By Josh Powell | UK Open
The UK Open is the darting equivalent of the FA Cup but you don’t have to deal with Mark Lawrenson spewing out footballing clichés, Adrian Chiles’ smug grin, or Millwall fans. It’s perfect.
What the tournament does have in common with the FA Cup is that qualifiers have been held up and down the country for months and a random draw is staged after each round.
What does this mean? Essentially Old Man Colin from the Red Lion could have won a handful of qualifiers and on Thursday night he could be lining up against Raymond van Barneveld in front of a sell-out crowd competing for £40,000. You don’t get much more exciting than that.
There’s plenty to enjoy about the UK Open that makes this tournament completely different. From the games being played simultaneously, to the short format benefiting the underdogs, the nine-dart history and the walk-on girls.
Here are seven reasons why you would be mad to miss this years competition.
1. The race to seven legs
2. The random draw
3. Ooohhh Michael van Gerwen
4. The walk-on girls
5. The multi-board action
6. The nine-darters
7. Paddy Power’s Money-Back Special
Michael van Gerwen is the 7/4 favourite after winning his 10th tournament of 2013 in Austria last week. The Premier League champ has been demolishing everything in his path over the last six months and the short format will benefit his explosive start.
The greatest chucker in darting history Phil Taylor is 7/2 with his fierce nemesis Raymond van Barneveld at 12/1. Both Simon Whitlock and James Wade are 14/1 with the out of form double world champ Adrian Lewis at a massive 22/1.