The split in the darts world is disappointing in many respects but with the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Darts Championship now at its conclusion, fans can at least look forward to continued darts as the British Darts Organisation (BDO) World Darts Championship approaches. The 36th instalment of the BDO version returns to its iconic Lakeside venue on January 5th, concluding on January 13th.
The televised stage of the BDO Championship pits 32 male players against one another, and 8 female players make their way to the oche in their Championship.
The men's side sees 2010 Grand Slam champion Scott Waites and number one seed Stephen Bunting as favourites at time of publication. Ladbrokes Sports currently offers 10/3 on Waites to be champion, while the in-form Bunting is at 5/1. Last year's surprise champion, Dutchman Christian Kist, finds himself at 7/1. The value perhaps lies with BDO great Martin Adams, a three time World Champion, who is at 8/1 in the darts outright winner betting.
As last year showed, however, championship pedigree is not a necessity to come up trumps at the Lakeside. Kist was a rank outsider, coming through the field, to deservedly win. Jelle Klassen in 2007 achieved a similar feat, while going further back, Phil Taylor was a 125/1 bet at the start of the 1990 World Championship before winning the first of his many world titles.
If you fancy betting on an outsider this year, then Dutch upcomer Jan Dekker at 40/1 with Ladbrokes (at time of publication) could be worth looking into. His run to the 2011 semi-finals at the Lakeside impressed many, and should Martin Adams or Scott Waites take an early tumble in his half of the draw, Dekker may well capitalise.
Elsewhere, 2001 World Champion John Walton is offered at 40/1 by Ladbrokes Sports. Should he overcome tough first round opponent Tony O'Shea, Walton could well go far in the tournament. Walton remains one of a handful of players to have held both the World Masters and World Championship at the same time. This year's top seed Stephen Bunting will hope to do the same, having won the former title in October and following up with his second straight BDO major title at the Zuiderduin Masters last month. Bunting will certainly aim to improve on his existing record at the World Championship, with a quarter final showing in 2011 his best performance yet.
The women's title is a more intense battle with just eight competitors at the televised stage of the World Championship. Last year's runner-up Deta Hedman is the favourite with current odds of 5/2 at 888 Sports as the outright winner, a possible reflection that her draw is slightly easier than her rivals. Hence, Hedman may well be worth an each-way bet, at the very least.
The bottom half of the draw is loaded with top major-winning women players, namely Trina Gulliver, Julie Gore and last year's World Championship winner Anastasia Dobromyslova. Gore and Gulliver play each other in the first round so are best avoided initially but Dobromyslova's talent could be worth backing at 7/2. Head over to 888 Sports today to get behind your favourite players.