The 2018 Lakeside World Professional Darts Championship is the 41st World Championship organised by the British Darts Organisation, and the 33rd staging at the famous Lakeside Country Club, Frimley Green, Surrey.
The men’s championship was first won in 1978 by Welshman Leighton Rees. He won a staging £3,000 for his 11-7 leg defeat of John Lowe, the championship favourite. John however went on to win the BDO World Darts Championships the following year and he won a further two in 1987 and 1993 the only player to win the World darts title in three different decades. Although he appeared in a total of eight BDO World title finals.
Glen Durrant is the current BDO World Champion and starts the tournament as one of the hot favourites while former World Champion Scott Waits and BDO No.1 Mark McGeeney will also be in the mix see dart betting odds for the latest betting detail.
The men’s prize fund has come a long way since its initial conception. The winner of the 2018 title can expect to pick up £100,000 and the title of BDO World Darts Champion. Still many wonder why there are two dart divisions THE BDO (British Darts Organisation) and the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation).
Twenty-five years ago, there was a major split in the ranks of the BDO. TV coverage of the sport had diminished and sponsorship for events was getting different. Many of the players blamed the BDO management and after consultation pull away from the BDO managed events. It was not however plain sailing from there. Disputes followed, a name change from the breakaway group from the World Darts Council to the Professional Darts Corporation. Since the disputes have been settled the PDC has lead the world in its TV coverage and tournament prize fund.
Barry Hearn took control as the Chairman of the PDC and made darts into the global phonomime it is today. In 2018 Rob Cross won the PDC World Dart Title and picked up a life changing cheque of £400,000 from a prize fund of £1.8M. In 2017 the PDC will be inviting more overseas players to the World Championships and the prize fund will again increase to £2.5M with £500,000 going to the eventual winner. Darts is now the second most watched sport on Sky TV and looks to grow more over the coming years.
The question asked is why don’t the top BDO players move to the PDC when there are clearly vastly more funds available for them to win. Many players do just that but first they must gain a tour card to compete in the big tournaments and the competition is hard. Yet some still don’t won’t the pressure or the challenge the PDC darts brings with it. Hence there is still room for the BDO.
The ladies’ darts is also a main fixture of the BDO World Championships. The ‘Golden Girl’ Trina Gulliver MBE is the most successful ladies’ player on the Lakeside stage. Trina has won the title ten times to date and has competed in all eighteen BDO World Championships finals. She is on course for an eleventh title however competition from Lisa Ashton, the current World Champion, Deta Headman and ‘From Russia with Love’ Anastasia Dobromyslova will be difficult hurdles to overcome.
The ladies game has always been a secondary event for the BDO and this is reflected in the prize fund. The winner of the 2018 event will pick up a cheque for £12,000 and a runner prize or £5,000. Surely it is time for the organisers to poor more money into the ladies’ events as they give the viewers as much excitement as many of the male counterparts. It still seems shameful in this day and age that ladies in the world of darts are treated in a disparaging way. Maybe this will be the year for the ladies to shine and maybe they will be rewarded with some realistic prize fund money in upcoming events.
The one thing is for sure is the BDO World Championships has a loyal jamboree of fans who return to the Lakeside each year to support their darting heroes and this will continue as long as this event is still staged.