Five-time World Darts Champion Eric Bristow Dies From Heart Attack At Age 60

Five-time World Darts Champion Eric Bristow Dies From Heart Attack At Age 60

Eric Bristow dies at 60

We start this week with the very sad news that five-time World Champion Eric Bristow has passed away at age 60. Bristow, who was instrumental in the founding of the PDC, was crowned BDO world champion five times between 1980-1986 and won another five World Masters titles during an illustrious career. Darts’ original superstar, The Crafty Cockney was present at Liverpool’s Echo Arena for Thursday’s Judgement Night event when he was taken ill following a heart attack.

In 2005, he was inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame and retired two years later, after which he worked as a TV pundit for Sky Sports and later appeared on ITV’s “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here“. Bristow won his final World Championship in 2000, the 23rd title of a glittering career, which saw him win over 70 professional titles in total. In 1989 he received an MBE and will be sorely missed.

A Recap from Bristol

Bristow was in Liverpool to watch the darts and immediately after the news broke, fans at the Echo Arena burst into a chorus of “There’s only one Eric Bristow”. Down at the oche and faced with beating the current world number one to remain in the competition, Mensur Suljovic was unable to deliver and has now joined Gerwyn Price in the ranks of the eliminated.

His 7-4 defeat to a rampant Michael van Gerwen saw him finish second-bottom in his debut Premier League Darts season on four points. The Austrian gave it his best shot but couldn’t live with the best in the business as Mighty Mike hit 10 180s, one more than Daryl Gurney managed a week ago. MVG was only one short of the competition’s record — the 11 collected by Gary Anderson against Simon Whitlock back in 2011.

It was Simon Whitlock who played in the night’s first match, a game in which he hit a 164 checkout. He did so on his way to beating the already-eliminated Gerwyn Price. With nothing but pride to play for, Price produced his worst performance of the season by averaging 77.13, missing 14 darts at doubles and not landing a single 180. Price finished the campaign with the worst points tally since the tournament began, while the Aussie keeps his hopes of a top-four spot alive.

St Helens’ own Michael Smith whitewashed Raymond van Barneveld, only the ninth in Premier League Darts history to receive such a beat down. Bully Boy produced his best performance of what was already a superb season, as he averaged 103.97 and missed only the one dart at a double. Smith has won six of his previous eight games and now sits only two points behind leader Michael van Gerwen. Before now, only Terry Jenkins, Wayne Mardle, Simon Whitlock, Phil Taylor, James Wade, Robert Thornton and Adrian Lewis have suffered whitewash defeats in Premier League history.

As predicted last week, Rob Cross defeated Gary Anderson for the first time in his career. Voltage edged a tough contest, coming out a 7-5 winner on Merseyside. He averaged 92.3 against Anderson’s 95.09, while the pair managed to hit four 180s each. However, Cross did possess the higher checkout record of 82, meaning he stays third in the table on 12 points and Anderson stays on 9.

A much-relieved Peter Wright took home a point from his 6-6 draw with Daryl Gurney knowing he was safe following Mensur Suljovic’s defeat to MVG earlier on. Still without a win in five matches, Snakebite hit four 180s — one less than Superchin — as the pair split the points.

Premier League Darts betting tips

Matchday Eleven takes place in Sheffield at the The FlyDSA Arena, and as always Sky Sports will be broadcasting live from 1900 GMT.

Things get underway with Raymond van Barneveld taking on Daryl Gurney in a field now reduced to eight. This is a pretty tough match to call, but I’m going to side with Superchin Gurney as he has posted some pretty solid performances in the league so far this season. That said, Barney is the man with better record overall and head-to-head against Gurney, so caution is advised. The Dutchman is down in the standings so could use the points. But as the man in form, I’m going with Gurney to give his top-four spot hopes a boost. Take note of Betway’s special — Gurney to hit the most 180s and a 100+ checkout with both players to average under 100 which pays at 9/4.

We go Scottish for match two as Gary Anderson and Peter Wright step up to the oche. The last time the two met, they produced a brilliant match with Anderson — as he so often does — battling back to claim a 6-6 draw. Peter Wright, who plays twice tonight, is in desperate need of a good result as three back-to-back maulings have only slightly been muted by two lifesaving draws — he will soon be forgetting what winning feels like. Anderson has been by far the most consistent of the two and should win again. Snakebite fans might want to take note of Betway’s 12/5 though, as such a price on the world number two – even if he doesn’t look like it – is just too good a value to turn down. Add some value by backing Anderson to win with over 7.5 match 180s and over 10.5 legs for 11/2 at Betway.

Simon Whitlock is next out to do battle with Michael van Gerwen. The Wizard is doing well — better than expected in fact — but MVG is just too good right now. No one has a particularly decent record against MVG, but Simon’s is one of the worst, losing the last last eleven meetings. Michael is such a short price you can only really look at van Gerwen to win by over 2.5 legs and average over 100 with a 120+ checkout in the match, worth 5/2.

This match is followed by another Premier League surprise package, Michael Smith versus last year’s success story Rob ‘Voltage’ Cross. Michael has been the more consistent player this season and is boosted by his weekend win at the Barnsley Metrodome when he picked up his second PDC title of the season, the Players Championship Seven. This match could easily be a draw, but I’m going to back Bully Boy Smith, not least because Betway have him priced at 11/5, which is ridiculous for a guy second in the table right now.

Barney and Snakebite are back out for the night’s finale. This match is all the harder to handicap as no one knows what has gone on beforehand with both darters proving a nuisance to bettors right now. Even following our bets from earlier in the evening, I’ve got both players down to lose so it’s still hard to predict. As the younger player — and at a huge push — I’m leaning towards Peter because he should have the better stamina to deal with two matches in one night. Both need a win, but Snakebite is the more desperate of the two, so I’ll stick with him to pick up his first Darts Premier League win in weeks.

This week’s line reads Gurney, Anderson, MVG, Smith and Wright, which pays at 33/1.

  • (6/4) Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney (13/10)
  • (5/6) Gary Anderson v Peter Wright (12/5)
  • (10/1) Simon Whitlock v Michael van Gerwen (2/11)
  • (11/5) Michael Smith v Rob Cross (10/11)
  • (7/4) Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright (11/10)
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Gerwyn Price Eliminated From The 2018 Darts Premier League

Gerwyn Price Eliminated From The 2018 Darts Premier League

Michael Smith Knocks out Gerwyn Price

Gerwyn Price became the first eliminated from this year’s Darts Premier League and did so with a week to spare as Judgement Night in Liverpool finally comes around this Thursday. The Welshman’s fate was sealed after he lost 7-2 to a vastly superior Michael Smith, who continued his brilliant maiden league campaign.

Sitting pretty with 12 points, Bully Boy has six wins in eight and emphatically put last week’s heavy defeat by the same score line to Michael van Gerwen firmly behind him. Smith averaged 93.84 and banked a lone 180 while treating the crowd to a 160 checkout as part of the 15-darter on his way to victory.

A recap of last week

In the night’s opener, Gary Anderson recorded a hard-fought 7-5 victory over Mensur Suljovic, who remains in danger of elimination this week when he faces Mighty Mike. The Flying Scotsman posted an average of 97.41 and hit two 180s as Suljovic averaged 98.17. The Big Gentle did score a checkout of 124, which he closed on the bullseye, but that was as far the resistance lasted. Before long, Anderson moved 5-3 ahead and followed this up by producing finishes of 140 and 171 to set up a decisive 14-darter and with it the tie.

Michael van Gerwen was in a typically ferocious mood during his 7-2 win over his fellow countryman Raymond van Barneveld. The result consolidates Mighty Mike’s place at the top of the Premier League Darts where he currently enjoys a two-point and a +29-leg difference lead over Michael Smith. MVG averaged over 104 and hit 70% of his doubles while claiming six legs in a row after falling behind early. The victory marks the 30th consecutive Premier League match in which the world number one has averaged over 100.

A win for Daryl Gurney pleased the Belfast crowd in match number four. Superchin landed a near-record nine 180s during his brilliant 7-5 win over world champion Rob Cross. This tally was second only to the competition’s record of 11, which has been held by Gary Anderson since 2011. It was actually Cross who averaged the higher score of 100.16. Cross also hit five of his nine double shots, but Gurney — seeking a point to stay in the competition — just had too much for his rival.

Finally, Peter Wright moved out of the bottom two after he came back from 6-3 behind to rescue a point in his match against Simon Whitlock. Following three successive 7-1 defeats, Snakebite — who was runner-up in last year’s competition — went into Matchday 8 second-bottom in the table. Whitlock had initially led 6-3 which secured him at least a point before Wright landed a critical 11-darter to keep his Premier League hopes alive. Requiring double 16 for the match, The Wizard missed to let keep Wright alive. A 120 checkout for Snakebite forced a deciding leg, allowing Wright the chance to snatch a draw — which he duly did. Snakebite is now a point above Mensur Suljovic, who plays MVG next Thursday.

Premier League Darts Betting Tips

This week we’re off to Liverpool’s Echo Arena for Judgment Night after which we will be saying goodbye to another player, having lost Gerwyn Price last week in Belfast. Live coverage of the event can be found on Sky Sports Action HD and Sky Sports Main Event HD from 19:00 GMT.

We begin Judgment Night with Simon Whitlock against the relegated Gerwyn Price, who is now playing purely for pride alone. Whitlock, however, is still very much in the hunt for a top four place as he continues to show good form — enough to beat Price here certainly. If this match is as one-sided as looks, it’s worth picking Whitlock to win and hit the most 180s plus Price to average under 95, which is available for 9/4 at Betway.

Raymond van Barneveld and Michael Smith in match two is a much tougher one to call, but as much as it wouldn’t surprise me to see Barney win, Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith has been in such magnificent form that he deserves to see it continue. I’m betting he will as his confidence must be soaring right now. Neither player will be leaving the competition this round and the main focus is on the battle for survival, so this is all about hustling for position. Siding with Smith, I’m also backing him to hit a minimum of two 100+ checkouts in the match for 9/4.

Match three sees Gary Anderson take on Rob Cross in another very close battle. On paper, it’s Gary Anderson all the way, as we has won all five of their previous games. To be fair to Voltage, he is on a good role — in the league at least — but consistency has been fleeting, while Anderson has slowly but surely been picking up results after a slow start. I can see why the odds are with Gary, but Cross at his best could be ready to finally step up and beat The Flying Scotsman — and that’s what I’m backing him to do.

Everything hinges on the next match, which sees Mensur Suljovic try and pick up the vital points required to keep him in the tournament. It’s a shame for The Big Gentle then that his opponent is the near-imperious Michael van Gerwen. It’s also unfortunate that the match comes as Mensur has been playing a lot better than his position suggests, even if the league doesn’t lie. All the same, it looks like he’s heading out this week. It literally couldn’t be a tougher ask but Suljovic can draw some comfort from the fact that he beat MVG in their last meeting back in October. It probably won’t help though. Jump on van Gerwen to win by over 2.5 legs, average over 100 and hit a 110+ checkout at 9/4.

Having fought back to claim a draw a last week, Peter Wright is still not safe but might very well be by the time he takes to the oche for his match against Daryl Gurney. Either way, he still needs to start putting some points on the board in order to climb the table. It won’t be easy though; Snakebite has lost the last four meetings between the pair and is without a win in six in the Premier League. Superchin, on the other hand, beat Rob Cross last Thursday and again at the weekend. He is showing good form and is under considerably less pressure, which leads me to bank on him to win the match at 7/4. For maximum value extraction, let’s go with Gurney to win and hit the most 180s and both players to average under 100 at 9/2.

Betway’s special boosted treble this week is Whitlock, van Barneveld and Wright all to win at a huge 9/1. Our main line for the week is Whitlock, Smith, Cross, MVG and Gurney for 32/1, also at Betway.

  • (4/6) Simon Whitlock v Gerwyn Price (3/1)
  • (11/8) Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith (11/8)
  • (11/8) Gary Anderson v Rob Cross (11/8)
  • (8/1) Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen (2/9)
  • (7/4) Daryl Gurney v Peter Wright (11/10)
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