There’ll be more people than usual dressed up as nuns falling over in Temple Bar this week as the World Grand Prix of darts rolls into Dublin. It’s unique in its format and the blinged-out Bobby George has never been more spot on when he says, ‘Trebles for show, doubles for dough’.
The World Grand Prix of darts is the only event of the year where players have to start, and finish on a double. ‘Well they’re professionals, that should be straightforward’, those of you unfamiliar with the world of tungsten retort.
But think again. Some players have a tendency to fall into ‘Gary Anderson syndrome’, where the treble bed looks like the size of Andy Fordham’s arse, but the double is harder to hit than a sad puppy.
Phil Taylor is the 2/1 favourite which isn’t really a surprise as he’s won this event 10 times in the last 15 years. He’s also won the World Championship, the UK Open and the Matchplay this year and averaged 109.46 as he won the Sydney Masters last month.
As our fancy infographic shows he has the best checkout percentage on TV this year (43.4 per cent) and should have no problem finding the right bed in Dublin – It’ll be a different scenario for most of the boozed-up crowd however.
But ‘The Power’ is no stranger to a shock in this competition. In 2007 he was beaten in Round One by part-time carpet fitter Adrian Gray and in 2004 he was knocked out by Andy Callaby. A man who is so unknown he doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and hasn’t updates his personal website for the best part of nine years.
The Machine is going through the motions
James Wade is a two-time World Grand Prix champion and could secure the hat-trick if he keeps up his recent good form. The Machine has an average checkout in televised tournaments this year of 43.3 per cent, including a staggering 50.6 per cent in the World Matchplay.
Wade is a 14/1 shot to lift the trophy but he’ll have to do it the hard way with a tough draw and a possible semi-final with Taylor in store. A better bet might be to side with James Wade to win his quarter at 5/2. He will be well fancied to get past Steve Beaten and Terry Jenkins to set up a potential clash with ‘The Wizard’ Simon Whitlock. Wade’s current form on the deadly double 10 could seal the Aussies fate.
One man who needs to up his game is 7/1 shot Adrian Lewis. The two-time World Champ ended a poor run of form by winning the European Championship in July. However his doubles on the big stage haven’t been up to scratch and his average of 34.7 per cent for the season is the lowest of the top six in the betting. Jackpot faces Brendan Dolan in round one and the History Maker could shock Lewis at 2/1.
It was only two years ago when the Irishman became the first, and only player, to do this on television…