Love The Darts Dozen – Jelle Klaasen drops to the bottom after the German Darts Championship

By Christopher Kempf
31 MARCH 2017 • 1:12PM

The Love The Darts Dozen estimates and compares the length of the average leg over players’ last 180 stage legs.

Michael van Gerwen’s inconsistency in Hildesheim results in a large decline in scoring form (9.55 darts to a finish from 9.36 last week).

A breakthrough victory for Raymond van Barneveld against van Gerwen was accompanied by superior setup play.

Alan Norris can’t keep pace with his 2016 German Darts Championship form, dropping to 3.08 darts at double per leg won.

Jelle Klaasen falls to last place in the LTD12 for the first time, owing to shaky victories in Germany and Premier League relegation.

LTD12 (after German Darts Championship)
1. Michael van Gerwen 15.454 (0.204)
2. Raymond van Barneveld 16.697 (0.130)
3. Phil Taylor 17.116 (0.094)
4. Daryl Gurney 17.128 (n/c)
5. Mensur Suljovic 17.571 (0.269)
6. Benito van de Pas 17.650 (0.207)
7. Simon Whitlock 18.074 (0.070)
8. Alan Norris 18.094 (0.157)
9. Steve Beaton 18.216 (n/c)
10. Mervyn King 18.409 (0.319)
11. Joe Cullen 18.467 (0.261)
12. Jelle Klaasen 18.715 (0.354)

Premier League fixtures for the rest of the 2017 season are released

By Alex Moss
31 MARCH 2017 • 12:43PM

The fixtures for the remaining six league nights of this year’s Betway Premier League have been confirmed this afternoon.

Following the elimination of Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts last night, the remaining eight players now set their sights on winning play-off spots.

Next week at the 3Arena in Dublin will see James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld compete twice, as they face each other after earlier taking on Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor respectively.

The other two fixtures in Dublin will see Dave Chisnall face Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis meet Gary Anderson, the latter in a quick repeat of last night’s clash in Cardiff.

Week 11 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool will see UK Open champion Wright face off against the world’s top two ranked players, van Gerwen and Anderson.

The other fixtures on the night will see Anderson meet Chisnall, Lewis play van Barneveld and Taylor and Wade face off.

Week 12 at The SSE Arena in Belfast sees Chisnall and Taylor clash as they double up, with the former earlier taking on Lewis and the 16-time world champion meeting Anderson.

Wright will take on Wade, while the Dutch duo of van Gerwen and van Barneveld will meet in the other Belfast clash, with the reigning Premier League champion aiming to avenge his defeat in Manchester earlier this month.

The return to Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena on April 27 sees van Gerwen and Lewis compete twice on the night, facing each other in the final game after earlier taking on Wade and Chisnall respectively.

Taylor takes on Wright and Anderson goes up against van Barneveld in the night’s other two games.

The final two league nights will each feature four games as the tournament returns to The Sheffield Arena and The GE Oil & Gas Arena in Aberdeen.

The visit to Sheffield includes the meeting between rivals van Gerwen and Taylor, as well as clashes between Wright and Lewis, van Barneveld and Chisnall and Wade and Anderson.

The final league night in Aberdeen features the rematch of the recent PDC World Championship final between van Gerwen and Anderson, while Wright faces van Barneveld, Taylor and Lewis clash and Chisnall plays Wade.

Following the final league night in Aberdeen, the top four players in the league table will qualify to compete in the play-offs at The O2 in London on May 18.

Betway Premier League
Night Ten – Thursday April 6
3Arena, Dublin
James Wade v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor
Dave Chisnall v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Gary Anderson
James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Tickets: 0818 719 3000 (Ire) or 0844 8472 455 (UK) or via Ticketmaster

Night 11 – Thursday April 13
Echo Arena, Liverpool
Gary Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright
Adrian Lewis v Raymond van Barneveld
Phil Taylor v James Wade
Peter Wright v Gary Anderson
Tickets: 0844 8000 400 or via http://www.echoarena.co.uk

Night 12 – Thursday April 20
The SSE Arena, Belfast
Dave Chisnall v Adrian Lewis
Phil Taylor v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Raymond van Barneveld
Dave Chisnall v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 028 9073 9074 or 0844 277 4455 or via http://www.ssearenabelfast.com

Night 13 – Thursday April 27
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
James Wade v Adrian Lewis
Dave Chisnall v Michael van Gerwen
Phil Taylor v Peter Wright
Gary Anderson v Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: 0844 338 8000 or via http://www.theticketfactory.com

Night 14 – Thursday May 4
The Sheffield Arena
Peter Wright v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen v Phil Taylor
Tickets: 0114 256 5656 or via http://www.sheffieldarena.co.uk

Night 15 – Thursday May 11
GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Dave Chisnall v James Wade
Phil Taylor v Adrian Lewis
Peter Wright v Raymond van Barneveld
Michael van Gerwen v Gary Anderson
Tickets: Sold Out

Play-Offs – Thursday May 18
The O2, London
Semi-Finals
Final
Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or via http://www.axs.com

Raymond van Barneveld makes it four wins in a row as Premier League visits Cardiff

By Alex Moss
31 MARCH 2017 • 10:28AM

Raymond van Barneveld chalked up his fourth consecutive win in the Betway Premier League as he swept past James Wade 7-2 in Cardiff last night, where Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor also picked up victories.

Van Barneveld, the 2014 Premier League champion, has climbed into the top four with his recent run of form, beating the world’s top two players van Gerwen and Anderson, and he continued that with a ruthless display against Wade.

The Dutchman limited Wade to just one dart at a double as he won the opening five legs without reply, before the 2009 Premier League champion finished 36 and 70 to take two of the next three.

However, van Barneveld, who had claimed his sixth leg with an excellent 12-darter, took the ninth on double seven to secure another two points in his bid to secure a spot in the play-offs.

“That’s four wins on the trot so I’m very happy,” said van Barneveld. “It’s so tight in the league table so I had to focus and you have to play well against everyone.

“James didn’t play as well as he could and I was surprised at that but I’m happy with the win.”

DARTS
Michael van Gerwen climbed back to the top of the Betway Premier League table last night CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Reigning Premier League champion van Gerwen moved back to the top of the table with an impressive 7-1 win over Dave Chisnall, averaging 104.25 and hitting 50 per cent of his darts at a double.

The world number one had lost his first game of the season last week against van Barneveld, but returned to winning ways as he defied five 180s from Chisnall with a dominant display.

“I had to play well tonight and I’m happy that I did,” said van Gerwen. “The pressure was on me because I want to be back on top of the table where I belong and where I’ve worked hard for.

“When you lose a game, like last week, you’re upset but tonight I enjoyed it again. I’m a happy man and I’m already looking forward to next week.”

DARTS
Gary Anderson boosted his hopes of qualifying for the play-offs with a 7-3 victory over Adrian Lewis CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Two-time Premier League winner Anderson fired in finishes of 143 and 170 in a superb 7-3 win over Adrian Lewis, averaging 107 as he came from 2-1 down to clinch his third win in four games.

“I didn’t think the performance was as good as the average, but I’ll take it!” said Anderson. “There was some good scores and some bad scores – the 170 felt like it came from nowhere and I took out the 143 too.

“We all want to get into the play-offs. When the tournament starts you don’t want to be in the bottom two, and once you get past tonight it’s a fight for the top four and everyone’s trying for it.”

DARTS
Phil Taylor battled back from 4-1 down to beat Jelle Klaasen 7-5 in Cardiff CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

Six-time Premier League champion Taylor also had to come from behind before he saw off Jelle Klaasen 7-5 in a deciding leg.

Klaasen – who had been eliminated before his ninth league match – raced into an early 4-1 lead, before Taylor, aided by an 11-darter, turned the match around to claim his second win on the spin.

“It’s another two points for me and they could all prove crucial at the end of the season,” said Taylor. “It could prove the difference for getting into the play-offs – if I’d lost I think I’d have struggled to qualify.

“I think Jelle’s injury affected him, at the beginning he was fairing well but during the game he was struggling and he wasn’t the same player. Fair play to him, it must be very frustrating but he’s battled on.”

DARTS
Peter Wright addresses the Cardiff crowd last night CREDIT: LAWRENCE LUSTIG/PDC

The night had seen just eight players in action, with Kim Huybrechts – who had already been eliminated – absent to remain in Belgium with his terminally ill mother, meaning that Peter Wright was awarded a 7-0 victory in his intended opponent’s absence.

“All our thoughts are with Kim and his family,” said Wright, who made an appearance on stage in front of the sell-out Cardiff crowd before the event and signed autographs for the fans.

“You have a fantastic crowd in Cardiff, the atmosphere is amazing and I’m gutted that I’m not playing. I was looking forward to trying to win tonight but unfortunately I’ve got to get back on the practice board.”

The Premier League continues with the visit to Dublin’s 3Arena next Thursday, as the second phase of the season begins with five games.

Betway Premier League
Night Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Phil Taylor 7-5 Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson 7-3 Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld 7-2 James Wade
Michael van Gerwen 7-1 Dave Chisnall
NB: Peter Wright awarded 7-0 win following Kim Huybrechts’ withdrawal.

League Table

As of March 30 2017 P W D L +/- LWAT Pts
Michael van Gerwen 9 6 2 1 +19 21 14
Peter Wright 9 6 1 2 +16 16 13
Raymond van Barneveld 9 5 2 2 +8 18 12
Gary Anderson 9 4 3 2 +10 12 11
Phil Taylor 9 4 3 2 +5 20 11
Adrian Lewis 9 4 1 4 0 18 9
James Wade 9 3 2 4 -3 16 8
Dave Chisnall 9 3 0 6 -16 12 6
Jelle Klaasen (E) 9 1 1 7 -16 15 3
Kim Huybrechts (E) 9 0 3 6 -23 11 3

Phil Taylor not putting any pressure on himself ahead of clash with Jelle Klaasen in the Premier League

By Alex Moss
29 MARCH 2017 • 9:16PM

Phil Taylor says the pressure will be off both him and Jelle Klaasen when the two face off in the Betway Premier League tomorrow night.

Klaasen, along with Kim Huybrechts, can no longer avoid being eliminated from the tournament heading into ‘Judgement Night’ at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff tomorrow.

Both Klaasen and Huybrechts will exit the Premier League after tomorrow night’s fixtures, leaving the eight remaining players to battle it out for the top four and places in the end of season play-offs.

“Jelle will be dangerous because he’ll want to finish on a high and there’s no pressure on him – but it’s the same feeling for me too,” said the 16-time world champion Taylor, who plans to retire from competitive darts at the end of this season.

“I’m enjoying it now and I’m not going to put myself under pressure. I’ve had 30 years of being under pressure week-in and week-out, and I’ve earned the right to enjoy myself a bit, but I’m going to keep pushing to get into the top four.”

Taylor joined Gary Anderson and Adrian Lewis on nine points in the table after defeating then table-topper Peter Wright 7-5 in Manchester last week.

Klaasen’s 7-5 defeat to Lewis last week means he can no longer catch Dave Chisnall who, in eighth place and on six points, is three points clear of both the Dutchman and Huybrechts heading into tomorrow’s action.

Huybrechts takes on Wright in Cardiff tomorrow night, with the Belgian bidding to claim his first victory of the campaign, which would ensure he does not take the unwanted record as the first player to register no wins in a Premier League season.

Betway Premier League
Week Nine – Thursday March 30
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Peter Wright v Kim Huybrechts
Phil Taylor v Jelle Klaasen
Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis
Raymond van Barneveld v James Wade
Michael van Gerwen v Dave Chisnall
(all matches are the best of 12 legs)

Phil Taylor to miss out on Players Championship Finals this year

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Missing out: Phil Taylor will not be appearing in Minehead next month (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Phil Taylor will not be in the Players Championship Finals in Minehead next month after opting to not enter the last two Players Championship events. Continue reading “Phil Taylor to miss out on Players Championship Finals this year”

Would a return to group stage format make the World Cup less predictable?

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belgium

It was the PDC’s turn to hog the darts television space at the weekend, as England’s Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis won the World Cup for the fourth time, beating Dutch pair Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in Sunday’s final. Continue reading “Would a return to group stage format make the World Cup less predictable?”

Has MVG now took Taylor’s crown as the best ever?

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Game on: Michael van Gerwen gets ready for his walk-on at the Alexandra Palace PICTURE: ZIMBIO

It’s hard to think of a world where the answer to the question: ‘who is the best ever darts player?’ would not be Phil Taylor. Yet, in the early months of 2016 another name is mounting a real claim to that title. Continue reading “Has MVG now took Taylor’s crown as the best ever?”