Christmas is over. The New Year celebrations are behind us which means it is time for the BDO World Darts Championship. 40 players head to the ‘Home of World Darts’, the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, each with ambitions of winning the world title.
In previous years the field has been guilty of lacking depth and quality but this year there are some really good players on show so this could be one of the most competitive Lakeside tournaments of recent times.
2016 – Scott Waites
2015 – Scott Mitchell
2014 – Stephen Bunting
2013 – Scott Waites
2012 – Christian Kist
2011 – Martin Adams
2010 – Martin Adams
2009 – Ted Hankey
2008 – Mark Webster
2007 – Martin Adams
The tournament has a pre-determined draw with eight preliminary matches to get into the first round. Both the prelim and the first round are the best of five sets moving up to the best of seven for the second round.
The quarter finals are the best of nine sets with the semi-finals over the best of 11 sets. The title will be decided in a best of 13 set final.
The top half of the draw is headlined by the World Masters champion Glen Durrant. He is the number one seed in the tournament and the man to beat. The other top seed in this half is the man Durrant beat in the semi-final of the Masters in Jamie Hughes. Martin Adams and Darius Labanauskas complete the top eight seeds in this half.
The rest of the section is full of potential quality. Both Martin Phillips and Wesley Harms are former semi-finalists here while Jeff Smith was the losing finalist 12 months ago. Jim Williams and Tony O’Shea are both competent but one of them will disappear in the first round as they meet each other.
This part of the tournament is like a competition in itself with some very big names in here and some very competent players. Scott Mitchell is the main seed in this half and the 2015 champion will be eager to regain his title. Danny Noppert is a significant challenger to him while defending champion Scott Waites is in this half too. Dean Reynolds makes up the top eight seeds.
The level of players outside the top eight in this part of the draw is very good. Mark McGeeney will come here full of confidence after his run to the final of the Winmau here last month while Richard Veenstra is back after his run to the semi-final last year. Darryl Fitton and Geert de Vos are dangerous at this level while Ross Montgomery and Dennis Harbour possess plenty of experience.
I’m going to take a player in each half this week. Back in the day I’d be looking down the betting for some outrageous value but more BDO events are on TV these days or live streamed so the better players have more TV experience now so I’m expecting this to be won by a leading name rather than an unknown. I think Durrant will take plenty of beating but his price reflects that so he isn’t for me.
In the top half I think the value lies with Jeff Smith. Smith made the last 16 of the Grand Slam courtesy of a win over Simon Whitlock which isn’t too shabby. He has a tricky preliminary round match but should be come past Seigo Asada then Brian Dawson isn’t the hardest first round opponent and it could be an ill Wolfie for a place in the quarter final. From there the tournament is anyone’s so at 28/1 there is enough value in the Canadian.
There are some big names at the bottom of the draw. Danny Noppert’s price collapsed when he took Mensur Suljovic to the cleaners and nearly dumped Gary Anderson out of the Grand Slam of Darts while Scott Mitchell is class personified and I wouldn’t put anyone off either of those or Scott Waites.
Their prices aren’t for me though but that is fine because I’ve long since been a Mark McGeeney fan and having made the final at Lakeside in the World Masters he should be perfectly tuned up for a big run here. He was playing some great arrers here last year before he lost an absolute epic in the last 16 to Scott Mitchell. A year on and with more experience I fancy McGeeney for a really deep run here.
Back J.Smith to win BDO World Darts Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 29.00 with Boylesports (1/2 1-2)
Back M.McGeeney to win BDO World Darts Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 29.00 with BetVictor (1/2 1-2)
Back him here: