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PDC 2011 Players Championship Day One Tips

Well, it wasn't too long to wait until we had another tournament that we could bet on. Last year, the Players Championship was televised on ITV4, this time it's being streamed live over at Planet Darts for a small fee, which is frustrating, as I thought it heralded a new beginning for darts coverage. Now Sky have the Grand Slam of Darts and ITV have nothing.

Anyway, it's a fun tuornament and it comes from the Doncaster Dome, which is a shame, as I did like it coming from the Circus Tavern, as I thought it was the spiritual home of the PDC. Still, no time for sentiment when there's a chance to make some money. Hopefully you've still got some of the big winnings from the BDO World Championships and we'll invent some of it here and make some more money to start saving for that expensive summer holiday.

If you want a free bet on the Players Championship, the place to be betting is Betfair. You'll find the best prices consistently at Betfair and a free £25 is nothing to scoff at!

Free £25 bet @ Betfair.

Now, here are the tips for the first day's play. The tournament starts at 7:00pm, so make sure you've got your bets on in time!

Colin Osborne vs Denis Ovens.

Both men had decent weekends in Halle at the first floor tournament of the year, but Osborne finished the year as the more consistent player. Thgat being said, Ovens picked up a win over Phil Taylor on his way to the semi-finals in Sunday's tournament and was unlucky to run into Barney in Saturday's tournament. So this match should be closer than the bookies have it, so Denis Ovens is clearly the value pick, especially over the best of 11 legs.

Denis Ovens to beat Colin Osborne 13/8 @ Betfair.

Recommend: 2 units @ 13/8

Andy Hamilton vs Dennis Priestley.

Andy Hamilton will not want to be reminded of his World Championship performance. He was shocking. Dennis Priestley, on the other hand, took part in one of the best matches of the tournament in his defeat to Gary Anderson. Hamilton is a slight favourite here, but Priestley is going to be at home in Yorkshire, so this could be a real close one. In a race to 6, either man could win this and while Hamilton showed some form in Germany, it's not enough to convince me he's the man to be backing. Avoid this match, as we're not sure what Andy Hamilton is going to turn up.

Recommend: No bet.

Mark Walsh vs Steve Farmer.

Mark Walsh comes into this tournament in form, losing in the semi-final in Halle to Ronnie Baxter. Walsh disappointed at the World Championships, but he should have enough to dispose of Steve Farmer. Farmer didn't travel to Germany for the weekend tournaments, so we don't know what his form will be like. Walsh should take this, even though Farmer came into some form towards the end of the year. However, 1/2 is no price for a race to six. We'll leave this match alone.

Recommend: No bet.

Jamie Caven vs Barrie Bates.

Two men who are unpredictable. Bates could have had a good run at the World Championship, but he came unstuck against Kevin McDine, where he played shocking. That being said, Caven didn't impress too much in December, either, so both men have something to prove in this tournament. Neither man impressed in Germany, either, so it's safe to say either man could take this and the bookies think so, too. Like the last two matches, leave this one well alone.

Recommend: No bet.

Ronnie Baxter vs Andy Smith.

Oh, two form men who have been unlucky to be drawn against each othger. Ronnie Baxter took the sunday tournament in Halle, beating Mark Walsh convincingly in the semi-finals, then defeating Antonio Alcinas in the final. Smith beat Phil Taylor in the fourth ronud on the Saturday, before going out in the quarter-finals to an in-form John Henderson. However, Smith's Sunday performance saw him go out to Magnus Caris in the second round. Baxter had defeated Caris on the saturday, so using that form line, Baxter is the man we want to back and his price is better than I thought it would be. while there's no doubt Smith is playing some good darts, Baxter is a man we want to be on when he's in form.

Ronnie Baxter to beat Andy Smith 4/5 @ Betfair.

Recommend: 2 units.

Wayne Jones vs Kevin Painter.

Is Kevin Painter's time at the "top" over? Personally, I think it is, after his 3-0 defeat to Brendal Dolan at the Alexandra Palace in December. Wayne Jones has been gonig from strength to strength over the last few years, which is completely different to his first round opponent. Both men didn't put in great showings in Halle, but Jones should have too much for a player who's waining.

Wayne Jones to beat Kevin Painter 4/6 @ Betfair.

Recommend: 2 units.

Gary Anderson vs Justin Pipe.

You know, I like Justin Pipe, I really do. However, he's up against the runner-up in the World Championship and Gary Anderson will be wanting to prove that he's able to build upon that showing and start winning the big tournaments in the PDC. Anderson is no prove to win, but I just can't see a Pipe victory.

Recommend: No bet.

colin Lloyd vs Jelle Klassen.

Final match of the night and we have the heavyweight boxing champion of Alexandra Palace taking on Jelle Klassen. Colin Lloyd had a decent end to 2010, but let himself and his supported down at the World Championships. The same can be said for Kklassen, although he didn't even have a great end to 2010. In fact, he had a shocking 2010 by his standards. While Klassen had the better time of it in Germany, he wasn't setting the world on fire, so I think we'll call it a night without having a bet, as neither man can be trusted, especially with my money.

Recommend: No bet.

And that's it for the first night of the PDC Players Chamiponship. Remember, if you want to watch, get yourself over to Planet Darts and buy the live stream. And before you do that, remember that there is a free bet on offer for you over at Betfair.

Free £25 bet @ Betfair.

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