The BDO World Darts Championship has a tough act to follow when it gets underway at Lakeside on Saturday. The tournament follows hot on the heels of an enthralling PDC World Championship, which was won in brilliant style by the incomparable Phil Taylor as he held off the challenge of the exciting Michael van Gerwen on Sunday night.
The BDO will hope to match the drama and excitement of Ally Pally and it is a man who has shown he can mix it with the likes of Taylor and van Gerwen who heads the betting this week. Scott Waites beat Phil Taylor 5-2 before losing to van Gerwen in the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts last year and he is 10/3 favourite in the latest odds with Ladbrokes.
Waites is in fine form after finishing third at the Turkish Open before winning the Czech Open and Top Of Ghent at the back end of 2012, although his form at Lakeside is patchy at best. Waites failed to go beyond the quarter-finals of the World Championships between 2008 and 2010, while he has crashed out in the second round in each of his last two appearances here.
Next best in the latest odds is Stephen Bunting, a quarter-finalist last year, at a tempting 5/1 and the top seed is another man who is in fine form. The up-and-coming Bunting won his first major darts title a few months ago as he landed the Winmau World Masters before following up with victory in the Sunparts Masters and Zuiderduin Masters.
Bunting overcame Tony O'Shea in the final of the World Masters and O'Shea is sure to attract interest at 14/1. O'Shea is a player who tends to thrive at Lakeside as he has reached the semi-finals at least during three of his last four appearances here, including runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2012.
O'Shea lost out to the relatively unknown Christian Kist last year as the Dutchman won 7-5 to land a life-changing £100,000 cheque, despite starting the tournament as a qualifier. Kist is unseeded for his title defence this year and he can be backed at 7/1 to make it back-to-back World Championship wins in the latest betting with Ladbrokes.
Kist defied the odds last year after Martin Adams had started firm favourite with the bookies. Three-time champion Adams won this title in 2007, 2010 and 2011 and had been going for a third successive victory in 2012 but he fell at the quarter-final stage. 'Wolfie' is back again this year and he is an 8/1 punt ahead of his first round clash with talented Dutchman Jimmy Hendriks.
Eighteen-year-old Hendriks is seen as one for the future in darts and he is currently 66/1 to win the World Championship, while Wesley Harris at 14/1 and James Wilson at 16/1 are expected to provide a stern challenge this year.
10/3 Scott Waites
5/1 Stephen Bunting
7/1 Christian Kist
8/1 Martin Adams
14/1 Tony O'Shea
14/1 Wesley Harms
16/1 James Wilson
20/1 Alan Morris
28/1 Robbie Green
28/1 Ross Montgomery
33/1 Tony Eccles
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.com, who provide live betting in-running for every match at the BDO World Darts Championship.
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