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Article: PDC World Championship Darts Betting: Bad day at the oche is Taylor rivals^ only hope

PDC World Championship Darts Betting: Bad day at the oche is Taylor rivals^ only hope

You won^t be getting rich quickly if Phil Taylor wins his first world title since 2006, says David Croft. But there^s plenty of good value elsewhere...

Once again the PDC World Darts Championship has come up trumps with its prize fund, offering 125,000 to the winner.

I can^t see past one person taking home the handsome cheque. Of the 70 players lining up at Alexandra Palace, 69 will be hoping that one man in particular has a couple of bad weeks at the oche, otherwise they^re playing for the runners up spot. Phil Taylor, 1.62, is hungrier than ever for success and desperate to win back a title he hasn^t held since 2006. At that price you won^t be getting rich quick should Taylor win, but his form is just too good to ignore.

Luckily, there^s plenty of good value elsewhere in Betfairs markets with the Winner without Taylor market offering three good bets from the bottom half of the draw.

James Wade, so often the bridesmaid to The Power^s bride this year and Ray Van Barneveld, himself a five time world champion, are both priced at 4.0 in this market and are seeded to meet in the semi-finals, avoiding Taylor until the final.

Wade looked a tad reserved and far from confident at the launch of the championship last week, whilst I hear that Barney has switched darts in recent weeks, going back to his old set in a bid to rediscover his form. Both are excellent players, both would grace the final and of the two Wade has had the better year. But maybe both are vulnerable to an upset in the form of The Hammer Andy Hamilton.

The number seven seed from Stoke reached the last four in 2006, has been in two PDC Pro Tour finals this year and was the runner up in the 2007 Grand Slam. He^s also one of the two players aside from himself that Phil Taylor believes can win the championship. He^s due to meet Barneveld in the quarterfinals and Wade in the semis. Priced at 16.0 to win without Taylor he^s the outstanding price in this market and well worth a punt.

For those who think that Phil Taylor will slip up Barneveld is priced at 12.0 with Betfair, Wade at 11.0 and Hamilton 50.0. But you could also add the former Masters winner Robert Thornton at 75.0 to your list. He could play Taylor in the quarterfinals and certainly has a big game in him, which of course he^ll need.

Dennis Priestly, a legend of the sport and former champion, has battled cancer this year, returning to the oche to win three Pro Tour events and reach the US Open and World Matchplay semi-finals. You can get a price on him of 380.0 to win or 4.6 to reach the final. He^s in the bottom half of the draw and will attract plenty of support.

One player who will stir of interest when she takes to the Oche for her Preliminary Round match against Remco van Eijden is the current women^s world champion Anastasia Dobromyslova. Phil Taylor says he^ll help her practice, Eric Bristow doesn^t think she has a prayer and is one of a few who believe she shouldn^t be in the championship in the first place.

I wouldn^t go that far, although the timing of her defection from the PDO smacked more of a cheap publicity stunt than a genuine opportunity for the player herself. Of all the players she could have been drawn against, only two would give her problems. Finland^s Marko Kantele and the man she plays, Van Eijden. He was very impressive on his Lakeside debut back in January and has won a couple of WDF ranked Open Tournaments. He should be far too good for a very talented Anastasia.

Betfair^s price of 1.32 on a van Eijden victory is realistic. I wouldn^t be surprised if the Russian fails to win a set. Next year watch out, a year on the circuit will improve her game enormously and shell be one to watch in the early rounds.

Of the first round matches I like Co Stompe, recent winner of the PDC German Championship beating Taylor in the final, at 1.76 to beat Andy Jenkins. The up and coming four-time quarter-finalist on the Pro Tour, Kevin McDine, to beat Alex Roy at 1.45 And if you^re looking for an outside chance with a decent return, dont write off Bill Davies to spring a huge surprise in his match against reigning champion John Part, at 5.6 he^s a great price.

Either way I can^t wait for the action to start, Sky are showing the championship in HD for the first time ever and with the BDO World Championship starting on the 3rd January, Friday night marks the start of four weeks of the greatest televised darts you could wish for.


Story By: Betting @ Betfair

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