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Professional darts great for wagers thanks to Cinderella factor – New York Post


When I tell people the Professional Darts Corporation (aka the PDC) is the world’s best betting sport, the reaction usually goes one of two ways. Most people thumb their nose at me and go back to grinding out a Raiders-Texans game on Thursday Night Football. But some people (such as noted darts fan Tiger Woods) see the light.

For the first time, a PDC tournament is being held in New York City. Two years in the making, the 2022 US Darts Masters began Friday and goes through Saturday night at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Darts combines the best parts of March Madness, a cup final soccer match, Wrestlemania and your favorite bar. The PDC leans into the absurdity of it all. Every player has a nickname. Every player has a walk-up song. Every player is a character. And it doesn’t matter what they look like, where they come from or what gender they are, all that matters is that they can play.

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Part of the allure of darts is that there is a Cinderella factor. Nobody plays AAU Darts or has their parents spend thousands of dollars to send them to camps, tournaments or work with personal trainers. All you need to practice is a board and some arrows.

Almost every player on the PDC has a day job. Rob Cross was an electrician before he became a world champion. World No. 16 Dirk van Duijvenbode still works on an eggplant farm in the Netherlands. Despite winning four major titles and nearly $500,000 in prize money in 2021, Jonny “The Ferret” Clayton still works as a plasterer. In other words, there’s still time for all of us. We just need to pick up the tungsten and stick with it.

PDC’s Peter Wright, of Scotland
GEPA/Sipa USA

As in wrestling, the crowd is also a major player at a darts tournament. There are heroes, such as Fallon “The Queen of the Palace” Sherrock, and there are black hats, such as Gerwyn “The Iceman” Price. The crowd, which is always well lubricated, will be singing, dancing, cheering and booing deep into the night. And unlike at a tennis match or a golf tournament, there’s nobody on the floor telling you to be quiet during gameplay. In fact, it would throw the players off if the crowd fell quiet.

It’s one thing to read about the darts, but to really understand the sport in all of its whimsical glory you need to watch. It’s kind of like “The Wire”, “Mad Men” or “Deadwood.” You may need to convince someone to watch, but when they finally do it, their lives will be changed for the better.

It is highly unlikely the PDC will make a huge impact in the crowded sporting landscape on this side of the pond, but this is a huge weekend for darts in the United States.


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The US Darts Masters features eight of the PDC’s biggest stars and eight challengers from the North American circuit. The favorite at DraftKings was Peter Wright at +350, but this will be a wide-open event that continues to gain traction in the betting world.

Betting on a darts tournament is similar to betting on tennis. Most events feature fields between 16 and 48 players, with the competitors drawn into a bracket. And as in tennis, the momentum swings in darts are tangible, exciting and provide a ridiculous sweat for punters. The difference between darts and a tennis match is that the former usually begins and ends within an hour.

There are plenty of different markets you can bet, like a match spread, how many legs a player will win or even if anybody will hit a nine-darter (winning a leg with the lowest possible throws).