Following the split in World Darts back in the early 1990s, the best players headed from the British Darts Organisation and over to the newly formed Professional Darts Corporation. Backed by funding from sponsors and the TV broadcasters, the PDC continues to thrive by paying out bigger prize money and to be honest, it does have the better quality in its ranks.
The BDO, meanwhile, continues with a mix of throwers. Some are emerging talents looking to establish themselves on the circuit before having a crack at the more lucrative PDC while others are talented amateurs with careers outside of the game.
Having said that, the BDO World Championships, held at the start of January each year, still provides its fair share of high drama and, of course, there are many opportunities to find some value and hopefully make a profit from its darts betting markets.
With the sport of darts just starting to break out of the working men’s clubs of Britain to establish itself as a wider spectacle, the existing TV companies had started to offer wider coverage of major tournaments in the early 1970s. Surprisingly, however, there was no official world championship at that time so we had to wait until 1978 before such a tournament came into being.
That very first tournament was held at the Heart of the Midlands nightclub in Nottingham and was won by Leighton Rees of Wales. Rees was a top player at the start of the 1970s but that was to be his only world title as he gave way to players who would dominate the BDO worlds for the next few years.
Bristow v Wilson
John Lowe won the 1979 renewal before the 1980s saw Eric Bristow take a near-monopoly on the tournament. The Crafty Cockney took his maiden BDO world crown in 1980 before mounting a successful defence a year later and at that time, only one man seemed to stand in his way.
Bristow enjoyed some incredible battles with the great Jocky Wilson and the Scot finally ended his rival’s run with victory in the 1982 competition. A solitary win for Keith Deller came in the 1983 final but Bristow began to assert his dominance once again. The Englishman won in three straight years from 1984 to 1986 and to this date, no-one has matched his tally of five BDO World Titles.
Bristow succumbed to an unfortunate bout of dartitis, allowing others to come through and make their name before the BDO – PDC split in 1993. Phil Taylor won the BDO title twice before switching codes and Raymond Van Barneveld also began to emerge, going on to claim four British Darts Organisation world crowns.
In the modern day, Scott Waites, Danny Noppert and Mark McGeeney are among the highest ranked BDO players in the game but it’s Glen Durrant who sits at the top of the pile in 2018, having won two successive World Championships.
The betting options for the BDO World Darts Championship are as comprehensive as you would find for any tournament in any code. In terms of the outright winner they are also released very early so punters should be able to stake in this market almost as soon as the previous edition finishes.
The amount of bookmakers issuing early prices is fairly restricted however so it may pay to wait until more get involved before committing to any outright bets.
Other Tournament Bets
Bettors should also be able to speculate as to whether there will be a 9 dart finish in any game in the BDO World Championships. Prices can be quite high for this and that’s because only one player has achieved this feat in the history of the competition – Paul Lim in 1990.
A maximum 170 check out market may also be available. This is more common but it doesn’t happen every year and in 2018 there was only one maximum checkout in the senior men’s competition from Darryl Fitton.
The BDO World Championships carries a shorter format than its PDC counterpart and is compacted into eight short days of action. It all starts with a set of first round games with 16 matches taking place in total. From there, we have the second round and then it’s on to the quarters, the semis and then the final itself.
For every one of those games, bookmakers will publish result betting and there will be all the usual side markets that you would associate with any darts event. Correct score betting is arguably the most popular of these and for the first round it’s the best of five legs so these are fairly easy to call, in contrast to later rounds.
Moving on, most 180’s, total 180s and the player to hit the first 180 are the bets relating to maximums and these also have an appeal, even though fewer bookmakers are starting to get involved at this point. Highest checkout, colour of first winning double and many more will be listed for all BDO World Championship games and there will be dozens of options to choose from.
Handicap betting should also be released by some of the bookmakers while darts is always a popular sport for the in-play community so you will never be short of a punt for the BDO Worlds.
The BDO World Championships should also see a set of regular price boosts although many bookmakers will probably avoid listing these until we get to the final rounds of the competition. Certainly we should see these for the semis and for the final and there will often be promotions around too so look out for ways to grab some extra value.
It’s unfair to compare the BDO World Championships to the much richer PDC version but we all do it at certain times. Purely from a betting point of view, there are lots of options to be had in games that provide plenty of excitement so mark the dates in your calendar and get involved.