Against all odds, 100/1 long shot and local outsider Damon Heta from Perth won the Brisbane Darts Masters on Saturday after he beat world number two and current World Matchplay champion Rob Cross 8-7 in the final. To cap off a thoroughly memorable weekend for the Aussie, his success even took place on his 32nd birthday.
The recent BDO Australian Open winner’s victory came despite never actually being ahead in the contest until the game’s climax when, in the deciding leg, he threw 170 leaving 32 on the board. On his return, he took out the double 16 on his second attempt to complete a brilliant and completely unexpected win.
On his way to springing one of the biggest surprises in televised darts history, Heta, nicknamed The Heat, had already beaten major winners James Wade, Gary Anderson and fellow Aussie Simon Whitlock, which alone is enough for him to consider the event a success. But things would only get better come the final where he would go on to add a second world champion, Rob Cross, to his list of the vanquished.
Cross had made it to the final after a dominant performance in the semi-final against Daryl Gurney, where he ran out the 8-3 winner. The final looked much like it was going to go the same way, not least because there are 103 places between them in the rankings, albeit under different codes.
Voltage soon found himself 3-1 up before he missed four darts for a 4-1 lead, instead allowing Heta to capitalise and set up a run of legs that would level the game. The match remained tight thereafter with Cross just about nudging ahead until the tenth when a 90 checkout gave him a 6-4 lead. Still, the Aussie wasn’t to be shaken off and he drew level again to take the game to a decider where The Heat would take out double 16 to seal one of the most remarkable victories in memory.
Melbourne Darts Masters Betting Tips
Ok, we didn’t see last week’s epic victory by The Heat coming but can it really happen again? Given Damon Heta beat four major winners on his way to victory last weekend, he will be full of confidence, but there will no repeating the 100/1 price tag that was on his head last weekend. Instead, Betway are cautious enough to quote 33/1 this time around. Once again, he plays James Wade in the opening round.
As for Wade, it will be interesting to see how The Machine responds in Melbourne. He gets an immediate shot at revenge in the first round, one I fully expect him to take, but whether or not momentum can carry him on to a tourney win, I’m not so sure. Priced at 14/1, Betway aren’t convinced either.
Michael van Gerwen for the second week running has been put in the betting as the 7/4 favourite. MVG lost to Daryl Gurney in the round two in Brisbane, and although you can never rule Mighty Mike out, he’s really only the favourite right now on the grounds of reputation rather than recent results.
Rob Cross will be angry with himself for not closing out the win last week and finds himself with the much shorter price of 10/3. Voltage has been drawn apart from MVG and plays 25-year-old local 250/1 shot Robbie King in his opening match. He has to be fancied to go one better in Melbourne.
Elsewhere, Peter Wright is 13/2, just short of Gary Anderson’s 15/2. While The Flying Scotsman beat Aussie Corey Cadby in the opening round in Brisbane, Snakebite had a horror show and went out to Kyle Anderson on Thursday, so again these prices aren’t a true reflection of current form.
The Wizard, Simon Whitlock was even more impressive in the second round of the Brisbane event, whitewashing Kyle Anderson 8-0 with a 101.9 average. As such, the Australian is certainly over-priced at 16/1.
Daryl ‘Superchin’ Gurney can be picked up for 14/1, Kyle Anderson 28/1, Corey Cadby 33/1, Raymond van Barneveld 50/1 and James Bailey 200/1. Haupai Puha, Mick Lacey and Tim Pusey are all available at 250/1.
Friday, August 16 (Best of 11 legs)
- Simon Whitlock v Mick Lacey
- Raymond van Barneveld v Haupai Puha
- Daryl Gurney v Kyle Anderson
- Gary Anderson v James Bailey
- Peter Wright v Corey Cadby
- James Wade v Damon Heta
- Michael van Gerwen v Tim Pusey
- Rob Cross v Robbie King
Saturday, August 17 (Best of 15 legs)
QUICK GLANCE AT THE MELBOURNE DARTS MASTERS
Venue: Melbourne Arena
Dates: Thursday Friday 16.08.2019 – Saturday 17.08.2019
Format: First round, best of 11 legs, QF, SF, F, best of 15 legs
Current Champion: Peter Wright
Where To Watch: PDC TV and ITV 4
When To Watch: (08.30 GMT PDC TV & delayed coverage on ITV 4 from 20.00 GMT)