Day One of the Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals in Glasgow brought little in the way of surprises, with the likes of Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright all making it through to the quarter-finals.
But the same can’t be said for world champion Gary Anderson, who was beaten by 27-year-old Joe Cullen, one of the players who received an invitation to the event from the PDC.
And this wasn’t just the biggest shock of the night – all things considered it was probably one of the biggest shocks of the year.
Of the thousands of people inside the Braehead Arena, only a handful were cheering Cullen’s name prior to the match starting as he took to the oche against local hero Anderson.
The performance was all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that the Rockstar lost the first two legs. At that point we were offering 7/1 for him to win.
But Cullen went on to defy the odds and win six of the next nine legs, meaning Anderson faced a second-round exit for the second year in a row.
And here’s what he had to say to Ladbrokes about the win…
— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) November 5, 2016
The Bradford-resident also defeated Joe Murnan earlier on in the afternoon, with an incredible 10-dart leg in the decider to book a meeting with the Flying Scotsman.
Before a dart was thrown this weekend, Cullen was a staggering 80/1 to win the tournament. Granted, he’s still the outsider at 33s, but he’s already shown he can mix it with the big boys
It’s no surprise then that he was our Player of the Day.
There was another man who came a close second for that title, though, as Benito van de Pas faced arguably the toughest two fixtures of the day in Michael Smith and James Wade.
And the Belgian proved why he’s quickly becoming one of the most feared names on the circuit, with victories over two of the PDC’s Top 10 players.
His reward? A clash with the greatest tungsten thrower we’ve ever seen: Phil Taylor, where he’s 4/1 to record his first victory over the Power.
Cullen, meanwhile, is up against another Scot this afternoon in Peter Wright, and 12/5 says he causes a second upset of the weekend by defeating Snakebite to book a place in his first ever televised semi-final.
Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis will face Dave Chisnall, and traders can’t seem to split this pair, who are both priced at 10/11 to reach the semis. And reigning World Series of Darts champion Michael van Gerwen (1/8), meets Simon Whitlock (5/1) for the second time in just over a week.
The Wizard was one dart away from knocking MVG out of last week’s European Championships, so we can’t quite write him off in this one.
Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals winner:
Michael van Gerwen – 8/13
Phil Taylor – 7/2
Peter Wright – 11/1
Adrian Lewis – 14/1
Dave Chisnall – 14/1
Simon Whitlock – 25/1
Benito van de Pas – 28/1
Joe Cullen – 33/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing