In the Ladbrokes World Championship Darts there is no such thing as an easy quarter, though there is always scope for a surprise semi-finalist or two to emerge, you only have to cast your minds back three years when Mark Webster and Terry Jenkins made the final four.
So, looking at the way the darting cookie has crumbled in this year’s draw, there are no better ‘Websters’ in the wings, than number 11 seed Justin ‘The Force’ Pipe at 8/1.
Admittedly, Pipe will in all probability have to topple both James Wade – runner-up at Alexandra Palace the last two years – and two-time world champion Adrian Lewis, priced at 3/1 and 4/5 to be the last man standing in the draw’s bottom quarter.
However, considering the two heavily-fancied picks for the tournament in Phil Taylor (10/11) and Michael van Gerwen (3/1) occupy a quarter apiece, this is already a less outrageous claim than it first appears.
We have already tipped up Andy Hamilton at 7/2 to prevail from the friendliest-looking second quarter, though that punt is not in the same realms of profitability as Pipe, in with ‘The Machine’ and ‘Jackpot’.
Pipe may not have the World Championship pedigree of his slightly more esteemed darting rivals, though he has impressive form at big tournaments this season and favourable head-to-heads against the big boys on his side.
Not only did Pipe make the last four of the recent preceding Players Championship, but he’s also arrowed his way into the quarters of this year’s World matchplay and made the semis of the World Grand Prix in 2013.
Crucially though, he has won two of his last three contest against Wade, while he nailed Lewis 3-0 in October in their last meeting at the World Grand Prix.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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