Gerwyn Price admits it’s going to be “difficult” for him to deal with containing his fiercesome oche celebrations.
The Welshman was hit by a £21,500 fine and three-month ban, suspended for six months after his fiery Grand Slam final clash with Gary Anderson.
The Darts Regulation Authority said that Price was “Bringing the sport into disrepute and gamesmanship” after his over-zealous celebrations against the Scottish star.
Now Price, 33, believes it will be a big learning curve for him to deal with a calmer stage persona during the Unibet Premier League, starting tonight against Daryl Gurney in Newcastle.
He said: “It’s always going to be in the back of my mind. I’m going to go out and play exactly the same but in the Masters you are thinking of things all the time. I just can’t let my feelings go, I’ve got to hold it all within.
“It feels like I can’t really get my A game out. It’s a distraction definitely. I’m not going out there to put people off or to try and cheat. It just brings the best out of me and I can’t seem to do that at the moment. I’ll learn to move on and play a different way.
“That’s been my game from day one. It’s not just like its come overnight or over-reacted in certain ways in that tournament, it’s just what I’ve always been like.
“I’ve had that taken away from me for whatever reason so it’s going to be difficult for me over the next couple of months.
“I’m a professional, I’ll learn to deal with it. If I can’t win with my A game, I’ll win with my B game.”
Price struggled throughout last year’s Premier League campaign as he found it hard to deal with the travelling and extra demands on his time.
Now he believes he is ready for a better crack at the tournament. He added: “After two or three weeks in the Premier League and going to Pro Tours just being away a lot took its toll and I wasn’t enjoying it anymore.
“Everything got on top of me but I now sort of know what to expect this year now and I just need to get a win under my belt early on and I’ll be fine.
“Playing on stage in front of thousands of fans, who wouldn’t enjoy that? I absolutely love it. But it’s just the week-in, week-out Premier League to Pro Tour then Europeans, home for a day. Two or three months on the road is hard work.
“It sort of hit me in the face last year and I didn’t like it but this year I know what’s coming and I think I know how to deal with it.
“It is good to get a decent start and win over the first two or three weeks. I’m under no pressure against Daryl Gurney on Thursday night. I’d like to win but it’s a long old slog so I’m just going to try and enjoy it this year.
“I always seem to struggle at the World Championships. Perhaps I put myself under too much pressure. I can’t seem to perform with the set format, I can’t seem to grasp it and the same in the Grand Prix.
“But on the practice board my form is great. I’m in the best form possible over the past couple of months. I’ll just write off the last couple of tournaments first round exits because I’ve still been playing well.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)