. His game is no where near where it used to be and although he came through his 1st Round game 3-0, he struggled in the process against Austrian qualifier Zoran Lerchbacker. Gurney to beat Thornton at 8/11 with Ladbrokes here.

for max potential returns back the treble at just over 5/2 (3.6)!

Be lucky! and enjoy the sport.