What a strange night of darts last night. We saw three whitewashes, and one of them was the five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld. Still, we went 2-1 last night, taking us to 8-9, and we're now getting back on track at -2.22 units.
The second round is already shaping up to be an interesting group, and we've still got three nights of first round matches to go. We've got an international feel to things tonight, with a Spaniard and an Australian joining the English players tonight. So let's get things underway.
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Andy Hamilton (17) versus Antonio Alcinas.
Andy Hamilton best price: 2/5 @ 888.com.
Antonio Alcinas best price: 11/5 @ Betfair.
Aside from a quarter-final in the World Matchplay, 2011 hasn't been a spectacular year for Andy Hamilton. He's struggled to find the form on the floor has was once known for and the fact he's never progressed past the quarter-finals in a floor tournament sums up his poor year. However, there's no denying that on his day that Hamilton is a good player, and can score heavily. But he's just not been in that kind of form. The fact he failed to win a match in Group Three of the Champions League Darts again points to the frailties in his game at the moment.
Around this time last year, Antonio Alcinas burst onto everyone's radars with his performance for Spain at the World Cup of Darts where he made it to the semi-finals, before losing to the Netherlands. However, in Alcinas' other televised performances, he'd been beaten by Mark Walsh, James Wade and Kim Huybrechts. So, Alcinas isn't in the upper echelons of the game, but at 32 there's plenty of time for him to come good. His consistency on the floor is about as good as Hamilton's, with him making a final in Germany at the start of the year. Since Alcinas doesn't play on the PDC Tour every week, we don't know how good he really is, but his recent results may not seem to paint him in the same light as Kim Huybrechts.
Both men are quite out of form, and the main thing here is that Andy Hamilton is no value at all at 2/5. There might just be a bit of value in Alcinas, as I think it could be closer than the bookies does. While it's not a foregone conclusion, Hamilton can't be trusted and he's been known to self-destruct. So let's hope it's one of those times!
Antonio Alcinas to beat Andy Hamilton: 11/5 @ Betfair.
Recommend: 1 unit.
Per Laursen versus Petri Korte.
Per Laursen best price: 2/5 @ Betfair.
Petri Korte best price: 5/2 @ Betfair.
I'll tell you right now that I know little about Petri Korte. He won his place here as Finland's qualifier. He's also tried his luck in a few WDF events with no success to note. Per Laursen, he's one of the most experienced players now just in the prelim matches, but in the tournament itself. He's made the last 32 on two occasions, most recently defeating John Part to secure his place in the second round.
I would like to think Laursen isn't going to be troubled by his Finnish opponent, and I don't think he will be. However, 2/5 is no price for us and the bookies aren't putting much up in the way of markets, so we'll leave well alone. If 2/5 is a price that interests yuo, you can get that at Betfair.
Recommend: No bet.
Mervyn King (12) versus Geoff Kime.
Mervyn King best price: 1/10 @ Betfair.
Geoff Kime best price: 13/2 @ Victor Chandler
The Oceanic Masters winner, Geoff Kime, faces a tough test taking on a bit of a resurgent Mervyn King. King is coming off the back of a win over Phil Taylor at the Players Championship Finals. King hasn't had the best year, but he's still put in some great performances. He's had some semi-finals on the floor, he won in Spain and he looked great in Doncaster. The problem is that he's just not had a sparkling year.
But King has got lucky that he's taking on Geoff Kime. While I don't know really anything about Kime, I think it's safe to say that the level he's playing at isn't the standard that King is playing at.
The prices sum this one up, and even the King 3-0 is odds-on, which sums up what the bookies thing of Kime's chances. However, there's one line that interests me and that's the number of maximums. If Kime is as hopeless as the bookies would have you believe and a 3-0 scoreline is a sure thing (according to the bookies, again), then 4.5 180s is surely going to come under. King hit 4 in 16 legs in his quarter-final defeat in the Players Championship Finals, and surely this match won't go 16 legs, so I think the bookies have been a bit generous here.
Under 4.5 180s in Mervyn King versus Geoff Kime match: 5/6 @ Victor Chandler
Recommend: 3 units.
Kevin Painter (22) versus Arron Monk.
Kevin Painter best price: 8/15 @ Victor Chandler
Arron Monk best price: 7/4 @ Paddy Power.
Players Championship Finals champion Kevin Painter is looking to keep the form going into the World Championship, the scene of his previously greatest hour back in 2004, where he lost in the final to Phil Taylor in one of the greatest darts matches of all time. It's no secret that he's had a terrible year by his once lofty standards, but his success at the Players Championship may just signal a return to some kind of form. His 180s in the final totally 9, he was impressive on his doubling and he totally deserved that win. Before that this year, he had a few quarter-finals on the floor and a final in Canada and that was it, really.
Arron Monk, the former Under-21 World Champion comes here in pretty poor form - he lost all three matches at the Grand Slam of Darts and was shocking in two of his matches. He's struggled on the floor, even in hte Under-21 Tour events, and has just failed to live up to his early potential.
It's a good match for Painter to have if he's looking to continue this great run of form, and I believe he can. Painter got the crowd behind him, and he's a player that just thrives on confidence. When he's not playing well, his head goes down, but when his firing on all cylinders, he's a hard player to beat. If he plays even at 90% of the form he showed in Doncaster, Monk will be in a lot of trouble. The 8/15 is a bit prohibitive, but I genuinely believe he's a good thing here, and the price on offer for him on the handicap is like an early Christmas present.
Kevin Painter -1.5 sets to beat Arron Monk: Evens @ Paddy Power.
Recommend: 4 units.
James Wade (3) versus Lauren/Korte.
James Wade has the privilege of facing the winner of tonight's prelim match. Either man shouldn't pose the man from Aldershot any trouble, as he starts his tilt at a maiden World Championship title. But, as ever, the prices aren't available, as I don't know who he will be facing. But Wade will be a short, short, short price regardless of who makes it through, so just sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
That's all of your free darts betting tips for Day Five of the PDC World Championship. It's a great way to spent a cold Monday night, so have a few bets, enjoy the darts and happy betting!
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