- When: 4th to 12th Jan 2020
- Where: Indigo at the O2, London
- Watch: Eurosport & Quest
- Official Website: British Darts Organisation
The Flagship tournament of the British Darts Organisaton (BDO) is their World Championship, which is held for the first and only time at the Indigo at London’s O2 Arena in 2020. Previously the home for the tournament was the Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey. Whilst this World Championship may not have the glitz of it’s PDC cousin, the prize fund of £300,000 still makes it one of the biggest accolades in the sport.
Some of the legends of the game have graced this famous oche, including Eric Bristow, John Lowe, Raymond van Barneveld and Phil Taylor since it’s inauguration in 1978. More recently, familiar faces such as Gary Anderson, Mark Webster and Michael van Gerwen all began their careers with the BDO and even though some of the bigger names may have switched code to the more lucrative PDC, the standard is still extremely high over the 9 days of action.
Please note that there are currently no plans for a BDO World Championship after the January 2020 tournament. This follows the liquidation of the BDO in July 2020 and the switching of the amateur counties to rival organisations.
Existing Customer Free Bets & Money Back Offers
Please Note: This event has now ended.
BDO World Darts Championship Betting Tips
Please note: These tips are for the 2020 Championship.
The 2020 BDO World Darts Championship will break new ground. For the first time since 1985, the tournament will not be taking place at the Lakeside in Frimley Green. Thousands of fans and the best players in the BDO will have to quickly get used to the Indigo at the O2 for what should be another cracking edition of the BDO World Darts Championship. We may have a new venue but we should still get the same electric atmosphere and thrilling darts, action made all the more exciting by a cheeky bet or two!
Jim Williams is far from a household name in the world of darts but those who follow the BDO cannot have missed his rise to prominence during 2019. The 35-year-old had shown signs that he was adjusting to the big stage before claiming his maiden BDO major at the World Trophy.
The quality of his performance during that tournament saw darts fans, Williams’ competitors and the bookies sit up and take notice. He is a fairly strong favourite at a general price of 7/2, with Richard Veenstra, the man Williams beat in the World Trophy final, the second favourite at relatively distant odds of 8/1 across the board.
The top seed for the BDO World Darts Championship, Wesley Harms, comes next in the betting at 9/1 with most books whilst popular two-time BDO world champion, Scott Waites, is getting a fair amount of support in the markets as usual at 10/1. The last man given more than an outsider’s chance of winning is BDO fan favourite, Scott Mitchell, who can be backed at a biggest price of 14/1 and may well tempt many as an each way bet to at least make the final.
Outsiders & Long Shots
Williams’ billing as the favourite means that he has been asked to do a fair amount of media work in the build up to the BDO World Darts Championship. Most of that has come under the shadow of rumours suggesting he will join the PDC ranks after the tournament but for now he has been keen to talk up the depth in quality of the tournament. There are certainly many experienced darts players available at some pretty tasty odds and several of these are not without a chance if they can string together a few matches at their highest level.
Andy Hamilton, a man who has tasted success at the very top of the sport, can be backed at 33/1. That’s a price that factors in his recent form rather than his raw ability so may well look like great value come the end of the tournament. The always popular Martin Adams is another who will be the subject of each way money at massive odds of 40/1, with Ross Montgomery surely better than his price of 66/1.
The nature of the BDO is such that darts players have a real path to working their way up from local tournaments to the national level. Whilst many younger players use the BDO as a chance to sharpen their competitive spirit, older players also have a chance to blossom later on in their lives. That’s what has happened with Jim Williams, who is finally looking confident in the biggest moments of the biggest matches when the pressure is turned on.
Usually, you would worry about a man with Williams’ relative lack of experience being billed as the favourite. However, he made it to the semi finals of last year’s World Championship and this year’s tournament will feel different to all the experienced heads due to the change in venue.
This really is a great chance for Williams to show that he can cut it under the extreme pressure he will face here when it really counts. Betfred go top priced about Williams at 4/1 which is a price well worth taking.
If Williams does go straight to PDC qualifying school from the O2 he may well bump into Scott Waites. After years of deciding to stick with the BDO, he tried to earn a tour card on the PDC ranks last year but came up short at Wigan.
Many players have tried and failed before only to let the disappointment affect their game in the months that followed. That’s thankfully not been the case with Waites who has continued to play some high level darts this year. His most recent TV tournament saw ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ reach the final of the World Masters and it will only take a slight improvement from that for him to claim a third BDO World Championship at 12/1 with bet365.
- Outright Winner – Jim Williams to win at 4/1 with Betfred
- Each Way Alternative – Scott Waites at 12/1 with bet365
- Round 1 – Saturday 4th to Tuesday 7th January 2020
- Round 2 – Wednesday 8th & Thursday 9th January 2020
- Quarter-Finals – Friday 10th January 2020
- Semi-Finals – Saturday 11th January 2020
- Final – Sunday 12th January 2020
About The BDO World Darts Championship
The British Darts Organisation’s World Darts Championship is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the sport of darts. Founded in 1978, the tournament invites the best players in the world to come together and battle it out in order to decide who will be crowned the darts world champion. There is a rival tournament that also takes place every year, as we’ll explain in this piece.
How the Sport Was Split
The split in darts came about in 1993 and was, believe it or not, largely down to the sport’s popularity on television. The first tournament in the game to be shown on TV was the 1962 Westward TV Invitational, which, as the name suggests, was set up by Westward Television and shown to the south-east of the country.
It didn’t immediately catch on, but the game garnered enough interest for darts to be shown on a regular basis in the years that followed. In 1972 ITV chose to broadcast the News of the World Championship, which came at the same time as the TV show The Indoor League began and featured a darts round. Though it was initially limited in its broadcast to the Yorkshire region, it moved to the main ITV network in 1973.
That was the year that Olly Croft formed the British Darts Organisation as the governing body of the sport, responsible for organising games around the country. The newly structure nature of the sport meant that there was someone there to push the game’s agenda, resulting in more and more television coverage occurring as the decade passed by.
ITV became one of the main proponents of darts on television, taking on the broadcasting rights of the likes of the World Masters, the British Matchplay championship and the darts World Cup. Even the BBC weren’t immune to showing some darts, broadcasting the 1975 British Open and then picking up the option for numerous darts tournaments like the British Gold Cup.
The Decline Of Television Coverage
As the 1970s wore on into the 1980s, the game’s top players found themselves in a position where the amount of money they could earn from winning darts tournaments combined with the fact that they were now being recognised as household names meant that they could become professionals.
In spite of this, the sport never managed to shake its image of being a male dominated game that was stuck in its working class roots. The players would often drink and smoke when they were playing, leaving them open to ridicule from TV shows such as Not the Nine O’Clock News.
The sport hit its peak in 1983 in terms of television coverage, but soon the audiences began to abandon it and broadcasters had no choice but to stop showing tournaments live. When ITV chose to axe World of Sport in 1985 it was seen as a massive blow to darts as a profession.
Over the following years more and more darts tournaments began to disappear from British television, culminating in the ending of both ITV and BBC’s mainstream coverage of the biggest events in 1988. By the following year, the only darts tournament being shown live on television was the World Championship.
The booze and cigarette fuelled nature of the sport meant that sponsors were hard to come by, resulting in the BDO banning alcohol during matches for the 1989 edition of the World Championship, but it made little difference.
Players Wanted Change
Many consider the start of the 1990s to be the moment that darts came apart at the seams as a sport, but in reality there had been feelings of discontent amongst the players even during the sport’s heyday.
One of the most talented players of the era, John Lowe, was chief amongst the players who wanted to know why they lost money playing for their country, for example, and why they had no say in how the sport was being run.
Players were also annoyed that they were banned from having personal sponsors on their shirts during televised tournaments and that they were often replaced with the sponsors of the competition that they were playing in, often in spite of the fact that they were competitive companies.
What the players found even more concerning was the lack of televised coverage of the sport after the main broadcasters dropped the majority of events at the end of the 1980s. It meant that the prize money decreased rapidly at the same time as their exposure shrunk, meaning that even earning money from exhibition matches became difficult.
Most players had turned professional by that stage and suddenly were struggling to make a living, meaning that they were critical towards the British Darts Organisation and the way in which they had handled the dwindling amount of TV coverage.
As a result, some of the top players and their agents formed the Darts Council in 1988 in the hope of putting pressure on the BDO to do something about the way that the sport was heading.
The Formation of the Professional Darts Council
Three years of pressure from the Darts Council had seen no noticeable change to the way that the sport was viewed in the UK, resulting in a decision in 1992 by sixteen professional players to leave the British Darts Organisation in order to set up their own organisation called the World Darts Council.
The group of players including all previous winners of the BDO World Championship that were still in the game, which was a massive blow to the BDO and their hopes of still being considered to be the most important group in the sport. As a result, the Embassy World Championship in 1993 was the final tournament to be played with darts as a unified sport.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things for the professionals who had been encouraging the BDO to work harder on their account was the fact that they didn’t seem to be being taken seriously. They released a VHS of the 1992 World Championship Final, for example, and it included highlights from previous finals featuring some of the biggest names in the game.
The BDO didn’t offer those players any money for their appearance on the video, however, as though calling their bluff. It failed, with the players creating their own organisation. The BDO refused to allow them to wear their WDC insignia when playing in the World Championship in 1993 and then declared that they weren’t allowed to set up their own tournaments, so instead they declared that they would only play in tournaments from then on if the WDC was the authority in charge of them.
The New World Darts Championship
The original World Darts Championship stood alongside the World Darts Federation’s World Cup of Darts as one of two major darts tournaments that took place on a yearly basis. When the split between the British Darts Organisation and the World Darts Council, which would later become the Professional Darts Corporation, occurred in 1992, another competition was added to the roster. This was the PDC World Championship and was the PDC’s answer to the BDO’s long-standing and much respected competition.
The problem for the BDO was that all of their previous winners had defected, leaving them with a field of players that was largely unknown. Chris Johns, one of the players who had originally left the BDO, agreed to go back ahead of the 1994 World Championship.
Mike Gregory also returned to the BDO and that resulted in huge pressure on the other defectors to return. They refused, instead launching their own World Championship with a field of twenty-four players, most of whom were well-known in the sport. In spite of this, the BDO’s contract with the BBC remained in place and the tournament managed to hold on to its respectability in the industry.
Format & Qualification
Having read all of that you’d be forgiven for thinking that darts players could only participate in the tournament organised by their governing body, but that’s not true. In 1997 the WDC and the BDO reached an agreement known and the Tomlin Order.
It was designed to allow players to compete in whichever competition they chose to and for a time it worked. Then in 2002 the Professional Dart Players Association, which is responsible for PDC players, said that PDC tournaments were only open to those players who were members of the PDPA. In order to play in a BDO event, however, players must agree not to join the PDPA. Complicated, no?!
The top sixteen players according to the BDO World Rankings are given a bye past the preliminary round of the tournament and are seeded in the first round.
2020 BDO World Championship Seedings
|1||Wesley Harms||Dutch||9/1||Second round|
|3||Richard Veenstra||Dutch||8/1||Second round|
|4||Dave Parletti||English||20/1||First round|
|5||Wayne Warren||Welsh||20/1||Second round|
|6||Nick Kenny||Welsh||25/1||Did not take part|
|7||Martijn Kleermaker||Dutch||25/1||Did not take part|
|10||Adam Smith-Neale||English||40/1||Preliminary round|
|11||Mario Vandenbogaerde||Belgian||16/1||Did not take part|
|12||Andy Hamilton||English||22/1||Preliminary round|
|13||Gary Robson||English||50/1||First round|
|14||David Evans||English||20/1||Did not take part|
|15||Ryan Hogarth||English||66/1||Preliminary round|
Likewise the players ranked from seventeen to twenty-four are also allowed to join the tournament in the first round, though they’re unseeded.
2020 BDO World Championship
Unseeded Automatic Qualifiers
|17||Gary Stone||Scottish||66/1||Did not take part|
|18||Leighton Bennett||English||20/1||Youth tournament winner|
|19||Chris Landman||Dutch||66/1||First round|
|21||Dennie Olde Kalter||Dutch||150/1||Did not take part|
|22||Gino Vos||Dutch||100/1||Did not take part|
|23||Martin Adams||English||40/1||Did not take part|
|24||Sebastian Steyer||Polish||100/1||Did not take part|
There are then qualifying games to decide upon the other eight players who are allowed to play in the competition proper, which sees thirty-two players go head-to-head in the first round in a best of five sets match up.
2020 BDO World Championship
|Player (Nationality)||Outright Winner
|Player (Nationality)||Outright Winner
|Simon Stainton (ENG)||66/1||Brian Raman (Bel)||200/1|
|Ross Montgomery (SCO)||66/1||John O’Shea (IRE)||25/1|
|Justin Thompson (AUS)||50/1||Andreas Harrysson (SWE)||150/1|
|Paul Hogan (ENG)||25/1||David Cameron (CAN)||150/1|
|Gabriel Pascaru (ROM)||150/1||Darren Herewini (NZ)||80/1|
|Joe Chaney (USA)||150/1||Thibault Tricole (FRA)||150/1|
|Nick Fullwell (ENG)||80/1||Justin Hood (ENG)||80/1|
|Scott Williams (ENG)||100/1||Ben Hazel (ENG)||100/1|
The winners from round one advance to the last sixteen, which is round two. Here they play a best of seven sets match in order to win the right to play in the quarter-finals, which is the best of nine sets. The winners progress to the best of eleven sets semi-finals, with the two best players heading into the final where they’ll play a best of thirteen sets matchup to decide who is the top BDO sanctioned player in the country.
The nature of the seeding system means that they best players are kept apart for as long as possible, with the first and second seeds put in opposite sides of the draw, as are the third and fourth and so on.
Obviously the very nature of the split in darts and the dispute that occurred between the two governing bodies is decidedly interesting, but the event has thrown up more than a few curiosities aside from that over the years. Here’s a quick look at some of the more fascinating ones:
- One of the biggest upsets in the history of darts occurred in 1983 when an unknown qualifier from Ipswich named Keith Deller defeated Eric Bristow and the other players considered to be the top three in the world on his way to winning the Championship
- Only one perfect nine-dart finish has ever been achieved in the tournament, pulled off by an American named Paul Lim in 1990
- The tournament has required a deciding play-off three times, with all of the 1992, 1998 and 1999 finals reaching five sets all, two legs all
- The 2007 final is considered to be one of the most exciting ever, with Martin Adams going six sets up only for Phil Nixon to win the next six. Adams won it in the final, deciding set
- Eric Bristow is the competition’s most successful competitor, having won it five times. Raymond van Barneveld is next with four victories
- England has provided the most winners to date, with twenty-eight finals seeing an English victor. Holland is next, with six of the winner’s being Dutch
- There is also a women’s championship, which was set up in 2001 and was won by Trina Gulliver for the first seven years. She also won in 2010, 2011 and 2016