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The Players Championship starts on Friday, here is our preview!

The PDC Players Championship

Posted: 27.11.14 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

The Players Championship starts on Friday, here is our preview!

The PDC Players Championship kicks off on Friday afternoon and is being played down in Minehead. The 32 players have all qualified via the one year – Pro Tour Order Of Merit. This is the money won in all the “closed” events held all over the UK during the season. In other words the best or the form floor players at the moment.

It doesn’t make a huge difference in fact to who would have qualified from the top 32 in the 2 year rolling merit system, other than with who gets what seeded place.  The big exception though is Christian Kist, who is ranked 53 in the 2 year order of merit but beat Jamie Lewis by £750 to claim a place at Minehead as the 32nd seed.

This tournament is also noted for giving us a break from the Taylor domination of the sport. Paul Nicholson won the event in 2010 and Kevin Painter in December 2011! Normal service was resumed (sort of) with Taylor winning in 2012 and his nemesis MVG in 2013.

Here are the opening round fixtures, seeding in brackets and odds for the match.

First Round Draw
Gary Anderson (1) 2/7   v Christian Kist 3/1 (32)
Stephen Bunting (16) 3/10 v Steve Beaton 3/1  (17)
Mervyn King (8) 4/9 v Andrew Gilding 2/1  (25)
Phil Taylor (9) 2/17 v Ronnie Baxter 13/2 (24)
James Wade (5) 3/10 v Jelle Klaasen 3/1 (28)
Simon Whitlock (12) 1/2 v Dean Winstanley 2/1  (21)
Peter Wright (4) 4/9  v Benito van de Pas 9/4  (29)
Vincent van der Voort (13) 11/10 v Andy Hamilton 10/11 (20)
Michael van Gerwen (2) 4/11 v Raymond van Barneveld 5/2 (31)
Kim Huybrechts (15) 4/5 v Terry Jenkins 11/10 (18)
Brendan Dolan (7) 8/11 v Kevin Painter 5/4  (26)
Justin Pipe (10) 10/11 v Wes Newton 11/10 (23)
Robert Thornton (6) 4/11 v Darren Webster 5/2 (27)
Ian White (11) 8/11 v Jamie Caven 6/5 (22)
Michael Smith (3) 1/3 v Andy Smith 5/2  (30)
Adrian Lewis (14) 4/5 v Dave Chisnall 6/5  (19)

Outright Odds

The Power is favourite at a best price of 5/2

MVG 3/1

Wade 12/1

Lewis/Anderson 14/1

Bunty 22/1

Peter Wright/Chizzy 25/1

Barney is out at 33/1along with The Thorn, The Wizard and Huybrechts

One notable outsider is Merv at 66/1

Tips

Looking at the first round games Anderson at 2/7 looks probably the worse bet of the round. Yes he’s playing well but you just never know when double trouble is going to strike and the former Lakeside World Champion Kist can give Ando a game.

If you fancy challenging a couple of “out of sorts” players then Pipe to KO Wesley and let’s face it Newton doesn’t exactly relish playing Pipe, does he? Chizzy to beat Jackpot, although describing Jackpot as out of sorts after his 9 darter at Coventry is a bit harsh.  But he didn’t play well in Wolverhampton and Chizzy at 6/5 gives you a nice little 3/1 double!

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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )