World Darts Championship: History, Winners and Betting
The PDC World Darts Championship is the ultimate darts competition and the highlight of the year for darts fans with the best darts players arriving at Alexandra Palace for a fantastic few weeks of darts action, and the chance for the victor to win a share of the £1.8 million prize pot - the biggest in the game of darts. Michael van Gerwen won the tournament for the second time last year, and he will go into the tournament as the heavy favourite to reclaim the title, with Gary Anderson and Peter Wright the other contenders for the prize.
A Brief History of the World Darts Championship
In the early 90s, we saw one of the biggest moments in darts history, when several high-profile players (including all of the previous World Darts Championship winners) broke away from the BDO to form the World Darts Council or WDC - now known as the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation). In 1994, the first WDC World Championship was held, with Dennis Priestley taking the inaugural crown courtesy of a 6-1 victory over a young Phil Taylor.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the real takeover of the PDC began, with the prize money for the WDC World Champion overtaking that of the BDO event, and the PDC World Championship has since become the most prestigious event in darts, with the total prize pool of £1.8 million completely dwarfing that of the BDO event. Each player can only enter into one World Championship event each year, with the majority of the top players being drawn the larger prestige and the larger purse of the PDC event.
The event moved to its current venue of Alexandra Palace in 2008, having previously been held at the Circus Tavern in Essex, and has one of the best atmospheres that can be found in darts with a bumper crowd piling in to see the best in the business in action.
Phil Taylor is the most successful player in World Darts Championship history, with 14 wins at the event. That is way ahead of anyone else, with several players, including current champion Michael van Gerwen, having won the event only twice.
The World Championship is the most watched tournament in darts, with peak viewing figures being recorded at a massive 1.5 million in the UK alone, while millions of extra viewers in the Netherlands make it the most watched darts tournament in the world.
How to Ensure Betting Success at the World Darts Championship
Darts is a great sport for betting with plenty of different markets available and the opportunity to bet in play on the winner of the match leg or set, allowing you to watch the action unfold and bet accordingly. Darts, more than other sports, is a game of the mind, with intense concentration required at all times and the potential for players to go in and out of form in an instant if their head goes.
The Darts World Championship is in the format of sets, starting with a best of 5 rounds first round and slowly progressing towards a best of 13 sets final. The later rounds in particular, therefore, are definitely in the category of a marathon rather than a sprint. That means players with greater concentration, and perhaps less flamboyance, should be more suited to this tournament - with the more consistent players far more likely to reach the later rounds and then win them than those who might have great ability but struggle to make consistent checkouts over a longer period of time.
We also need to look at the players who regularly perform well at the big tournaments, with Michael van Gerwen the obvious player, but Gary Anderson also having regularly competed well at the biggest tournaments. Phil Taylor is the other player to have shown his big-game credentials in the past (several times in fact), and even though he is surely past his prime, there is no doubting his credentials when it comes to performing under the highest pressure.
Otherwise, the important factors to consider before placing your Darts World Championship bets are the same as those when betting on darts or any other sports. The best World Darts Championship betting tips include making sure to take into account recent form, giving yourself the chance to bet in play to judge the performances of the players and react with your betting, and to use only the best bookmakers, the best betting offers and best World Darts Championship betting odds when placing your bets.
World Darts Championship Winners and Trends
Since its first edition in 1994, there have been only seven different World Darts Championship winners, mainly due to the dominance of Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor during the ‘90s and 2000s, who has an incredible 14 wins at the event. Taylor lost in the final on four other occasions, including in the first event when losing to Dennis Priestley. Taylor’s dominance waned slightly as we reached the end of the 2000s, with Gary Anderson, Adrian Lewis and Michael van Gerwen each winning two tournaments apiece since then.
Van Gerwen’s average of 107.79 in the final last year was the second largest ever seen in a final of the PDC World Darts Championship (behind Taylor’s 110.94 in 2009), and the Dutchman also made World Darts Championship history when he broke the record 3-dart average during the tournament with his 114.05 recorded in the semi-final. He’s seen as a strong favourite although he and Gary Anderson have both shared the last four championships, so the Scot will also be able to draw on some strong experiences in this tournament in the past.
We can see the dominance of Taylor when looking through the previous results:
1994 - Dennis Priestley
1995 - Phil Taylor
1996 - Phil Taylor
1997 - Phil Taylor
1998 - Phil Taylor
1999 - Phil Taylor
2000 - Phil Taylor
2001 - Phil Taylor
2002 - Phil Taylor
2003 - John Part
2004 - Phil Taylor
2005 - Phil Taylor
2006 - Phil Taylor
2007 - Raymond van Barneveld
2008 - John Part
2009 - Phil Taylor
2010 - Phil Taylor
2011 - Adrian Lewis
2012 - Adrian Lewis
2013 - Phil Taylor
2014 - Michael van Gerwen
2015 - Gary Anderson
2016 - Gary Anderson
2017 - Michael van Gerwen
Even though we can clearly see the outstanding record of Taylor, it is widely known that the new king of the darts world is Michael van Gerwen, even if Taylor has had his odd few moments during the last few years. Gary Anderson, who won the tournament in two of the last three years, is the second favourite for the tournament, some way behind van Gerwen, and the only other former champion in the field is Adrian Lewis, a general longshot despite his victories here in the past and his current ranking of 5th. He could have the best Darts World Championship odds considering his history in the tournament at 40/1.
Take Advantage of the Best World Darts Championship Betting Offers
With the PDC World Darts Championship the biggest and most exciting event on the darts calendar, the bookies will be desperate to get you betting with them and, as a result, there will be an abundance of great offers available for the showpiece tournament. In order to make sure your World Championship Darts bets are successful, you will want to find and use the very best offers and promotions out there, with exclusive offers available from Top 10 Sports Betting Sites to give you the head start when it comes to your World Championship betting. That, as well as the reviews of top darts bookmakers, means you can find everything you need to make your Darts World Championship betting experience a successful one at Top 10 Sports Betting Sites.