The UK Open 2019 (also known as the FA Cup of darts) takes place from Friday March 01 to Sunday March 03 from Butlin’s Minehead Resort.
The unique tournament consists of 159 players who will battle it out over seven boards and a main stage board in the opening rounds.
It promises to be a fantastic tournament and is live on ITV4.
The play begins at 11am on Friday morning on boards 2-8 and then the main stage action begins at 12 noon.
The reigning champion is Gary Anderson who has yet to throw in any competition in 2019. Anderson also had to withdraw from this year’s Premier League due to an ongoing back injury. The Flying Scotsman is in the field to try and retain his title.
The reference to this tournament as the FA Cup of darts is due to the chances of some of the less familiar names and tour winners having their chances of winning increased as an open draw for the next round takes place after each round, meaning the big names can be drawn out against each other at any stage of the competition. So this tournament is always known to throw up some big upsets along the way, which only adds to the excitement.
The World’s top 32 players don’t however enter the action until Friday evening’s fourth-round stage, a right they have earned from their PDC rankings.
World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen who remains unbeaten in this year’s Premier League and has been in his usual high standard of form so far this year is a slight odds-on favourite in the outright market (17/20), with defending champion Gary Anderson next at (8/1) and then this year’s World Championship Michael Smith next in the betting at (12/1). It’s then 14/1 and bigger the rest.
There are too many first-round games to assess individually so I have selected three of my strongest fancies for the outright market below.
Friday February 01
Winner – Gary Anderson at 8/1
Each-Way 1 – Gerwyn Price at 20/1
Each Way 2 – Dave Chisnall at 30/1