Posted on June 5th, 2013
The 2013 Speedy Services UK Open begins on Thursday night at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, with a 146 player field competing for £200,000 in prize money in ‘The FA Cup of Darts’.
The UK Open is a unique fixture in the PDC darting calendar – its open draw format, the inclusion of amateur qualifiers playing alongside top professionals and the early multi-board format all contributing to making it a fans favourite.
Last year the trophy went to Scotland accompanied by 250/1 outsider Robert Thornton following his defeat of Phil Taylor by a 6 leg margin. Thornton starts this year’s tournament at 25/1 outright, with bookmakers favouring the quintet of Michael van Gerwen (7/4), Phil Taylor (7/2), Raymond van Barneveld(12/1), Simon Whitlock (16/1) & James Wade (20/1) to succeed him.
Can Thornton defend? Probably not – although a maiden stint in the Premier League means he is match fit in front of the cameras and a serious contender. Thornton has afforded himself the best opportunity to get in the mix – his performances in the qualifying events mean he enters the fray in the third round.
The same cannot be said for James Wade, The Machine is doing it the hard way! The Aldershot man kicks of his UK Open campaign with tricky preliminary encounter against Speedy 15 dart qualifier Robbie Green.
Green is no mug and is a previous quarter-finalist at the Reebok, currently he lies in second place in the BDO Mens Grand Prix table behind Stephen Bunting, and having once plied his trade in the PDC he knows what will be expected of him.
Kong (200/1 to lift the trophy) will be looking to go one better than Bunting who ran Wade close in last year’s event; eventually losing 4-3 in the second round. Speaking of Bunting, he’s back again this year and is odds on to dispatch Vernon Sheppard at the prelim stage and most bookmakers have priced him at 50/1 outright.
The Preliminary, First and Second Rounds are a leg race to 5 in 2013 – still a relatively short format that can catch out even the most overwhelming of favourites. We don’t have any records of previous between Wade and Green and this one could be less one sided than many will assume.
The first round will see Ted Hankey in action who was dumped out in the second round last year by Mervyn King. With rumours of The Count possibly skulking back to the ‘other side’ with his tungsten tail between his legs, a good run in Bolton with some TV time and a decent payday would keep his pecker up and perhaps see him sampling the PDC life for a bit longer.
Where do you start with tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen, the man who has won about 90% of his games so far this year! With victory in five successive events, what/who can stop the Dutch juggernaut? The UK Open can, it’s unpredictable and there is no hiding in the open draw.
We have to wait until the conclusion of the second round on Thursday to determine who he clashes with – but every round could be a final, equally any opponent will have to be at the top of their game to put the brakes on. Nobody wants to be drawn against MvG but there are handful of players more than capable of beating him.
Where does Phil taylor feature in all this, well he enters in the second round and is vulnerable. Obviously you write the 16 times World Champion off at your peril but the stats speak for themselves, in 2013 The Power has only won two thirds of his matches, compared to a career average of 87% success.
Four-times the UK Open Champion, Phil last captured the UK Open title in 2010 and had lean years between 2006 and 2008. He, along with Wade and Whitlock stayed away from the Austrian Open last weekend, presumably to go back to basics on the practice board.
Dave Pallet, Andy Hamilton, Mervyn King, Stuart Kellett, Josh Payne and several others can boast about the scalp of Taylor so far this year. Some of the younger players on the Tour have also ran him close and he’s scraped through with a couple of 6-5 wins.
Kevin Dowling is the man who wants to add his name to the above list, The Bounty Hunter according to our records met Taylor a few years back in the US Open losing 3-0. Dowling hasn’t shown any world beating form yet but Bolton usually throws up a few surprises.
An intriguing second round fixture is the potential Justin Pipe v Jelle Klaasen clash, assuming Pipe can see off first round opponent Gareth Pass. Having been away from the circuit as a result of his off-oche misendeavours, the young Dutchman has announced his comeback with some notable performances.
Last 16, quarters, and a final appearance all feature on this year’s CV for The Matador and he will no doubt cause Pipe a few headaches, and the rest of the field should he progress. He delivers his darts with the Dutch dash and may find the pace tough going against Pipe. He does hold a clean sheet though – taking the spoils in their one previous meeting (a UK Open qualifier) back in 2010.
Other form players to watch out for include Jamie Caven who recently completed a ProTour double weekend albeit against a semi-depleted field, notwithstanding this wins breed confidence and he has been throwing some handy 3 dart averages. Kim Huybrechts and brother Ronny have proven their abilities and either one could be a good shout.
Like Caven and Bros Huybrechts, Mervyn King enters in the third round and brings recent success to the table after his run to the final of the Austrian Open. His record has been littered with too many last 64 & 128 exits so far this year, but perhaps he his peaking at the right time. A kind draw for The King could see him reign supreme in Bolton.
Gary Anderson ought to come good again sometime soon, a miserable Premier League campaign for the former Champion could be the kick up the backside the Scotsman needs. Doubles are a bigger target than trebles, doubles are a bigger target than trebles – is the mantra we have prescribed for him.
Paul Nicholson meanwhile hasn’t been getting the results recently and is quietly shedding off his ‘Bad Boy’ skin. Make no mistake there is an underlying intelligence to Nicholson that many players simply don’t have. The Aussi-Geordie did walk the walk at the Reebok back in 2011, where he sent home Taylor and Anderson in successive matches, he is a major winner and there is no reason why he can’t replicate that type of performance, you can find him at 80/1 outright.
Stuart Kellett is a former BDO number 1 and seems to have found his feet in the PDC now, he’s had some decent results and like many of his tungsten counterparts a favourable draw could see him go deep in this year’s tournament.
The UK Open is the sort of tournament where going for a left field player can pay off and if nothing else is a bit of fun! Further down the list of contenders you can pick up John Bowles at 500/1 outright so pile into that each-way like an Exocet! Ronnie Baxter is given no respect at 125/1, he usually wins a floor tournament or two every year and The Rocket could drop on a lucky draw in Bolton.
A couple of players that have dropped of the radar that are worth looking at are Mark Webster and Colin Lloyd. Webby is suffering and is due a change of fortune, Lloyd on the other hand has posted a few performances recently.
Where would we direct our cash in terms of Betting? Outright both Taylor and MvG are attractively priced. In terms of each way value you have to look at the likes of Barney, Huybrechts(s), Newton, King and possibly Gary Anderson. You could probably add Dean Winstanley to that list as we always get a feeling about him going into this event and some of the players mentioned above.
We have listed the outright odds at the foot of this page to assist you.
Betting in the UK Open is a minefield for all the reasons that make the event so good! A better strategy is laying matches, there are a number of ‘names’ whose games are currently heading in the wrong direction (Jones, Lewis, Osborne, Hankey etc). If you spot them favourite or joint favourite they are probably worth opposing, if you are savvy and put the time you can probably clean up on these games.
And what about the Tipsters over at OLBG.com? Their tips are currently divided between Taylor and van Gerwen to lift the trophy. Don’t forget you can also share your darts tips in the OLBG.com free-to-enter Tipster competition, £5,000 monthly cash prizes. Their UK Open Darts tipster comp (£200 cash prizes) is OPEN NOW!
2013 UK Open OLBG.com Beat The Tipster Competition
Why not enter our our OLBG.com sponsored Beat The Tipster competition?
We have some great prizes on offer as usual and a guest Tipster for you to Beat!
If you Beat The DartsMad Tipster you enter the main draw and could win a Target Pro Tour board, a set of Harrows darts or a darts coaching book by David Kirby.
Whatabout our guest Tipster? Well, if you team beats Peter Manley you will enter a separate draw to win a Winmau Blade 4.
2013 UK Open Outright Betting Odds
The odds shown below are representative only and correct 3 June 2013.
|Michael van Gerwen 7/4||Phil Taylor 7/2||Raymond van Barneveld 12/1|
|James Wade 14/1||Simon Whitlock 16/1||Adrian Lewis 25/1|
|Gary Anderson 25/1||Robert Thornton 25/1||Kim Huybrechts 25/1|
|Wes Newton 33/1||Dave Chisnall 33/1||Stephen Bunting 50/1|
|Mervyn King 50/1||Andy Hamilton 50/1||Dean Winstanley 66/1|
|Justin Pipe 66/1||Terry Jenkins 66/1||Mark Webster 66/1|
|Jamie Caven 66/1||John Part 80/1||Stuart Kellett 80/1|
|Paul Nicholson 80/1||Peter Wright 80/1||Ian White 80/1|
|Brendan Dolan 100/1||Jelle Klaasen 125/1||Ronnie Baxter 125/1|
|Michael Smith 150/1||Kevin Painter 150/1||Scott Rand 150/1|
|Colin Lloyd 150/1||Co Stompe 150/1||Steve Beaton 150/1|
|Mark Walsh 200/1||Joe Cullen 200/1||Ted Hankey 200/1|
|Richie Burnett 200/1||Kevin McDine 200/1||Robbie Green 250/1|
|Jyhan Artut 250/1||Arron Monk 250/1||Vincent van der Voort 250/1|
|Nigel Heydon 250/1||Andy Smith 250/1||John Henderson 250/1|
|Dennis Smith 350/1||Adam Hunt 350/1||Roland Scholten 350/1|
|Magnus Caris 350/1||Alex Roy 350/1||Michael Mansell 350/1|
|Antonio Alcinas 350/1||Andy Jenkins 350/1||Steve West 350/1|
|Mensur Suljovic 350/1||Ronny Huybrechts 350/1||Jamie Lewis 500/1|
|Colin Osborne 500/1||James Hubbard 500/1||Steve Brown 500/1|
|Wayne Jones 500/1||William O’Connor 500/1||Tomas Seyler 500/1|
|Tony West 500/1||Ricky Evans 500/1||John Bowles 500/1|
|Matthew Edgar 500/1||Terry Temple 500/1||Colin Fowler 500/1|
|Paul Amos 500/1||Richie Howson 500/1||Kenny MacNeil 500/1|
|Ross Smith 500/1||Kevin Thomas 500/1||Peter Hudson 500/1|
|Lee Palfreyman 500/1||Kevin Dowling 500/1||Jim Walker 500/1|
|Ricky Sudale 500/1||Jason Hogg 500/1||Alan Derrett 750/1|
|Bernd Roith 750/1||Matt Padgett 750/1||Connie Finnan 750/1|
|Mark Cox 750/1||Keegan Brown 750/1||Shaun Griffiths 750/1|
|Gino Vos 750/1||Johnny Haines 750/1||Paddy Meaney 750/1|
|Joey Palfreyman 750/1||Steve Farmer 750/1||Mark Dudbridge 750/1|
|Chris Aubrey 750/1||Gary Stone 750/1||Gareth Pass 1000/1|
|Prakash Jiwa 1000/1||Dean Stewart 1000/1||Matthew Dennant 1000/1|
|Michael Bushby 1000/1||Stuart Lowe 1000/1||Andy Boulton 1000/1|
|Keith Rooney 1000/1||Gavin Baker 1000/1||Vernon Sheppard 1000/1|
|Mark McGeeney 1000/1||Mark Lawrence 1000/1||Darren Johnson 1000/1|
|Dave Place 1000/1||Gaz Cousins 1000/1||Dave Weston 1000/1|
|Adrian Gray 1000/1||Leon de Geus 1000/1||Campbell Jackson 1000/1|
|Nick Fullwell 1000/1||John Scott 1000/1||David Copley 1000/1|
|Kirk Shepherd 1000/1||Andy Parsons 1000/1||Steve Hine 1000/1|
|Royden Lam 1000/1||Jake Pennington 2000/1||Michael Musto 2000/1|
|Robbie Singleton 2000/1||Conan Whitehead 2000/1||Darrell Townsend 2000/1|
|Steven Mead 2000/1||Michael Burgoine 2000/1||Scott Marsh 2000/1|
|Maik Langendorf 2000/1||John Mortimer 2000/1||Terry Dunford 2000/1|
|Darrell Thorpe 2000/1||Scott Robertson 2000/1||Andrew McNicol 2000/1|
|Tam Dymond 2000/1||Jamie Hagen 2000/1||Gus Santana 2000/1|
|Jason Wilson 2000/1||Scott Coleman 2000/1||Paul Whitworth 2000/1|
|Andy Murray 2000/1||Tony Martin 2000/1||Nigel Daniels 2000/1|
|Daz Twist 2000/1||Matt Gallett 2000/1|
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