Another year of multiple nine-darters awaits the World Championship

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There isn’t a bigger tournament for a professional darts player to perform well at than the World Championship at Alexandra Palace over the Christmas period.

Both in stature and prize money, the tournament is the most lucrative for the world’s best tungsten ticklers but, if they can muster up a nine-dart finish over the course of their involvement their coffers would be significantly boosted.

Last year the prize fund for the quickest leg in the game was a cool £30,000 which was more than any previous offering in the tournament’s history.

As it turned out two men, Terry Jenkins and Kyle Anderson, ended up sharing the cash after they both celebrated nine-darters and this year Ladbrokes customers can try and ride on the back of any windfall the players receive, with the bookies’ special market.

In the company’s “total nine-dart finishes” market the 5/4 favourite is that no player manages one over the course of the competition, but history suggests that won’t be the case.

There have been two nine-darters in the last two editions of the World Championships, something that can be backed at 3/1 this year, while there has been only one instance in the last six where a perfect leg hasn’t been thrown across the entire competition. Exactly one perfect leg in 2015 can be backed at 11/8.

Raymond van Barneveld was the first man to achieve the feat since the split of the sport’s governing body, claiming the honour in his quarter-final match against compatriot Jelle Klaasen in 2009.

The popular Dutchman then repeated the trick the following year in his second-round clash against Brendan Dolan, netting him £25,000 in prize money in the process.

In 2011 Adrian Lewis achieved the ultimate in nine-dartism, lobbing in two maximums and checking out 141 in the tournament’s final against Gary Anderson.

The first multiple nine-darter of a tournament came the following year, with Dean Winstanley registering one in the second round and Michael van Gerwen following suit in his semi-final against James Wade.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.