The world biggest darts event, the PDC World Darts Championship has got bigger again for the 2019 instalment. A massive 96 competitors will compete for the Sid Waddell World Darts trophy and the first prize of £500,000. This year’s prize fund has also increased to a £2.5M and the Alexandra Palace, affectionally known as ‘Ally Pally’ state the tickets for the event are sold out.
This year’s event will not only feature more players from across the World but for the first time two lady qualifiers. The PDC decided two special events would be staged to find two of the top lady’s dart players, their prize a first round place in the World Finals.
Anastasia Drobromyslova won the Rest of the World event. Anastasia is Russian born but lives with her husband, Tony Martin, in Ellesmere Port England. Anastasia is a three times winner of the Ladies Lakeside World Darts Championship.
In the second lady’s qualification event held in England, current Lakeside Ladies World Darts Champion, Lisa Ashton was triumphant. She said it was a dream come true to be able to compete in the PDC World Darts Championship. Both ladies are very much in the running and both are more than capable of high scoring and high averages. The first round Anastasia will play Ryan Joyce from England. Ryan is currently ranked 78th in the World and it is his first year he has competed in the PDC event. In 2013 to 2018 Ryan played on the BDO circuit but has never made it past the last 32 at the Lakeside World Championship. Anastasia will feel she will have a good chance for an upset and a first-round victory.
Lisa Ashton will play Jan Dekker in her opening match on the first day of the tournament. Jan is well known on the darts circuit, not only for his darts play but initially for his nicknames. Trying to be a little different, Jan used to wear a white jacket when he walked to the stage and had a nickname of ‘Mister Coat!”, however, this nickname wasn’t to last and he is known more appropriately as ‘Double Dekker’ a play on his surname and the doubles on a dartboard. Both ladies are likely to receive a lot of support and I can see the darts betting being firmly in their favour to cause a first-round upset.
Based on current form it would not surprise me to see both ladies progress to the second round, if they do, both will earn their biggest single darts pay-packets of at least £15,000.
The 2018 PDC major darts tournament has not been dominated by a single player as we have seen in past years. Phil Taylor, now retired from the professional sport, dominated the sport through most of the 1990’ through to 2013. His last major event was the 2018 PDC World Darts final where he was defeated by Rob Cross, a newcomer to most not closely involved within the darts seen.
Michael van Gerwen continued where Phil left off, he seemed a little unbackable as he was winning everything in his sights. However, in the 2018 season, the majors have been shared by several players. Gary Anderson won the World Matchplay in Blackpool and the UK Open earlier in the year. James Wade has seen a return to form, has now won a total of nine majors, in 2018 he won back to back tournaments, the European title and the non-ranking event the World Series of Darts.
In 2018 a couple of new title winners were crowned for the first time. Daryl Gurney was a surprise winner at the Players Championship finals. Daryl also won the 2017 Grand Slam title so he could be a dark horse for a World Championship title.
Gerwyn Price has had a fantastic year picking up the Grand Slam where both PDC and BDO players compete. This is a hard title to win and he would have not been on the radar as a major contender at the beginning of the tournament. Gerwyn has been described as ‘Marmite’ as fans are divided as love him or hate him. He is renowned for his show of emotion of scoring a high score or high checkout. Some players and fans find over the top Gerwyn’s outburst too much and stopped the flow of play. During the Grand Slam final against Gary Anderson, Gary can be seen pushing Gerwyn away from the oche after Gerwyn’s celebrations for hitting a high score seemed to go on a bit long. Whether this is considered part of the sport now or not this final has been referred to the DRA (Darts Regulation Authority) to see if either player had breached any code of conduct. If they are found to have, they will receive a fine and possible suspension from the sport.
The current World Champion hasn’t seemed by his high standards to replicate his 2018 World victory at any of the majors during 2018. He won a non-ranking, invitation World Series event, The Brisbane Masters in Australia, beating Michael van Gerwen in the final. He has also won a player event not shown on TV.
Rob has struggled since his world title win against the 16 Time World Champion Phil Taylor. The media may have been something that he has struggled to cope with but with a year under his belt he may be a major contender, however, his form suggests not.
Peter Wright, loved by fans has never managed to find the right darts setup. Constantly changing his darts, flight and stems, even during a match, it shows a player that is likely to blame his darts rather his own ability to throw them. He has, however, gone deep into many tournaments and is a fans favourite. Peter would love to win the World title, not only for himself but for his thousands of followers he has across the world. Will 2019 be Peter’s year, we will have to wait and see.
Despite Michael failing to defend some of the many titles he won during 2017 in the 2018 season, he will still most likely start as the tournament favourite. Having won the World title on two occasions Michael will be focusing again to claim his third. He has reportedly said on camera that he would rather win this single title than the others he has managed to again throughout the year. To me, the young Dutchman does look a little tired. Unlike most Michael competes in most if not all the tournaments. Gary Anderson and former World Champion, Raymond van Barneveld tend to pick which tournaments to enter therefore gaining a rest for the travel they put in each week.
Having won the Premier League of darts, the World Grand Prix, The Masters and the World Cup with colleague Raymond van Barneveld during 2018 it would be hard to bet against him. However, this year does seem to be an open field.
Gary has had his fair share of controversy this year. He has shown he is a man still on top form winning, the World Matchplay and the UK open. He has been involved in a couple of disputes with players that have made the headlines. An issue with Gerwyn Price following his celebration of hitting a 180! And Fart-Gate! When Gary blamed Wesley Harms of passing wind on the oche to put him off his throw. Wesley blamed Gary for the incident. This may all just be hot air however, Barry Hearn chairman of the PDC vowed he would get the ‘bottom’ of it!
The 2019 PDC World Championships starts on Thursday 13th December and concludes on 1st January 2019. Live coverage can be seen on Sky Sports in the UK and various other channels across the World.
|2018||Rob Cross||7||-||2||Phil Taylor|
|2017||Michael van Gerwen||7||-||3||Gary Anderson|
|2016||Gary Anderson||7||-||5||Adrian Lewis|
|2015||Gary Anderson||7||-||6||Phil Taylor|
|2014||Michael van Gerwen||7||-||5||Peter Wright|
|2013||Phil Taylor||7||-||4||Michael van Gerwen|
|2012||Adrian Lewis||7||-||3||Andy Hamilton|
|2011||Adrian Lewis||7||-||5||Gary Anderson|
|2010||Phil Taylor||7||-||3||Simon Whitlock|
|2009||Phil Taylor||7||-||1||Raymond van Barneveld|
|2008||John Part||7||-||2||Kirk Shepherd|
|2007||Raymond Van Barneveld||7||-||6||Phil Taylor|
|2006||Phil Taylor||7||-||0||Peter Manley|
|2005||Phil Taylor||7||-||4||Mark Dudbridge|
|2004||Phil Taylor||7||-||6||Kevin Painter|
|2003||John Part||7||-||6||Phil Taylor|
|2002||Phil Taylor||7||-||0||Peter Manley|
|2001||Phil Taylor||7||-||0||John Part|
|2000||Phil Taylor||7||-||3||Dennis Priestley|
|1999||Phil Taylor||6||-||2||Peter Manley|
|1998||Phil Taylor||6||-||0||Dennis Priestley|
|1997||Phil Taylor||6||-||3||Dennis Priestley|
|1996||Phil Taylor||6||-||4||Dennis Priestley|
|1995||Phil Taylor||6||-||2||Rod Harrington|
|1994||Dennis Priestley||6||-||1||Phil Taylor|