By Josh Powell | Premier League Darts
60 180s. A 99.40 average. A perfect nine-darter on the biggest stage of them all, the opening set of the World Championship Final at the Alexandra Palace. Life in January 2011 was pretty sweet for ‘Jackpot’ Adrian Lewis and it got even better when he retained his world title in 2012. He was just the third player to ever retain his crown after his debut win and according to the pundits, he had the world at his feet.
Now he sits rock bottom of the Premier League with three games to go until possible relegation. James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld’s careers are exploding back in to life. Phil Taylor is proving there is still plenty of fight left in the 52-year-old 16-time world champ. Andy Hamilton and Rob Thornton are two of the toughest and grittiest players on the circuit, and the man everyone is talking about is ‘Mighty’ Michael van Gerwen.
At the end of the day I'll keep trying my best despite what people think or say an I'll always give 100% if it goes t*** up there's nexttime
— Adrian Lewis (@jackpot180) February 28, 2013
Adrian Lewis has never been particularly good in the Premier League. Is it is the short leg formats, the raucous crowd, or the weekly travelling? Maybe it is because he’s a Stoke fan and another season subjected to Tony Pulis’ philosophy is just too much to bear. Maybe his missus keeps putting too much mayo on his butties. We can only speculate, but Jackpot has played in the Premier League five times and made it through to the play-offs just twice.
In three of the five competitions he has played he has won just four of the 14 games, giving him a win rate of 28 per cent. In his Premier League debut he averaged 35 per cent and in the 2011 tournament when he managed to make the final he still won less than half of the games he played (7/16).
In fact the World Champs appear to be Adrian Lewis’ only concern. In the other major tournaments in 2011 and 2012 he didn’t win one, going out before the semi-final stage 76 per cent of the time.
True fans pic.twitter.com/pyZtO2BcWq
— Adrian Lewis (@jackpot180) February 27, 2013
There is no doubting Jackpot’s talent. He is arguably one of the most naturally gifted players on the tour, and you would have to be more mentally unstable than Lindsay Lohan to back against him winning more world crowns.
The Premier League is not his friend though, and it would take a remarkable recovery for him to make the play-offs let alone win this year’s competition. That makes Robert Thornton a decent bet to beat Lewis. The Thorn has just one blemish on his record after a defeat to James Wade who averaged an incredible 105 a fortnight ago. Thornton has never lost a game on his throw and he is 7/5 to notch up another victory in Cardiff.