Just a quick view on the outrights and R1 matches. First and foremost I am really looking forward to this although it's obviously completely different from the PDC. At the end of the day though this is the tournament that got me into darts in the first place and it's always good to have darts on tv.
In the outrights I haven't really got that much of an opinion. Last few years there's usually been some dangerous floaters and the forum almost landed a touch when Chisnall got beat in the final (looking back at my stats I didn't realise Chissy was marginal fav to beat Adams too). I think Waites is easily the best player but he's plenty short enough considering he seems to be a bit like Gary Anderson and never seems to perform here. Bunting is the No 1 seed but the top half of the draw looks stronger by miles than the bottom and at 6/1 he aint for me. I'm having a very small bet on Christian Kist who is the defending champ as he's been there and done it and unlike most here he is actually capable of a 95+ average. He is in the top half as well which tempers my enthusiasm a little but he should hopefully give us a run at least. Alan Norris is also of interest but again in the top half and last year he fell short v Kist in the QF and I don't think he doubles well enough to go all the way.
In R1 I fancy 4 players. 2 odds on pokes I like are Richie George & Gary Stone. George is the son of Bobby and seeded 15th on his first visit to Lakeside. He played ok at the Masters and I just think his opponent Dave Prins is no good. He played here last year and averaged 78 and if George just plays averagely he should win. I also like Gary Stone to beat Steve Douglas. Douglas had a heart attack a few weeks ago and he's not ever impressed me here anyway. Stone on the other hand got to R2 last year and if my memory serves he actually played ok v Adams but missed doubles to win crucial legs. He's had some decent results on the circuit too this year and I think he'll be too strong for Douglas who must surely be hampered by his health issues.
2 outsiders I like are only marginal rags but the seriously big priced ones are either complete no hopers or unknown to me. I like the look of Benito Van De Pas to bt Darryl Fitton at 11/10 based on the fact he is someone who might be capable of improvement. I think he got beat off MVG himself in the PDC youth semi final last year and he's obviously got some ability. Fitton is a formerly very decent player but always fell just short of winning the big one here. His doubling has gotten worse over the last 2 years at Lakeside though and while he usually still scores well I think his finishing will let him down. I also like the look of Jeffrey De Graaf who is playing here for the first time. He takes on Mr Coat himself Jan Dekker who I think is just rubbish despite once reaching the semi final here 2 years ago. He played horrendously at the GSOD and I was itching to oppose him at all costs. Looking at De Graaf's record this year he's actually won a tournament and had some good runs in other tournaments. Its not a huge price at 11/10-5/4 but I think he is improving whereas Dekker isn't.
All views are welcome as I'm not that clued up but hopefully someone can light up the opening couple of rounds like Harms and Kist did last year. HH
After seven years of playing live poker at 30 hands an hour at times controlled by the casino, stopping it was heaven.
I barely play poker anymore, the kids are pretty much too clever for me, so I phased it out from 2004 to about 2006 and do all this lark now instead.
After seven years of playing live poker at 30 hands an hour at times controlled by the casino, stopping it was heaven.I barely play poker anymore, the kids are pretty much too clever for me, so I phased it out from 2004 to about 2006 and do all this