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Grand Slam of Darts 2013 Day Five Premium Picks.
Well, I think I got a bit too confident after four days of profit. We started off so well, with a rare tipped double coming in easily. But then things went downhill, mostly thanks to a lot of poor doubling. We were down -3.5 units, taking us to a profit of 7.55 units for the Grand Slam of Darts so far. After wins on the handicap for Phil Taylor and Stuart Kellett, Wesley Harms blew double after double after double, Dean Winstanley proceeded to do the same, after Stuart Kellett scored poorly, Christian Kist resumed the woeful doubling of the selections. Finally, Peter Wright could do nothing against an amazing performance by Gary Anderson. Losing convincingly to a 111 average? I ain’t even mad!
Tonight, we have four matches in the first of our last 16 matches, and I have to admit that it’s a mouth-watering line-up, as we’ve got two BDO/PDC matches, and also the fantastic Ted Hankey to watch. Plus, Ted isn’t on TV much, so just to see him taking on Simon Whitlock is a nice change. The fact that we’re getting three matches we most likely wouldn’t see on our TV during the year is one of the main reasons we love the Grand Slam of Darts. So let’s hope Barry Hearn doesn’t tinker with the format too much, if at all, over the coming years. I think you have to agree that the predictability of the PDC in recent Majors has got a bit stale. Anyway, enough of the grumbling, let’s get down to it.
Scott Waites Vs Mark Webster
Current BDO World Champion versus an ex-BDO World Champion, and it’s an exciting match, for me. The other interesting thing is the head-to-head stats, with Webster actually leading 4-1, with a victory at the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts under his belt. However, it was academic as Webster couldn’t qualify out of the group stage, and Waites already had. The longer format is going to suit the Yorkshireman, unlike the first-to-five format Webster got the better of him in last year, so it’s understandable why Waites is a short favourite.
Scott Waites -2.5 legs to beat Mark Webster Best price Evens.
Recommend: 2 units.
Tony O’Shea Vs Andy Hamilton
Like the previous match, this is another exciting one, but it’s also exciting because I love watching Tony O’Shea. He’s going to give you an honest performance, just like Andy Hamilton, but unlike Hamilton, O’Shea is a gentle giant and gets the crowd right behind him, so it’s hard to dislike the man, even if he lets you down for a tidy bet. Sentiment aside, this looks close to me. Both men are power scorers, both men are quality players with a number of successes to their name, so I don’t get why the bookies have a Hamilton such a short-priced favourite.
Tony O’Shea to beat Andy Hamilton: Best price 8/5.
Recommend: 2 units.
Robert Thornton Vs Mervyn King
Back to the tried and tested PDC Vs PDC match up, and it’s two men that have seen a lot of each other over the past couple of years. It’s 8-7 in favour of Mervyn King on the head-to-head, King winning theie last televised encounter at least year’s World Grand Prix. King averaged 5 points less than Thornton, but doubled over 50%, and won 3 sets to 0. And, I have to be honest, King has looked good, especially in his last match, where he beat Raymond van Barneveld 5-3. Thornton has also been playing well, but he’s just no value compared to The King.
Mervyn King to beat Robert Thornton: Best price 11/8
Recommend: 1.5 units.
Simon Whitlock Vs Ted Hankey
And now for tonight’s main event. To be fair, Ted Hankey playing his shadow would be worthy of the main event, and I would have no doubt Hankey would claim his shadow was playing mind games. Look, if it was the first game in an afternoon session, Whitlock would be good for a 10-0 win here. But it’s the last match of an evening session, with many, many drunken bums baying for Hankey’s blood. And do you know what? He loves it. Whitlock is going to have to do his best to put it to the back of his mind. But Dave Chisnall couldn’t manage it, and you could see Chissy’s performance start to waver as soon as Hankey got the crowd involved. Just watch for The Count to get the crowd playing up straight from the first dart, and it’s going to be a lot closer than the bookies have it.
Ted Hankey to beat Simon Whitlock Best price 4/1.
That’s all for the fifth day of Grand Slam of Darts, we’ll be back tomorrow with the first of the knockout stage games.