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Has it really been a topsy turvy tournament or are there other factors behind the results so far?

PDC Premier League - Four Week Report

Posted: 07.03.12 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

Has it really been a topsy turvy tournament or are there other factors behind the results so far?



We are now four weeks into the 2012 Premier League. Before the competition had kicked off we were promised the most competitive league ever. Has this year’s competition lived up to this promise? Time to investigate!

The 2012 Premier League has appeared to be topsy-turvy.  Is this due to the quality of each competitor and the notion that on their day anyone could beat anyone else as maybe the hype is promoting?  I would argue against this by asking you to consider the feedback we have had from the players so far.

Wade kicked the tournament off with three defeats on the bounce. He openly admitted his mind was elsewhere and that his practice had suffered as a result. Wade’s problems off the oche have been well documented although there was no indication of the cause of his strife on this occasion.

Gary Anderson also admitted he was finding the life of a top darts player challenging and duly lost to Painter in week one. Anderson’s double trouble came back to haunt him and he finished the match with stats of 6 doubles out of 29 attempts-21%. He has subsequently won his last three games.

Last week Lewis put in a truly shocking performance against Anderson, after previously drawing all three of his first three matches (including one after spending the week unable to practice due to illness). Jackpot has had his share of personal life disruption but there was no explanation forthcoming as to why he was so poor!

Even Andy Hamilton got in on the act. In Aberdeen he was soundly beaten 8:2 by Gary Anderson. Apparently the crowd got to him and this was the reason he didn’t equal the quality of performance he showed in the previous week. We have been down this road before-Scotsman (or Dutchman) playing an Englishman in Scotland, the script goes like this: The Scottish player is the hero and the Englishman gets a lot of stick, even if he is wielding a giant hammer!  So, is it unfair to suggest that Hamilton should have been prepared for this?


It could  be that it is more a case of poor preparation and players allowing outside matters to affect what they do on the oche rather than the equal skills of each player involved this season. This is of course no consolation to the fans that have turned up at the arena or the many punters who have invested their cash in an under-performing dart player.

Some things of course never change when it comes to The Premier League. For example, players proudly boasting how well they played when defeated by The Power. It is not really surprising that Taylor has reigned supreme for so long as players seem to go up against him hoping for a glorious defeat rather than a mauling. They then proudly advertise how well they did whilst they were being beaten.

Kevin Painter and Barney will of course point out Taylor’s fantastic performances so far. He leads the 180`s table (19), the 140’s table (44) and his finishing stats are the best too (57% success rate). To summarise, his power scoring is the best and so is his finishing!

Maybe I have been too harsh on Painter and Barney? The Power is of course a formidable opponent (we haven’t even mentioned his 9 darter and his average of 117.36) and maybe there is no disgrace in losing to Taylor in the form he is in. Maybe, but it is the air of resignation to their fate that some players seem to have that I don’t like. Also, in what other sport would the competitors hand over such a psychological advantage to an opponent?

On a more positive note about Kevin Painter, The Hammer and Barney they have been the surprise stars of the show so far. KP was the bookies favourite to finish bottom but has already taken the scalps of Anderson and Whitlock, the defeat to Taylor in week 2 and then another defeat this time to Wade has put an element of realism into his league position. Hamilton has played well except for the match we have already discussed and Barney has been sensational so far. The depressed, head shaking, over analytical, serial dart set up changer has a new lease of life. His comeback against Hamilton last week would never have happened in the moods Barney has taken to the oche over the past few seasons. It was great to see!

Overall the quality of darts has been sensational. Perhaps we are being too harsh expecting players to be 100% on their game week in, week out? The least we should expect though is that they have made every effort to be ready for action. The players are only human mind, even the machine!



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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )

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