– Darts World Championships – Beers, Cheers & Christmas Arrers 2012!
“There was less noise when Pompeii was swamped in lava! Absolute pandemonium here! Barmaids are frozen like Greek statues watching! No beer’s been served! Everybody’s eyes are absolutely hooked on that board.” Sid Waddell, Darts Commentator.
There is something truly magical about the Darts World Championship at the Alexandra Palace over the festive period. Maybe it is the fact that it is party season and the beer is flowing. Maybe the venue itself, a “palace”, in North London with panoramic views of the city ignites passion. Or it could be that the dress code which inspires grown men to dress up as characters such as Batman, Oompa-Loompas and Ali G which provides pure escapism from the cold rat race outside. It is most likely a combination of all, plus the chance to watch sporting behemoths in their prime, flinging tungsten with jangling nerves of steel, sweating on the tropical heat of the stage and dancing to Chumbawumba like an embarrassing Dad at a wedding, that ignites this most eccentric pure sporting drama.
Phil “The Power” Taylor has arguably contributed more to darts popularity in the last 20 years than any other player, the 15 times world champion is 2.75 favourite atto make it a staggering 16 world titles. It hasn’t been the best year for the greatest player ever to have picked up a set of darts, but the 52 year old still won the World Matchplay, Premier League and last week The Players Championship! Defending Champion Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis will be looking to three-peat and is odds of 11.00 to do so, but has had a quiet year with just a German Masters and World Cup of Darts titles to his name.
The man of the moment however, is 23 year old Michael van Gerwen from Boxtel in Holland. “Magic Mike” burst onto the scene as a 17 year old becoming the youngest player ever to win a major televised tournament as he became Winmau World Masters champion. He faded away for a few years before joining the Youth Tour in 2011 and then bouncing back onto the main tour in 2012. He is 5.50 second favourite at Unibet to become World Champion and in sparkling form after finishing runner up in the Grand Slam of Darts and winning the World Grand Prix in October.
“This is probably one of the most open PDC World Championships for a long time. We are used to seeing odds on favourites but with the form of some of the usual “also ran’s” it looks like the winner could come from the chasing pack this year.” says Head of Unibet Sportsbook Erik Backlund.
“Money on Taylor has not been as heavy as usual, infact it’s the Dutch Masters who are all the rage, van Gerwen has attracted 29% of turnover so far and van Barneveld 18% whilst Taylor has attracted just 9% as many think this year will see a major “power” cut.”
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