PDC home tour is an innovative new darts tournament taking place right now. Played from player’s homes, all tour cardholders were invited to play in this ‘unique’ tournament from their homes, providing their wifi was good enough.
With plenty of testing which went into place including equipment sent to each player’s house, this event has given fans daily entertainment with the broadcast rights beamed across the world as this is one of the few betting events during this lockdown period.
At their homes, players will line up a camera on a tripod facing the dartboard and other cameras can also be used to show the room they are playing in. Like at a major event, the broadcast can show a split-screen which is shown during the home tour so fans can see each players darts, plus the score of each dart as it happens with the referee calling the scores.
This tournament has been hugely successful in bringing the top darts player's together to play albeit two of the best players will not be competing. Michael van Gerwen’s has just had a new baby so won’t be competing along with Gary Anderson who didn’t have strong enough wifi.
There are 32 groups which consist of 4 players who will play the other players in their group in the best of 9 legs (so first to win 5 legs), meaning each player will play 3 matches. The matches started on 17th April and have been played every night since.
If players are level on points at the end of all group matches, then leg difference will decide which player wins the group. Should this still not determine a winner, then the match result between the two players.
Each night of the tournament matches start at 7.30pm UK, and the final match will take place at 10pm UK. All matches are available to bet on and can be seen live on Professional Darts Corporation TV.
Sportsbooks have been betting pre-event and also in-play offering standard markets they would run for a major tournament, so this brings plenty of opportunities for punters to bet on.
There has been one main highlight so far, and that is a 9 dart finish by Luke Woodhouse against Gerwyn Price. It’s such a shame that there wasn’t a big audience here as the roof would have been taken off in front of a capacity ground.
I'm going to have to start watching this Darts #HomeTour— Benjamin Watts (@BenWattsSport) April 20, 2020
Intriguing to see Luke Woodhouse, who I admit I'd never previously heard of, thrash Gerwyn Price.
Interesting case study for sport psychologists out there with the closed environment compared to the usual atmosphere. https://t.co/q6k8ejpPeS
The current qualifiers for the knockout stage so far are Jamie Lewis, Luke Woodhouse, Dave Chisnall, Geert Nentjes, Nick Kenny, Ryan Searle, Jelle Klaasen, Jonny Clayton, Martijn Kleermaker and Nathan Aspinall. The top players to have not qualified include Peter Wright, James Wade & Michael Smith.
From these qualifies, the most impressive players to quality have been Luke Woodhouse and Nathan Aspinall who has continued his good form so far this season and been able to deliver in this ‘new’ format.
With plenty of top players still to register their debut in the tournament, we can look forward to another two weeks of group matches as the home tour continues.
Germany’s Max Hopp enters the tournament on Tuesday 28th April as the favourite to win his group and qualify for the knock-out stages as he faces Mike De Decker, Keegan Brown and Conan Whitehead.
Group 13 of ‘Home Tour’ will take place on Wednesday 29th April as veteran Steve Beaton will be the main attraction. Other players on the night include some of the younger talents including Callan Rydz, Mathew Edgar and Carl Wilkinson.
The following night on Thursday 30th April, players from all over the globe come together to face off. Chris Dobey from England will be the favourite to qualify as he comes up against Ron Meulenjamp from Holland, Kai Fan Leung from Hong Kong and Ciaran Teehan from Ireland.
The final matches to be confirmed so far will take place on Friday 1st May. The players on show here include Darren Webster, Bradley Brooks, Scott Baker and Andy Hamilton as a few of the inexperienced players have a chance to prove they are serious challengers for this title.
So, we have lots of ‘Home Tour’ darts to look forward to over the coming weeks and into the middle of May.