Mug’s beam to darts universe champs

Simon 'The Wizard...

Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock.
Source: Getty Images




What is it?


The biggest contest in darts, and a Christmas TV tie in a UK that pulls in some of a mom country’s best ratings of a year.

Come again?

Seriously, when it comes to series of people examination competition on TV in Britain, darts is second usually to Premier League football.

But it’s not even a sport!

Woah there, be clever who we contend that around. Darts grew from a pub entertainment into a low-key TV materialisation in a 1980s before apropos a loud, brash, locus eventuality it is today. The Premier League Darts roadshow eventuality that tours a UK from Feb to May takes place in venues that reason adult to 20,000 people. This is large business.

Oompa Loompas adore darts too.

Oompa Loompas adore darts too.
Source: Getty Images




And this is a biggest event?

Yep. The World Darts Championship is a valuables in a climax of a darting calendar. After starting on Saturday morning AEDT it runs right by until a final on New Year’s Day.

What is that noise?

It’s substantially a 7300-strong throng during Alexandra Palace, presumably a booziest, loudest, lairiest assembly in universe sport. Some people come to watch a darts, though only as many again come to get hammered, tunelessly sing patio chants and generally roar and scream during all and everyone. Back in a smoke-filled BBC days of Eric Bristow et al, players could design to have near-snooker-like levels of overpower when backing adult a essential shot. Those days are prolonged gone. The pay-off for a bad players carrying to put adult with hundreds of collection screaming for them to skip as they ready to take a shot? Much fatter wallets. Oh, and if you’re formulation to go, try your best not to demeanour like Jesus.

Phil

Phil “The Power” Taylor.
Source: AP




So who will win?

If a final 20 years are anything to go by, Phil “The Power” Taylor. The undisputed biggest actor in a story of a diversion has won a hardly plausible 16 universe titles, and when a 53-year-old is on form – that is good over 90 percent of a time – he’s flattering most unbeatable. A loyal competitor, he never gives an in. to rivals, always seems to be perplexing to kick everybody to nonexistence and visibly dislikes losing, or infrequently only a hazard of it occurring. This has led to him being concerned in some tasteless onstage stoushes and post-game bust-ups. Undoubtedly conceited and spasmodic petulant, though if anyone has warranted a right to be in a context of their sport, it’s Taylor.

Can anyone get nearby him?

Best of a rest is substantially Michael outpost Gerwen, a cueball-headed Dutchman who kick Taylor in a final of a Players Championship progressing this month. The 24-year-old plays with electrifying speed and has a intensity to browbeat a competition if Taylor ever decides to hang adult his flights. Yet to win a universe title, he done a final final year and was 4-2 forward of Taylor before being reeled in by a master and beaten 7-4, an knowledge he’ll be all a improved for.

England’s Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis – a protégé of Taylor’s – is a two-time champion and is some-more than able of winning a third if he can discharge craziness from his game. On his day, he has a violence of anyone and can raise on 180s (the limit score) and large finishes when he’s in a zone. By a same token, he could pile-up out in a initial turn should his form dried him. Either way, a large man’s games are frequency reduction than entertaining.

 Simon Whitlock of Australia in action.

Simon Whitlock of Australia in action.
Source: News Limited




What about a Aussies?

Simon “The Wizard” Whitlock – a gently oral New South Welshman with a extensive brave and a conspicuous similarity to Brett Lee – is one of a tip 5 players in a universe and has a genuine shot during a title. The 44-year-old done a final of this contest in 2010 and put adult a decent uncover before being beaten 7-3 by – we guessed it – Taylor. Has had a streaky 2013, unwell to make it past a quarter-finals of any eventuality and losing suddenly on several occasions. But if he can rise during a right time, he’s a compare for anyone.

Ex-pat Brit Paul Nicholson is substantially Australia’s best wish outward of Whitlock, as good as carrying presumably a misfortune nickname in darts: “The Asset”. Has put in some marvellous displays – including hammering Michael outpost Gerwen in Germany this year – though when he loses, he tends to remove big, and can remove steer of doubles totally if things start going opposite him. An attention-seeker who struts on theatre in shades, he famously waved goodbye to Taylor after intolerable him during a 2011 UK Open, going on to contend that he would “put him to bed” subsequent time they met if Taylor didn’t move his A-game. Taylor described him as “very really silly” before violence him 10-7 and 3-0 in their subsequent dual meetings.

Elsewhere, Kyle “The Original” Anderson from Perth – a Australian Grand Prix champion – will do good to negotiate a tough first-round pull opposite in-form Englishman Ian White.

A rough throng is approaching during Alexandra Palace.

A rough throng is approaching during Alexandra Palace.
Source: Getty Images




So how can we watch it?

The whole thing is on Fox Sports, starting during 6am on Saturday. With London 11 hours behind, a biggest games will be holding place between 6am and 10am AEDT.

Key dates (all AEDT)

Sunday Dec. 15 – Round 1

Ian White v Kyle Anderson

Paul Nicholson v Stuart Kellett

Wednesday Dec. 18 – Round 1

First round: Simon Whitlock v Ross Smith

Sunday Dec. 31

Semi-Finals

Thursday Jan 2

Final

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