Premier League Darts 2012

Premier League Darts 2012

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Published: 15/01/2012

The 2012 PDC Darts Premier League, beginning on February 9, will be the eighth renewal of the prestigious tournament which will once again see an octet of the sport’s best players thrash it out over a number of weeks to determine who will be crowned overall champion on May 17.

Played over a double round robin format with the top four finishers advancing to the play-offs, the tournament is held at a variety of different venues including Manchester’s MEN Arena on the opening night and London’s O2 Arena for the final showpiece.

Each match will take place over 14 legs with matches finishing once a player has reached the 8 leg total required to score a victory.

Two points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, whilst any players tied at the end of the round robin stage will be separated by overall leg difference.

Three times champion Phil Taylor unsurprisingly goes into this year’s event as favourite once again however he is not the bookies best by the usual clear margin after struggling for form prior at the recent World Championship.

After taking the 2011 Grand Slam of Darts in emphatic style, Taylor was then forced to surrender his Players Championship title after losing to Mervyn King.

Many then feared a backlash from ‘The Power’ at the World Championship, held over Christmas and New Year; however he exited tamely after suffering a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Dave Chisnall.

Taylor clearly has a point to prove heading into this year’s Premier League, something which he has done on numerous occasions during the past – and his overall consistency has undoubtedly been his main weapon towards regularly silencing the critics over the years.

Nevertheless, the manor of Taylor’s loss to Chisnall suggested that the 51-year-old could quite conceivably be on the decline and at a best priced 15/8 to scalp a fourth Premier League crown, it is perhaps best to look elsewhere.

Kevin ‘The Artist’ Painter will be making his Premier League debut and the 44-year-old from Essex certainly deserves his place in the elite line-up after landing his first major title at the Players Championship in December.

Painter followed up that success with a quarter final showing at the World Championship and despite having to acclimatise to the demanding structure of the Premier League and high level of competition week in, week out, he may well be worth an each-way punt at a juicy looking 25/1.

But it is 2012 World Champion and 2011 Premier League runner-up Adrian Lewis who makes the most appeal.

‘The Jackpot’ played superbly at Alexandra Palace to retain his World title and is easily selected on the form book to go one better in this tournament to continue his success and progress towards becoming World No.1.

A former protégé of Phil Taylor, Lewis has been threatening the Mersey man’s dominance and stranglehold of the sport for quite some time now and looks just the player to readily fill his former mentor’s shoes.

Lewis is a best priced 9/2 and that is remarkable value considering his improvement over the last two years and form in comparison to Taylor.

Things can arguably be on a knife edge once the play-offs arrive but Lewis should cruise into the last four and can use his recent winning experiences to hold off the challenge of Taylor, Painter and Wade come the spring.


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