The BDO World Darts Championship has long been considered the ugly sister of winter ‘arrers events.
However, as the PDC version didn’t quite have the Cinderella ending that many hoped for, with Phil Taylor soundly beaten by Rob Cross in the final, the stage could be set for a fairy-tale finish at Lakeside for a player blessed with arguably as much talent as anyone who took to the oche at Alexandra Palace.
Durrant to Dazzle
Ahead of the 2017 renewal, Glen Durrant was a red-hot favourite to win the world title for the first time, having already claimed 11 tournament wins that year.
The 47-year-old, who still has a full-time job, duly landed short odds of 7/4, defeating Danny Noppert 7-3 in the final. Twelve months on, and Durrant is even shorter in the betting at 5/4, despite not having had anything like as successful a year.
The Middlesbrough fan admitted in an interview with dartsworld.co.uk that his season has been ‘below average’ due to playing the exhibition circuit that ‘had an effect’ on his game.
Despite Duzza’s doubts about his campaign, though, there was one event, in mid-November, that proved how good he can be.
— BDO Darts (@BDOdarts) December 16, 2017
In the Grand Slam of Darts, which sees players from both organisations go head to head, he was the only BDO performer to make it out of the group stages – and not only that, he reached the quarter-finals before bowing out to Peter Wright. Even then, he came close to a magical nine-dart finish on two occasions.
The question as to whether Durrant has the game to compete on the PDC circuit is pointless, as he undoubtedly has. And it is difficult to see the defending champion being denied a second straight title at Lakeside.
What happens after that will be up to Durrant, but surely, it’ll be time to say farewell to Frimley Green and hello to Ally Pally.
Lop-Sided Draw Gives Headache to Challengers
Second seed Mark McGeeney is quoted as a 20/1 shot for glory, but he takes on Martin Adams in the first round which is by no means a gimme. ‘Wolfie’ is a three-time BDO World Champion and while he is not the player he once was, he proved 12 months back, when he made the last eight, that he is no back number.
Adams, a 40/1 for a fourth world crown, recovered from prostate cancer two years ago and celebrates his 25th year at Lakeside this month.
Scott Waites is another multiple winner (2013 and 2016) and was the last man to defeat Durrant in the world championships. His solitary success this year was at the Jersey Open in October and, given he is in the same half of the draw as the pre-tournament favourite, his run will probably come to a premature end.
In fact, he is likely to come up against Scott Mitchell at the quarter-final stage and the 10/1 chance in the outright market is in much better form. The 2015 world champion can boast five wins in 2017 and if he were in the bottom half of the bracket, thus avoiding Durrant, he would be a standout each-way bet at 10/1.
However, he is not, so the best place punt lies elsewhere.
Dutch Master Could Go One Better
Noppert’s frustrating 2017 finally came good with a win in the Finder Darts Masters, the Dutchman downed Jim Williams 5-3 in the final after a last four come from behind win over Mitchell that was arguably more impressive.
‘Noppie’ couldn’t live with Durrant in last year’s showpiece at Lakeside, but after his win in the Netherlands last month looks primed for another run at the title.
At 7/1, he looks the value bet against the favourite if backing Durrant at short odds isn’t your cup of tea.