World Cups capture the imagination of the public like few other events. Even the most casual football observer can be swept up in the excitement of a national team when the tournament only comes around once every four years.
World Darts Championship Winners
The World Darts Championship has fast become the most prestigious and high profile darts event in the world and represents the biggest prize for all aspiring darts players. Winning the PDC World Darts Championship puts a darts player in the history books, and has only been done by seven different players since its inaugural event back in 1994. So who are the World Darts Championship past winners and who should we be looking out for this year when placing your darts bets?
World Darts Championship Past Winners and Famous Winners
The World Darts Championship was dominated during the early years by the most famous name in the game - Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. After Dennis Priestley won the original event in 1994, beating Taylor in the final, the man from Stoke won 11 of the next 12 tournaments, only losing once in that span during an epic battle with John Part in 2003. The Canadian is one of four dual-winners of the tournament, along with Adrian Lewis, who won back to back in 2011 and 2012, Gary Anderson who managed the same feat in 2015 and 2016, and current world number one, Michael van Gerwen, who won the William Hill World Darts Championship last year and in 2014. The only other winner is Raymond van Barneveld, who won in 2007.
- Phil Taylor - 14 wins (1995-2002, 2004-2006, 2009, 2010, 2013)
- Michael van Gerwen - 2 wins (2014, 2017)
- Gary Anderson - 2 wins (2015, 2016)
- Adrian Lewis - 2 wins (2011, 2012)
- John Part - 2 wins (2003, 2008)
- Raymond van Barneveld - 1 win (2007)
- Dennis Priestley - 1 win (1994)
During World Darts Championship history, there have been four finals which have gone the distance and were perhaps the best World Darts Championship finals. In 2003 and 2004, Phil Taylor was on the right side, and the wrong side of a 7-6 final, losing to John Part in 2003 in one of the classic PDC World Darts Championship finals, while winning back his title in 2004 with a 7-6 victory over Kevin Painter which offered equal excitement. Taylor has been involved in the other two finals to go the distance as well, losing both.
In one of the tightest finals in the history of the championship, Taylor lost his title to Raymond van Barneveld in a massive shock in 2007. He also lost by the same scoreline in 2015 despite having a much higher three-dart average than Gary Anderson. Let’s hope for similar drama and excitement in the 2018 William Hill World Darts Championship.
Who to Look Out for This Year
This year we have five World Darts Championship past winners in the field, with Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson looking for their third PDC World Darts Championship victories and Taylor back again looking to win the title for the first time since 2013. Raymond van Barneveld is also in the field but isn’t expected to be in the running to win his second World Darts Championship.
Taylor goes into the event as the fourth favourite, and while he hasn’t shown anywhere near the kind of form as he did during his domination of the sport in the ‘90s and 2000s, his experience in this event and his number of victories alone make him worth keeping an eye on for this year’s tournament.
The clear favourite, though, is van Gerwen, who has taken over as the clear leading player in the game of darts. The Dutchman might not have had the success in the William Hill World Darts Championship as in other events, but his status as the best player in the world, as well as the current champion, makes him the one player that everyone will want to beat this year, and van Gerwen will surely be taking most of the money from punters ahead of the tournament.
Gary Anderson is another key player to watch at the PDC World Darts Championship. The Scot has been the form player in this tournament over the last few years, winning in 2015 and 2016 and finishing as the runner-up in last year’s tournament. That form makes him a deserved second favourite in the field, although some way behind van Gerwen.
It’s not just the World Darts Championship former winners who are worth watching, though, with a couple of players looking for their first victory in the tournament who are worth looking at. Peter Wright is one of the most flamboyant players in darts and has been at the top of the game for some time and looks due a good performance in this tournament, while Adrian Cross is an up and coming name in darts, who is in great form and has beaten some of the biggest names in darts this year.
Once you’ve read up on and understand darts betting, it’s time to choose your man. Here are the odds:
- Michael van Gerwen 10/11
- Gary Anderson 7/1
- Peter Wright 10/1
- Phil Taylor 11/1
- Rob Cross 19/1
Top Prize Background
When the competition was set up in 1994, it was dwarfed in terms of prize money by the well established WBO World Darts Championship, which is still ongoing today. Over the years, however, the PDC World Darts Championship has taken over as the leading tournament in the world of darts, and with players only allowed to enter one of the World Championships each year, the WBO edition has seen a gradual decline as the PDC have become the dominant force in darts.
It wasn’t until 2002 that the PDC World Darts Championship prize fund overtook that of the WBO event, when it reached a £200,000 total prize pool. The event has gone from strength to strength since then, with the prize pool reaching £1 million in 2010. The 2018 event will see both the largest overall prize pool and the largest winner’s cheque for any darts tournament in history, with £1.8 in the pot, and £400,000 going to the winner.
With the World Darts Championship just around the corner, now is the time to get ready to place your World Darts Championship bets and examine the odds for this year's championship, and by knowing the famous winners, we can see the kinds of players who have excelled before and are likely to excel again. There are a few players who are yet to win a World Darts Championship final who are in with a chance, but many of those former winners are amongst the favourites again this year and will be hard to stop, especially the likes of van Gerwen and Anderson, who met in last year’s final. Don’t miss even more information in our World Darts Championship Guide.
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