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World Darts Championship

World Darts Championship

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World Darts Championship

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SKY Sports 1

The World darts championship starts today and look no further than Phil "the power" Taylor to put your money on.

Barneveld may have a say in it but he'll have to keep up a 100 point average for the three darts and hit his doubles which is everyone's undoing when they come up against Taylor

It's a possible quarter final match up for Taylor and Barneveld if they both get that far.

Last years' winner Adrian Lewis starts his defence today but my outside bet is on Simon Whitlock – he of the wizard beard to throw up a surprise. Whitlock is a consistent player and will be a threat in this years' tournament.

Whatever happened to Jocky Wilson?

Remember him?

Jocky was one of the first "characters" to emerge when darts went mainstream in the early 80's. "Characters" in this sense means the Alex Higgins type. The Paul Gascoigne type.

A very heavy drinker he used to sink pint after pint and I seem to remember he had said somewhere that the pints calmed his nerves. It certainly didn't affect his darts as he won numerous tournaments in the Bristow era. And let's not forget Bobby George – he of the massive gold chains and necklaces.

Wilson's greatest achievements came in the World Championships, first in 1982 where he beat Lowe 5-3 in the final, and then seven years later, when he beat his other great rival Bristow 6-4 in a classic match, where Bristow had recovered from 5-0 down to find himself at 5-4 and 2-2 in the tenth set. Lucky in play betting was not even invented then!

His record at the World Championship was one of great consistency. From his debut in 1979 until 1991 he managed to reach at least the quarter-finals on every single occasion. He was quarter-finalist eight times (1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991) and three-times a losing semi-finalist (1983, 1984, 1987) in addition to his two World titles.

Unfortunately as tends to happen to people who drink way too much and pay little attention to their private life he was declared bankrupt in 1995 and now lives on a council estate in Scotland.

For darts fans Ladbrokes have sent me a good offer for this tournament so be sure to take it up and stick it all on Phil "The Power"Taylor.

New customers can now claim up to £180 in free bets! This offer is based on 3 matched bets of up to £60 - on Darts only - when the promo code DA180 is entered on registration.

Until 15th December free bets will be added when the qualifying bet is placed. From the 15th onwards free bets will be added upon the settlement of the qualifying bet.

Free bets can only be claimed until 21st December

Click here to claim your free sports bet

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