2018/19 PDC World Darts Championship
The William Hill World Darts Championships 2018/19 continues (Alexandra Palace, London, Thursday Dec 13th 2018 to Tuesday Jan 1st 2019).
The £2.5 million tournament carries a winner’s prize of £500,000. The “biggest-ever event in darts” will this year be held over 28 sessions of play during the Christmas and New Year period, with 96 players from around the world doing battle for the coveted Sid Waddell Trophy.
There will be eleven days of play before Christmas (Dec 13th-23rd) which will feature the first and second-round games, with the third-round and fourth-round games being held from December 22nd-28th before the competition reaches the quarter-finals on Saturday December 29th, with the semi-finals on Sunday December 30 and then the final on Tuesday January 1st 2019.
The competition has already produced some big upsets with Peter Wright, Raymond van Barneveld, Darren Webster, Krzysztof Ratakski, Gerwyn Price, Mensur Suljovic, Ian White, Joe Cullen, Jonny Clayton, Stephen Bunting, James Wilson, Jelle Klaasen and Simon Whitlock already eliminated from the tournament.
The defending champion Rob Cross has not been showing the same level of form that he was coming into the tournament last year and, it will be a massive surprise to me if he is lifting the trophy for a second year running come January 1st.
World Number One Michael van Gerwen has been playing well lately and is the outright favourite but although he has been making semi-finals and finals, he hasn’t been winning the high percentage of those matches like we are used to seeing from MVG. Taking the short-price will not be for me.
James Wade has really returned to form this year and has taken two of the last four TV tournaments, the European Championship and World Series Of Darts and will be a popular selection for many to go well in this tournament also.
However, Gary Anderson has been playing very well lately and he looks to be coming into form at exactly the right time as he bids for his third World Championship title. The long sets format of this tournament will also be to The Flying Scotsman’s advantage and he will be my main selection to lift the famous Sid Waddell Trophy once again.
My first each-way selection and second fancy for the win is Michael Smith who I think has been slowly getting better and better and could be bringing himself to the boil perfectly to turn-up at Ally Pally in top-form, somewhat under the radar and we all know that he can be almost unbeatable when he does hit his best form.
Finally, my other value selection is going to be Mensur Suljovic who has been playing very poorly in recent events which is very uncharacteristic for the normally consistent Austrian and he may also be preserving his best game for the big one. If this is so then he will be very hard to beat as he also really enjoys the long formats he will face if progressing to the latter rounds.
Third Round Matches and Predictions:
Sunday December 23 (12:45pm, Afternoon Session)
• Vincent van der Voort v Chris Dobey – Chris Dobey
• Brendan Dolan v Mervyn King – Mervyn King
• James Wade v Keegan Brown – James Wade
Sunday December 23 (7:15pm, Evening Session)
• Adrian Lewis v Darius Labanauskas – Adrian Lewis
• Nathan Aspinall v Kyle Anderson – Nathan Aspinall
• Rob Cross v Cristo Reyes – Rob Cross
Thursday December 27 (12:45pm, Afternoon Session)
• Devon Petersen v Steve West – Steve West
• Dimitri van den Bergh v Luke Humphries – Dimitri van den Bergh
• Michael Smith v John Henderson – Michael Smith
Thursday December 27 (7:15pm, Evening Session)
• Toni Alcinas v Benito van de Pas – Toni Alcinas