Roofer Luke Humphries won't have a night on the tiles even if he ends Gary Anderson’s World Championship dream.
Luke, 22, won five of the 20 tournaments on the Development Tour to top the order of merit and seal a spot at Alexandra Palace.
Now the Newbury kid has landed a top draw to face double World Champ Ando if he beats Jeff Smith in the preliminary stage Saturday night.
Humphries admitted: “I try not to think about it at this moment, it would obviously be a dream to beat Gary.
“Obviously I’ve got to beat Jeff first and it’s a tough draw. But at the same time it’s a great draw, it gives me a huge opportunity to make a name for myself.
“I once did an exhibition in front of 500 people and now I’ll be in front of thousands. I’ll go out to enjoy it though, as you never know if you’ll get the chance to do it again.
“I’ve never played Jeff, but he’s reached a semi final and final at Lakeside so his record speaks for itself. But I’m not just going to turn up expecting to lose and if I can start well, I think I can beat him.
“To then potentially have Gary is a dream draw for me as when I was growing up he was one of my favourite players.
“If I can get past Jeff and play Gary on the big stage it would be a great experience, but again, I wouldn’t just go up there thinking I’m going to lose – I’d be trying to beat him.
“But even if I win I wouldn’t go out on the town. I’d just have a cup of tea and start to prepare for my next match.”
Humphries – who also reached the semi finals of this year’s World Youth Championship – admits it’s tough to balance his full-time job as a roofer with practice.
He added: “I get up at 6am and get home at 5pm and then try to get straight onto the board for an hour. It’s tough because you can be tired, but if you sit down on the sofa you can relax and decide not to practice.
“I’ve been with my mate, Brazilian Diogo Portela and we’ll be doing some really hard practice.
“I’ve been working all week in the lead up to Ally Pally. But my boss has been kind and told me not to do any dangerous labour, he doesn’t want me breaking my wrist before this weekend.”
Aside from qualifying for the World Championship, Humphries’ success on the Development Tour has secured him a Pro Tour card for the next two years.
He said: “It’s been very satisfying to do as well as I have on the development tour and to win the tour card is massive.
“It’s exciting that in the next two years I can play the top 128 players in the world and be part of that group.
“After the Worlds, it gives you the chance to qualify for the other majors like the World Matchplay and World Grand Prix, which would be targets.
“Now that I have the tour card the big aim is to reach and stay in the top 64 and gain as much experience as I can.
"I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself, but I’m still young and in five to 10 years time I’d love to be in the top 32.”
Humphries also admits his darting hero was Ronnie Baxter and is going all-out to add to his five Development Tour wins.
He said: “My mum and dad always had a darts board in the house and I probably started throwing at the age of 10, before taking it a bit more seriously aged 13 or 14.
“Growing up my darting hero was Ronnie, he was such a great player to watch.
“Winning my first Development Tour title has been my best moment so far, as when you get to a final and you know if you’ll get to another, so to win it was very special. I think the first will always be the best.
“Unless I win a couple of matches on Saturday night, that would be incredible.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)