It darting nostalgia is your thing then you are in luck as the first ever World Seniors Darts Championship takes place this weekend with stars of the past mixing with some of those who recently ended their careers at the highest level at the Circus Tavern.
This is a venue synonymous with the rise of the PDC and legends such as Phil Taylor, Bob Anderson, John Lowe, Keith Deller and Peter Manley are among the 24 player field who will grace the stage at the intimate venue once again.
The 24 players have been entered into a draw bracket where the eight seeded players have been given a bye through to the second round. The other 16 players battle it out in the first round on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon to face one of those seeds in the second round on Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. The quarter finals take place on Saturday evening and all matches to this point at the best of five sets. Sunday is finals day with the two semi-finals and the final being played over the best of seven sets to determine the inaugural champion.
This tournament sees a mixture of legends involved as well as players who are aged 50 or above who maybe didn’t have the CV of some of the true greats of the game qualifying and getting their chance to play with the elite legends. The field is headed by the greatest the game has seen in Phil Taylor but there are many other world champions in the field, and in the form of Martin Adams, John Part and John Lowe to name just some, multiple world title holders.
Wayne Warren, Bob Anderson, Les Wallace, Trina Gulliver, Keith Deller, Lisa Ashton and John Walton are some of the other world champions in the field. Those who didn’t get their hands on that dream piece of silverware who are competing this week include Robert Thornton, Alan Warriner-Little, Kevin Painter, Tony O’Shea, Daryl Fitton, Larry Butler, Roland Scholten and Paul Lim. If the tournament standard matches the class of the field were in for a decent week here.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THIS TOURNAMENT! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
As you would imagine with the dominance that Phil Taylor had in this era of darts, he is the favourite to win the tournament. He still keeps his eye in on the exhibition scene when it is possible to play them with Covid and is a competitive animal so he’ll be well up for winning this. That is a view held by the bookmakers though as ‘The Power’ is no bigger than 10/11 to get his hands on another world title this week. It is probably better value than it looks.
Robert Thornton has only recently lost his tour card and he has been installed as the 7/1 second favourite this week. He is still capable of playing to a very high level but the problem with the Scot is he is a potential semi-final opponent for Taylor and that might be a hurdle you don’t want to be facing without some each way money tied up already. Thornton’s level is good enough to win this but that clash with Taylor is not ideally positioned.
Martin Adams holds his place in this field with real recognition. For me he is one of the top 10 players of all time and is 8/1 to cement his legacy with the first staging of this tournament. ‘Wolfie’ still plays to a decent level. He’s thrown a couple of nine dart legs on the Darts Live League throughout lockdown and since then and in that competition he regularly averages over 90 and up towards the 100. If you’re throwing a 90 average in this you’re going to go close and he’s in the other half to Taylor which makes him a standout contender.
Wayne Warren comes next in the betting at 14/1. The last ever winner of the BDO World Championship hasn’t really been seen much since then save for an appearance at the Grand Slam of Darts and a few outings on the Live League scene but he is a very good darts player who won the world title recently enough ago to be a threat here. He’s copped an awful draw with either Painter or O’Shea in the second round and then potentially Taylor in the quarter final. He isn’t for me.
I’m really looking forward to this event and the great thing is there are so many stories in it. I suspect it won’t take long for the major players to come to the fore and separate themselves from those who are here for the nostalgia. My idea of the winner is actually Robert Thornton but you have to respect the draw in these things and a possible semi-final with Philip Douglas Taylor just does not make much betting sense to back the Scot. Just on Taylor, it would probably be foolish to expect the 61-year-old to be at the level he was when we last saw him competitively losing to Rob Cross in the 2018 World Championship final but he’s appeared on the Live League and averaged in the 90s and didn’t look too shabby in those soft tip exhibitions during lockdown either. As someone who grew up as Taylor was establishing himself in the game if there is one thing engrained on me it is his desperation to be the first to win anything. He was named in this as long ago as last March so I fail to believe he won’t be up for this. Whether he’s good enough or fit enough to win four matches in three days remains to be seen but I’m in no rush to directly oppose him.
The betting potential of this event comes in the bottom half where two men jump out at me. I would be very surprised if Martin Adams doesn’t come through this part of the draw. He might be advanced in years but this bloke remains of the highest class. He has been a regular on the Live League scene throughout its existence and slammed in a couple of nine darters last year and regularly averaged 95 and above. Of course, like anyone his age, he has poor days from time to time but in that Live League matches come thick and fast which will serve him well for this weekend. Adams looks to have a plum route to the semi-finals and this will become there for anyone to take from there. He’s my main bet at 8/1 but I can’t resist a cheeky saver on Terry Jenkins at 20/1. It is a concern that he’s four years off the tour now but he was always a natural player and although he always played winning titles down the fact he entered the Live League last year to get some competitive practice for this tells me he isn’t arriving to make up the numbers. Lisa Ashton is a big danger in Jenkins’ quarter but she misses a lot of doubles which would be a concern, nevertheless the levels she has been competing at for the last two years means she must be respected. If Jenkins can edge her out he should set up a semi-final with Adams to guarantee us some place money before the final.
Back M.Adams to win World Seniors Championship (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 9.00 with Betfair (1/3 1-2)
Back him here:
Back T.Jenkins to win World Seniors Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 21.00 with Boylesports (1/3 1-2)
Back him here: