Well, what a week…..a week of Taylor, The Count, top tungsten, Twitter and of course Anastasia!
The outcome was somewhat inevitable I guess, because a certain Philip Taylor just looks to be on a different darting planet to the rest of the world - at the moment.
The perfect scenario for ‘The Power’ would have been to nail that wretched D12 for the 9-darter to win the match and you could sense his frustration, because he had missed to same blasted D12 to win the European Championship Final with a nine-darter not so long ago!
But he has now won three-quarters-of-a-million pounds…..yes, £750,000 in darts prize money in 2009 – who once said it was a poor man’s sport?!
And I just can’t see anyone capable of stopping him claiming a 15th World Championship title at the Alexandra Palace. It would certainly be one of THE great upsets in British sport this year, if ‘The Power’ was cut at the Ally Pally…..we shall see.
One thing’s for sure – it is shaping up to be the best World Championship tournament ever, with a high quality field getting ready to challenge Taylor for the biggest prize in darts.
Hopefully Scott Waites will now take the plunge and cross the great darting divide in the New Year. His £50,000 cheque for reaching the Grand Slam Final means there are no financial worries….I wouldn’t be surprised if potential sponsors are knocking at his door and there is no doubt that he would be a big hit in the PDC.
You never know, he may make the switch as a World Champion…..Waites has to be brimming with confidence heading for the Lakeside and will go into the tournament as one of the favourites.
And talking of the BDO, what can you say about a certain Ted Hankey….pure box office, that’s for sure. It’s a pity we didn’t see a bit more of him in Wolverhampton but he will be back at the Grand Slam in 2010.
His bust-up with the crowd was one of the stand-out moments of the week. His darts got better but he ran out of games…..a real character who lit up proceedings for a while!
And talking about lighting up the tournament – what a fabulous performance from Anastasia and her landmark victory over Vincent van der Voort was thoroughly deserved for all the hard work she has put in over the last year or so.
It was a big gamble for her, when she made the switch to the PDC. She could have stayed where she was and dominated the ladies game for years in the BDO but she needs a challenge and she fully justified her place at the Grand Slam.
In my opinion, she should earn the right to a wildcard to 2010, because of all that she adds to the Grand Slam…..of course, darts being darts – Van der Voort went out next game and walloped Taylor 5-1!
Simon Whitlock and Gary Anderson both showed again why they will be major players at the World Championship and dangerous floaters in the draw….nobody will relish a match-up with those two.
We have to hope that the real Raymond van Barneveld turns up at the Ally Pally. There were signs that he was getting back to something like in Wolverhampton, but how much will the semi-final hammering at the hands of Taylor set him back?
Just before the Grand Slam, I discovered the world of Twitter….wow, it’s addictive isn’t it?! Celebrated luvvie and King of Twits Stephen Fry got involved and was glued to his TV all week watching the darts! Great fun! Anyway, if you are of a mind – a sane mind that is – you can follow me on Twitter - @stuartpykesport