2021 PDC World Darts Championship Post Christmas Predictions

2021 PDC World Darts Championship Post Christmas Predictions

The PDC World Darts Championship is taking a three-day Christmas break returning on Monday 27th so now is as good a time as ever to take a look back at highlights from the past eight days as well as what we can expect going forward.

While there have been a few shock exits, none of the big hitters have come unstuck as of yet so there is every reason to continue to believe that, with the possible exception of Jonny Clayton, there will be no new name on the Sid Waddell Trophy this year.

Former holders Rob Cross, Peter Wright, Michael van Gerwen and current reigning champ Gerwyn Price all sailed safely through to the post-Christmas period, and there is every chance that the winner will be one those once again.

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What happened during Week One?

The undeniable high point of the first week was Willie Borland’s history-making nine-darter in his game against Bam Bam Bradley Brooks. 

Never before have we seen one hit to win a match. To see it happen to decide what had been a fantastic match between two of the game’s upcoming stars was nothing short of sensational.

This is especially true for Borland, who was making his Ally Pally debut. What a way to do it.

It was also the first time a nine-dart finish has been landed in front of an audience at the Alexandra Palace since Borland’s fellow Scot Gary Anderson pulled the feat off six years ago.

Borland has since lost to Ryan Searle but leaves having created a piece of darting history that will live long in the memory.

Amazingly, the following day another nine-darter was struck, this time by Lithuania’s Darius Labanauskas.

Labanauskas’ perfect leg was not, however, enough to keep him in the tournament as he lost his match to Belgium’s Mike De Decker.

Speaking of Belgium, Dimitri Van Den Bergh was the highest numbered seed to crash out in round one.

The Dream Maker was shot down 1-3 by Germany’s newest darting star Florian Hempel.

Mensur Suljovic, Krzysztof Ratajski and Fallon Sherrock have all also failed to make it past the first round.

Heavy Hitters still in the fight

The big three – Gerwyn Price, Peter Wright and Michael van Gerwen – are all safely through to the next round and all of them looked impressive while achieving it.

World number eight Jonny Clayton also put in a good performance against young Irishman Keane Barry in what was a very good match which included ten ton plus finishes.

Barry is another future star of the game and gave the Ferret, one of the best players in the world right now, a real scare.

Elsewhere, momentum is building for a rejuvenated Rob Cross, who dismissed crowd favourite Raymond van Barneveld on Thursday night.

True, his average wasn’t as high as many other performances, but he was up against the crowd. The way he responded to going one set down against Barney will do wonders for his confidence when he reflects on his achievements over the Christmas break.

Voltage did very well to get rid of Raymond van Barneveld, but things won’t get any softer against Daryl Gurney, which could make the tie of the third round.

If Cross can raise up his average closer to the 100 mark then he has a real chance of winning a second world title.

Speaking of averages, the best statistical performance of the tournament so far goes to Michael Smith, who produced an average of 106 against Ron Meulenkamp.

Unfortunately for Bully Boy, who is a former finalist here, he is chucking in the same quarter as tournament favourite and world number one Gerwyn Price.

Another Welsh winner

Our top darts betting tips? Nothing has changed my mind that the most likely winner will be whichever Welshman – Price or Clayton – comes through their likely quarter-final clash on New Year’s Day. Price is available on Bet365 for 4/1 while Clayton can be snagged for 13/2 to win the event outright.

Before then, on Monday, December 27, both have prior matches to take care of. 

Price will need to see off Kim Huybrechts, which he very much should do, while Clayton is required to overcome Gabriel Clemens, and then possibly Bully Boy Smith, if they are to meet in the last eight.

Now that Dimitri Van den Bergh and Ratajski have crashed out, the final quarter of the draw has bust wide open.

This should provide world number four James Wade, and maybe even Joe Cullen, with an opportunity to go on a deep run.

Peter Wright has a bumpy-looking potential run to the final but it’s nothing that should faze him.

As good as they all are, Ryan Searle, Jose de Sousa and Nathan Aspinall can all give Snakebite a scare, but the quality he can produce when he is on form coupled with the experience he has makes him a real threat to recover the crown he won in 2020.

Finally, Michael van Gerwen has a tricky clash with Chris Dobey and, while he still doesn’t look like the force he once was, is never out of contention.

MONDAY DECEMBER 27

Third Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • Ross Smith v Dirk Van Duijvenbode
  • Michael Smith v William O’Connor
  • Florian Hempel v Raymond Smith
  • James Wade v Vincent Van der Voort
  • Gerwyn Price v Kim Huybrechts
  • Jonny Clayton v Gabriel Clemens

TUESDAY DECEMBER 28

Third Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • Steve Lennon v Mervyn King
  • Ryan Searle v Danny Noppert
  • Joe Cullen v Martijn Kleermaker
  • Rob Cross v Daryl Gurney
  • Peter Wright v Damon Heta
  • Michael van Gerwen v Chris Dobey

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 29

Third/Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • Jose De Sousa v Alan Soutar
  • Dave Chisnall v Luke Humphries
  • Nathan Aspinall v Callan Rydz
  • Gary Anderson v Ian White​
  • 2x Fourth Round

THURSDAY DECEMBER 30

Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 6x matches

Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 sets)

  • 4x matches

SUNDAY JANUARY 2

Semi-Finals (Best of 11 sets)

  • 2x matches

MONDAY JANUARY 3

Final (Best of 13 sets)

  • Winner Semi Final 1 v Winner Semi Final 2

QUICK GLANCE AT THE WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2022

Venue: The Alexandra Palace, London

Dates:  15 December 2021 – 3rd January 2022

Format: Best of 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 sets

Current Champion: Gerwyn Price

Where To Watch: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Darts & Sky Sports Arena

When To Watch: 12:30, 19:00 (UK)

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8 Warning Signs That Your Loved One Has A Gambling Problem

8 Warning Signs That Your Loved One Has A Gambling Problem

A gambling problem is a scary thing to come to terms with. If you suspect someone you love has a gambling problem, it can be hard to know where to start.

We’re going to give you some of the common warning signs of gambling problems. And then you can try to identify if you’ve seen those signs in your loved one. But keep in mind, if you are worried at all, don’t ignore that feeling. You should still seek help if their gambling makes you uncomfortable.

1. Do they find it difficult to stop spending?

If they often lose the run of their spending, particularly while gambling, this can be a big warning sign.

2. Do they spend a lot of time gambling?

While most people gamble for a relatively short amount of time in their week, some people can spend hours upon hours gambling. This can be an indication they have an issue.

3. Do they lie about their gambling?

If they try to hide the fact they’re gambling from people or lie about it, this can show they are covering up a larger problem.

4. Do they borrow or even steal to fund their habit?

No one should ever gamble with more than they can afford. People who borrow money in order to gamble, simply shouldn’t be gambling. And, of course, stealing is an even worse sign.

5. Does gambling cause friction in their relationships?

Whether it’s with you or someone else they’re close to, when gambling is a constant source of arguments and conflict in general, it’s not good.

6. Are they becoming increasingly withdrawn?

Is your loved one cancelling plans with family and friends and becoming more and more insular? This might mean they have or are developing problem gambling.

7. Have they lost interest in their hobbies?

Similarly, we all need a variety of things to keep us going in life. If gambling begins to eclipse hobbies and activities they used to enjoy, that is a bad sign.

8. Has their work or studies began to suffer?

Constantly calling in sick to work or university, underperforming in areas they used to excel in, failing exams, missing deadlines, getting cautions. All of these things indicate something major is happening in their life. If that is gambling, it needs to stop.

Answered yes to any of these questions? Get the help you and your loved one needs

The sad truth is that you cannot force your loved one to stop gambling, even if you suspect they have a gambling problem. But you can talk to them frankly and honestly about their concerns and encourage them to get the help they need.

Before you have that difficult, but necessary, conversation, seek some help from expert organizations. They are here to support you and have appropriate resources to help you start this conversation.

If you’re in the United States, the National Council on Problem Gambling can help online or via phone on 1800 522 4700. For those in the United Kingdom, visit Be Gamble Aware or call 0808 8020 133. And for other countries and regions, here’s a comprehensive list of international gambling help websites.

And remember, if you know your loved one has a problem and they are still gambling online, you can contact that gambling website directly via customer services to voice your concerns and, potentially, get their account shut down.

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PDC World Darts Championships 2021 Betting Tips

PDC World Darts Championships 2021 Betting Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the PDC World Darts Championships are back at the Ally Pally to brighten up our Christmas all over again.

The game’s ultimate pantomime villain Gerwyn Price is the early favourite to defend his title at 4/1 with bet365

The Iceman was unstoppable when taking down his first world title in front of an empty Alexandra Palace twelve months ago and will now be keen to prove himself in front of a packed house come January the 3rd.

Despite pleas from the world number one to go easy on him and “chill out a bit”, the boo boys will likely be out for the Welshman who has admitted he doesn’t enjoy the hostility he generates when he throws.

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Pantomime Villain

In the past, he has turned the noise into fuel for throwing some tremendous darts and the sad likelihood he will probably need to do so again. 

If he does, he will be near invincible over the next few weeks in North London.

As is typical of him, Price’s form was so so during the first half of the year but in the second half, and in the run up to the worlds, he always seems to see things pick up for him.

Since the beginning of September, the Iceman has won 25 of his 30 matches including last month’s Grand Slam Final against Peter Wright.

That was the third time in four years Price has won that event and this time it came about after beating his Welsh countryman Jonny Clayton in the quarter-finals.

When he is in form, and he looks red hot right now, he is near imperious at the oche and is back to looking like the best player in the world. 

The Iceman has everything required to become the first back-to-back champion since the man he beat in last year’s final, Gary Anderson, in 2016. 

The Year Of The Ferret

The two World Cup winning partners could face off in the last eight in a match which could very well determine the eventual winner given the year they have both had.

No one in darts has had a better 2021 than the Ferret. 

Since the pair won the 2020 World Cup of Darts together with Wales, Clayton has been on a heater like no other. 

One that has seen him pick up televised tournament wins in the World Grand Prix, Premier League, Masters and the World Series Finals and a win in the Ally Pally could very much be on the cards.

He will need to do better than the last time they met though where Price dismissed him with ease in Wolverhampton.

12 months ago, Clayton wasn’t in the reckoning for this title and was still basking in his world cup win, but now he is up to eight in the world with plenty of scope to climb much higher still.

Clayton is definitely one of the top three in the world on current form and comes into the Ally Pally event as the eighth seed and priced at 13/2 with bet365 which if he makes it past the world number one will look like very generous odds indeed.

You Can’t Beat A Bit Of Bully Boy

The Welsh pair have been drawn into a fairly tough quarter which also features Michael Smith.

One of the most talented and quickest throwers on the circuit, it seems incredible that Bully Boy is still searching for his first major title.

He recently made light work of Michael van Gerwen in the last eight of the Grand Slam to show what he is capable of and is still inside the world’s top 10 so the 25/1 bet365 have placed on his head looks tempting.

He is definitely in contention.

In the second quarter of the draw, things look a little more open and a tiny bit softer.

To that end, the likes of Joe Cullen and Krzysztof Ratajski have an excellent opportunity to progress to the latter stages of the tourney.

The Queen of the Palace Fallon Sherrock is in there too and takes on The Bronze Adonis Steve Beaton in the opening round where she will certainly back herself.

Beaton has been around forever and is one of the game’s greats reaching the last 16 here in 2002, 2004 and 2020.

He is also a former BDO World Champion winning the Lakeside event in 1996 making him a legend in the sport which means that the boozed-up crowd, which often given Sherrock’s opponents a little bit of stick, should give him an easier ride.

Snakebite Is Back

Peter Wright has to be favourite to come through the third quarter of the draw. 

The incredibly streaky Snakebite won the World Matchplay in July and looked as sharp as ever where his mark of 110.37 was the highest average in semi-final history and the seventh-highest Matchplay average of all time.

Naturally, this being Peter Wright, he spent the next few months chucking some of the worst darts of his career before storming back into form last month when he won the Players Championship Finals at Butlins Resort in Minehead.

He then reached the final of the Grand Slam which suggests he has timed his return to form to perfection given that the biggest event in darts is just around the corner.

bet365 have priced Peter Wright up at 13/2 to become a two-time world champion.

Best Of The Rest

2018 World Champion Rob Cross is another who seems to have rediscovered his winning formula.

Voltage had shown signs earlier in the season that he might be getting back to his best but had to wait until October to claim another title when he landed the European Championship.

Cross can certainly put together a deep run and can be picked up for 28/1 at bet365.

Three-time world champ Michael van Gerwen is of course another very obvious threat.

Mighty Mike will be looking to cap an underperforming year and the basic truth is that you can never rule out MVG even when he is out of form.

Everyone, apart from Price who has finally broken his hoodoo over him, will want to avoid the Dutchman who is available as the second favourite at 4/1 with bet365.

Other stellar names who can go deep are Gary Anderson who, while not the player he once was, knows how to win here and made the final last year. 

At 35/1 The Flying Scotsman is definitely worth an each-way punt. 

The other name to watch out for is Belgium’s former World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh

The DreamMaker has been handed a more than kind draw, landing in the weakest section of the tournament. 

His entertaining style and high averages make him a popular member of the field and, having reached the quarter finals at Ally Pally twice before, he can definitely do better than that this year.

He could even finally pin that nine dart finish he always looks like threatening.

bet365 have placed a 14/1 price on the head of the Belgian.

2021 PDC World Championships Schedule

Wednesday December 15

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Ritchie Edhouse v Lihao Wen (R1)
  • Ricky Evans v Nitin Kumar (R1)
  • Adrian Lewis v Matt Campbell (R1)
  • Gerwyn Price v Edhouse/Wen (R2)

Thursday December 16

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Steve Lennon v Madars Razma (R1)
  • Scott Mitchell v Chris Landman (R1)
  • Chas Barstow v John Norman Jnr (R1)
  • Daryl Gurney v Evans/Kumar (R2)
  • William O’Connor v Danny Lauby (R1)
  • Ryan Meikle v Fabian Schmutzler (R1)
  • Ron Meulenkamp v Lisa Ashton (R1)
  • Gary Anderson v Lewis/Campbell (R2)

Friday December 17

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Ryan Joyce v Roman Benecky (R1)
  • Keane Barry v Royden Lam (R1)
  • Jermaine Wattimena v Boris Koltsov (R1)
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Lennon/Razma (R2)
  • Joe Murnan v Paul Lim (R1)
  • William Borland v Bradley Brooks (R1)
  • Ross Smith v Jeff Smith (R1)
  • Peter Wright v Meikle/Schmutzler (R2)

Saturday December 18

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Jamie Hughes v Raymond Smith (R1)
  • Callan Rydz v Yuki Yamada (R1)
  • Darius Labanauskas v Charles Losper (R1)
  • Ian White v Mitchell/Landman (R2)
  • Adam Hunt v Boris Krcmar (R1)
  • Ted Evetts v Jim Williams (R1)
  • Rowby-John Rodriguez v Nick Kenny (R1)
  • Michael van Gerwen v Barstow/Norman Jnr (R2)

Sunday December 19

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Maik Kuivenhoven v Ky Smith (R1)
  • Jason Heaver v Gordon Mathers (R1)
  • Alan Soutar v Diogo Portela (R1)
  • Stephen Bunting v Ross Smith/J Smith (R2)
  • Martijn Kleermaker v John Michael (R1)
  • Florian Hempel v Martin Schindler (R1)
  • Steve Beaton v Fallon Sherrock (R1)
  • Jonny Clayton v Barry/Lam (R2)

Monday December 20

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Luke Woodhouse v James Wilson (R1)
  • Rusty-Jake Rodriguez v Ben Robb (R1)
  • Raymond van Barneveld v Lourence Ilagan (R1)
  • James Wade v Kuivenhoven/K Smith (R2)

Tuesday December 21

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Lewy Williams v Toyokazu Shibata (R1)
  • Jason Lowe v Daniel Larsson (R1)
  • Mervyn King v Joyce/Benecky (R2)
  • Dave Chisnall v Labanauskas/Losper (R2)
  • Vincent van der Voort v Hunt/Krcmar (R2)
  • Michael Smith v Meulenkamp/Ashton (R2)
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Hempel/Schindler (R2)
  • Devon Petersen v Hughes/Raymond Smith (R2)

Wednesday December 22

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Ryan Searle v Borland/Brooks (R2)
  • Glen Durrant v O’Connor/Lauby (R2)
  • Luke Humphries v Rowby-John Rodriguez/Kenny (R2)
  • Joe Cullen v Evetts/J Williams (R2)
  • Nathan Aspinall v Murnan/Lim (R2)
  • Dirk van Duijvenbode v Wattimena/Koltsov (R2)
  • Kim Huybrechts v Beaton/Sherrock (R2)
  • Simon Whitlock v Kleermaker/Michael (R2)

Thursday December 23

First/Second Round (Best of 5 sets)

  • Damon Heta v Woodhouse/Wilson (R2)
  • Brendan Dolan v Rydz/Yamada (R2)
  • Mensur Suljovic v Soutar/Portela (R2)
  • Jose de Sousa v Lowe/Larsson (R2)
  • Danny Noppert v Heaver/Jose Francisco Rodriguez (R2)
  • Gabriel Clemens v L Williams/Shibata (R2)
  • Rob Cross v Van Barneveld/Ilagan (R2)
  • Chris Dobey v Rusty-Jake Rodriguez/Robb (R2)

Monday December 27

Third Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 6 matches

Tuesday December 28

Third Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 6 matches

Wednesday December 29

Third/Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 6x matches

Thursday December 30

Fourth Round (Best of 7 sets)

  • 6x matches

Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 sets)

  • 4x matches

Sunday January 2

Semi-Finals (Best of 11 sets)

  • 2x matches

Monday January 3

Final (Best of 13 sets)

  • Winner Semi Final 1 v Winner Semi Final 2

QUICK GLANCE AT THE WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2022

Venue: The Alexandra Palace, London

Dates:  15 December 2021 – 3rd January 2022

Format: Best of 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 sets

Current Champion: Gerwyn Price

Where To Watch: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Arena

When To Watch: 12:30, 19:00 (UK)

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