Kellett to KO Big Vince
The epic first round of the 2013 PDC world championship comes to an end on Thursday evening and there is a bit of an international feel to the climax of round one.
First up though is an all-English affair between stalwart of the upper-echelons of the world rankings Mark Walsh taking on a returning Darren Webster who has made an impressive comeback to the Pro Tour this year. The Sniper had gone completely off the radar over the last couple of years barely throwing a dart in anger but a few strong showings this year on the floor and a run to the last 32 at the UK Open has seen him regain some form. It is easy to forget that Webster was a quarter-finalist here six years ago so inactive has he been, so he certainly has the talent to give Walsh a run for his money.
Special Brew is a very solid player though and he will have to be beaten by a very good performance rather than throwing the match away himself. Webster may well take a set but that should be it so although we won’t be winning big I would take the 4/5 on Walsh (-1.5) to win it.
Then it is a return of a bit of a legend of the game as the first man to ever hit a 9-darter in the world championship Paul Lim returns to the biggest stage in the game. He faces Malaysian qualifier Mohd Latif Sapup and the veteran Lim should see him off pretty comfortably to set up a first round clash with Michael van Gerwen. Lim with a -2.5 handicap sounds very feasible for this one and that is 11/8 with Sky Bet.
The next match sees a few people’s outside bet for the competition Kim Huybrechts taking on the dangerous opponent that is Scott Hand. After an initial burst of success on the PDC scene it seemed like the hype surrounding Huybrechts had cooled a little but his run to the final of the Players Championship Finals earlier in the month has restored faith in the Belgian becoming a major force in the game.
Similarly there was some real excitement about the emergence of Scott Rand this time last year when he made it to the semi-final of the same tournament and then whitewashed Andy Smith on his world championship debut. He hasn’t enjoyed too much success since turning professional though and although he has made it here on merit through the Pro Tour Order of Merit his form has not been sparkling. The Hurricane should win this by a couple of sets and although that is odds-on with the majority of bookies, Paddy Power have Huybrechts (-1.5) at evens and that looks very good.
Following the Belgian is the Dutch Destroyer Vincent van der Voort who faces the winner of the PDPA qualifying event Stuart Kellett for a place in round two. Winning that tournament in Barnsley was no mean feat and will have Kellett full of confidence going into his PDC world championship debut. Van der Voort is understandably the favourite given his experience and decent record in this event, reaching the quarters just two years ago, but this will be a very tight match. Kellett is available at 13/10 with Bet365 and that looks the value bet in this contest.
The PDC organisers may have saved the best till last as the final match of the first round sees Michael van Gerwen taking on the winner of Lim and Sapup. The only price quoted before knowing who Mighty Mike will face is 1/100 on the Grand Prix champ so this might be a match to avoid in the betting. Unless Lim can rediscover his form of nearly 20 years ago then the Dutchman will win this one with ease and possibly lay down a marker with a big average along the way.
Kim Huybrechts -1.5 sets @ Even with Paddy Power
Kellett to beat Van der Voort @ 13/10 with Bet365
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