World Masters Betting

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Inaugurated in 1974, the World Masters is not only one of the most prestigious professional darts tournaments in the world but also among the longest running. It predates even the World Professional Championship and has been sponsored for nearly three decades by Winmau, a major Darts board manufacturer, who have recently extended their backing of the tournament through 2015.

In the early years, the World Masters was the final contest among the Grand Slam events televised under the auspices of the British Darts Organisation (BDO). It followed the Topic International Darts League, the Bavaria World Darts Trophy, and the Lakeside World Professional Championship, of which only the latter remains today. It is typically conducted in late October or early November at a venue in the U.K.

The selection of players has changed over the years. Until 2006, 32 finalists would compete in a five-round knock out tournament, with up to 16 seeded players joined by 16 qualifiers. More recently, entrants from as many as 30 countries attempt to qualify through a multi-board system for stage matches played on a Saturday and Sunday. The top sixteen qualifiers then compete in the first round of a single-elimination bracket, with the winners moving on to face eight seeded players representing the best the world.

Early rounds of the World Masters are decided on the best of five sets, as are the Quarter Finals. For the Semi-Finals, winners must win the best of nine sets, and the Final is based on the best of thirteen. In 2010, the ultimate victor received £25,000 and the runner-up got £10,000. Losing semi-finalists were awarded £2,000, losing quarter-finalists £2,000, and second round loser were paid £1,000. The total prize pool was £66,500.

Major upsets are not uncommon in the World Masters. Unseeded players frequently earn places in the Quarter and Semi-Final Rounds. Since 2008, however, no player has been able to advance past England’s Martin Adams. Whose hat-trick of consecutive championships makes him the one to beat for anyone who wants to be hailed as the World Master of Darts.

In the history of darts, only five players have ever won both the World Masters and the World Professional Championship in the same season. Eric Bristow did it three times (1979–80, 1983–84, and 1984–85), Bob Anderson achieved it in 1987–88, Richie Burnett was the one in 1994–95, and John Walton was there in 2000–01, before Martin Adams prevailed in 2009–10. There are seven other players who have won the Masters and World Professional during their careers, but not in the same season: John Lowe, Phil Taylor, Dennis Priestley, Steve Beaton, Les Wallace, Andy Fordham, and Raymond van Barneveld.

Wagering starts as much as a year in advance of the next tournament, although it really hots up in the fall. Ante post betting includes To Qualify, To Reach Quarter Final, To Reach Semi Final, To Reach Final, and Outright Winner. Bets may be placed on players to fail to qualify, too.

Once the knock-out rounds begin, bookmakers feature match betting on every pairing. Accumulator bets are popular at this stage, selecting two or more players to win their matches as a single bet, similar to a perfecta or trifecta wager in horse racing. These kinds of wagers offer an attractive alternative to selecting individual winners at short odds. Other World Masters markets include Nine Dart Finish, Any Double 8 Finish, Tied Match, and more. Live or “in-running” betting is available for televised matches, too.

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