2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.

2017 Betway World Cup of Darts – Nation Profiles

2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.
Find out everything you need to know about each team in Darts World’s 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles

Darts World’s Sam Barnard provides 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles, which include in-depth facts, stats and everything you need to know about all 32 participating countries at this year’s tournament in Frankfurt, Germany.

The seventh edition of this now-annual event is the most global to date, with six continents being represented – only Antarctica misses out for obvious reasons.

England are the defending champions, though miss a notable key figure for the first time, while there are two countries making their debuts.

So, without further ado, read on for our 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles.

All odds below are with tournament sponsors betway.com, and are subject to change.

Australia (5th seeds)

2017 team: Simon Whitlock (7th appearance) and Kyle Anderson (2nd)

Past players: Paul Nicholson (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2012)

First 2017 opponents: Denmark (June 1, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Denmark, Russia/Hong Kong, Wales, Scotland/Belgium, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 25/1 (4th favourites)

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As with 18 other nations, Australia have now taken part in every World Cup to date, and Whitlock has played in them all.

The Wizard helped lead the Aussies to the 2012 final, with then-teammate Nicholson, but is with the higher ranked Anderson for the second year running.

Australia got to the quarters in 2016, narrowly losing only to the Netherlands, and face Denmark first up this time around – a nation they defeated 2-1 in the second round last year.

Whitlock has been in great form in 2017 so far, and his team will be expected to at least reach the last eight again.

Austria (7th seeds)

2017 team: Mensur Suljovic (7th appearance) and Rowby-John Rodriguez (4th)

Past players: Maik Langendorf (2010, 2013), Dietmar Burger (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Group stage/Quarter-finals (2010, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: China (June 2, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: China, Canada, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 40/1 (joint-7th favourites)

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Austria have arguably underperformed in the World Cup, having boasted current PDC top 10 star Suljovic in all six previous editions and young talent Rodriguez for the last three.

However, The Gentle has only recently come to prominence in the last year or so, and the nation did get to the quarters again in 2016 – after previously reaching the final eight (group stage) in 2010 too.

They should get to that stage again, if they beat China (who they defeated 5-2 in 2014) and then likely Canada, as expected.

Austria will then have to again contend with England, who they lost to last year in the quarters but are now without four-time World Cup winner Phil Taylor.

Belgium (8th seeds)

2017 team: Kim Huybrechts (6th appearance) and Ronny Huybrechts (5th)

Past players: Patrick Bulen (2010), Rocco Maes (2010), Kurt van de Rijck (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2013)

First 2017 opponents: New Zealand (June 1, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: New Zealand, Greece, Scotland, Wales/Australia, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 33/1 (joint-5th favourites)

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Ever since half-brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts were shock 2013 finalists in their first World Cup together, Belgium have stuck with this pairing.

They’ve reached the quarters once and semis twice since, which is why their joint-5th favourites tag belies their eighth seeding.

Belgium kick off against potentially tricky opponents New Zealand this year, but should get through safely if 2017 Premier League player Kim is anywhere near to his best.

They are in line to set up a rematch of their quarter-final with Scotland last year, after they beat the British team 2-1 to reach the semis.

Brazil

2017 team: Diogo Portela (debut) and Alexandre Sattin (debut)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: Debut

Best performance: N/A

First 2017 opponents: Switzerland (June 2, 21:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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Brazil are the first South American nation to take part in the World Cup of Darts, thanks to Portela, who is also the only arrowsmith from his continent to play on the PDC circuit and qualify for a European Tour event.

The 28-year-old has showed so much dedication to get where he is, ever since first appearing on UK TV screens a couple years ago on the gameshow One Hundred and Eighty – which of course he won, along with designated pro and former World Cup player James Wade.

This will no doubt be Portela’s best moment in darts to date, as he has the chance to show off his skills to an even bigger audience and help the sport in Brazil further develop.

He partners Alexandre Sattin, who is a steady and experienced doubles player and gained his place via qualifiers in Brazil.

Canada

2017 team: John Part (7th appearance) and John Norman Jr (debut)

Past players: Ken MacNeil (2010, 2012, 2015, 2016), Jeff Smith (2013), Shaun Narain (2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Group stage/Quarter-finals (2010, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Hungary (June 2, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Hungary, Austria, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 300/1

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Legendary three-time world champion Part is back on our TV screens for another World Cup, despite having effectively been in semi-retirement from the game the past couple of years.

Darth Maple partners dubutant Norman Jr this year, with the duo both gaining PDC Tour Cards via Q-School earlier in 2017.

Canada will be hoping to repeat their best effort of getting to the last eight in 2010 and 2016.

They are expected to get past Hungary, who they beat 5-3 at this stage in 2013, but will then likely tackle Austria.

China

2017 team: Weihong Li (debut) and Yuanjun Liu (2nd appearance)

Past players: Yin Deng (2014), Jun Cai (2014), Jun Chen (2015), Xuejie Huang (2015), Wenge Xie (2016)

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2016)

First 2017 opponents: Austria (June 2, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Austria, Canada, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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China have shown steady progression in darts since first appearing in the World Cup in 2014, reaching the second round for the first time last year, and PDC chairman Barry Hearn has recognised that by adding Shanghai to the World Series of Darts in 2016 and 2017.

Liu was apart of that 2016 World Cup first round triumph over the Czech Republic, and he is now partnered with debutant Li.

It’ll be a tough ask for China to replicate their success last year, though, with Austria being their opening opponents.

Hearn and the PDC will be hoping that one day darts can be as big a hit in China as another of his projects snooker has, with the potential to boast hundreds of millions of viewers from the East Asian nation.

Czech Republic

2017 team: Karel Sedlacek (debut) and Frantisek Humpula (debut)

Past players: Martin Kapucian (2010*), Pavel Drtil (2010*, 2016), Michal Kocik (2015, 2016), Pavel Jirkal (2015)

Past appearances: 3 (2010, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: First round (2010, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Netherlands (June 2, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Netherlands, USA, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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Czech Republic are technically taking part in their third World Cup, as they had to withdraw from the first 2010 edition after travel issues (*but as they weren’t replaced the records say they were entered that year).

However, the Central European nation are yet to gain a win in this competition, losing in the first round the last two years to Austria and China.

Their best result was against the latter (5-3), but only a miracle will see them past two-time champions the Netherlands.

Czech Republic have gone for two debutants this time around, so perhaps they are hoping for beginner’s luck?

Denmark

2017 team: Per Laursen (7th appearance) and Alex Jensen (debut)

Past players: Vladimir Andersen (2010), Jann Hoffmann (2012, 2013), Dennis Lindskjold (2014), Per Skau (2015), Daniel Jensen (2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2012, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Australia (June 1, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Australia, Russia/Hong Kong, Wales, Scotland/Belgium, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

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Laursen is in an exclusive club of being only one of 13 players to have now taken part in all seven World Cups.

However, in that time, he and Denmark have only won twice – though could end that run if they manage to upset Australia in round 1 after losing to them 2-1 in the last 16 last year.

One of Russia or Hong Kong would be next, but it’s easier said than done, and it remains to be seen how Jansen will cope on his debut.

England (2nd seeds)

2017 team: Adrian Lewis (6th appearance) and Dave Chisnall (debut)

Past players: Phil Taylor (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), James Wade (2010)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Champions (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Gibraltar (June 2, 22:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Gibraltar, South Africa/Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 11/2 (3rd favourites)

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England have won the last two titles, and four of the six in total. However, they’ll be without 16-time world champion Taylor for the first time.

Chisnall is now higher in the PDC world rankings than the all-time great, so merits his place alongside Lewis, but how will he hope on his debut?

Chizzy has certainly been in good form this year, making a courageous run towards the end of the Premier League campaign and throwing a nine-darter in May.

England should have no troubles against against fellow British nation Gibraltar, but potential second round opponents South Africa have caused a few shocks over the years, and from then on it won’t be easy for them.

Finland

2017 team: Kim Viljanen (3rd appearance) and Marko Kantele (5th)

Past players: Jarkko Komula (2010, 2013, 2014), Petri Korte (2012), Jani Haavisto (2013, 2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Semi-finals (2013)

First 2017 opponents: Wales (June 1, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Wales, Ireland/Poland, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 200/1

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Finland have been ever-presents at the World Cup, and certainly showed their worth in 2013 by reaching the semis.

Their pair of Komula and Haavisto, who shocked the likes of the Netherlands, Belgium and hosts Germany that year won’t be in Frankfurt this time around, but in Viljanen and Kantele the nation certainly have experience.

They haven’t won together, however, and face a very difficult opening tie against title contenders Wales.

Kantele will be hoping to rely on his form, that has seen him qualify for two European Tour events this year so far.

Germany

2017 team: Max Hopp (3rd appearance) and Martin Schindler (debut)

Past players: Jyhan Artut (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Andree Welge (2010, 2013, 2014), Bernd Roith (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2013, 2015)

First 2017 opponents: Northern Ireland (June 2, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Northern Ireland, Brazil/Switzerland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 100/1

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Artut misses out this year for the first time since in World Cup of Darts history, as Germany have gone with 20-year-old Schindler to partner Hopp (of the same age).

Being the youngest pairing by far this year, they’ll have to show experience beyond their years if they are to defeat sixth seeds Northern Ireland.

But backed by a passionate home crowd, this is perhaps the tie of the opening round, so expect it to be a cracker.

If the Germans can cause a first round shock, it’ll certainly be good for the tournament and fans, and they have the potential to face rivals the Netherlands and England in the quarters and semis, which could produce fireworks.

Gibraltar

2017 team: Dyson Parody (7th appearance) and Dylan Duo (5th appearance)

Past players: Manuel Vilerio (2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2015)

First 2017 opponents: England (June 2, 22:00)

Potential run to final: England, South Africa/Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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Parody has flown the flag for Gibraltar since the tournament’s inception in 2010, but is now back with partner Duo after the latter’s two years absence.

The oversees British territory, by far the smallest 2017 World Cup nation in terms of population (with around 30k), managed to claim their first win during that time over Italy in 2015.

Passionate Parody certainly lit up the stage that year, but will have to unearth the quality that saw him reach the 2016 Gibraltar Trophy quarters and nearly knock out Michael van Gerwen along the way, if his team are to have any chance of beating England.

Gibraltar will certainly have to try and ruffle a few feathers to unsettle the new partnership of Lewis and Chisnall.

Greece

2017 team: John Michael (2nd appearance) and Ioannis Selachoglou (2nd)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: 1 (2016)

Best performance: First round (2016)

First 2017 opponents: Thailand (June 1, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Thailand, Belgium, Scotland, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 300/1

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Greece are taking part in only their second World Cup of Darts, but have PDC world number 67 (at the time of writing) Michael to help them to their first victory.

The Cypriot-born 43-year-old has been a fan favourite at the PDC World Championship the last three years, thanks to his enjoyable walk-on (dance) to Zorba the Greek, and is partnered again with Selachoglou.

Greece have a slightly more favourable first round fixture this year, after losing to Canada in 2016, as they take on Thailand.

They are slight favourites to beat them in the opening match of the 2017 World Cup.

Hong Kong

2017 team: Royden Lam (4th appearance) and Kai Fan Leung (debut)

Past players: Scott MacKenzie (2014, 2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2015)

First 2017 opponents: Russia (June 1, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Russia, Australia, Wales, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

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Hong Kong are another Asian nation that have shown much promise in recent years, and they even reached the quarters in 2015 after brilliantly shocking seeded British Isles duo Wales and Republic of Ireland.

They were edged out by the latter 5-4 in a rematch last year, but will back themselves to topple Russia this time around.

The bespectacled Lam takes part in his fourth straight World Cup, but will be without usual partner MacKenzie, who is replaced by debutant Leung.

Hungary

2017 team: Zoltan Mester (debut) and Janos Vegso (debut)

Past players: Nandor Bezzeg (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Kristian Kaufmann (2012), Zsolt Meszaros (2013, 2014), Gabor Takacs (2015), Patrik Kovacs (2016)

Past appearances: 5 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Canada (June 2, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Canada, Austria, England, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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Despite having no established names, Bezzeg and Kovacs led Hungary to first round victories the last two years – over Sweden and then Thailand.

However, debutants Mester and Vegso will represent them in 2017, with the duo having impressed in European Tour Eastern European qualifiers this year.

They are tasked with reaching the second round for the third year in succession, and have an outside chance against Canada, who they lost to 5-3 in 2012.

Hungary’s prize for beating the North Americans would likely be a meeting with neighbouring nation Austria.

Republic of Ireland

2017 team: Mick McGowan (4th appearance) and William O’Connor (7th)

Past players: Connie Finnan (2013, 2014, 2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Poland (June 1, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Poland, Wales, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 150/1

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A number of arrowsmiths have hailed from Ireland over the years, but it might be a surprise to know that they’ve never got past the second round at the PDC World Cup of Darts.

They’ve reached that stage five times, however – only being winless in 2014.

Their first round meeting with Poland is a repeat of when they thrashed them 5-0 in 2015, but the Polish have improved a lot since and were without key man Krzysztof Ratajski that year.

McGowan and O’Connor have played together in this tournament three times, but this clash could go right down to the wire.

Italy

2017 team: Daniele Petri (5th appearance) and Gabriel Rollo (debut)

Past players: Matteo Dal Monte (2013), Marco Brentegani (2014, 2015), Michel Furlani (2016)

Past appearances: 4 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: First round/Group stage (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: USA (June 2, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: USA, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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Italy are still winless in this tournament after four attempts, and Petri has played in them all.

He is partnered with debutant Rollo this time around, after three others before him have failed to inspire their nation to a maiden win.

Even if they manage to beat the USA, they would most likely have to take on darting giants the Netherlands in the second round.

The Italians gave a decent try of it in 2014, though, when they managed to take two legs off Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld.

Japan

2017 team: Haruki Muramatsu (7th appearance) and Yuki Yamada (debut)

Past players: Taro Yachi (2010), Morihiro Hashimoto (2012, 2014, 2015), Sho Katsumi (2013), Keita Ono (2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2013)

First 2017 opponents: Spain (June 1, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Spain, Scotland, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

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This will certainly be an emotional World Cup for Japan, as Hashimoto – a three-time participant – sadly passed away earlier this year aged just 40.

The former Japan Masters star, who twice played in the PDC Worlds main draw, will always be remembered for his charismatic displays.

Japan face a tough opening first task this year against a rapidly rising Spain, who they lost to 6-3 at this stage in 2010.

Muramatsu was present that day, and has ever since for the Asian nation. He’s back to partner debutant Yamada.

Netherlands (3rd seeds)

2017 team: Michael van Gerwen (5th appearance) and Raymond van Barneveld (7th)

Past players: Co Stompe (2010), Vincent van der Voort (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Champions (2010, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: Czech Republic (June 2, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Czech Republic, USA, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 5/4 (favourites)

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Onto the nation hoping to win back the World Cup trophy, after losing 2016’s final and going out in the semis the year before.

World number one Van Gerwen and two-time champion of this event Barney team up for the fifth straight year, despite Jelle Klaasen being ranked above the latter.

Van Barneveld’s lower ranking makes the Dutch third seeds, but it does not stop the bookies making them slight tournament favourites.

It was Mighty Mike that ultimately let them down last year, losing out to Lewis in a decider for the title, which will make him all the more determined.

The Netherlands open up against Czech Republic, which should be no trouble for them and a nice start to the tournament to help settle any nerves.

New Zealand

2017 team: Cody Harris (2nd appearance) and Rob Szabo (3rd)

Past players: Phillip Hazel (2010, 2013), Warren Parry (2010, 2015, 2016), Warren French (2012), Preston Ridd (2012), Craig Caldwell (2013, 2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2010, 2015)

First 2017 opponents: Belgium (June 1, 21:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Belgium, Greece, Scotland, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 250/1

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New Zealand will be hoping to rely on emerging talent Harris, who makes his second World Cup appearance, and he’ll be partnered by the experienced Szabo this time.

Harris has been winning tournaments left, right and centre Down Under, and will hope to convert that form onto the oche in Frankfurt.

Szabo missed out on a place last year, but has played twice before, helping the Kiwis to a tight first round victory over Canada in 2015.

It’ll be a big shock if New Zealand beat Belgium, who always do well in this event, though. A winnable second round tie is on the cards if they somehow do.

Northern Ireland (6th seeds)

2017 team: Daryl Gurney (2nd appearance) and Brendan Dolan (7th)

Past players: John MaGowan (2010), Michael Mansell (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Semi-finals (2016)

First 2017 opponents: Germany (June 2, 21:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Germany, Brazil/Switzerland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 40/1 (joint-7th favourites)

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Northern Ireland are genuine dark horses for the title, as in-form Gurney and the first ever player to throw a double-start 9-darter Dolan are both capable of conjuring up magic.

They can certainly aim to match their feat of reaching the semis last year, though first have to see off Germany in front of a partisan home crowd.

The sixth seeds also have a potentially tricky run from the quarter-finals, with the Netherlands, England and then Scotland all possible opponents in a row.

Poland

2017 team: Krzysztof Ratajski (4th appearance) and Tytus Kanik (2nd appearance)

Past players: Krzysztof Kciuk (2010, 2013), Krzysztof Chmielewski (2014), Krzysztof Strozyk (2014), Mariusz Paul (2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 5 (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2013, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: Ireland (June 1, 20:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Ireland, Wales, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

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What is it about Polish darts players with the forename Krzysztof? A total of four have represented them at the World Cup of Darts.

Ratajski is the most famous of them all and was part of the team that reached the second round in 2013.

The 40-year-old has gained a lot of experience this year, after dominating his regional qualifiers to take part in all 2017 European Tour events to date.

Ratajski partners Kanik, one of only two Polish players in World Cup history not called Krzysztof, this year for the first time.

Poland will hope to do a lot better than when they lost 5-0 to upcoming opponents Republic of Ireland in 2015.

Russia

2017 team: Boris Koltsov (3rd appearance) and Aleksandr Oreshkin (2nd)

Past players: Anastasia Dobromyslova (2010), Roman Konchikov (2010), Evgenii Zhukov (2014), Evgenii Izotov (2014), Aleksei Kadochnikov (2015)

Past appearances: 4 (2010, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2010)

First 2017 opponents: Hong Kong (June 1, 19:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Hong Kong, Australia, Wales, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

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Female player Dobromyslova has been the face of Russian darts for many years, and even took part in the 2010 World Cup when they beat Gibraltar.

Russia haven’t won a match since Dobromyslova’s only appearance, despite having now used seven players throughout the years.

Current pairing Koltsov and the eccentric Oreshkin are the only duo to have taken part in this event multiple times, and play together for the second year in succession.

It’s fair to say Russia have been very unlucky, however, as they were drawn against the Netherlands, Australia and Australia the last three years.

They finally have a winnable tie this time around, but still shouldn’t underestimate Hong Kong.

Scotland (1st seeds)

2017 team: Gary Anderson (6th appearance) and Peter Wright (4th)

Past players: Robert Thornton (2010, 2013, 2014, 2016)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2015)

First 2017 opponents: Singapore (June 1, 22:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Singapore, Spain, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 6/4 (2nd favourites)

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Scotland are top seeds for a very good reason, that Anderson and Wright are numbers two and three respectively in the PDC rankings.

Between them, they’ll be making their 10th World Cup appearance in total, but this will only be the third time they’ve been paired together.

They are known not to be the best of friends, but they’re both highly professional and driven so will be sure to put disagreements to one side as they chase a maiden triumph in this tournament.

Anderson and Wright teamed up when Scotland were runners-up in 2015, and have both arguably gone up a level or two since – particularly Snakebite, who is perhaps the form player of 2017.

Singapore are their first opponents, as they were when they beat them 5-1 in 2015 on the way to reaching the final.

Singapore

2017 team: Paul Lim (4th appearance) and Harith Lim (4th)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Second round (2014, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Scotland (June 1, 22:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Scotland, Spain, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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Singapore are taking part in their fourth World Cup, and have always been represented by Paul and Harith Lim (not related).

The former will always have a place in darting folklore, having thrown the first-ever World Championship nine-darter way back in 1990.

He may now be 63 years old, but still has the ability to trouble the best in the world – as he did when he rattled Van Gerwen in last year’s Shanghai Masters.

Singapore have reached the second round twice from their three appearances, when they upset the Republic of Ireland (in 2014) and South Africa (2016).

Their only opening round defeat was to Scotland, 5-1, but they face them first again.

South Africa

2017 team: Devon Petersen (6th appearance) and Deon Oliver (debut)

Past players: Shawn Hogan (2012, 2013), Charl Pietersen (2013), Graham Filby (2014, 2015, 2016)

Past appearances: 5 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: Quarter-finals (2012, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: Sweden (June 2, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Sweden, England, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

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South Africa nearly always make an impression at the World Cup, and have even twice reached the quarters against the odds.

That is mainly down to their star player Petersen, though he did also miscount in 2012 against Wales which ultimately cost them a place in the semis.

The only African nation to have taken part in this event lost in the opening round for the first time last year, losing 5-1 to Singapore, but Petersen and dubutant Oliver will hope to get back to winning ways when they take on Sweden.

Will they regret picking talented youngster Warrick Scheffer, who was unable to take part in South Africa’s qualifiers to partner Petersen, though?

Spain

2017 team: Cristo Reyes (3rd appearance) and Antonio Alcinas (7th)

Past players: Carlos Rodriguez (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Semi-finals (2010)

First 2017 opponents: Japan (June 1, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Japan, Scotland, Belgium, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 100/1

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While Alcinas has taken part in all six of Spain’s previous World Cup campaigns and helped them to the semis in 2010, Reyes is well and truly the star of the team.

The Canary Islands native is only playing in his third tournament, but has established himself as a top player on the PDC circuit.

Spain put in decent showings the last two years with this current pair, and should have enough quality to knock out Japan.

They likely face a second round battle with top seeds Scotland, who they’ve surprisingly beaten both times they’ve met in the World Cup (in 2010 and 2013). Gary Anderson was present on those occasions too.

Sweden

2017 team: Magnus Caris (7th appearance) and Daniel Larsson (3rd)

Past players: Par Riihonen (2010, 2013), Dennis Nilsson (2012), Peter Sajwani (2014)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Second round (2010, 2012, 2014)

First 2017 opponents: South Africa (June 2, 20:30 BST)

Potential run to final: South Africa, England, Austria, Netherlands, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

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Veteran Caris has been in the game longer than most, and is still going strong, having recently reached the 2017 Gibraltar Trophy quarters.

The 48-year-old has played in every World Cup to date, and partners Larsson for the third straight year.

They are still without a win together, though, having suffered disappointing defeats to Hungary and fellow Scandinavians Denmark.

Caris will hope his recent resurgence in the game can inspire to his fourth World Cup first round win.

Switzerland

2017 team: Patrick Rey (debut) and Philipp Ruckstuhl (debut)

Past players: N/A

Past appearances: Debut

Best performance: N/A

First 2017 opponents: Brazil (June 2, 21:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Brazil, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

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Switzerland were only handed their World Cup debut this year after Latvia pulled out at the last minute, and they’ll hope to seize their opportunity with both hands.

They face fellow first timers Brazil, but go into the clash as slight outsiders.

Their best-known player Thomas Junghans was originally named in their two-man team, but the 2015 BDO World Masters semi-finalist was later replaced by Rey.

It could be a low-scoring, but tense first round affair with Brazil.

Thailand

2017 team: Thanawat Gaweenuntawong (4th appearance) and Attapol Eupakaree (3rd)

Past players: Watanyu Charoonroj (2014)

Past appearances: 3 (2014, 2015, 2016)

Best performance: First round (2014, 2015, 2016)

First 2017 opponents: Greece (June 1, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Greece, Belgium, Scotland, Australia/Wales, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 1000/1

More info
Thailand and Gaweenuntawong are playing in their fourth World Cup, with Eupakaree his partner for the third successive year.

The nation are still winless, but have faced England and Northern Ireland in tough first round battles.

They have a decent chance against Greece this year, but are still rated the outsiders.

USA

2017 team: Darin Young (7th appearance) and Larry Butler (5th)

Past players: Bill Davis (2010), Gary Mawson (2012)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Group stage/quarter-finals (2010, 2012)

First 2017 opponents: Italy (June 2, 19:00 BST)

Potential run to final: Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland

Betway tournament odds: 500/1

More info
Butler is another blast from the past to take part in this year’s World Cup, as he’ll be forever known as the first person to win the World Matchplay (back in 1994).

The Eagle knows his teammate Young very well, having played in this competition together a total of four times – as well as in many other events back in their homeland.

However, Young was partnered with others for the USA’s best runs to date in this tournament (in 2010 and 2012) in reaching the last eight.

They should certainly have no troubles against Italy, but won’t be looking forward to a probable second round duel with the Netherlands, who they lost to 5-2 in 2015.

Wales (4th seeds)

2017 team: Gerwyn Price (2nd appearance) and Mark Webster (7th)

Past players: Barrie Bates (2010), Richie Burnett (2012, 2013, 2014), Jamie Lewis (2015)

Past appearances: 6 (all)

Best performance: Runners-up (2010)

First 2017 opponents: Finland (June 1, 22:30 BST)

Potential run to final: Finland, Ireland/Poland, Australia, Scotland, England/Netherlands

Betway tournament odds: 33/1 (joint-5th favourites)
The final team of our 2017 World Cup of Darts nation profiles is Wales, who like Northern Ireland have a side capable of causing an upset.

Also like their fellow British country, they have a good blend of hungry and in-form talent (Price) and someone with great big stage experience (2008 BDO world champion and 2010 World Cup finalist Webster).

The duo didn’t quite hit it off as well as Gurney and Dolan last year, as they lost out to Canada in the second round, but 2017 UK Open runner-up Price in particular has improved a great amount.

Wales have a favourable-looking first couple of rounds this year compared to others, and certainly have a great chance of beating Australia and reaching the semis, if either get that far.

Michael van Gerwen Denies Wright Betway Premier League Glory

Michael van Gerwen Denies Wright Betway Premier League Glory

Michael van Gerwen Denies Wright Betway Premier League Glory
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN punished six missed match darts from Peter Wright as he retained the Betway Premier League title on a remarkable finale to the 2017 season at The O2 in London on Thursday.

World number three Wright had looked set to mark his first appearance in the Premier League’s Play-offs by going all the way to glory when he followed up an amazing semi-final win over Phil Taylor by leading Van Gerwen 10-9.

However, six missed darts at double 16 and eight allowed Van Gerwen to level and force a deciding leg, which he began with a ninth 180 of the final and ended with an 88 finish for a 12-dart winning leg.

The triumph earned Van Gerwen a tournament record £250,000 first prize – plus a £25,000 league leader’s bonus after topping the regular season’s league table for a fifth straight year – and saw him win a third Premier League title.

Van Gerwen had begun the night with a 10-7 win over Gary Anderson as the world’s top two ranked players clashed at the semi-final stage.

Van Gerwen had pulled clear from seven-all to claim his spot in the decider, despite Anderson firing in seven 180s and a 160 checkout, before then seeing Wright and Taylor fight out a tension-filled 19-leg semi-final.

Wright led 4-0 and took out 120 for a 6-3 cushion before Taylor reeled off four straight legs to move himself ahead.

Taylor also led 9-8, but was left to rue a missed match dart at tops as Wright levelled before winning the decider to end the 56-year-old legend’s hopes of winning a seventh Premier League title in his farewell to the event.

Wright carried that momentum into the final as he took leads of 3-0 and 5-1 with the aid of two key breaks of throw, and after Van Gerwen hit back in leg seven the Scot fired in legs of 11 and 14 darts to open up a 7-2 cushion.

Van Gerwen took the next two to kick-start his challenge, before an 11-darter featured the first of six 180s in as many legs as the reigning champion fought back to level at eight-all.

Wright took the 17th as he replied to a Van Gerwen maximum with one of his own before taking out 84 to lead 9-8, and a 96 finish then moved him 10-9 up and within touching distance of the title.

Wright then opened the 20th leg with scores of 140, 180 and 149 to leave 32 after nine darts, only to miss a dart at double 16 and five darts at double eight for glory.

Van Gerwen hit double ten to force a deciding leg, opening up with a huge 180 against the throw before taking out 88 for a 12-darter as double four completed a brilliant fightback.

“It’s a fantastic moment for me,” said Van Gerwen. “I think that was a great final and I’m really glad I can walk away with this trophy again.

“I missed a few chances and Peter finished well, he did what he had to do but after the break I played really well and I had a great comeback.

“Peter started playing well again and I don’t know how he missed six darts for the match. A player of his quality normally hits the double, but for some reason he missed them. This was a really crazy game.

“Peter was really close today but I kept myself relaxed and stepped in at the right moment. It’s been great, absolutely fantastic.”

Wright takes home £120,000 as the runner-up, having fallen agonisingly short of winning his second televised title, following March’s success in the UK Open which is one of seven tournament wins so far in 2017.

“Well done to the champion, fair play to Michael,” said Wright. “It’s been a good season, the top two players finished one and two.

“By the end of tonight that’s gone, and Michael will know I’ve let him off.

“I can’t believe I missed so many darts at a double. You can’t have five darts at a double to beat the number one in the world and double World Champion, and it’s something I’ve got to learn.

“I’ll go back to the practice board and then get him next time. At the moment I think I should have won, but that’s gone and I’ll start to think about the next tournament.

“You’ve got to learn to lose before you win, and I’m not going to lose any more – the wins are coming.”

Taylor’s semi-final defeat was his last of 207 Premier League appearances since he led the inception of the event in 2005, with his wins in the first four years followed by further titles in 2010 and 2012.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a final title, Taylor said: “I’m fine – I had my chances and didn’t take them.

“The crowd gave me so much inspiration, and it was just a couple of shots that I missed, that’s all.

“I went in front and then went nervous – I could feel my heart beating – maybe because it’s my last one. Peter was the better player, I can’t fault him; he held his bottle and hit the right shot at the right time.”

Betway Premier League Play-Offs
Thursday May 18, The O2, London
Semi-Finals
Michael van Gerwen 10-7 Gary Anderson
Peter Wright 10-9 Phil Taylor

Final
Michael van Gerwen 11-10 Peter Wright

Gibraltar Darts Trophy Media Release

Gibraltar Darts Trophy Media Release

Gibraltar Darts Trophy Media Release
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG

DARTS superstar Peter Wright will be joined by three former World Champions in the field for the 2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy, which will be held from May 12-14 at the Victoria Stadium.

The £135,000 tournament, which forms part of the PDC European Tour, returns for a fifth successive year as a 48-player field competes across two days on stage.

Four players from Gibraltar will be part of the action, with the Host Nation Qualifier on Thursday May 11 allowing local hopefuls the chance to secure a spot in the event.

Gibraltar’s Dyson Parody enjoyed a dream weekend when he qualified last year – winning through to the quarter-finals – and he will be joined in the Host Nation Qualifier by Dylan Duo, who will be his partner in the Betway World Cup of Darts in June in Frankfurt.

This year’s top stars in action in the Gibraltar Darts Trophy include the 2017 UK Open champion Peter “Snakebite” Wright, whose colourful outfits and hair are matched by a flamboyant walk-on which has helped to make the world number three into a crowd favourite worldwide.

Wright has already won two of the three European Tour events held so far this year, and will be the number one seed for the Gibraltar Darts Trophy.

2014 Gibraltar Darts Trophy winner James Wade will be back on “The Rock” as he bids to win his second title in the event, while former World Champions Adrian Lewis, Jelle Klaasen and Steve Beaton are also in action.

Premier League stars Dave Chisnall and Kim Huybrechts, European Championship finalist Mensur Suljovic and Spain’s Cristo Reyes are also set to compete in the tournament.

A further eight European Qualifiers will be discovered on May 4, before the Host Nation Qualifier on May 11 completes the field and is followed by the draw.

Tickets for the Gibraltar Darts Trophy are available now through www.buytickets.gi. For further details, see www.pdc.tv/tickets.

Travel Packages (not including tickets) can be booked through

Thomas Cook – www.thomascook.com
My Gibraltar – www.mygibraltar.co.uk
SuperBreak – www.superbreak.com
British Airways – www.britishairways.com

For enquiries, please contact the Ministry of Sports, City Hall via +350 200 47592 or via email at mschy.info@gibraltar.gov.gi.

Tickets will also be available in person at the event.

 

2017 Gibraltar Darts Trophy
Tercentenary Hall, Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar
Friday May 12

Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)

First Round x8
Table Tickets £10
Tier Tickets £5

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)

First Round x8
Table Tickets £15
Tier Tickets £5

Saturday May 13

Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)

Second Round x8

Table Tickets £12
Tier Tickets £5

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)

Second Round x8

Table Tickets £20
Tier Tickets £5

Sunday May 14

Afternoon Session (1pm-5pm)

Third Round x8

Table Tickets £15
Tier Tickets £5

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)

Quarter-Finals
Semi-Finals
Final

Table Tickets £20
Tier Tickets £5

Season Tickets (All Sessions)

Table Season Ticket £50
Tier Season Ticket £25

Ticket prices above subject to booking fee & sold subject to standard PDC Terms & Conditions available at www.pdc.tv/tickets.

 

Competitors

1 Peter Wright
2 Mensur Suljovic
3 Simon Whitlock
4 Dave Chisnall
5 James Wade
6 Kim Huybrechts
7 Benito van de Pas
8 Gerwyn Price
9 Alan Norris
10 Jelle Klaasen
11 Ian White
12 Michael Smith
13 Joe Cullen
14 Daryl Gurney
15 Cristo Reyes
16 Stephen Bunting

Seeded Players (Enter at Second Round stage)

 

Qualifiers (Enter at First Round stage)

UK Qualifiers x18: Paul Nicholson, Darren Johnson, Alan Tabern, Steve Beaton, James Wilson, Adrian Lewis, Chris Quantock, James Richardson, Darren Webster, Justin Pipe, Richie Corner, Callan Rydz, John Henderson, Matt Clark, Matthew Dennant, Jonny Clayton, Ritchie Edhouse, Rob Cross

European Qualifiers x8: TBC May 4
Host Nation Qualifiers x4: TBC May 11
East Europe Qualifier: Krzysztof Ratajski
PDCNB Qualifier: Magnus Caris

Betway Premier League - Week 11 Round-Up

Betway Premier League – Week 11 Round-Up

Betway Premier League - Week 11 Round-Up
BETWAY PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS 2017
ECHO ARENA,LIVERPOOL,
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V PETER WRIGHT

ADRIAN LEWIS landed his fifth televised nine-dart finish as he recorded a 7-4 Betway Premier League win over Raymond van Barneveld at the Echo Arena, Liverpool on Thursday.

The Stoke superstar put himself in line for a £15,000 bonus as he achieved perfection for the fifth time on TV – and third time against Van Barneveld on the big stage – with a moment of magic at the Echo Arena.

Lewis had already taken out a 140 finish as he led 2-0, with Van Barneveld having taken out 128 to reply in leg three before opening the fourth with a 180.

Lewis replied in kind before adding another maximum, and then took out the 141 finish to complete the eighth nine-darter in the history of the Premier League – and the first since his own perfect leg against James Wade last April.

Van Barneveld pulled back from 4-1 down to trail 5-3, but Lewis went on to seal his sixth win of the season by taking out 81 on the bull, ending the match with a season-best 111.52 average.

“It’s really special and a great feeling,” said Lewis. “I’ve been threatening a nine-darter for the last couple of weeks in the floor tournaments and tonight I was determined not to miss it.

“The nine-darter’s great but to get the win was important too. I knew I had to put in a performance and tonight I’ve come out a champion.

“Ray’s been on a purple patch and even after I hit the nine-darter he was digging in and keeping me under pressure. It keeps me in the mix for the Play-Offs, I’ve won five games out of six and it’s brilliant.”

Two-time Premier League champion Gary Anderson moved up to third in the league table as he claimed three points in Liverpool with a draw against Chisnall and a sensational 7-2 defeat of Peter Wright.

In the night’s opening game, Anderson snatched a draw with Chisnall in a dramatic deciding leg as the Merseyside thrower missed seven darts for victory.

Anderson had hit back from 3-1 down with four straight legs to lead 5-3, only for Chisnall to hit two 180s in an 11-darter to respond and finishes of tops and 74 to move 6-5 up.

Chisnall then scored 180, 121 and 180 to leave 20 after nine darts in the final leg, only to miss seven darts at doubles for the win, allowing Anderson back in to hit double ten and share the points.

“I thought the game deserved to be a draw,” said Chisnall. “Gary missed a few doubles earlier on and I did at the end – I could have nicked it, but that’s darts.

“It’s swings and roundabouts in this game, and if you don’t hit the double you don’t win. It was just that one leg at the end that cost me.

“I’m happy with a point and I still believe I can qualify – there’s five games left and if I win all them and the other results go my way then you never know.”

Anderson, though, was in top form as he defeated high-flying Wright with a 113.44 average in a ruthless display to record his highest average of the season.

Wright had taken out 116 to win the opening leg with a 12-darter and also led 2-1 before Anderson turned the match with successive 12-darters, before following a 14-darter with a ten-dart finish to lead 5-2.

A 126 bullseye finish secured a minimum of a draw, before he landed a sixth 180 in a 13-darter to complete a brilliant performance as he moved up to third place, just a point behind Wright.

“It’s been a good night,” said Anderson. “I scraped a point against Dave but I played well there against Peter.

“I was lucky against Chizzy at the end. I was 5-3 up and hit a wall but he missed and I pinched a point and I was happy with that.

“In the last game I think I played alright. Sometimes you know they’re going to go in when you let go and it felt good, it felt like they were going the way they should be.”

Earlier in the evening, Michael van Gerwen came from 3-0, 5-1 and 6-3 down to claim a draw with Wright in a dramatic finale to their contest, as the UK Open champion missed two match darts across the last three legs.

Wright had punished missed doubles from the Dutchman in the opening three legs as he took leads of 4-0 and 5-1, and he secured at least a point by moving into a 6-3 advantage.

A missed tops for a 160 finish in the tenth leg allowed Van Gerwen to keep his hopes alive before the reigning champion took out an 11-darter to force a deciding leg.

The pair were neck-and-neck as they battled out a thrilling finale, with Wright missing double 16 to complete a 62 finish to allow Van Gerwen in to take out 68 as he claimed a point.

“I should have had two points,” said Van Gerwen. “One point is not enough and if you don’t win you always need to make sure you’re frustrated with yourself.

“At the beginning of the game I missed doubles – I could have been 2-1 or 3-0 up – so after that you are happy to get a point. I can only blame myself, I played rubbish.”

James Wade kept his Play-Off hopes alive by defeating Phil Taylor 7-5, ending a four-game losing run by taking the final three legs against the legendary 16-time World Champion.

Taylor twice led by two legs, at 2-0 and 5-3, but Wade crucially punished five missed doubles from his opponent in a key ninth leg, levelled on double six and then took out 120 before sealing victory with an 87 finish for back-to-back 12-darters.

“It’s hard when you’re struggling and I tortured myself for 80 percent of the game,” said Wade. “I’ve given a few games away and I’m where I am because I haven’t played well enough.

“Phil played poorly and I made the most of it, but I’ve been practising hard and that showed in the last few legs.”

The Betway Premier League continues next Thursday at The SSE Arena in Belfast, where Taylor clashes with Anderson and Chisnall, who also faces Lewis.

Van Gerwen takes on Van Barneveld – who celebrates his 50th birthday in Belfast – while Wright takes on Wade. For tickets, call 028 9073 9074 or 0844 277 4455 or visit www.ssearenabelfast.com

Betway Premier League
Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool

Gary Anderson 6-6 Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen 6-6 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 7-4 Raymond van Barneveld – Adrian Lewis Hits Nine-Dart Finish
Phil Taylor 5-7 James Wade
Peter Wright 2-7 Gary Anderson

League Table

  P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen 11 7 3 1 +21 26 17
Peter Wright 12 6 3 3 +11 21 15
Gary Anderson 12 5 4 3 +11 28 14
Raymond van Barneveld 12 6 2 4 +6 24 14
Phil Taylor 11 5 3 3 +7 26 13
Adrian Lewis 11 6 1 4 +7 22 13
James Wade 12 4 2 6 -8 20 10
Dave Chisnall 11 3 2 6 -16 17 8
Jelle Klaasen (E) 9 1 1 7 -16 15 3
Kim Huybrechts (E) 9 0 3 6 -23 11 3

Betway Premier League – Week 11 Preview

Peter Wright and Gary Anderson will do battle in week 11 of the Betway Premier League in Liverpool.
Photo : Lawrence Lustig / PDC

As Week 11 of the Betway Premier League hits Liverpool there are some tasty matches in prospect.

One player who will be under pressure to perform is Peter Wright, who goes up against both Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson. 

Wright is in form at the minute, taking the UK Open title last month. He seems to be playing with freedom now that he’s finally got the first Major title worry off his back. 

Speaking about his matches, Wright said: “It’s a big night for me, every point is vital and you can’t relax.”

If Wright wins both his games, he’ll go two points ahead at the top. If he loses them, he may drop out of the top four. 

Coming off a well-earned draw in Dublin last week, St. Helens man Dave Chisnall will hope to put two points on the board against Gary Anderson in the first game of the night. He will hope that a 106 average is good enough to see him through this time. Speaking about his ‘home crowd’ Liverpool, he said: “It’s special, it’s probably one of my favourites to go to.” A win for Chisnall would possibly put him above 7th placed James Wade, but Chisnall hopes to build momentum. He said: “I’m trying and I’ll never write off being in the top four, but I’ve got to put games to bed. If I’m 6-3 up I’ve got to win them so I’ll work on that because I slacked off against Peter.

Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld goes up against Adrian Lewis in a playoff battle. At this stage, every point counts and both will be gunning for two points. Barney said: “I’m playing well and to win five games out of six is amazing. I’m still there and I’m not giving up.” He was also full of praise for Adrian, who is in form and coming off a Players Championship 5 win. RvB admitted: “Adrian’s playing well. For a few weeks, he wasn’t playing his A-game, but he won a floor tournament the other weekend, and if he hits his triples and his doubles he is hard to beat.”

Adrian, who may be in form, is not being complacent. “Every game’s different and I know if I turn up I’ve got a good chance, but I’ve had some belters with Raymond in the past,” said Lewis, who overcame Anderson 7-3 last week.

Another clash sure to deliver excitement is Phil Taylor vs James Wade. 

2009 PL Champion Wade, who sits in 7th spot behind Adrian Lewis, had one of the games of his life last week in Dublin. He hopes to get his first win in 4 games. Despite the statistics, he recorded a 110 average versus Michael van Gerwen last week, and still lost 7-5. 

Six time champion Phil Taylor will want to remain in the Top 4 also. This game could go either way and the PL table may look very different after this week. 

The 8,000 strong Liverpudlian crowd are sure to be in for a treat this week, with some massive clashes on the cards. Michael van Gerwen hopes to extend his lead, while the likes of Chisnall, Wade & Lewis are all fighting for playoff spots. It’s sure to be a night of titanic tungsten.

Betway Premier League
Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool

Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson

Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or via www.echoarena.co.uk

Betway Premier League - Night Ten Round-Up

Betway Premier League – Night Ten Round-Up

Betway Premier League - Night Ten Round-Up
MAGICAL VAN GERWEN DENIES WADE IN DUBLIN THRILLER

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN produced a moment of magic to snatch victory against James Wade as the Betway Premier League visited Dublin’s 3Arena on Thursday, when Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld also enjoyed wins.

Reigning Premier League champion Van Gerwen maintained his spot at the top of the league table with a scintillating 7-5 win over Wade in a game of the highest quality.

Wade led 4-2 early on after landing three 14-darters and a 13-dart leg, but saw Van Gerwen power ahead with a stunning four-leg burst, sparked by his second 12-darter of the contest, to secure a minimum of a draw at 6-4.

A 12-darter in reply from Wade forced a deciding leg, and the 2009 champion scored 140, 140 and 180 to leave 41 as he chased a draw – only to see Van Gerwen follow a 171 score with a stunning 138 finish to claim both points.

Van Gerwen ended the game with a seasons-best 113.62 average to Wade’s impressive 110.82, and the World Champion said: “A good game comes from two players and James was phenomenal, and I want to give all credit to him.

“It was probably James’ highest average in a long time, so I’m really glad I won it in the end. After I was 4-2 down I knew I had to do something extra if I was going to win the game, and I did that.

“Somehow I managed to do the 171 and the 138 when he was on 41 after nine darts. That takes a lot of capability, pressure and confidence to do that. I’m really glad I won this game and I needed it.”

Six-time Premier League champion Taylor claimed a fine 7-3 victory over Raymond van Barneveld in what could be the great rivals’ final encounter as they met in front of 9,000 fans at the 3Arena.

After the pair traded 121 bullseye checkouts in the early stages, Taylor pulled into a 4-1 lead by taking out 85 and a 13-darter.

Van Barneveld took out 124 as he pulled back to 4-3, but he was crucially unable to level as a pair of double 16 finishes pushed Taylor clear again before he took out 66 to seal victory.

“It’s two points in the bag and it keeps me up there in the league table,” said Taylor. “I’m still enjoying it and still trying to get into the Play-Offs.

“Raymond’s playing some great darts and he always seems to be there, and over the years we’ve had so many great battles. Playing him in Dublin was extra special.”

Van Barneveld later returned to the stage to defeat Wade 7-2, as the left-hander suffered a second defeat on his 34th birthday.

After Wade took the opening leg, Van Barneveld hit two 14-darters to move 3-1 up and also hit legs of 13 and 12 darts in pulling clear with four straight legs to claim the points.

“I was never close to winning the game against Phil but I had to focus and prepare for the game with James because I knew there was another two points to get,” said Van Barneveld.

“Phil played an awesome game and his finishing was fantastic, so fair play to him, he beat me fair and square and it made it hard for me but I’m happy to get the two points against James.”

Peter Wright came from 6-3 down to claim a draw with Dave Chisnall, who ended a three-game losing run in a game where he landed seven 180s and twice set up potential nine-darters.

After Chisnall opened with an 11-darter, legs of 14 and 13 darts from Wright moved him 2-1 up, but Chisnall took two of the next three before moving back ahead with a thrilling 145 finish in leg seven.

He also took the next two legs to secure a minimum of a point at 6-3, but Wright clawed back the next two legs to force a decider and traded maximums with his rival before finishing 64 to snatch a point.

“Obviously I wanted the two points but I didn’t play exceptionally tonight and Dave punished me,” said Wright. “When I was 6-3 down I knew I only had to break Dave’s throw once and I did that, and it’s a good point.

“Dave’s shown the crowd just how well he can play and if he carries on playing the way he is then he’s going to take plenty more points off the guys in the run-up to the finals.”

Chisnall admitted: “I was happy to get the point but also disappointed not to get the two points because I was in control when I went 6-3 up and I slackened off.

“A big thing for me was keeping the darts straight and fluent, and I did that tonight. Peter’s one of the best in the world, a class act, and I knew he would come back at me so a point’s good.”

Adrian Lewis drew level on 11 points in the league table with Gary Anderson as he avenged last week’s defeat to the Scot with a sparkling 7-3 victory.

The pair shared the opening four legs, but Lewis punished a string of missed doubles from his rival to take five of the next six as he secured the win.

“It’s massive,” said Lewis. “It’s all about belief and this showed you can go up there and beat anyone if you believe in yourself.

“Gary beat me last week but every game’s different and I know that if I turn up, I’ve got a good chance and I did the job tonight.

“I knew that if Gary won I was four points behind the top four so it was crucial. Everybody’s trying to get into the top four and I did the job tonight.”

The Betway Premier League continues at the Echo Arena in Liverpool next Thursday, with Anderson and Wright competing twice on the night, while Lewis takes on Van Barneveld in a tasty fixture and Taylor plays Wade in a repeat of two previous Premier League finals.

A limited number of tickets are still available via www.echoarena.co.uk or by calling 0844 8000 400.

Betway Premier League
Night Ten – Thursday April 6
3Arena, Dublin
James Wade 5-7 Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld 3-7 Phil Taylor
Dave Chisnall 6-6 Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis 7-3 Gary Anderson
James Wade 2-7 Raymond van Barneveld

Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool
Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or via www.echoarena.co.uk

League Table

  P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen 10 7 2 1 +21 23 16
Peter Wright 10 6 2 2 +16 18 14
Raymond van Barneveld 11 6 2 3 +9 23 14
Phil Taylor 10 5 3 2 +9 24 13
Gary Anderson 10 4 3 3 +6 22 11
Adrian Lewis 10 5 1 4 +4 20 11
James Wade 11 3 2 6 -10 16 8
Dave Chisnall 10 3 1 6 -16 14 7
Jelle Klaasen (E) 9 1 1 7 -16 15 3
Kim Huybrechts (E) 9 0 3 6 -23 11 3
Betway Premier League - Night Ten Preview

Betway Premier League – Night Ten Preview

Betway Premier League - Night Ten PreviewBARNEY & WADE DOUBLE UP AS BETWAY PREMIER LEAGUE VISITS DUBLIN

RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD is bidding to extend his fine run of form in the Betway Premier League when he doubles up alongside James Wade as the tournament visits Dublin’s 3Arena on Thursday.

Dutch star Van Barneveld is on the season’s best run after winning four successive games during March, and could move top of the Premier League table as he competes twice in Dublin.

The 2014 champion will play great rival Phil Taylor first, before returning to the stage against left-hander Wade for the night’s final contest.

“I’m happy with how it’s going,” said Van Barneveld. “I’ve won the last four matches now and I’ve got to take it one game at a time this week.

“It’s a big night for me and I’m excited. The fans are fantastic everywhere and always in Ireland, and I love that.

“I want to take advantage of that and I’m enjoying it, and if I’m enjoying myself then Raymond van Barneveld is dangerous!”

Taylor sits a point behind Van Barneveld following back-to-back wins, and the 16-time World Champion is excited by what could be his final big-stage battle with Van Barneveld.

“I’m going okay – I’ve got 11 points and the aim is to get into the Play-Offs,” said Taylor. “That’s what I’m working towards and every point is crucial.

“It’s going to be noisy in Dublin and I’ll look forward to it, especially as I’m playing Barney. I always look forward to playing Barney and I enjoy it.

“It was close when we last played and I love playing him more than anyone. He’s like Ronnie O’Sullivan or Eric Bristow, it’s special, and I love the occasions.”

The night’s opening game sees Wade taking on league leader Michael van Gerwen, with the World Champion in confident mood after picking up the season’s biggest margin of victory with a 7-1 defeat of Dave Chisnall last week.

“I’m feeling good and I’m top of the table, and I want to carry on with these performances,” said Van Gerwen.

“I’ve played okay so far this season but there’s more in the tank to come and I’m going to need it later in the tournament.

“I’ve got to make sure I focus on the game with James and I want to get another two points in front of a great crowd in Dublin. I’ve got great memories there and I want to keep believing in myself and keep my performances going.”

Chisnall sits in eighth place going into the second phase of the season, and is five points adrift of the top four ahead of his key clash with high-flying Peter Wright.

“It’s a massive night for me,” said Chisnall. “If I can get a result I believe I can get on a good run to put the pressure on the others.

“I haven’t been playing that badly but it’s been frustrating for me, but it’s still in my hands and I’ve got to get the results.”

The night’s other game sees Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis clash for the second successive week, with the Scot having picked up a superb 7-3 victory a week ago.

“I was really pleased with the win last week and the average was better than I thought, but this is a new game and anything could happen,” said Anderson.

“When Adrian’s on form we all know how good he can be and he’s been playing well recently, so I’m looking forward to it. We’re all fighting to get in the top four now and every game’s important now.”

The Betway Premier League at Dublin’s 3Arena will begin at 7pm on Thursday, live on Sky Sports and screened worldwide through the PDC’s series of international broadcast partners.

Betway Premier League
Night Ten – Thursday April 6
3Arena, Dublin
James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 0818 719 3000 (Ire) or 0844 8472 455 (UK) or via Ticketmaster

Betway Odds
Tournament Winner – After Night Nine
8/15 Michael van Gerwen
11/2 Peter Wright, Gary Anderson
12/1 Raymond van Barneveld
16/1 Phil Taylor
50/1 Adrian Lewis
66/1 James Wade
200/1 Dave Chisnall

Night Ten Match Odds
10/1 James Wade
8/1 Draw
1/6 Michael van Gerwen
13/8 Raymond van Barneveld
100/30 Draw
5/4 Phil Taylor
4/1 Dave Chisnall
4/1 Draw
8/15 Peter Wright
100/30 Adrian Lewis
4/1 Draw
8/13 Gary Anderson
3/1 James Wade
7/2 Draw
8/11 Raymond van Barneveld

Odds correct at time of writing and courtesy of www.betway.com. Odds subject to fluctuation.

Betway Premier League - Fixtures Confirmation

Betway Premier League – Fixtures Confirmation

Betway Premier League - Fixtures Confirmation
PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG
PHIL TAYLOR V RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD

The fixtures for the remaining league nights of the 2017 Betway Premier League have been confirmed, as the remaining eight players set their sights on winning Play-Off spots.

Following the elimination of Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts following the opening nine league nights, the remaining eight players will compete in six further nights ahead of the Play-Offs.

Next week’s Night Ten at the 3Arena in Dublin will see James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld compete twice, as they face each other after earlier taking on Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor respectively.

The other two fixtures in Dublin will see Dave Chisnall play Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis meet Gary Anderson.

Night 11 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool will see UK Open champion Peter Wright take on the world’s top two ranked players, Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson, as he doubles up.

Anderson will meet Dave Chisnall, while Lewis plays Van Barneveld and Taylor and Wade face off in a repeat of two Premier League finals.

The tournament’s second visit across the Irish Sea sees Chisnall and Taylor clash at The SSE Arena in Belfast as they double up, with the St Helens man earlier taking on Lewis and the Stoke legend meeting Anderson.

Wright will face Wade, while the Dutch duo of Van Gerwen and Van Barneveld will meet in the other Belfast clash, with the reigning Premier League champion aiming to avenge his defeat in Manchester.

The return to Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on April 27 sees Van Gerwen and Lewis compete twice on the night, facing each other in the final game after earlier taking on Wade and Chisnall respectively.

Taylor takes on Wright and Anderson meets Van Barneveld in the night’s other games.

The final two league nights will each feature four games as the tournament returns to The Sheffield Arena and The GE Oil & Gas Arena in Aberdeen.

The visit to Sheffield will include the meeting between great rivals Van Gerwen and Taylor – a repeat of the 2016 Premier League final – while Wright plays Lewis, Van Barneveld plays Chisnall and Wade takes on Anderson.

The final league night in Aberdeen includes the rematch of the World Championship final between Van Gerwen and Anderson, while Wright plays Van Barneveld, Stoke rivals Taylor and Lewis clash and Chisnall plays Wade.

Following the final league night in Aberdeen, the top four players in the league table progress to compete in the Play-Offs on Thursday May 18 at The O2 in London, with the semi-finals and final in one night.

Betway Premier League

Night Ten – Thursday April 6
3Arena, Dublin

James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld

Tickets: 0818 719 3000 (Ire) or 0844 8472 455 (UK) or via Ticketmaster

Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool

Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson

Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or via www.echoarena.co.uk

Night 12 – Thursday April 20
The SSE Arena, Belfast

Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall v Phil Taylor

Tickets: 028 9073 9074 or 0844 277 4455 or via www.ssearenabelfast.com

Night 13 – Thursday April 27
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham

James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor v Peter Wright
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen

Tickets: 0844 338 8000 or via www.theticketfactory.com

Night 14 – Thursday May 4
The Sheffield Arena

Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor

Tickets: 0114 256 5656 or via www.sheffieldarena.co.uk

Night 15 – Thursday May 11
GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen

Dave Chisnall v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson

Tickets: Sold Out

Play-Offs – Thursday May 18
The O2, London

Semi-Finals
Final

Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or via www.axs.com

Betway Premier League - Week Nine round-up

Betway Premier League – Week Nine round-up

Gary Anderson was in imperious form as he blown away Adrian Lewis in a 7-3 victory as the Scot averaged 107.13 and hit a terrific 170 finish on route.
Photo : Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Week nine of the 2017 Betway Premier League came to Cardiff this evening in which was supposed to be ‘Judgment Night’ but with Kim Huybrechts and Jelle Klaasen eliminated last week in Manchester it was just another week featuring the best eight players in World Darts. Sadly Kim Huybrechts had to withdraw from the evening’s action for personal reasons. The PDC chief-executive Matthew Porter released a statement earlier in the day:

“We all send our best wishes to Kim and his family during what is a particularly difficult period,”

“This was not the way that Kim wanted his Betway Premier League season to end, but the needs of his family are foremost at this time.”

With Huybrechts’ withdrawal, Peter Wright was awarded a 7-0 victory and would not compete in Cardiff, but he delighted the Welsh crowd as he came out to greet fans and go ahead with his world-famous walk on.

The first game of the evening featured Phil Taylor and Jelle Klaasen as the Dutchman was looking to go out on a high. Taylor stamped his authority in the opening leg as he fired an 13-darter, however Klaasen went on to win the next FOUR legs to race into a 4-1 lead courtesy of a 13-darter, but back came ‘The Power’ as he himself went on a four-leg rampage to move 5-4 ahead of the Dutchman which included two 14-darters and a superb 11 darter. Taylor missed a dart at tops to move two legs clear and he was punished to the max by Klaasen as he picked out tops himself for a level game at 5-5. Taylor went on to regain the lead however as he fired in a 14-dart leg as he found D12 for an 81 finish. The 16-time World Champion sealed the victory as he found D8 making the most of a poor leg from Klaasen to take it 7-5.

 

“It’s another two points for me and they could all prove crucial at the end of the season,” said Taylor. “It could prove the difference for getting into the Play-Offs – if I’d lost I think I’d have struggled to qualify.

 

“I think Jelle’s injury affected him, at the beginning he was faring well but during the game he was struggling and he wasn’t the same player. Fair play to him, it must be very frustrating but he’s battled on.”

 

 

The second game of the evening was arguably the game of the night as Gary Anderson faced Adrian Lewis. Anderson was in phenomenal form from the very first dart, he raced into a 1-0 lead courtesy of a 14-darter, Lewis replied immediately as he picked out D10 for a 15-darter. Lewis then provided a moment of brilliance as he hit a 12-darter to break Anderson’s throw to move 2-1 ahead. Lewis missed a dart at tops for a 3-1 lead but he was punished by the Scot as he found D15 to level things up at 2-2 and get the match back on throw. Anderson reeled off three legs on the spin in 15,13 and 12 darts which included a tremendous 143 finish as he raced into a 5-2 lead. He then provided a moment of tungsten delight as he fired in a spectacular 170 finish to secure a point and move 6-2 ahead. Lewis did get it back to 6-3 but Anderson completed the rout hitting a stunning 11-darter in which he fired in his fifth maximum of the match as the Scot averaged a very impressive 107.13 and 7/9 on the doubles.

 

“I didn’t think the performance was as good as the average, but I’ll take it!” said Anderson. “There were some good scores and some bad scores – the 170 felt like it came from nowhere and I took out the 143 too.

 

“We all want to get into the Play-Offs. When the tournament starts you don’t want to be in the bottom two, and once you get past tonight it’s a fight for the top four and everyone’s trying for it.”

 

 

The penultimate game of the evening featured an on-song Raymond van Barneveld who was full of confidence after recent wins over Anderson and Van Gerwen in the Premier League he took on James Wade who hasn’t won against Van Barneveld in their last four meetings. It was a dominant display from Van Barneveld as he raced into a 5-0 lead punishing every error from Wade without really playing his best. Wade did get it back to 5-1 courtesy of a 16-darter but Van Barneveld moved within one of the match as he fired in a terrific 12-dart leg as he took out 87 for a 6-1 advantage. Wade won a scrappy leg to make it 6-2 as he picked out tops for a 70 finish for an 18 dart leg. Van Barneveld completed the victory as he took out D7 to keep his hopes alive of a place in the top four.

 

“That’s four wins on the trot so I’m very happy,” said Van Barneveld. “It’s so tight in the league table so I had to focus and you have to play well against everyone.

 

“James didn’t play as well as he could and I was surprised at that but I’m happy with the win.”

 

 

The Final match of the night featured Michael van Gerwen and Dave Chisnall, Chizzy has struggled it’s fair to say in this year’s Premier League. Van Gerwen raced into a 5-0 lead despite Chisnall’s constant 180 hitting. The Dutchman dominated the match as a whitewash looked very possible. Chisnall had something to say about that though as he picked out tops for a 13-darter to get his first leg on the board. But, unfortunately for ‘Chizzy’ that would be his only leg of the match as Van Gerwen won two legs in just 29 darts to secure a 7-1 win as he made sure his place at the top of the Betway Premier League was safe.

 

“I had to play well tonight and I’m happy that I did,” said Van Gerwen. “The pressure was on me because I want to be back on top of the table where I belong and where I’ve worked hard for.

 

“When you lose a game, like last week, you’re upset but tonight I enjoyed it again. I’m a happy man and I’m already looking forward to next week.”

 

Betway Premier League
Night Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Phil Taylor (97.50) 7-5 Jelle Klaasen (91.78)
Gary Anderson (107.13) 7-3 Adrian Lewis (96.67)
Raymond van Barneveld (95.38) 7-2 James Wade (84.97)
Michael van Gerwen (104.25) 7-1 Dave Chisnall (100.79)

Huybrechts To Miss Betway Premier League In Cardiff

Huybrechts To Miss Betway Premier League In Cardiff

Huybrechts To Miss Betway Premier League In Cardiff

Huybrechts To Miss Betway Premier League In Cardiff

KIM HUYBRECHTS is to miss the Betway Premier League Night Nine in Cardiff on Thursday.

The Belgian was set to play his final game of the season before elimination against Peter Wright at the Motorpoint Arena, but has withdrawn for family reasons.

Huybrechts has informed the PDC that he is unable to travel to the UK, in order to remain with his terminally ill mother in Belgium during her final hours.

As the withdrawal comes in Week Nine and with Huybrechts already eliminated from the event, under the tournament rules the game will not be rescheduled.

Peter Wright will now be awarded a 7-0 win, and will not compete in Cardiff on Thursday.

“We all send our best wishes to Kim and his family during what is a particularly difficult period,” said PDC Chief Executive Matt Porter.

“This was not the way that Kim wanted his Betway Premier League season to end, but the needs of his family are foremost at this time.”

The revised order of play for Thursday’s Betway Premier League will now be as follows:

Betway Premier League
Night Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall