We are already a week into this year’s PDC World Championship at the Alexandra Palace and now looks the perfect time to assess the action on the oche so far as well as look ahead to the culmination of the biggest tungsten tossing tournament of the year.
A Mighty Start for MVG
Ante-post favourite and world number one Michael van Gerwen lined up as a 9/4 jolly for the £500,000 first prize and in pursuit of a fourth world title.
After an inconsistent year, there were question marks over ‘Mighty Mike’ but he went a long way to easing any concerns with a sublime first-round display.
The Dutchman, who has reached the semi-finals of this event in seven of the last eight years, started his campaign in style with a 3-1 win over Ryan Murray and registered the highest average of the tournament to date with 108.98.
MVG awaits the winner of world number 32 Ricky Evans and Mickey Mansell in the third round and has unsurprisingly hardened into
17/10 for outright honours.
No Worries for Wright
Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright was in action on the opening night in front of 1,000 fans – the only night spectators are expected at the venue – and stole the show on and off the board.
Dressed as ‘The Grinch’, the 50-year-old cruised to a 3-1 win over world number 45 Steve West.
The defending champion won ten of the 14 legs, which included a smart 144 checkout and 49 throws of 100 or more. He now awaits the winner of German duo Gabriel Clemens and Nico Kurz in the third round.
Wright, who has already won the Masters and the European Championship this season, has been trimmed into
11/2 to successfully defend his title.
More to Come from Durrant
Premier League champion Glen Durrant was far from his best on day two but had enough in the tank to see off Diogo Portela in straight sets and progress to the third round.
Portela missed a dart to win each leg in the second set to level things up and Durrant closed out to win comfortably in the end.
Since claiming the Premier League title, the three-time BDO world champion has struggled both physically and mentally, but there are clear signs of a revival and he is a dark horse for the title in London from a good draw.
Expect Fireworks on Wednesday
Nathan Aspinall is chasing a third successive spot in the semi-finals at this event and takes to the oche on Wednesday in what should be a high-quality affair with Scott Waites.
Two-time Lakeside champion Waites threw eight 180s in his first-round win over Matt Campbell and ‘The Asp’ is a quality operator, so over 8.5 180s at
10/11 is a very appealing wager and one for punters to get stuck into.
Also catching the eye, is the price on another former BDO world champion, Stephen Bunting, beating world number 58 Andy Boulton in their clash on Wednesday afternoon.
‘The Bullet’ is a class act who has won comfortably the last two times the pair have met and the
20/27 on offer appears very generous.
*All odds correct at time of writing.