Richie Burnett won the World Darts Championship when the tournament was a BDO event way back in 1995, but it is fair to say he has experienced some time in the wilderness so to speak since then.
After failing to record any notable performances since 2007, Burnett has sharpened his consistency over the past year, achieving a place in the first round of the Players Championship Finals, a last 16 spot in the UK Open, and a semi-final appearance in the World Grand Prix for 2011.
This very noticeable upturn in recent form makes Burnett looks a good bet to cause an upset against his fellow countryman Mark Webster in the first round of the World Championship this year.
Burnett is 3/1 to overcome his compatriot, and can also be backed at a decent 6/4 to win with a 1.5 set head start attributed to him in the handicap market.
Webster is a much more recent World Championship winner, having secured the title in 2008, and is a regular in the latter stages of PDC events, also competing in the Premier League regularly.
However, the inconsistent nature of his play can make him a very frustrating proposition for punters.
The Welshman is 1/4 to score a victory over Burnett, and good runs in the Player’s Championship, UK Open, European Championship and World Matchplay tournaments in 2011 justify the short price.
He comes up against a competitor with undoubted pedigree though, with Burnett having also achieved success in the World Masters in the past.
Although it was a long time since Burnett scaled the heights of the darts world, there has never been a time in recent years where it has looked as appealing a proposition to back him, and odds as long as 3/1 for a win would not usually be associated with a player of his unquestionable calibre.