The PDC World Championships get under way at Alexandra Place in London today. 64 players will lock horns to try and win one of dart’s most prestigious titles as well as the first-place prize money of £200,000.
Adrian Lewis will be looking to defend the title he claimed at the beginning of 2011, when he defeated Gary Anderson in only the second ever final not to involve Phil Taylor. His first-round meeting is against Nigel Heydon. Apart from Taylor, no other player has appeared in consecutive finals but, as the second seed, Lewis will be a popular choice for online betting punters particularly as he can’t face the Power until the final.
Taylor is of course the one to beat. He is the number one seed and on a high after just winning the Grand Slam of Darts. There have been 18 PDC World Championships to date and he has won 13 of them and finished second in another three. Taylor’s opening opponent will be the winner of the contest between Haruki Muramatsu and Dennis Nilsson. Following Taylor is Gary Anderson, who is the fourth seed and will begin his 2012 campaign against Jyhan Artut.
The first round is the best of five sets, the next two are best of seven. From there it increases by two set per round and culminates in the best of 13 final. The last final to go the distance was in 2007, when Taylor was defeated by Raymond van Barneveld and another meeting between the two is likely to provide lots of entertainment for live betting fans. This year the Dutchman is the 8th seed and starts his campaign with a tie against James Richardson.
There is one other previous champion who is participating in this event; Canadian John Part has won the PDC World Championships twice and is the only person apart from Taylor to win it twice. His last win was in 2003 but he hasn’t appeared in the final since. He is the 27th seed and will play John Henderson in the opening round.
Bottom Line: The 2012 PDC World Championships is once again expected to be the Phil Taylor show but, as last year proved, it doesn’t always work out that way.