Reigning champion Gary Anderson and Rob Cross were eliminated from the 2019 Paddy Power Champions League of Darts in Saturday’s opening day in Leicester as Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen secured semi-final spots.
A dramatic start to the £250,000 tournament saw Anderson produce some outstanding darts, only to lose to both Michael Smith and James Wade.
Smith came from 3-0 and 5-1 down to defeat the Scot 10-7 in the afternoon session at the Morningside Arena, before Wade came from 9-7 down to snatch victory in a dramatic deciding leg.
Those results, coupled with two victories for world number one Van Gerwen, mean that Anderson now cannot qualify for the semi-finals on Sunday evening, with Smith and Wade facing a shoot-out to join the Dutchman in the last four.
Van Gerwen was in irresistible form as he followed up last week’s World Grand Prix triumph with two confident victories, averaging over 100 as he saw off both Wade and Smith.
The World Champion came from 4-2 down to defeat Wade 10-8, claiming the final two legs to break the deadlock, before fending off Smith’s fightback from 5-0 down to eventually close out a 10-6 triumph in a strong day.
“I’m very pleased,” said Van Gerwen. “It’s always nice to win your first two games and you can see my confidence.
“I’m playing good darts and I want to do well here because I’ve never won this tournament before and that’s my goal this weekend.
“I’m through to the semi-finals but I still want to win my last game on Sunday afternoon against Gary. It’s always great playing him and I want to keep this form going into the semi-finals.”
Wade showed his class to deny Anderson a match dart in their Group A clash after falling 9-7 down, following a 14-darter with a brilliant 121 checkout to force a deciding leg which he won on tops with his rival waiting on 40.
“I’m happy because I’ve still got a chance,” said Wade. “In my opinion, Gary’s the best player in the world when he’s on form but I did enough at the right times and did the job.
“I was quite disappointed to lose to Michael but Gary gave me the opportunities and I made the most of it.”
In Group B, Peter Wright secured his qualification for the semi-finals with wins over Daryl Gurney and Gerwyn Price.
2018 finalist Wright overcame a slow start to the afternoon by coming from 3-0 down to defeat Gurney 10-7, pulling away from seven-all to close out the win.
He then saw off Price 10-8 in arguably the match of the day, averaging 103 and hitting finishes of 161 and 125 as he defied checkouts of 130 and 109 to book a last four place.
“It’s really good that I’m through but I still want to finish top of my group and go on to win the title now,” said Wright. “It’s a brilliant tournament and I’d love to win it.
“I’ll be treating the game against Rob like it’s a straight knockout to get myself in the right frame of mind for the semi-finals. I’m not happy with how I’m playing and I know there’s more to come.”
Gurney and Price will now face off on Sunday afternoon for the right to join Wright in the semi-finals.
Price had defeated Cross 10-5 in the afternoon session, while Gurney’s 10-6 defeat of the world number two means that the 2018 World Champion now cannot reach the semi-finals.
Gurney followed up his evening session win over Cross by shaving his head for the Cystic Fibrosis Care charity, having raised over £15,000 through donations which included £5,000 apiece from Paddy Power and his sponsors Winmau, as well as contributions from rival players and PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
Sunday afternoon’s final group stage games will be followed in the evening session by the semi-finals and final at the Morningside Arena, with a £100,000 first prize on offer.
The eventual winner will also be presented with a specially-commissioned commemorative belt, which has been produced by sponsors Paddy Power.
Pre-tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen is now 4/6 with Paddy Power to claim his first Champions League of Darts title, ahead of Wright (9/2), Wade and Smith (10/1), Price (12/1) and Gurney (14/1).
Sunday’s final stages will be broadcast live on BBC Sport in the UK, on PDCTV-HD for Rest of the World Subscribers and through the PDC’s worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7.
After losing his close friend, Aaron Mcmenamin, to Cystic Fibrosis, Daryl Gurney recently announced he was attempting to raise over £10,000 to help sufferers of this debilitating genetic disease.
Winmau Backs Gurney Charity Shave with Huge 180 Pledge
His pledge…to shave his head, live, at the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts, should his target be achieved.
The team and staff at Winmau have today pledged £5,000.00 to the cause, which, combined with the fantastic support already shown from the darts community, takes the total raised to over £10,000.00.
The Shave is therefore on!!
Winmau have pledged a further £5,000.00 to Cystic Fibrosis should the total number of 180’s scored at the 2019 Champions League of Darts surpass the number scored at the 2018 tournament.
Cystic Fibrosis has long been Winmau’s main charity of choice owing to a very close connection to the disorder, spanning several decades.
Winmau’s Managing Director, Vince Bluck said “When we heard about Daryl’s amazing commitment to raising money for a charity that has been close to our hearts for so long, it was a simple decision for us to support him in whatever way possible. We all gave great thought to how we could support the cause in an engaging way that maximises awareness of this horrendous disease.”
“Cystic Fibrosis is one of the most common genetic diseases here in the UK. It’s a disease that one of our staff has battled for 35 years and, had it not been for the amazing team who performed a double lung transplant at Harefield Hospital 12 months ago, he would not be with us today.”
The 2018 Champions League of Darts saw 8 players hit a total of 140 maximums throughout the tournament. Winmau are looking forward to some great darts again at this year’s event so keep an eye out for those magical maximums and get behind Daryl and this tremendous cause.
“Groundbreaking developments in genetics mean long term, effective treatments for Cystic Fibrosis are getting ever closer and the support of the darts community is immensely appreciated.”
The Champion’s League of Darts can be seen live on BBC TV on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October, where Daryl plans to shave off his beautiful thatch of hair.
For those interested in donating, please visit Daryl’s JustGiving page here:
Champions League weekend is coming up on the 19-20th October which means there’ll be an opportunity to make some serious money. Here, Peter Watton, from matched betting experts OddsMonkey, offers his tips for making the most out of the big event.
One of the hottest new highlights in the darting calendar, the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts is about to take place. The sport’s top talent will go head to head in a televised tournament for a £100,000 prize, while darts fans up and down the country watch with bated breath – betting slips in hand.
Below, I’ll be taking you through this year’s event, including the schedule of play and predictions for who will come out on top.
The Champions League – An Outline.
The Champions League was set up in 2016 by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), with the intention of bringing the best of the best together for one major tournament. The contestants are the top eight players in the PDC Order of Merit, which is a list based on total prize money won over a two-year period by players in ranking tournaments.
While the previous three Champions Leagues have taken place in Cardiff and Brighton, both in September, this year’s event is scheduled for 19-20th October at the Morningside Arena, Leicester. But, if you can’t make the big event, you’ll be pleased to heart that the entire tournament will be broadcast live by BBC Sport.
2019 Betting Tips and Predictions.
The players are split into two groups: Group A and Group B. Group A includes world number one and favourite to win Michael van Gerwen, whose odds are 11/8. He is joined by recent World Matchplay finalist Michael Smith, former protégé of last year’s Champions League winner Gary Anderson, who is also in Group A. Plus, nine-time major champion James Wade has also been thrown into the mix, resulting in one of the most nail-biting line-ups you could hope for.
Equally brutal is Group B, headlined by recent World Matchplay champion Rob Cross alongside reigning Players champion Daryl Gurney, recent World Cup winner Peter Wright, and Grand Slam champion Gerwyn Price. It’s going to be a close one to call, but Rob Cross is the bookies’ favourite to win Group B with odds of 13/8.
Of all contestants, Group A’s Michael van Gerwen is currently worth the most (£1,602,250) and is therefore considered the most likely to win this year’s Champion’s League outright. A £10 bet on him would land you £23.80 in return if he was successful, according to Paddy Power. However, with each of the eight dartsmen having significant wins under their belts, their collective form and skill level means that he’ll have some stiff competition to overcome.
Like any other darts tournament, you can bet on almost every aspect of the Champions League — from who will make it to the final to what colour the last dart will land on. The list of competitors for this year’s league has already been announced, so most betting markets should be open already.
The league is only in its fourth year, so there isn’t a long and detailed history to help you work out who’s most likely to win. Instead, pay attention to the odds, tipsters, and player performance in other competitions if you want to try to pick a winner. Or, for an easier and less risky method of making money off the Champions League, you might want to consider matched betting.
Schedule of Play: Saturday 19th October
As normal, the winners of each showdown will take each other on during the same evening, with the losers doing the same.
Afternoon Session (12:30pm start, BBC Sport)
· Group B: Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright
· Group B: Rob Cross v Gerwyn Price
· Group A: Michael Smith v Gary Anderson
· Group A: Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Evening Session (6:30pm start, BBC Sport)
· Loser v Loser (Group B)
· Loser v Loser (Group A)
· Winner v Winner (Group B)
· Winner v Winner (Group A)
Schedule of Play: Sunday 20th October
The remaining pairings will take place with the line-up depending on the outcome of Saturday’s matches, followed by the semi-finals and the final in the evening session.
Afternoon Session (12:30pm start, BBC Sport)
· 4 remaining group matches
Evening Session (6:30pm start, BBC Sport)
The tips in this guide should help you feel more informed about the Paddy Power Champions League of Darts — including how to approach placing your bets.
THE Professional Darts Corporation will break new ground once again in 2016 by staging its first tournament live on BBC Sport following an exciting new deal to introduce the Champions League of Darts to the circuit in September.
The eight-player tournament will be held on September 24-25 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff to kick off a new era for the sport on terrestrial television.
Featuring the leading eight players from the PDC Order of Merit following July’s BetVictor World Matchplay, the Champions League of Darts will see the stars split into two groups of four players.
Following the round-robin phase, the top two players from each group will then progress to the knockout semi-finals and final, with a huge £100,000 first prize on offer for the eventual champion.
“The BBC has a long history of broadcasting darts but this will be the start of an exciting new era,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
“The Champions League of Darts will bring the very best players in world darts – the top eight from the PDC Order of Merit – to BBC screens for an exciting, quick-fire tournament.
“In addition, it’s fantastic for us to be taking the Champions League of Darts to Cardiff. Welsh fans love their darts and this will be another great opportunity for them to see the sport’s biggest names live.
“Both live crowds and TV audiences have continued to soar for PDC tournaments in the last year, and it’s a great reflection for us that the BBC were keen to add the Champions League of Darts to their sporting portfolio.”
Barbara Slater, Director BBC Sport says: “We are very pleased to be showing the inaugural Champions League of Darts on the BBC for what is promised to be a thrilling and innovative tournament.
“Darts has always had wide appeal and it is great that audiences will get the chance to see all the action from the world’s top players live on BBC Two and across our platforms.“
Further details about ticketing for the Champions League of Darts will be announced at www.pdc.tv/tickets in due course.
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