By Josh Powell
The last time there was one unified World Champion in darts Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ was at the top of the charts and neither Jurassic Park or Free Willy (the originals) had reached the cinema yet.
Since the split in 1993, the Professional Darts Corporation has excelled far beyond the British Darts Organisation, drawing bigger crowds, attracting star players and entertaining tens of thousands of fans.
The Grand Slam of darts is one of the rare times in the year when players from both organisations compete against each other to be crowned champion.
The theory many people have is that the BDO’s top players will inevitably switch to the PDC due to the bigger prize-pots, better sponsorship and more attractive walk-on girls.
But is it worth siding with a BDO player to spring an upset in this year’s Grand Slam?
Well the answer is simply no. The slideshow shows the three dart-averages from last year’s Grand Slam and the player’s odds for this year’s event. Bar a shocking performance from Raymond Van Barneveld last November, the PDC lads are miles ahead of the BDO boys.
Of the five times this competition has been played, a PDC player (namely Phil Taylor) has lifted the trophy on four occasions and it would be madness to look past the PDC’s elite for this tournament.
The PDC boys head the top 13 in the betting with the shortest priced BDO player being Scott Waites at 50/1. ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ has won this tournament before in 2010 and was the runner-up in 2009 but even that wouldn’t fill you with confidence.
Out of the 40 quarter-finalists in the last five years 80 per cent of them have been from the PDC and it is unlikely to be much different this time around. There is an obvious gulf in class between the two organisations as the stats show and it will be too much at the Grand Slam.
- Average score in the PDC world champs from the quarter-finals onwards: 94.45
- Average score in the BDO world champs from the quarter-finals onwards: 88.89
Everybody loves an underdog story but this premise can be easily avoided when there’s cash on the line. Instead of backing a BDO player to win the tournament there are smarter bets which could provide a profitable return. BDO World Champion Christian Kist is 10/11 to qualify from his group and former Grand Slam champ Scott Waites is 8/11 to qualify from Group A.
As for the outright winner it is never wise to back against Phil Taylor who is 6/4 to lift the trophy for a fifth time. One man who might get some support after recent performances is the impressive Michael Van Gerwen who is a 12/1 shot. The problem for Mighty Mike is that it looks like he’ll run into Taylor in the quarter-finals.
The bet of the tournament might be to side with Wes Newton. The Warrior has already appeared in the Grand Prix semi-final and the European Championship final this year, and can go far in this tournament. He is 20/1 to win the Grand Slam but the most appealing bet is the 5/1 for him to make the final.
If the final checkout of any match is 100+ Paddy Power will refund your losing betting-in-running match bets on that game.