Top Five Darts Bust-Ups And Fights

With its pub game background, darts can sometimes be a volatile sport – as proved back in June’s World Cup when Michael Van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis exchanged angry words in a World Cup row.

With this in mind, and no live darts to tip this week, we thought that now would be the best time to look back at five more memorable bust-ups on the oche.

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Phil Taylor vs Raymond Van Barneveld (2012 World Championship)

After their 2012 World Championship semi-final at Alexandra PalacePhil Taylor weirdly took offence to a strong handshake from his “friend” and competitor Raymond Van Barneveld at the end of the match.

Failing to see the irony, “The Power” (who won the match 6-4) claims to have been hurt by the big Dutchman’s strong post-game handshake, after which the pair became embroiled in a shoving match before a stroppy Taylor stormed off stage.

For his part, Taylor apologised by text to Van Barneveld, who immediately dropped the row and forgave Taylor. Taylor, after admitting that he felt ashamed of himself, even considered his future in the game at the time.

Speaking afterwards, Taylor said: “It’s upset me; of course it has. To put the record straight, Raymond is a very strong lad and when he shook my hand and pulled me, he hurt me a little bit.

“That was all it was and I reacted, to be honest with you, disgracefully. I am ashamed of myself and I feel terrible. At the minute, I could just walk away tomorrow night and retire.”

In truth, it is just as well Taylor didn’t quit at the time; he went on to win his 16th world title that year.

Top Five Darts Bust-Ups

Justin Pipe vs Kevin Painter (2012 World Grand Prix)

Back in 2012, one-time tree surgeon and youth boxer turned pro darts player, Justin Pipe, upset Basildon-born ex-builder Kevin Painter with a supercharged celebration in Dublin in the World Grand Prix.

Pipe won the game to book a place in the quarter-final of that year’s event, but it was his body-popping, breakdancing celebrating that annoyed “The Artist”. Pipe, who has a slow throwing style due to a 1993 motoring accident that left him partially paralysed for three months, expressed remorse over social media following the wild celebrations that provoked such an angry response from his opponent.

In truth, the game was over when Pipe threw a double four and he should be allowed to celebrate – even if punching the air repeatedly before doing “The Worm” may be classed as excessive. Either way, a touchy Painter treated Pipe to a few strong pats on the back of the head before issuing an angry X-rated dressing down after the handshake had taken place.

Michael Van Gerwen vs Peter Wright (2015 Premier League)

Five years ago on a Premier League trip to Exeter, Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright fell out over the latter’s attitude to crowd showmanship. Wright, at the oche, tactically played to wind up and annoy his opponent which, given Van Gerwen’s form at the time, looked like it would be a smart decision.

Looking like he was about to throw his dart, Wright, who bases his wind-up playing style on the wrestler Ultimate Warrior, turned to the crowd and called for more noise before going on to take his shot in front of a clearly annoyed Dutchman.

Unfortunately for “Snakebite”, he missed the double 20 he was aiming for but, despite making a fool of himself, the match was eventually tied 6-6. In the after-match television interview, the Dutchman said: “what that guy does has nothing to do with darts. He does it on purpose. He’s not a professional.

Wright responded: “Grow up you big baby! It’s about entertaining a crowd. I’m entertainment.”

Top Five Darts Bust-Ups

Paul Nicholson vs Phil Taylor (2011 UK Open)

Back in 2011, at a UK Open quarter-final at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, “The Asset” Paul Nicholson behaved more like an ass than an asset when he mockingly waved goodbye at the crowd after eliminating a stroppy Phil Taylor in the last 16.

The Newcastle-born Australian had already gained an aggressive reputation on the darts circuit but upsetting the king of the oche pushed the crowd over the edge.  Known as the “Bad Boy” of darts, Nicholson, wearing a tie and sunglasses, is not your usual player and this wasn’t the first or last time the pair have fallen out.

On this occasion, however, Nicholson won 9-8 before bidding farewell to “The Power” by finger-waving dismissively at the crowd while Taylor was collecting his match equipment. Taylor missed the dubious incident as it took place behind his back, but friends watching at home soon contacted him to inform him of Nicholson’s gesture.

Afterwards, Taylor had this to say: “I thought it was very disrespectful. I don’t expect people to bow and curtsy in my presence, but I’ve won 70-odd titles, including 15 world championships, and I think I deserve better than that.

“The next time Paul wants to wave me off into the sunset, or make sarcastic gestures at my expense, he should do it to my face and not behind my back. I don’t see why I should have to put up with opponents taking the piss when my back is turned. Fortunately, I know of a good place where we can put it right, just me and him. On the dartboard. We can sort it out there.”

For his part, the unpopular Nicholson insisted the gesture was not meant to be an insult.

Adrian Lewis vs Peter Manley (2006 World Championship)

Ten years ago, at a World Championship quarter-final match, Adrian Lewis was so upset at Peter Manley’s antics that he stormed off stage.

The event, back when it was hosted at the Circus Tavern, became heated after “One Dart” deliberately slowed down the tempo of the match when collecting his darts and at one point even paused after missing a shot at a double.

Lewis then accused Manley of swearing just as he was about to throw and lodged a complaint with the match referee, before exiting stage left while trailing 3-1.

Despite returning to the oche to try and claw things back, “Jackpot” eventually lost out to Manley, who is famous for these kind of shenanigans, and who went on to complete a 5-3 victory. A beaten Lewis, then just 20 years old, explained that “[Manley] turned round and said I was tutting when I wasn’t, and was saying things when I was throwing. I didn’t actually hear what it was but it was swearing. Phil [Taylor] told me to walk off if anything like that happened. But Peter beat me fair and square. I’ll be back.”

Top Five Darts Bust-Ups

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Place Your Bets For The European Darts Open 2016

Gary Anderson
The PDC European Tour action resumed in Dusseldorf yesterday and, although some of the earlier first round matches will have started by the time you read this, the real action gets underway tomorrow when the big boys enter play.

The tournament runs from July 29 – 31 at the Maritim Hotel in Düsseldorf, Germany, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 legs.

Absent from the sixth event of the series will be Phil “The Power” Taylor, beaten finalist in last weekend’s Matchplay final, and fellow Stoke thrower Adrian Lewis, leaving a clear straight shot for the likes of Michael Van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gary Anderson, pictured above after his win in Tokyo. These all feature in a field of 48 players, including last year’s winner Robert Thornton (100/1), competing over three days of action for the £115,000 in prize money.

Darts man of the moment (indeed the past few years) Michael Van Gerwen is aiming to follow up last Sunday’s World Matchplay victory with his fourth European Tour triumph of the year, having also claimed the glory in Venray in the Netherlands, Munich and Gibraltar. Bet365, who incidentally will be streaming live coverage of the event, are laying evens for him to do exactly that.

World Champion Gary Anderson, himself having a storming 2016, is naturally the second seed and can be backed at 4/1, while fellow Scot Peter Wright is the next in the betting at 9/1, also at bet365. James Wade and Dave Chisnall are also in attendance and both are 25/1, although in the absence of England’s top two players it is hard to look beyond the first three, so we’ll go with Gary Anderson on this one as the only likely threat and challenger to the big Dutchman.

Save for Thursday’s qualifiers, the internet-streamed tournament begins for real on Friday with the first round where 32 qualifiers all face off, before the top 16 seeds enter play on Saturday in the second round, with the tournament concluding on Sunday.

The European Darts Open will be streamed worldwide through www.LIVEPDC.TV and bet365 for all subscribers.

European Open 2016 tournament schedule

All times BST

Friday July 29

First Round, Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)

  • John Henderson v Jan Dekker
  • Ritchie Edhouse v Harry Ward
  • Wes Newton v Shaun Griffiths
  • Kim Viljanen v Martin Schindler
  • James Richardson v Daniele Petri
  • Robbie Green v Daryl Gurney
  • John Michael v Fabian Herz
  • Jonny Clayton v Andy Hamilton

First Round, Evening Session (6pm-10pm)

  • Mark Frost v Stefan Stoyke
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Jeffrey de Graaf
  • Holger Rettig v Steve West
  • Jamie Caven v Christian Kist
  • Andy Jenkins v Devon Petersen
  • Max Hopp v Andy Boulton
  • Cristo Reyes v Kyle Anderson
  • Gerwyn Price v Tony Newell

Saturday July 30

Second Round, Afternoon Session (12pm-4pm)

  • Terry Jenkins v Clayton/Hamilton
  • Stephen Bunting v Frost/Stoyke
  • Robert Thornton v Newton/Griffiths
  • Jelle Klaasen v Edhouse/Ward
  • Benito van de Pas v Green/Gurney
  • Mensur Suljovic v Michael/Herz
  • Ian White v A Jenkins/Petersen
  • Michael Smith v Richardson/Petri

Second Round, Evening Session (6pm-10pm)

  • Simon Whitlock v Price/Newell
  • Kim Huybrechts v Van den Bergh/de Graaf
  • Dave Chisnall v Henderson/Dekker
  • Peter Wright v Rettig/West
  • Gary Anderson v Viljanen/Schindler
  • James Wade v Hopp/Boulton
  • Michael van Gerwen v Caven/Kist
  • Alan Norris v Reyes/Anderson

Prize fund:

  • Winner: £25,000
  • Runner-up: £10,000
  • Semi-final losers: £5,000
  • Quarter-Final losers: £3,500
  • Third round losers: £2,000
  • Second round losers: £1,500
  • First round losers: £1,000

Van Gerwen Bests Taylor In World Matchplay

Michael Van Gerwen made it back-to-back Blackpool wins last weekend when he saw off the challenge of Phil Taylor to win this year’s World Matchplay title, his 12th victory of 2016.

World Matchplay
It was a brutal performance by the Dutchman who closed the game over fifteen-time Blackpool winner Taylor with an 18-10 victory at the Winter Gardens on Sunday evening, hitting two-thirds of his darts at doubles as well as 12 maximums.

Van Gerwen lost to Taylor on the Winter Gardens stage two years ago, but there never looked like there would be a repeat of the defeat even after a maximum helped Taylor take the opening leg. Van Gerwen responded immediately and closed at 70 to level and 77 to break Taylor’s throw in the third leg. Soon after, a brilliant 11-dart finish, which included two 180s, saw the Dutchman move 3-1 ahead.

Taylor struck back in the fifth leg and finished 70 on the bull, only for MVG to respond with a two-dart 93 checkout which was followed by finishes of 65, 110, tops, 63 and 76 over the next six legs to move 11-4 clear of Taylor.

Taylor won two out of the next three, and also claimed legs 11 and 12 to pull things back to 13-8 but a 13-dart finish from the Dutchman was followed by a checkout of 112 as the match swung firmly in the Van Gerwen’s favour. For what is was worth, Taylor rallied once more with a 130 finish and then took out 81 for a 12 darter to stay within touching distance at 15-10, but, with the end in sight, Van Gerwen landed double 16 to complete a brilliant triumph.

The win here means that van Gerwen becomes only the third player in history to retain the prestigious World Matchplay title, a feat shared only by the vanquished Taylor and Rod Harrington back in 1998 and 99.

Van Gerwen said: “It feels amazing to win this title again. I think I played well all through the tournament and I dominated the final – against Phil you always need to step up a bit and I did. To beat Phil is always nice because he’s a legend and I’ve got so much respect for him. He knows that and that makes it even better to win this trophy by beating him.”

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Taylor’s Made For Blackpool: The Power Is A Must Bet

Phil "The Power" Taylor - darts' greatest ever
Tonight, at 19:15 UK time, the last remaining quarter-finals of the World Darts Matchplay take place as Mervyn King and Phil Taylor meet, with the latter 1/10 to make Saturday’s semi-finals. This will be immediately followed by World Champion Gary Anderson facing off against a rejuvenated Steve Beaton.

Last night, our outside betting tip for the week Phil Chisnall was eliminated courtesy of Michael Van Gerwen. Mighty Mike raced ahead but Chizzy threw admirably and more than once showed MVG that the game was far from over.

However, anytime the Dutchman felt threatened, he simply switched up a gear and furthered his lead. Ending up the 16-9 winner, he takes another step towards winning a second title at the Blackpool event.

Moments earlier, Adrian Lewis had seen off Peter Wright against a hostile, but jovial, crowd. Despite the boos raining down from the masses, the Stoke-born thrower won out 16-14 in a close match against Snakebite.

So the big three remain and could, by tomorrow, make up the last three quarters of the final four. Along with Lewis, these are the top four PDC ranked players in the world right now.

World Matchplay Darts 2016 betting tips: Phil Taylor to clinch 16th Blackpool title

Lewis’s and Van Gerwen’s semi-final on Saturday is a rematch of their now classic 2013 Matchplay semi-final shoot out which Lewis took before losing the final to Taylor. Before last night, Van Gerwen had dropped just five legs all week and with form like that, he is the clear favourite with the bookies at 4/7 across our betting room partners.

Only Adrian Lewis stands in his way as the pair meet in the first of tomorrow’s two semi-final matches. Jackpot is 10/1 at betway, but cannot afford to waste a dart if he is to make Sunday’s final.

In tonight’s last two remaining fixtures, old timer Steve Beaton (150/1 at bet365) has to overcome World Champion Gary “The Flying Scotsman” Anderson. As much as the crowd would love to see the “Bronzed Adonis” rewind the clock back even further, it is hard to look beyond Anderson who is a best price of 7/2 across the board for outright event winner.

Likewise, tonight’s other game pairs Mervyn King with Blackpool legend Phil “The Power” Taylor. King is also 150/1 at bet365 to take the crown but it is fifteen-time champion Taylor that looks too good to turn down, especially when such a talent is available at 5/1 at betway.

Since the tournament’s inception in 1994, Taylor has won 15 World Matchplay titles. This includes a run of seven in a row that began in 2008 and he is on track to add to his tally. It would be unwise to bet against him in what is sure to be an extremely tight climax to another great World Matchplay tournament.

This Weekend’s Matches

Friday July 22


  • Mervyn King v Taylor
  • Gary Anderson v Steve Beaton

Saturday July 23


  • Adrian Lewis V Michael Van Gerwen
  • King/Taylor v Anderson/Beaton

Sunday July 24


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