Phil Taylor Suffers First Round Shock In Perth, Opens Up The Field

The Perth Masters began yesterday with the mother of all shocks as 16-time world champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor suffered a first round defeat to Australian Corey Cadby. The sixth and final leg of this year’s World Series continues today and is the final event to count towards the World Series rankings table before the field and seedings are determined for the World Series Finals in Glasgow this November.

Only one week ago, Cadby had lost to Taylor; The Power was then on his way to winning the Sydney Masters. No such joy this week, however, as the 21-year-old Aussie exacted his revenge with an amazing 6-2 victory, despite Taylor’s decent 111 average. Having won at Perth for the last two years, Taylor’s form Down Under had been more than solid, having won his third straight Sydney Darts Masters title a week ago (which also made it 24 games unbeaten in Australia).

At the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Cadby broke his man with a decent 122 checkout before holding his nerve to seal the giant-killing win. For his efforts, Cadby, the only Ocenanic representative to make it through the first round, will meet Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright following his 6-4 defeat of Adam Rowe.

The hugely surprising Taylor result opens the field for the remaining stars of the game, all of whom have progressed into the second round which begins at midday today with delayed coverage at 7pm on ITV4.

Elsewhere, Michael Van Gerwen beat Anderson (Aussie Kyle that is, not Gary) for the second time in a week, with a 6-4 victory. As for Gary, the Flying Scotsman bagged a 6-3 win over Kim Lewis, so plays again.

James Wade eased past Rob Szabo 6-0, while Raymond van Barneveld didn’t run to any problems in his match against Simon Whitlock, taking it down 6-2. Dave Chisnall was another first round winner, seeing off Koha Kokiri 6-1, while Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis was quick to defeat local boy David Platt 6-3.

The event finishes this weekend, with the quarter-finals played over the best of 19 legs, and the semi-finals and final played over a best of 21 leg format.

First Round Results

  • James Wade 6-0 Rob Szabo
  • Dave Chisnall 6-1 Koha Kokiri
  • Peter Wright 6-4 Adam Rowe
  • Adrian Lewis 6-3 David Platt
  • Phil Taylor 2-6 Corey Cadby
  • Gary Anderson 6-3 Kim Lewis
  • Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Kyle Anderson
  • Raymond van Barneveld 6-2 Simon Whitlock

After the opening round’s clearing, Friday’s quarter-finals has been left with a lot of interesting ties, even without the ever popular Phil Taylor. Notably, the first game of the day sees Adrian Lewis face off against former world number one Raymond Van Barneveld. Betway are offering 12/1 on ‘Jackpot’ to win the event, something well worth considering given some of his performances in 2016.

The same bookmaker have installed Gary Anderson as second favourite and are offering a best price of 9/2 on the Scotsman taking the tourney. He faces Englishman and 25/1 shot Dave Chisnall.

Corey Cadby’s reward for eliminating Taylor is a meet with Peter Wright and, although ranked 80/1 following his win, it is hard to see the young Aussie seeing off his second big hitter in 24 hours. Should Wright progress, it might be worth jumping on his 12/1 outright price at Betway right now, especially given his presence in the softer side of the draw, a result of Taylor’s absence.

Friday’s quarter-finals (best of 19 legs)

  • Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
  • Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
  • Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
  • Corey Cadby v Peter Wright

Perth Darts Masters 2016 Tournament Schedule

Saturday August 27

Semi-Finals (12pm-3pm)

  • Anderson/Chisnall v Lewis/van Barneveld
  • van Gerwen/Wade v Cadby/Wright
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Sydney Masters: Taylor Looking For Third Straight Win In Sydney

Hooray! Tonight sees the return of live tournament darts as the Darts Masters series returns.

Tonight, Phil “The Power” Taylor begins his bid for a third successive Sydney Darts Masters win as he faces an opening test against DPA Qualifier, Melbourne-based bricklayer Clinton ‘Tic’ Bridge.

Following back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015, reigning champion Taylor is familiar with what it takes to win Down Under, a place where he has been undefeated since the PDC introduced the World Series of Darts in 2013. In fact, there was an untelevised event in Perth last weekend where the winner was (you guessed it) The Power himself.

Tonight’s event, however, takes place at the Qantas Credit Union Arena in Sydney’s Darling Harbour where he plays an Aussie qualifier in the first round.

Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis faces off against Simon Whitlock in the heavyweight tie of the round, while Raymond Van Barneveld faces another qualifier from the continent in New Zealand’s Cody Harris.

World and Premier League champion Gary Anderson has been drawn against the final DPA qualifier Warren Parry, a player who remarkably sent Michael van Gerwen packing at last year’s tournament. Van Gerwen will hope to go better this year and gets to begin his run with a win against Australian World Cup star Paul Nicholson.

Last week’s runner-up in Perth, James Wade, meets the only DPNZ Qualifier Craig Caldwell, while Peter Wright (who made the final of the Japanese leg) steps out against PA Australian Grand Prix winner Loz Ryder. Stephen Bunting, who came second last year in Sydney, drew David Platt.

Despite being seeded first, Phil Taylor has been priced at a very generous 5/1 at bet365. Naturally, MVG goes into the tourney as favourite but, at 10/11, seems a pointless bet.

I am going to go for third seed, Scotland’s Gary Anderson at 4/1, purely because of the form he has shown intermittently this year. For those of you that like looking for the longer prices, Anderson’s countryman Peter “Snakebite” Wright at 16/1 and Englishman Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis look sound bets for this year’s Sydney Darts Masters.

After tonight’s first round, the tournament continues tomorrow with the quarter-finals before the semi-finals and final on Saturday.

First round draw

Phil Taylor (1) v Clinton Bridge

Stephen Bunting (8) v David Platt

James Wade (5) v Craig Caldwell

Peter Wright (4) v Loz Ryder

Michael van Gerwen (2) v Paul Nicholson

Raymond van Barneveld (7) v Cody Harris

Adrian Lewis (6) v Simon Whitlock

Gary Anderson (3) v Warren Parry

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Darts Gameshows On TV

TV darts gameshowsWith one more week to go until live darts returns and therefore no darts betting tips for this week, let’s use our time to go on a trip through television history and find out how darts got to where it is today – through the medium of gameshows.

Darts has occupied an interesting place on UK television since the 1970s. Back then, it was still very much part of the pub game genre of sport which, not unlike snooker, meant that a pint and a smoke were part of the matchday ritual.

Although it has never quite left behind its beer-swigging image, nowadays darts has become a sub-cultured sport of its own. The competitors, never of athletic build, still wear ludicrously garish shirts and sport really rather superb beer guts, but that hasn’t halted the sport’s relentless rise to the top.

With this image cemented, it’s worth looking back at darts’ place on British TV over the last few decades. Darts first made it on to the telly in 1962 when Westward Television started up their own televised invitational championship. Eight years later, ITV launched the News of the World Championship, but both are long since forgotten with their mission statement (to make darts popular) very much unfulfilled.

Then gameshows happened.

The Indoor League

Rewind back to 1972 and, for those old enough to remember, think back on a show that was perhaps the most curiously British thing ever made for TV. Indoor League, produced by Yorkshire Television and the forever missed but never forgotten Sid Waddell, was a show all about the very worst in old bar games.

Indoor League was hosted by former Yorkshire and England cricketer “Fiery” Fred Trueman who presented his show in a trademark drab-as-they-come cardigan, with an old English pint jug in one hand and a smoker’s pipe in the other. It was a look that our Fred really rocked, to be fair:

TV darts gameshows
Opening to the theme music Waiting for You by Andre Brasseur and recorded at The Queen’s Hotel and The Irish Centre in Leeds, we’re talking about a show where members of the audience played indoor games, most of which were pub games like bar billiards, table football, bar skittles, arm wrestling, shove ha’penny, bowling, dominoes and (slightly less ridiculously) nine-ball pool as well as our own beloved darts.

So pub-like was this show that the producers saw nothing wrong with popping their logo on a freeze frame of fat bloke with his beer belly dripping over his trousers (belt not required, obviously). I am unreliably informed that said fat guy was Alan Evans, who was famous for his ability to check out 150 with three bullseyes.

Why anyone would want to watch table football I have no idea, but somehow the show ran for five years, with the first airing only in Yorkshire. So pleased were they with their creation that it went nuclear and was broadcast nationwide thereafter.

Sadly, Fred, who ended each show with the phrase, “ah’ll see thee”, passed away in 2006. As well as being a first class cricketer for county and country, he helped launch televised arrows at a time when the game was in its infancy (the Darts World Championship was broadcast for the first time the same year, 1972). He leaves behind a fine legacy of darts gameshows.

I only wish they would bring it back; just leave out the table football, obviously.

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TV darts gameshowsWhich leads us to the daddy of them all: Bullseye. Proving that you can’t beat a bit of Bully, Sunday television in the 1980s was dominated by ITV’s Big Match which was the forerunner to Sky’s Super Sunday prior to Premier League Football.

This was hotly followed by Bullseye. Although the show is no longer broadcast (barring a failed Ant and Dec reboot), it is one of the most treasured and iconic British TV shows of all time. Pubs today still install quiz machines where a Bullseye game is almost always on offer.

This show, first broadcast in 1981, was darts and darts alone. Part quiz, part arrows, the teams were often, but not always, compiled of husband and wife; one amateur plus one piss-poor darts player; with Jim Bowen as host and numerous darts boards to play at over three rounds.

There were question and answer rounds, a gambling element (don’t worry, they always left with at least their BFH, bus fare home, and a Bendy Bully), real money prizes and Bully’s star prize – usually a caravan or a speedboat, the latter almost always inevitably won by a couple from Birmingham.

They even managed to squeeze in a professional’s appearance where a player would try to throw for money for a charity, the record for which is held by one Alan Evans.

In round one, the better of the two would step up to aim for one of ten segments on a specifically redesigned board to win cash (the value of which was determined the dart’s proximity to the bull), as long as it landed in the quiz category selected by their partner.

By round two the familiar board returned, and players played for the right to answer a question. In round three, the last remaining team played at Bully’s Prize Board, which contained prize-filled red segments and empty black segments and a bullseye, where Bully’s special prize was won.

At this point, Bowen instructed his guests to “Keep out of the black and in the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed.” Once prizes had been won, players were invited to gamble the lot for a shot at Bully’s Mystery Star Prize, won by beating 101 with three darts each.

Super, smashing, great stuff.

TV darts gameshows

Present-day darts shows

TV darts gameshowsHosted by the perpetually confused Davina McCall, One Hundred and Eighty attempts to recreate a real darts tourney experience by filming live at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, with all the walk-ins and theatrics that people have come to expect.

The shouty crowd behave as they do at an event by dressing up and poking each other with big foam fingers. The game itself features two proper pros (Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Michael Van Gerwen have all made appearances) paired up with members of the public that play in both quizzes and a host of darts games. The first of these is a game of doubles, duelled over by the pros, which elects the night’s playing money. All the while, darts commentator and former England cricket captain Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff (right) is watching on and passing comment.

While nothing compares to Bully, it deserves another chance, if only to win the game new fans. It serves as a decent replication of a televised tournament, if a bit shinier and more illuminated.

We can certainly be sure that Sky favourite Freddie, when not shifting fish and chips off Southend Pier or stripping in Vegas with the Chippendales, would be on board; he is either in need of the cash or unable to turn down a job. But what about Alan Evans?

TV darts gameshows

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