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Darts 2016 Season

PL2015

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May seem like a bit late to start a thread on this but the darts season starts to come in to its major competitions in the upcoming months.

Here is a calendar of the year's major competitions and their winners thus far which will be updated as they happened :
30-31 January - World Masters (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
4 Feb - 19 May - Premier League (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
4-6 March - UK Open (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
2-5 June - World Cup of Darts (Winner - England [Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis])
16-24 July - World Matchplay (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
24-25 September - Champions League of Darts (Winner - Phil Taylor)
2-8 October - World Grand Prix (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
28-30 October - European Championship (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
5-6 November - World Series of Darts Finals (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
12-20 November - Grand Slam of Darts (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
25-27 November - Players Championship Finals (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)
15 Dec - 2 Jan - World Championship (Winner - Michael van Gerwen)

After successfully defending his World Championship Title, Gary Anderson has been completely overshadowed by Michael van Gerwen who has been sensational so far this year claiming all the big titles but with many more to go it sets it up for a very interesting second half of the year.
 
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PL2015

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One of my favourite darts competitions begins this evening, the World Cup of Darts which always throws up thrills, spills and shocks so I'm going to preview the first round which takes place on Day 1 and 2 and predict the winners of each match. The number of seeds has been reduced from 16 to 8 making the tournament more open and teeing up some top class matches early on.

England, represented by Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis for the fifth year running, face Spain who have Antonio Alcinas and Cristo Reyes in their ranks for the second year in a row in what is a difficult opening tie for both sides but should be beneficial for whoever progresses. Verdict - England to win about 5-2

China contains a new team of Wenge Xie and Yuanjun Liu who are against Czech Republic where Pavel Drtil joins experienced Michal Kocik in a dream match up for both sides as they are both developing nations. Verdict - Czech Republic a bit further ahead at this stage so 5-3 win for them

A lot of people are routing for the Austrian pairing of Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez who renew their partnership for the third year in a row and they will be looking to improve on their result from last year but they first must try defeat Italy who have ever-present Daniele Petri joined by newcomer Michel Furlanis. Verdict - Austria to come through comfortably 5-1 perhaps.

Fans favourite South Africa who possess the loveable Devon Peterson and reliable Graham Filby are a tough team to beat but Singapore who are represented by Paul and Harith Lim will be no walkover as both teams' players are having their third outing in this competition. Verdict - South Africa to win in a close 5-3 battle.

Wales have a new team composed of newbie Gerwyn Price and Mark Webster who has plenty of experience in this competition but they've a dodgy first round clash against Finland who have Kim Viljanen and Marko Kantele in their ranks for the second year in a row and will be looking for a giant killing. Verdict - Another close one but Wales to sneak through but wouldn't be surprised to see a shock after Wales exiting in the first round in 2015.

Debutants Greece contain experienced John Michael and relatively unknown Ioannis Selachoglou have a tough challenge in their opening match against Canada who are represented by evergreen John Part and Ken MacNeil who join up for their second year and will be hoping for a good run. Verdict - Canada to get through relatively comfortably 5-2

Ever-present Brendan Dolan has a new partner for the Northern Ireland team in the form of Daryl Gurney who's brilliant form means he replaces Micky Mansell and they play a solid Japan team who contain Haruki Muramatsu and Keita Ono in what should be an interesting encounter. Verdict - NI to progress about 5-3

A repeat of last year's second round pits Republic of Ireland's William O'Connor who partners up with Mick McGowan against 2015 surprise country Hong Kong who are represented by Scott MacKenzie and Royden Lam for the third year in a row. Verdict - To hard to call, 5-4 either way, hopefully Ireland!

A bit of dispute in the Scotland team has resulted in Gary Anderson teaming up with Robert Thorton and they will be hoping to go one better than last year and a first round clash with a seemingly second-string New Zealand who have Warren Parry and Cody Harris playing for them. Verdict - Scotland to get through easily 5-1

Norway who contain Robert Wagner again along with debutant Cor Dekker who are up against Gibraltar who were a bit of a fan favourites last year after recording their first ever win and they have the same team as 2015, Dyson Parody and Manuel Vilerio so should be an entertaining clash. Verdict - Gibraltar to win about 5-2

Belgium are being tipped for a few surprises this year and with Kim and Ronny Huybrechts representing them for the fourth year now and an opening tie with new Poland pair of Krzysytof Ratajski and Mariusz Paul, big things are expected. Verdict - Belgium 5-0 seems like a good bet.

An interesting encounter sees the Hungarian team of Nandor Bezzeg and Patrik Kovacs face off against Thailand's pair of Thanawat Gaweenunatong and Attapol Eupakaree who are both improving sides. Verdict - Hungary to progress about 5-3.

The tie of the first round sees Australia who contain ever-present Simon Whitlock and debutant Kyle Anderson who's brilliant form over the past year sees him replace Paul Nicholson in the side and they face tournament hosts and last year's quarter finalists Germant who are represented by Jyhan Artut and Max Hopp for the second year in a row. Verdict - Hard to call but think Australia should get through it, probably 5-4.

The Scandinavian encounter between Denmark pairing, the experienced Per Laursen and newcomer Daniel Jensen, and Sweden who are represented by Magnus Caris and Daniel Larsson for the second year in a row is an eagerly awaited match so should be good. Verdict - Sweden to progress about 5-3.

Tournament favourites Netherlands who have Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in their ranks for the fifth year in a row will be looking for their third tournament win and they play a solid Russian team of Alexander Oreshkin and Boris Koltsov who will have been disappointed to have been handed this draw. Verdict - Netherlands to go through about 5-1.

The United States composed of Darin Young and Larry Butler for the fourth year in a row play the ever-improving Philippines team of Gilbert Ulang who is joined by debutant Alex Tagarao but no Lourence Ilagan will be a disappointment but they still will put up opposition. Verdict - United States players are used to this format so should go through about 5-2
 
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PL2015

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Round 1 Review and Report :

England v Spain Prediction- England 5-2 Result - England 5-4
The highest quality match of the first round was the penultimate one as Spain pushed England right to the end and very nearly dumping them out in the first round again with the Spanish pairing averaging 95.68, the highest in the first round, in the process but some clinicality at the end of the legs was enough for England to squeeze through.

China v Czech Republic Prediction- Czech Republic 5-3 Result - China 5-3
A surprisingly good performance from China, especially Yuanjun Liu, and decent doubling was enough for them to surge in to a 3-0 lead and then finish it off with jubilant celebrations.

Austria v Italy Prediction- Austria 5-1 Result - Austria 5-0
The only whitewash of the first round was by Austria who's solid all-round performance by both players was enough to comfortably see off the challenge of the Italians and go through.

South Africa v Singapore Prediction- South Africa 5-3 Result - Singapore 5-1
Brutal doubling by South Africa handed the match to Singapore who took their chances and continued their recent good record in the tournament to progress to the second round.

Wales v Finland Prediction- Wales 5-4 Result - Wales 5-1
An impressive performance by debutant Gerwyn Price backed up by the consistent Mark Webster was good enough for a comprehensive victory and look like they could go far in to the competition.

Canada v Greece Prediction- Canada 5-2 Result - Canada 5-2
Canada got through first round blues with a convincing victory after starting well and finishing it off in style to beat off the Greek challenge which was let down by the poor Ionnis Selachoglou.

Northern Ireland v Japan Prediction- NI 5-3 Result - NI 5-2
Daryl Gurney was impressive on his debut with a good 85.80 average overall was sufficient to defeat the solid Japanese pairing who's crucial miss in the 6th leg let the game slip away from them.

Republic of Ireland v Hong Kong Prediction- Ireland 5-4 Result - Ireland 5-4
An amazing 94 finish on the bull from Mick McGowan saw Ireland sneak through in a thrilling last leg decider against Hong Kong who started well with MacKenzie particularly impressive but it wasn't enough.

Scotland v New Zealand Prediction- Scotland 5-1 Result - Scotland 5-3
Very nearly a shock win after a scintillating performance by the relatively unknown Cody Harris but Scotland still managed a 93.50 average and will be difficult to defeat later on in the tournament.

Norway v Gibraltar Prediction- Gibraltar 5-2 Result - Norway 5-2
Effectively it was a 2-1 as Manuel Vilerio was completely off the boil while another debutant and Unknown Cor Dekker was very impressive and they comfortably sealed the win.

Belgium v Poland Prediction- Belgium 5-0 Result - Belgium 5-1
One of the best performances of the first round was by the Belgian brothers who averaged 91.78 and never looked like they were ever coming to come close to losing the match and will be a force to be reckoned with.

Hungary v Thailand Prediction- Hungary 5-3 Result - Hungary 5-3
A very poor encounter to start off the tournament but the bit of extra experience by Nandor Bezzeg proved the differenence as they went through to the second round for the second year in a row.

Australia v Germany Prediction- Australia 5-4 Result - Australia 5-3
The eagerly awaited first round clash went the way of the seeded nation in a relatively scrappy encounter but just more clinicality from Australia was enough to dump out the hosts in what was still a very entertaining match.

Denmark v Sweden Prediction- Sweden 5-3 Result - Denmark 5-2
The battle of Scandinavia went the way of Denmark comfortably as perfect doubling (5 out 5) was enough to beat Sweden who looked out of sorts for the entirety of the match and exit at the first round stage for the second year running.

Netherlands v Russia Prediction- Netherlands 5-1 Result - Netherlands 5-3
Another match that was too close for comfort for one of the big seeds as Boris Koltsov very nearly single handedly sent Russia through as van Barneveld was completely off the boil but Netherlands rallied to see themselves through to the Last 16.

United States v Philippines Prediction- United States 5-2 Result - Philippines 5-3
Another match where brutal doubling by the USA handed the match to Philippines who were solid enough to take their opportunities and get through to the second round.
 
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PL2015

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Round 2 Preview :
Slightly different format now as there's two singles matches to begin and if it's 1-1 after them then it goes to a pairs match.

England will much prefer the two singles matches now against China and I would expect them to show off their class in this match as China did well to get this far. Verdict - England 2-0

Austria are looking for a big tournament but Rowby-John Rodriguez still doesn't have a great stage record and Singapore are very solid so this match could produce a shock if there's going to be one. Verdict - Austria 2-1

Wales will have wished to have got a better draw than Canada in the second round and if three-time world champion faces off against in-form debutant Gerwyn Price then it could be a cracker. Verdict - Think Canada could sneak a singles win but Wales to take the victory 2-1

Northern Ireland face the Republic of Ireland which is sure to be a huge battle and even though NI have more quality this could end up being a scrappy affair and it's hard to call. Verdict - Northern Ireland to take it 2-1

Scotland will be aiming for an easy match after the New Zealand encounter so expect them to come out all guns blazing against a developing Norway side. Verdict - Scotland 2-0

Belgium were impressive in the first round and I can't imagine Hungary causing them too much trouble either. Verdict - Belgium 2-0

Australia can't take this match for granted as Denmark will be dangerous if it goes to a pairs match so Whitlock especially will have to be on top form. Verdict - Australia 2-0

Netherlands will much prefer singles matches so I would expect them to produce a much improved performance in the second round. Verdict - Netherlands 2-0
 

PL2015

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I acknowledge I've left this thread a little derelict but it's prime darts season so I'm just going to go over the major events of the year so far :

World Cup -
Another great edition of my second favourite tournament after the World Championships and it was unsurprising but pleasant to see Netherland's and England battle it out in a grudging final which saw Taylor beat van Gerwen to secure an initial lead but van Barneveld was impressive in defeating Adrian Lewis before combining with van Gerwen to win the doubles and give them a 2-1 lead. England battled back though with Taylor deposing of van Barneveld with Lewis clinching it by beating an out-of-sorts van Gerwen to give them a fourth victory in the tournament.
Northern Ireland with Gurney and Dolan made a good run to the semi finals and were joined by Belgium who did supremely well to knock out Scotland under Thornton and Anderson in the quarter-finals. Canada were the biggest surprise as an inspired John Part single handedly defeated Wales who had their strongest team in years with in-form Mark Webster and Gerwyn Price but exited early once again and Part continued that momentum
by beating Dolan in the quarter but Gurney rallied and saw them off. Northern Ireland also knocked out the Republic of Ireland with relative ease in a scrappy encounter 2-0 but it gave a great platform for many players to take part in a televised event.

World Matchplay -
A tournament that unfortunately I didn't get to see much of but Michael van Gerwen exerted his dominance as he romped to the title by defeating Phil Taylor in a high quality final 18-10. MVG progressed nicely through the tournament, beating Dace Chisnall 16-9 and Adrian Lewis in the quarter and semi finals while Taylor knocked out Gary Anderson 17-8 en route to the final. Not too many shocks overall in the tournament but Brendan Dolan defeated Raymond van Barneveld 10-7 in the first round while Mervyn King and Steve Beaton made nice runs to the quarter finals.

Champions League of Darts -
Antiher tournament I didn't see much of but yet again it was a Taylor-van Gerwen final with Taylor this time coming up trumps with a stellar display in the final to win 11-5 after topping his group with included MVG and beating James Wade who did well to reach the semi-finals 11-3 while van Gerwen knocked out Gary Anderson in the semis 11-5.

World Grand Prix -
I got to see plenty of this unique event as Michael van Gerwen reigned supreme with a defeat of Gary Anderson 5-2 in sets in the final to confirm his utter dominance. Van Gerwen had to come through a resurgent Simon Whitlock in the quarters 3-1 and then knocked out Dave Chisnall who loves this format 4-2. Anderson also had it tough, wining against Kim Huybrechts and Raymond van Barneveld 3-1 and 4-1 in the quarter and semi-finals respectively. With the format there was lots of thrills and spills including a shock first round exit for Phil Taylor to Steve West 2-1 while James Wade and Oeter Wright also exited at the same stage. Daryl Gurney made an inspired run to the quarter finals only to lose to Chisnall 3-1 while the sole ROI representative Mick McGowan battled hard but went out fighting 2-1 to James Wilson in the opening round.

European Championships -
Only saw some of this competition in the early stages and the final but Michael van Gerwen was once again the victor with a comfortable final win in the final 11-1 against Mensur Suljovic who performed superbly well to get that far but just was unlucky to to face a rampant MVG. Suljovic came through a nailbiting 2nd Round 10-9 against Ian White, dumped out Phil Taylor 10-3 in the quarter finals before nailing Oeter Wright in the semis 11-8 to reach his maiden major final. Van Gerwen was sublime throughout as he defeated compatriot Jelle Klaasen 10-3 before following it up in the next round with a 11-7 win over James Wade to make the final. Some nice performances from James Wilson to make the quarter final to confirm his growing stature in the PDC while Kyle Anderson also did well to make that stage.

World Series of Darts Finals -
Managed to see finals day of this tournament which once again saw Michael van Gerwen condemn Peter Wright to another major final defeat 11-9 in a savvy contest between old fierce rivals. Van Gerwen was dominant as per usual to progress but only scraped past Gerwyn Price 6-5 in the 2nd Round before dispatching Simon Whitlock and Dave Chisnall 10-0 and 11-3 in the quarter and semi finals respectively. Wright had a more difficult time but finally got rid off the improving Joe Cullen 10-7 in the quarter-finals before beating Phil Taylor in a classic semi-final 11-10. Benito van de Pas backed up his WGP quarter-final by reaching the same stage here while the aforementioned Joe Cullen was the breakout star.
 

PL2015

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The tournament currently taking place now is my third favourite after the World Cup and World Championships which is the Grand Slam of Darts which sees the best of the PDC face the best of the BDO.

The group stages were extremely entertaining ;
Michael van Gerwen serenely topped Group A which included delightful performances from Martin Adams which was great for everyone to see but Brendan Dolan took the second spot.
Group B was full of drama as Gerwyn Price won it but took out a checkout that was counted wrong which left Robert Thornton in a nine-dart shootout against Dimitri van den Bergh with Thornton coming through
Group C was straightforward win for Peter Wright while the BDO's Jeff Smith knocked out Simon Whitlock to make it through
Group D was very close but Phil Taylor topped it after two early victories but was thumped 5-0 by Darren Webster who had narrowly lost his first two games but BDO boy Darryl Fitton was consistent enough to get through
Group E was unsurprisingly topped by Gary Anderson but was pushed 5-4 by BDO #1 Glen Durrant who also made it through deservedly.
Group F was high entertainment as Raymond van Barneveld slotted in three 100+ averages to comfortably top the group while Danny Noppert put in some stunning checkouts to edge out Mensur Suljovic for the second qualifying spot.
Group G was a bit messy like Group D but BDO's Jamie Hughes actually topped it by knocking out James Wilson in a winner takes all match while James Wade had already qualified but lost to the already out Dave Chisnall.
Group H was surprising as big name Adrian Lewis lost all three games which opened it up for Benito van de Pas to top it with Chris Dobey beating Scott Mitchell 5-3 in a winner qualifies match.

The Last 16 saw a real step up in class as the format lengthened.
Michael van Gerwen comfortably deposed of Robert Thornton 10-5 while Brendan Dolan inflicted Gerwyn Price to a 10-9 defeat in a nip and tuck battle.
Peter Wright was sublime in defeating Daryll Fitton 10-3 as Phil Taylor also battled hard to knock out Jeff Smith 10-5.
Gary Anderson once again had it tough up against the impressive Danny Noppert but progressed 10-9 while Raymond van Barneveld ended Glen Durrant's hopes 10-7.
Chris Dobey just about held on to a nail-biting 10-9 victory over the last of the BDO boys Jamie Hughes who missed 5 match darts to win while James Wade also strolled through 10-2 against Benito van de Pas.

The quarter finals was everything you could hope for.
Michael van Gerwen was absolutely dominant in beating Brendan Dolan for the second time in this event but this was a very convincing 16-3 win.
Peter Wright faced off against Phil Taylor once again in a major but once again defeated him, this time 16-10 in a great match.
The best of the lot was the highly anticipated Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld which swung back and forwards but eventually Anderson rallied at the end to win 16-13.
James Wade once again put in a stellar performance but still under the radar as he saw off Chris Dobey 16-5 who can be very happy with how his week has gone.
 

PL2015

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This post is to tie up the loose ends from the Grand Slam and look forward to the rest of the season.

The semi-finals proved a throughly entertaining affair with top class performances from all involved :
Michael van Gerwen hit a barnstorming 111.17 average on his way to a convincing 16-10 victory over Peter Wright who also performed admirably but MVG was never going to be defeated.
The second semi was a different type of match as James Wade put in a stellar, clinical display to defeat Gary Anderson 16-14 as he worked the long Matchplay style in his favour perfectly to seal the win.
The final was a bit of a downer but that wasn't surprising after the intensity of the semis but Michael van Gerwen still put in an unbeatable display to win 16-8 against a despondent James Wade to conclude a really enjoyable renewal of this event.

PDC Order of Merit | PDC
Here's a link to the current PDC Order of Merit where the main changes after the GSOD sees Peter Wright rise to joint 3rd with Phil Taylor.

We now look forward to the final major tournament before the World Championships, the Player Championships Final which is also unique in so far as the seeding is based on the Order of the Merit from the Players Chanpionships floor events which means that although MVG is #1 seed, Benito van de Pas is number 2 seed though which is a great prospect but challenge in equal measure for him as he has to face Brendan Dolan who's in moderate form in the first round while Simon Whitlock and Gerwyn Price at #4 and #5 respectively which is a great opportunity for them to make a run and get a better seeding for the World's.
Some of the best and most exciting first round encounters include : (All players seeds facing each other add to #65)
#8 Mensur Suljovic vs #57 Raymond van Barneveld is a cracker of a tie to begin and probably the pick of the lot but it's hard to call as Suljovic has had a great season but RVB has been in imperious form lately and did just comfortably defeat him last week at the GSOD so I'd fancy Barney.
#25 Adrian Lewis vs #40 Robert Thornton is a very interesting match up when looking at their seeding but it's hard to call after Lewis had a miserable GSOD and will want to bounce back while Thornton had his first moderately good Major at the GSOD when he made the Last 16 so it could be high quality or crap.
#5 Gerwyn Price vs #60 Dimitri van den Bergh is another interesting renewal from the GSOD when van den Bergh beat him and is growing in confidence but Price will think he can make a storming run so it's one to watch.
#20 Alan Norris v #45 Michael Smith I think is going to be a cracker because both are in desperate need for some big wins to string together ahead of the big one coming up so they're going to try and pull out all the stops to prevent an early exit.
 

General Urko

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It may not be one of the great world sports, indeed wasn't Phil taylor, very anxious to have it declared as a sport rather than a hobby for tax reasons, but you certainly do provide very well informed and detailed guides and not just for darts! Well done!
 

PL2015

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Here's a review of the matches that I said were the ones to watch out for and an in general analysis of the Players Championships Finals First Round.

I mentioned that Benito van de Pas would have it tough as #2 seed and a first round tie against NI's Brendan Dolan and that proved to be the case as he was unceremoniously dumped out of the tournament 6-5
The expected match of the round was between Mensur Suljovic and Raymond van Barneveld and that's exactly what happened and my prediction of Barney was fruitful as he went through 6-4 with an imperious 107.40 average compared to another brilliant 102.79 from Suljovic they were just unlucky to come up against each other.
The match up of Adrian Lewis and Robert Thornton ended up being reasonably crap like I said it could as Lewis progressed 6-3 with a very moderate 85.71 average.
Another match I mentioned was one to watch out for was Dimitri van den Bergh and Gerwyn Price who I thought would avenge his GSOD defeat even if I wasn't confident he would but Van den Bergh put in a good performance to see of Price 6-5 for the second major running.
The final match that I predicted would be a cracker was between Alan Norris and Michael Smith. The match was highly entertaining as Norris notched a 9-darter and a 106.24 average but still only beat Smith 6-4 who had a paltry 88.73 average.
Other first round matches that turned out very entertaining was the locking horns of Dave Chisnall and Kevin Painter which was a very interesting watch but Chisnall took it on a scoreline of 6-4 with a nice 96 average to his name.
The high speed encounter between Christian Kist and Ricky Evans was very enjoyable with Kist sealing the win 6-4 with both averaging a solid enough 94 but the speed was something else.

An interesting stat is that out of the 12 Dutch players involved, all progressed except Benito van de Pas who was highly fancied.
 

PL2015

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Now here's the full results and and analysis from the tournament itself :

Players Championships Finals -
This tournament once again proved a success story for Michael van Gerwen as he claimed triumph in the final against Dave Chisnall 11-3 with a comprehensive performance coupled with a 108.34 average saw him continue his dominant streak. Van Gerwen had it tough to make the final as he had to fight off a resilient Raymond van Barneveld 10-5 in the quarter-finals and then was down 6-0 in the semi-finals before coming back to see off Darren Webster 11-8 who made a great run to that stage. Chisnall put in some stellar performances to make the final as he knocked out Robbie Green in the quarters 10-5 and followed that up with a 11-8 defeat of Peter Wright but it was perhaps his Last 16 defeat of Jelle Klaasen 10-9 which was the grittiest win as both missed match darts but his composure at the end made him deserving of the win. Wright's run to the semi's highlights his consistency coming in to the biggest of them all while Darren Webster's great run will give him confidence going in to the World Championships. Christian Kist and Kim Huybrechts were the fellow quarter finalists and that meant they had to put in three good wins so that'll give them a timely boost. Other noticeable absentees from the list include Gary Anderson who was dumped out in the 2nd Round by Netherlands' Ron Meulenkamp 6-5 in an exhilarating conclusion to the match. Phil Taylor was #105 on the OOM so didn't qualify for the finals while #3 seed was Ian White who lost 6-5 in the second round to Terry Jenkins in a nail-biter.
The World Youth Championship Final also took place which saw Australia's brightest rising star Corey Cadby pitted against another up and coming Dutchman Berry van Peer. Cadby acquitted himself very well as he was succesfull with a 6-2 win to be crowned this year's champion. Cadby came through the tournament without too much fuss by just losing 8 legs in the first 4 rounds before coming through against Dimitri van den Bergh 6-3 in the semi finals. Van Peer made the Player Championship Finals and actually defeated Cristo Reyes 6-5 in the first round with Reyes missing 30 darts at doubles but he lost out in the 2nd Round 6-4 to Josh Payne. His progress throughout the youth tournament was a bit mad as he had two 6-0 wins in the second round against Thomas Sykes and impressively in his semi-final match against Kenny Neyens. He also came through two nail biters consecutively in the 3rd Round and Quarter Finals against Kurt Parry and Ireland's Steve Lennon respectively which were good scalps.

We now move on to the big one to conclude the year, the 2017 World Darts Championships.
 

PL2015

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As there's just one tournament left in 2016 for darts, it's time to give it its undivided attention as it's the biggest of them all ; The World Championships and I'm just going to give a small post about the draw and the main matches to watch out for to wet everyone's appetite :

Firstly here's a link to the full draw for the tournament -
William Hill World Darts Championship | PDC

1st Round Preview -
An immediately striking match up is between #32 seed Cristo Reyes who caused all kind of surprises when reaching the Last 16 in 2015 but has been relatively quiet this year and comes up against the rising star Dimtri van den Bergh who is constantly improving and this could be a really enjoyable watch.
One of the highest profile BDO to PDC switches in recent years was Stephen Bunting's and he had a great maiden season while last year he made the quarters of this tournament but he's been doing very little this year and is now ranked #16 and up against Darren Webster who is in good form and confident so he could easily pull off a shock.
Once again #12 seed Raymond van Barneveld is landed with a tough draw as he faces the battle hardened Robbie Green in what could be a real scoring frenzy and it'll be interesting to see how both players cope with each other's styles.
The #29 seed Jamie Caven opens up his account in what could be a fiery encounter against Kevin Painter as neither of them have had ideal seasons so this could be an intense match.
One I had to mention was #20 seed Vincent van der Voort facing former World Youth Champion Max Hopp in what is going to be such a power scoring and high paced game and I can't wait to witness it.
A very interesting match up sees #23 seed Brendan Dolan play consistent Christian Kist and both players have been playing well by making recent Major Quarter Finals with Dolan in the GSOD and Kist in the PCF so it promises to be a real grudge match.
This match is just going to be lethal and it's World No.27 Steve Beaton against fan favourite Devon Petersen in what could be a nervy match as Beaton has been poor here the last number of years and form recently suggests that could continue although he made the Matchplay Quarters and Petersen hasn't offered much this year but we'll wait with intrigue.
The last to comment on is #11 seed Michael Smith against 'Rapid' Ricky Evans which is a battle of the young guns, two very fast and high scoring players at different stages of their career but on that stage anything could happen which has worked to both of their favours in the past so it should be a treat.

As we build up to the World Darts Championships, I'll be doing an evening preview of the day's action including my predictions for each match followed by post match results and analysis for you all.
 

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Here we go with the preview of the Day 1 action taking place at 2017 William Hill World Darts Championships with four stellar first round matches to open proceedings :

Jamie Caven (29) v Kevin Painter -
As I mentioned in my previous post for matches to watch out for this was one and it's set to be a real grudge match to begin with as both players will be desperate for a win but neither of them are in ideal form heading in to this tournament but I fancy one of them to pull out a good performance it's just hard to know which one.
Prediction : Jamie Caven to win 3-1

Jamie Lewis (30) v Mick McGowan (IRE) -
The exciting youngster against the experienced, sole Irish representative. Lewis has stalled this year and has made very little impact on the majors and is without a win in this competition in his previous four attempts while McGowan has enjoying a solid return to the tour with him making the Last 32 of the PCF but both players will have high expectations of progressing and it's hard to predict how Lewis will play as McGowan is fairly consistent.
Prediction : Jamie Lewis to win 3-2

Gary Anderson (2) v Mark Frost -
The reigning and defending World Champion is up in the first evening where he's had no major victories this season but he will still be brimming with confidence while Frost who's had a moderate season with no standout results except for a great day's work to qualify for his maiden World's.
Prediction : Anderson to sail through 3-0

Michael Smith (11) v Ricky Evans -
This is another match I pre-empted to be a good one and it promises to be very entertaining. Smith has made some decent progression this year albeit he did endure a miserable Premier League but he's solidified his place in the Top 16 while Evans is quiet usually for the season then just appears again around November but he did enjoy a good run to the Last 16 of the UK Open and he likes this stage so his potential is visible.
Prediction : Smith to win 3-1

Fairly safe predictions for tomorrow's action but there's a lot of players there not in form and desperate for a win so it'll be thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
 

Betson

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Always a sign that Christmas is right around the corner when the Darts gladiators take center stage.
 

tribade

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Smith and Evans will be over in the blink of an eye, should make them play best of 9 tomorrow night
 

PL2015

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Here we go with the preview of the Day 1 action taking place at 2017 William Hill World Darts Championships with four stellar first round matches to open proceedings :

Jamie Caven (29) v Kevin Painter -
As I mentioned in my previous post for matches to watch out for this was one and it's set to be a real grudge match to begin with as both players will be desperate for a win but neither of them are in ideal form heading in to this tournament but I fancy one of them to pull out a good performance it's just hard to know which one.
Prediction : Jamie Caven to win 3-1

Jamie Lewis (30) v Mick McGowan (IRE) -
The exciting youngster against the experienced, sole Irish representative. Lewis has stalled this year and has made very little impact on the majors and is without a win in this competition in his previous four attempts while McGowan has enjoying a solid return to the tour with him making the Last 32 of the PCF but both players will have high expectations of progressing and it's hard to predict how Lewis will play as McGowan is fairly consistent.
Prediction : Jamie Lewis to win 3-2

Gary Anderson (2) v Mark Frost -
The reigning and defending World Champion is up in the first evening where he's had no major victories this season but he will still be brimming with confidence while Frost who's had a moderate season with no standout results except for a great day's work to qualify for his maiden World's.
Prediction : Anderson to sail through 3-0

Michael Smith (11) v Ricky Evans -
This is another match I pre-empted to be a good one and it promises to be very entertaining. Smith has made some decent progression this year albeit he did endure a miserable Premier League but he's solidified his place in the Top 16 while Evans is quiet usually for the season then just appears again around November but he did enjoy a good run to the Last 16 of the UK Open and he likes this stage so his potential is visible.
Prediction : Smith to win 3-1

Fairly safe predictions for tomorrow's action but there's a lot of players there not in form and desperate for a win so it'll be thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
Day 1 Report :
Some exciting and entertaining matches to appropriately begin the World Championships.

Jamie Caven (29) v Kevin Painter -
Result - Painter won 3-1
A scrappy and poor encounter to open proceedings but it was Painter who produced it when he needed it to seal an important victory for him but throughout he looked the slightly better player and the one more likely to do something. He hit a few nice 180's along the way and clinched victory with a 124 checkout on the bull to seal the win. Caven was awful and averaged a miserly 81 and made no impression so deserved to lose.

Jamie Lewis (29) v Mick McGowan -
Result - Lewis won 3-2
A highly entertaining match between two fairly even players but it was the seeded Lewis who prevailed in a tight last set. Lewis got in the groove from the start and continued that for the duration while McGowan was a lot more patchy. Crucial misses from McGowan in the first legs of the first and third sets to break Lewis resulted in him losing confidence and not being able to play anywhere near his capabilities but he averaged over 100 in set 2 to win the 2nd set and had some nice checkouts to take it to a decider and it was even up until Lewis broke McGowan to win it with a stylish 108 checkout to progress with a decent 91 average.

Gary Anderson (2) v Mark Frost -
Result - Gary Anderson won 3-0
As a contest this was abysmal as Frost simply didn't turn up but anyways Anderson would of never given him a chance as although he was very modest in winning the opening set the improved to drastically to wrap up the match and only dropped two legs as he comfortably went through with a good 96 average to begin the defence of his title with.

Michael Smith (11) v Ricky Evans -
Result - Michael Smith won 3-2
This was anticipated to be the highlight of the evening and that proved the case as the speed of the players heightened the spectacle. The scoring was great and was supported by some great checkouts with Evans really impressing but Smith proved his class to fight back from 2-1 down to seal the win in a tough opening match. The fact that he averaged nearly 97 and was pushed so hard shows how DiffcuiltuesW and tight it was but it may stand to him in the next round.
 

PL2015

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And now I bring you the preview of Day 2 of the World Championships of Darts at the glorious Ally Pally arena and it's promised to be some great Friday night's action :

Jerry Hendriks v Warren Parry (Preliminary) -
This is actually one of the better preliminary round matches and both are unlucky to come up against each other but it just comes to show how high the standard is. Hendriks initially looked a bright young gun when he bursted on to the scene after his switch from the BDO and gave an accomplished performance against Phil Taylor 4 years ago in this tournament but since then his development has stalled and he has fallen off the radar with his 2016 season completely unimpressive but he did have some good wins to qualify. Parry's season has been fairly solid with good performances in the Oceanic Masters to reach the final there while he also made an appearance at the World Cup representing New Zealand. This comes down to how Hendriks plays in my opinion but it's extremely hard to call.
Prediction : Parry just too experienced and consistent so a 2-1 victory.

Gerwyn Price (19) v Jonny Clayton -
This is probably not going to be as simple as many people are making it out to be. Price is vulnerable to orpning round defeats in the last few tournaments and it's a trend that will put him under pressure. Price has had a good season though winning his maiden Pro Tour title and making the Last 16 of a few of the televised events. Clayton can be a classy operator but is usually quite mixed and this is his maiden appearance but he's qualified for a couple of big events this year so I expect him to give a good go of it.
Prediction - Price just has more appeal so a 3-1 victory.

Steve Beaton (27) v Devon Petersen -
This is going to be an entertaining one with two crowd pleasers coming up against each other in a tantalising affair and is a match I mentioned in a previous post that should be looked out for. Beaton has been fairly brutal on this stage the last few years but did make the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay and has been a little more consistent. Petersen is known for causing shocks in this tournament but his 2016 has been very moderate with a poor performance in the World Cup but did make the Last 32 of the European Championships.
Prediction - Has all the features to be a shock so Petersen to win 3-2

Peter Wright (3) v Jerry Hendriks/Warren Parry -
Obviously this is a hard one to call as the opposition is unknown but either way a lot can be said about Peter Wright. Wright has had a great 2016 by making the UK Open and World Series of Darts final and the Semi-Finals in the Grand Slam, European Championships and Players Championships Finals. Wright is such a solid player and I don't expect him to be affected by any opening round jitters. Whoever he comes up against will have had some experience to use to their advantage and will be much less nervous and playing with no fear and will have had to play well to win so it could be interesting.
Prediction - Wright to win 3-1
 

Round tower

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Day 1 Report :
Some exciting and entertaining matches to appropriately begin the World Championships.

Jamie Caven (29) v Kevin Painter -
Result - Painter won 3-1
A scrappy and poor encounter to open proceedings but it was Painter who produced it when he needed it to seal an important victory for him but throughout he looked the slightly better player and the one more likely to do something. He hit a few nice 180's along the way and clinched victory with a 124 checkout on the bull to seal the win. Caven was awful and averaged a miserly 81 and made no impression so deserved to lose.

Jamie Lewis (29) v Mick McGowan -
Result - Lewis won 3-2
A highly entertaining match between two fairly even players but it was the seeded Lewis who prevailed in a tight last set. Lewis got in the groove from the start and continued that for the duration while McGowan was a lot more patchy. Crucial misses from McGowan in the first legs of the first and third sets to break Lewis resulted in him losing confidence and not being able to play anywhere near his capabilities but he averaged over 100 in set 2 to win the 2nd set and had some nice checkouts to take it to a decider and it was even up until Lewis broke McGowan to win it with a stylish 108 checkout to progress with a decent 91 average.

Gary Anderson (2) v Mark Frost -
Result - Gary Anderson won 3-0
As a contest this was abysmal as Frost simply didn't turn up but anyways Anderson would of never given him a chance as although he was very modest in winning the opening set the improved to drastically to wrap up the match and only dropped two legs as he comfortably went through with a good 96 average to begin the defence of his title with.

Michael Smith (11) v Ricky Evans -
Result - Michael Smith won 3-2
This was anticipated to be the highlight of the evening and that proved the case as the speed of the players heightened the spectacle. The scoring was great and was supported by some great checkouts with Evans really impressing but Smith proved his class to fight back from 2-1 down to seal the win in a tough opening match. The fact that he averaged nearly 97 and was pushed so hard shows how DiffcuiltuesW and tight it was but it may stand to him in the next round.
Ricky hit the fastest 180 in history in 2.16 seconds
 

PL2015

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Ricky hit the fastest 180 in history in 2.16 seconds
Yeah a special albeit brief sight as he gave us everything we hoped for in terms of his speed. The beginning of the Worlds though always signals the nearing of Christmas and gets you in the festive spirit. I hope more people do contribute to this thread with their views and predictions.

In terms of my own predictions, I'm following on the basis of the Sky Sports pundits which gives 1 point for a correct result and 3 points for a correct score, so after Day 1 I've got 7 points (2 correct scores with Lewis and Anderson, 1 correct result with Michael Smith). The Sky Sports pundits Wayne Mardle, Rod Harrington and John Part are all on 7 points too with Rod Studd out leading the with 9 points.
 

PL2015

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And now I bring you the preview of Day 2 of the World Championships of Darts at the glorious Ally Pally arena and it's promised to be some great Friday night's action :

Jerry Hendriks v Warren Parry (Preliminary) -
This is actually one of the better preliminary round matches and both are unlucky to come up against each other but it just comes to show how high the standard is. Hendriks initially looked a bright young gun when he bursted on to the scene after his switch from the BDO and gave an accomplished performance against Phil Taylor 4 years ago in this tournament but since then his development has stalled and he has fallen off the radar with his 2016 season completely unimpressive but he did have some good wins to qualify. Parry's season has been fairly solid with good performances in the Oceanic Masters to reach the final there while he also made an appearance at the World Cup representing New Zealand. This comes down to how Hendriks plays in my opinion but it's extremely hard to call.
Prediction : Parry just too experienced and consistent so a 2-1 victory.

Gerwyn Price (19) v Jonny Clayton -
This is probably not going to be as simple as many people are making it out to be. Price is vulnerable to orpning round defeats in the last few tournaments and it's a trend that will put him under pressure. Price has had a good season though winning his maiden Pro Tour title and making the Last 16 of a few of the televised events. Clayton can be a classy operator but is usually quite mixed and this is his maiden appearance but he's qualified for a couple of big events this year so I expect him to give a good go of it.
Prediction - Price just has more appeal so a 3-1 victory.

Steve Beaton (27) v Devon Petersen -
This is going to be an entertaining one with two crowd pleasers coming up against each other in a tantalising affair and is a match I mentioned in a previous post that should be looked out for. Beaton has been fairly brutal on this stage the last few years but did make the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay and has been a little more consistent. Petersen is known for causing shocks in this tournament but his 2016 has been very moderate with a poor performance in the World Cup but did make the Last 32 of the European Championships.
Prediction - Has all the features to be a shock so Petersen to win 3-2

Peter Wright (3) v Jerry Hendriks/Warren Parry -
Obviously this is a hard one to call as the opposition is unknown but either way a lot can be said about Peter Wright. Wright has had a great 2016 by making the UK Open and World Series of Darts final and the Semi-Finals in the Grand Slam, European Championships and Players Championships Finals. Wright is such a solid player and I don't expect him to be affected by any opening round jitters. Whoever he comes up against will have had some experience to use to their advantage and will be much less nervous and playing with no fear and will have had to play well to win so it could be interesting.
Prediction - Wright to win 3-1
Day 2 Review and Analysis :
Another exciting evening with loads of entertainers up on the stage

Jerry Hendriks v Warren Parry -
Result - Hendriks victory 2-0
A very promising and interesting performance from Hendriks as he pulled out some good scoring at crucial times to seal a good win as both sets went to deciding legs but he nailed his checkouts to make it through. Parry didn't play badly but just didn't offer enough to take the win away from Hendriks.

Gerwyn Price (19) v Jonny Clayton -
Result - Clayton won 3-1
A surprise result saw Price dumped out early yet again in a major competition. I'm very disappointed that I wasn't brave enoug to go with Clayton in my prediction as he did talk him up and Price down. Clayton dominated the match and could easily have won in straight sets if not for some dodgy doubling but he came back with some great scoring and just under 90 average to see him off. Price just didn't produce any class and deserved to lose and continues his barren run in this event.

Steve Beaton (27) v Devon Petersen
Result - Beaton victory 3-1
A truly poor match as I kind of guessed as Beaton was just more consistent to pull through but wasn't in any way impressive. Petersen was brutal and he has some serious problems to sort out with his throw and averaged a meagre 79 but in the 2nd set when he played alright he actually did win so even if he just played solid he would of went through. Beaton's bull finish to deny Petersen Set 3 was the turning point and Petersen just couldn't turn it around.

Peter Wright (3) v Jerry Hendriks -
Result - Wright won 3-0
The best match of the night unexpectedly was a whitewash for Wright as he played exquisitely with a couple of ton-plus checkout and the ugh east average so far of 101.06 to seal the deal and he just broke Hendriks throw and resilience at crucial moments and although Hendriks played as well as earlier that was never going to be enough to take out Wright who goes through comfortably to the next round.
 

PL2015

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Here we go now with all the information regarding a busy Day 3's action which is going to be great :

Afternoon Session :
Tengku Shah v Masumi Chino (Preliminary) -
This is a hard one to call with neither players having any previous big stage experience and I doubt it'll be as good as yesterday's prelim. Chino would of have it more difficult to come through the Japanese challengers and did win 2 legs against Phil Taylor during the WSOD in Japan so I fancy him for the win.
Prediction - Close to call so Chino to win 2-1

Terry Jenkins (18) v Josh Payne -
This will be a very interesting match up between two players at very different stages of their career. Jenkins has declined the last couple of seasons with arguably his best performance being a decent run at the UK Open and making the Last 16 of the Players Championship Finals but that simply isn't enough to inspire confidence. Payne is an exciting prospect. Payne's best results this year have come at the same tournaments and rounds as Jenkins so these players are fairly even going in to this.
Prediction - Fancy a surprise so Payne to win 3-2

John Henderson (31) v Andrew Gilding -
This is a bit of a weird match between Big John and Goldfinger. Henderson has had a reasonably decent season on the tour but has made little impression on the big stage while Gilding has also been OK on the tour but done nothing on the big stage so really neither player deserves to make the Last 32.
Prediction - Henderson will probably win 3-1

Benito van de Pas (15) v Tengku Shah/Masumi Chino -
Obviously hard to comment with the opposition Unknown but Van De Pas will be under pressure to make a good run through this tournament after a good season which saw him win a couple of ProTour finals, make the Quarter-Finals of the World a Grand Prix and Last 16 of the GSOD and UK Open.
Prediction - Van de Pas has to win 3-0


Evening Session :
Ross Snook v Kim Viljanen (Preliminary) -
These matches can be hard to predict but Viljanen has a bit of experience on this stage with this his third consecutive appearance in the prelims so he knows how to get through them with another good season on the Scandinavian Darts by topping their OoM with 3 wins from 6. Ross Snook came through the North-American Qualifier which does sets which helps the eventual qualifiers as the 16th seed where he defeated John Part 3-0 in the Last 16 and USA's top man Darin Young 3-0 to qualify so he has some grit and steely quality.
Prediction - Going to go with Viljanen 2-1 because of his experience.

Cristo Reyes (32) v Dimitri van den Bergh -
The Iberian superstar who made his name on this stage has had a decent season with his highlight being a Last 16 appearance at the European Championships and Last 32 at the World Grand Prix but he played abysmally at The Players Championships Finals to be dumped out in the first round as he missed 30 darts in a Best of 11 match. Van den Bergh has been having a good season of late as he only missed out on a place in the Last 16 in the GSOD after losing a 9-dart shootout to Robert Thornton while he made that stage at the Players Championship Finals.
Prediction - Reyes will improve but Van Den Bergh to win 3-1

Stephen Bunting (16) v Darren Webster -
This is one of the top quality first round matches as Bunting hasn't had a good year with lots of early exits at the majors especially in the latter half of the season after initially decent results at the UK Open and the World Masters but has been desperate since. Webster made the Last 16 of the UK Open before thrashing Phil Taylor 5-0 at the GSOD before most impressively making the semi-finals of the Players Championships Finals and was 5-0 up against MVG before eventually losing. This could be a real fire cracker match.
Prediction - Great game but Bunting should win 3-2 (so hard to call I've really found it difficult to pick)

Michael van Gerwen (1) v Ross Snook/Kim Viljanen -
Well this should be interesting as the best player currently in the world whose win 25 titles this season including The World Masters, UK Open, World Matchplay, Premier League, European Championship, World Grand Prix, World Series of Darts Finals, Grand Slam of Darts and Players Championships Finals just this season. Some task for whichever preliminary winner comes through.
Prediction - Van Gerwen to win 3-0
 

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