BDO World Championship Betting Preview
As ever at the Lakeside competition it is a fairly open field and as Christian Kist proved last year, near enough anyone can come through the longest running world championship in the sport.
The defending champion Kist was making his debut last year and was a virtual unknown before the tournament but beat established players like Jan Dekker, Ted Hankey and Tony O’Shea on his way to the title and no one could deny he deserved the world championship crown.
He has been in a couple of finals since his breakthrough win, but really showed the world what he could do again when he returned to our television screens at the PDC’s Grand Slam of Darts where he beat the likes of Raymond van Barneveld and Wes Newton before losing in the last eight.
The Dutchman is clearly a big stage player and is being tipped by some to retain his title, but it is possibly his tough draw that leaves him only third favourite with the bookies at a best price of 15/2 with Blue Square. Kist goes into the tournament unseeded which has left him having to face fifth seed Robbie Green first up and has the possibility of taking on the likes of Scott Mitchell, Tony O’Shea and Stephen Bunting before even making it to the final, which is a big ask for anyone.
It is Bunting that is the number one seed for the tournament having had a sensational year on tour in 2012 which peaked with him winning the World Masters in October with consistently very strong performances throughout. He has claimed an impressive seven titles since the last world championships with the Zuiderduin Masters and the BDO Gold Cup being added to his World Masters crown and is certainly the man in form heading into Lakeside. He is also not the favourite to win the title though, being just ahead of Kist at 11/2 with Sky Bet.
The tournament favourite is a man who has never been past the quarter-finals at Lakeside and is only the number three seed, Scott Waites. The perennial underperformer at the BDO world championships, Waites has won near enough everything else having lifted the World Masters, Zuiderduin Masters, WDF World Cup and even the Grand Slam titles but as mentioned has never reached the final four when it really matters.
Yet again Scotty 2 Hotty impressed on the PDC stage at the Grand Slam in 2012 though, beating Taylor on his way to a quarter-final berth but his only aim now will be to win a maiden world title. He won the Czech Open at the end of November so is clearly in good form and being in what looks like the slightly easier bottom half of the draw should work in his favour meaning he should at least better his previous performances.
The other big name in his half is the former three-time champion Martin Adams, who despite now being at the fairly mature age of 56 cannot be discounted due to his exceptional record in the competition. He has had a very quiet year on the circuit though and in 18-year-old Jimmy Hendriks, he has a fearless and dangerous first round opponent. He could prove all the young whippersnappers wrong, but at 9/1 there won’t be too many people backing the veteran to break his own record of the oldest world champion in history.
The only other two men that the bookies consider potential contenders are two-time finalist Tony O’Shea and last year’s semi-finalist Wesley Harms who are both available at 16/1. O’Shea especially can never be discounted but it looks like a semi-final spot will be the best either of these two can manage this year.
In terms of outsiders Tony Eccles is one of the few men to venture into the world of the PDC and then return to the BDO so he has plenty of experience and at 33/1 looks quite generous. It would still be a real punt though and he could well face Waites in the second round, a match in which he could easily take a hammering.
Bunting looks the player to beat coming into this tournament after what has really been a fantastic year for the Bullet. He has proved at the Masters that he can keep up a level of performance that is good enough to defeat any player in the field and if he can repeat those performances with averages in the mid-90s then he is more than likely to at least reach the final.
The first round gets started on Saturday afternoon and the tournament concludes on Sunday 13th when the 36th BDO world champion will be crowned.
• O'Shea and Waites set for a classic
• A little bit of history repeating
• Richie Rich to hit the Jackpot
• Wesley will do some Harms to Fitton
• Boy George to stop Hendriks in his tracks
• Favourites to prosper on Tuesday night
• Waites to lay down an early marker
• Harms to start in style
• Bunting must be ready for in-form Wilson
• Dazzler could fall at first again
• Kist faces stern first test