A Darting Recap Of the Year So Far

A Darting Recap Of the Year So Far

As we step into July, now is as good a time as any to have a quick and concise look back at what’s happened so far in 2021.

Obviously, it’s been another broken year so far and no one quite knows what’s around the corner but with well over half the UK population now receiving both vaccinations, hopefully normality is just around the corner.

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The government are hopeful that all current restrictions will be lifted by the 19th of July, which is just two days after the World Matchplay gets underway in Blackpool. 

But, broken as it is, let’s look back at what has happened so far in this first six months of darts in 2021.

2021 so far

The year started, as it always does, at the Ally Pally where, just a few days in, Gerwyn ‘The Iceman’ Price dislodged Mighty Michael van Gerwen as the world number one by beating Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson in the final of the World Championships to become the highest-ranked darter in the game.

By the end of the month, Price’s World Cup winning partner Go Go Jonny Clayton picked up his first ever televised PDC major when he successfully took don the Darts Masters which also came with the added bonus of awarding him the final Premier League of Darts place.

Save for a few Players Championship events, February — which is normally when the Darts Premier League gets underway — was largely void of darting action meaning we had to wait until early March for the UK Open

The third PDC main event of the season went the way of James ‘The Machine’ Wade, who beat Luke Humphries in the final which was held in Milton Keynes, which has become a temporary base for the PDC over the past 18 months.

April and May saw a hurried and rushed Premier League format return. Played nightly rather than weekly and all in the same venue, we eventually whittled the ten-man field down to two darters: Portuguese Jose De Sousa who was beaten by the eventual winner, Jonny Clayton. 

The event was missed by world champion Price after the world number one returned a positive test for Covid-19 on the eve of the Premier League and was forced to spend some time watching on from the sidelines.

Since then, in this condensed year, there have been a smattering of untelevised Player Championship events, which have seen successes for the likes of Jose De Sousa and Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright.

But with the Alexandra Palace World Darts Championships, the Darts World Cup and the World Darts Matchplay still to come, there is still a lot more to look forward to in 2021.

Still To Come In 2021

World Matchplay

  • Winter Gardens, Blackpool, July 17-25

World Cup of Darts

  • Sparkassen-Arena, Jena, Germany, September 9-12

Nordic Darts Masters 

  • Forum Copenhagen, September 17-18

World Grand Prix 

  • Citywest Convention Centre, Dublin, October 3-9

World Series of Darts Finals

  • AFAS Live, Amsterdam, October 29-31

Players Championship Finals

  • Butlin’s Minehead Resort, November 26-28

PDC World Championship 2021

  • Alexandra Palace, December 15 – January 3
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Darts To Have Four World Championships

Darts To Have Four World Championships

With the demise of the BDO, Darts was left with one solitary World Championship but, as of 2022, three new amateur events will be added to the calendar meaning there will actually be four separate championships.

The main one, the PDC Darts World Championship, which was won last year by Gerwyn ‘The Iceman’ Price, will take place as usual from mid-December to early January. 

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On top of this, the World Darts Federation have announced their plans to launch their own World Championship in early January, holding it at Lakeside where and when the BDO used to hold their now-defunct world championships.

Given that it overlaps with the PDC version, its hard to see this event faring any better than the BDO’s event, which suffered from being the poor relation to the PDC event and set off just after the main event wrapped.

One suggestion the BDO had to save its tourney before folding was to move their championships to the Easter holidays to avoid clashing with the Alexandra Palace event.

Unifying World Amateur Champions

The WDF World Championships will not be darts-only new world tourney.

There will also be World Senior Championship, which will be held at the Circus Tavern in February where 16 times PDC World Champion Phil Taylor, Martin Adams, John Lowe, Ted Hankey and John Part will all be in competition.

To cap it all, the Modern Amateur Darts (MAD) organisation, which only launched last year, will be hosting their inaugural World Championship in December, before the Ally Pally event gets underway.

A bit like boxing, amateur darts could be over represented with different organisations with players able to compete in multiple events and win multiple awards to become the undisputed amateur champion. 

Welshman Wayne Warren won the final ever BDO World Championships and also holds the MAD world belt. Were he to also lay claim to WDF Championship, he could claim to be the undisputed king of amateur darts.

At 59, he is also eligible for the World Seniors event.

Price Returns For Players Championship 16

Of course, another Welshman is the reigning champion of Darts’ only other World Championship, the PDC version.

By far the biggest event in Darts, world number one Gerwyn Price was the 2021 winner, but has barely played since then and missed out on the Darts Premier League, won by yet another Welshman in Jonny Clayton, entirely after he returned a positive test for the virus.

He makes a return to the oche this week for the PDC Super Series 4 following three months watching on from home. It will be his first competitive PDC action since March when he came runner up in another Players Championship event.

Price has been priced up at 13/2 with online bookmaker bet365 to win the Players Championship 16 event outright. That makes him the second favourite for the event, which is not on TV, behind 5/1 favourite Michael van Gerwen.

Jose De Sousa is also priced at 13/2, with Jonny Clayton available at 11/1. Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright is 14s as is Dimitri Van Den Bergh, while Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson is 18/1, all with bet365.PDC Super Series 4 will see four Players Championship events played at the Marshall Arena in the extremely familiar Milton Keynes this week, with 128 players competing for the titles across each day of action.

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