In the words of the immortal song, "Oh, what a night!" So, so close to the perfect night for us, but Andy Hamilton came back from the brink to beat Antonio Alcinas! Still, we're now 10-10 and we're in the profit right before Christmas, which is perfect. We're standing at a respectable +3.28 units, thanks to Kevin Painter and Mervyn King doing my confidence in them justice.
Another night of darts with an international flavour, as we have the obligatory Englishmen, an American, a Scot, a German, a Dutchman and a Serb - proof that this really has become the WORLD Championship. We start off with an England versus America match, so let's get to it!
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Colin Lloyd (13) versus Darin Young.
Colin Lloyd best price: 4/9 @ Stan James.
Darin Young best price: 9/5 @ Betfair.
There was a time not so long ago that both men would have been featured heavily in the TV tournaments, but both men have been unsighted quite a bit, although Colin Lloyd has been having a bit of a resurgence of late... slightly.
But Colin Lloyd hasn't had a terrible year, just not back to the Colin Lloyd of old. That being said, being a former World No.1, Lloyd's standards were higher than most. He has had a floor tournament final in Holland, as well as a couple of quarter-finals. That being said, he's been pretty lousy in comparison to other players in the top 32. He's won three times on TV this year, with two of them coming in February, so his form on TV matches his form on the floor.
Darin Young hasn't been on TV since last year's World Championship, where he lost 3-0 to Wes Newton. The PDC Tour events he's played in (very few), he's also not done too well, so it's safe to say that Darin Younng supporters will be hoping he's been winning a lot of regional events and that he's actually in very good form.
It's a battle of the out-of-sorts players, so will class shine through? You would have thought so. The bookies think so, and I tend to agree with them. Lloyd does have the class that should be enough to take him through, but the price is just shocking for someone in that form, and it's only because he's playing someone in just as shocking form, if not worse!
However, we could be getting a few legs here, and both men will fancy a decent checkout or two, so the line at 118.5 is good enough for a dabble with the Irish bookmaker.
Highest checkout in Colin Lloyd versus Darin Young match over 118.5: 5/6 @ Paddy Power.
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Joe Cullen versus Oliver Ferenc.
Joe Cullen best price: 1/3 @ Victor Chandler
Oliver Ferenc best price: 12/5 @ Betfair.
Three time PDC Under-21 Tour winner, as well as Pro Tour finalist back in April, Joe Cullen comes in one of the more accomplished qualifiers, and he'll be disappointed not to have won automatically through in the PDPA qualifier. However, he's not got a bad draw, with the Serb Oliver Ferenc not bringing as much to the table as he is. Again, although I don't know much about Ferenc, he shouldn't be too much trouble for one of the hottest players on the Under-21 Tour and an exciting prospect in the PDC ranks. Cullen's price shows this, and 1/3 in a race to 4 is horrible, but surely he should have too much for someone without any results really worth mentioning.
I can't, in good faith, recommend backing anyone at 1/3 in a best of 9 legs match, but Cullen should be good enough here to take this prelim match down and get a match later in the evening against Terry Jenkins.
Recommend: No bet.
Colin Osborne (21) versus Michael van Gerwen.
Colin Osborne best price: Evens @ Victor Chandler
Michael van Gerwen best price: 10/11 @ Paddy Power.
How the mighty have fallen (no pun intended). Both players here had both been touted as being one of the next big things in darts, and now Osborne is the No.21 seed and Mighty Mike isn't even seeded. The bookies simply can't split these two, and it's definitely going to be a close one.
Colin Osborne has had a win on the Pro Tour in the last couple of motnhs, as well as a final earlier in the year, but it's his televised results that have shown the massive slump in form. Osborne has won once on TV this year, narrowly getting past Denis Ovens in February. However, since then he's suffered loses to Steve Farmer, Paul Nicholson and, most recently, Kevin Painter on TV, so he's not progressed anywhere near to where he should have been. His 180 scoring has also been letting him down, and two of his televised averages have been under 90, and one was only a fraction over. So, he's just no been at the races when it's counted.
As for Michael van Gerwen, I don't know what to say. He had so much potential, yet never fulfilled it. Now he's plying his trade reasonably well on the PDC Under-21 Tour, winning four tournaments, and making the final of a few more. So it's not been a bad year in terms of tournaments, but it's his results with the big boys that really matter and until the Grand Slam of Darts, the Dutchman hadn't been anywhere near our TV screens.
Van Gerwen hasn't been playing that badly when he's been on TV, while Osborne hasn't been too hot. Van Gerwen's averages has been far in excess of what could be required to beat Osborne. That's not to say it's a foregone conclusion, but I just think that Van Gerwen has shown enough at times, especially during the GSOD to show he's playing better than Osborne at the moment. His 180 scoring should take him through, and as long as he doesn't play like an idiot, he should come through after a scrap.
Michael van Gerwen to beat Colin Osborne: 10/11 @ Paddy Power.
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Gary Anderson (4) versus Jyhan Artut.
Gary Anderson best price: 1/14 @ Victor Chandler
Jyhan Artut best price: 9/1 @ Paddy Power.
What is there left for me to write about Gary Anderson? If you have even the slightest bit of knowledge about darts, you'll know that Anderson is in with a real chance of winning the World Championship, especially as he was last year's runner-up. The Scotsman has had another good year, winning the Premier League title and then winning seven floor tournaments on his way to becoming the No.7 seed. So, I think it's safe to say he deserves to be 1/14.
The price really soldifies itself when you see that Jyhan Artut really isn't anywhere near the same league as Anderson. To be fair to the German, he does hold two wins at the World Championship, with a prelim win over Scott MacKenzie (who won his prelim match earlier in the week), and also over Wayne Mardle. So, Artut isn't exactly a mug, but if he lost to Denis Ovens last year 3-1, it's safe to safe Anderson will do the same, if not more. Artut's best result of the year was a semi-final on the floor in Germany in October, so compared to Anderson's best results, it's non-comparable.
Is there a shock in the making? I seriously doubt it. Yes, shocks can happen and James Wade looked in danger briefly last night, but Anderson will be hungry for this. There is no-one that compete with Anderson's scoring, so the only way Anderson can even lose a set is if his doubling goes a bit mental, as it sometimes can! 1/14 isn't a price for us, 3-0 @ 8/11 isn't anywhere near the value we'd want, so we'll take a look at the highest checkout market. The line of 118.5 could just be a bit high, especially if Anderson does to Artut what Mervyn King did to Geoff Kime last night. I can see Artut winning few, if any, legs and Anderson won't have to fight for them. So, let's take the unders on the line and hope Anderson has a little double trouble.
Highest checkout in Gary Anderson versus Jyhan Artut match under 118.5: 5/6 @ Victor Chandler
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Terry Jenkins (10) versus Cullen/Ferenc.
If Joe Cullen can come through the prelim match, he's going to give Terry Jenkins a bit of a fight. Jenkins isn't the force to be reckoned with that he once was and if we had prices up for this, I would be tempted to have a dabble on Cullen if the price was right. As it stands, I can't advise anything, so just sit back and hope that Cullen gets through so we can have a magnificent match to end the night.
That's all for Day Six of the PDC World Championship. There will be more free darts betting tips tomorrow, but until then, remember our good friends that are offering £50 of free bets to their new customers. Don't forget to head over to 888.com.