Column #HR291 It’s PDC World Cup time!

Thursday, October 29, 2020
Column HR291
It’s PDC World Cup time!

With a chill in the air and All Hollow’s Eve knocking at the door the Old Dart Coach is ready for his once a year treat.  Yes, it’s PDC World Cup time!

The drunk Irish Potato Head has called for the PDC World Cup to be tossed in the trash and to replace the Cup with yet another ranking event.  In its effort to become global the PDC is doing what it should do, not to mention that losing the World Cup would break the ODC’s hard as diamond heart.

There was a possibility that the PDC World Cup would share the spotlight with the WDF Virtual Cup.  That possibility now?  Between “slim and none” with “slim” out of town.  Slim left after reports of cheating in the Virtual Cup appeared.

In one case, Australian Justin Thompson was a victim.  In another game, related video and audio were sent to the WDF.  The WDF (World Dumbness Federation) ruled the game stands.  In a women’s game (where cheating was confirmed) they didn’t toss the two cheaters out. The WDF had the game replayed.  An inquiry to DartsConnect (running the event) was not answered.  No surprise there.

Meanwhile, the ladies knocked on the PDC door.  When opened, they got a treat with a non-fattening but nourishing 4 events over two days.  Deta “The Queen” Hedman (who the drunk Irish Potato Head called “washed up”) beat international star Aileen de Graaf 6-5 to earn a spot in the PDC World Championships.  In the four events “The Queen” reached the semifinals 4 times with 2 finals appearances.  “Washed up” my more than ample backside.  Lisa Ashton copped two final wins with Fallon Sherrock snagging one.

Look forward to more PDC Ladies events soon, maybe the addition of one ladies match on each Premier League night along with a limited number of ladies only tour events.  It would be the PC thing to do.  It would depend on the ladies being able to create betting interest.  How about adding one lady to the PDC World Cup?

“Great idea, Coach!”

THE OVERVIEW… 2020 PDC World Cup X 

As the 32 National teams meet for the PDC World Cup on November 6-8 in Salzburg, Austria, they’ll be battling for £350,000 in prize money.  Certainly not chump change.  The “coin of the realm” is up £200,000 from £150,000 in PDC World Cup I in 2010.

For the first time the World Cup is wide open.  This does not mean that Italy or Lithuania will figure to win.  They won’t.

Defending champion Scotland is unranked with John Henderson and Robert Thornton (both event rookies) replacing Gary Anderson and Peter Wright.  Strange, as the teams are supposed to be comprised of the two best in the PDC Order of Merit.  Both Anderson and Wright are in the top 10 but Henderson and Thornton aren’t.  Guess the defending champions took a Pasadena on collecting £35,000 each for winning and defending their title.  So, Scotland is unranked and got a dodgy draw – if they get by Japan, no walk in the park, they’ll face #2 Wales.

The first-round doubles-only would seem to favor “doubles playing” Norte Americanos.  It’s “fake news” though as both Canada (Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell) and USA (Chuck Puleo and Danny Lauby) are sending rookie teams.  And not getting any break in the draw…

The USA gets the veteran team from #8 Austria led by the gentle giant Mensur Suljovic, who has played in all WCs, joined by Rowby-John Rodriguez.  Austria will have the added advantage of a county crowd.  (Yes, fans will be allowed to attend.)  Looks like “one and done” for the USA.

Canada may get a Sunday delight, having drawn #4 Northern Ireland with Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan.  This team has played together in the WC and been ranked since 2017.  However, they failed to take advantage of their seed, underperforming in each case.  Canada has a better than 50/50 chance of winning.  A win would put Canada up against either New Zealand or Denmark, both of which they are capable of beating.

PREDICTIONS

NOTE: This is not for betting purposes – rather, merely to prove how brilliant the Old Dart Coach is.   

The Singapore duo of the Lim “not brothers” (Paul and Harith) have always outperformed their non-ranking.  Their first-round draw (Hungary) should go down setting up an “even Stephen” meeting with #8 Austria#1 England would be next, and they are very beatable.

Hong Kong is another sleeper.  Kai Fan Leung and Royden Lam will squeak a win over China.  Lam is the key for Hong Kong as he’s quality, whether steel or machine darts.  A win and they’ll face #5 Belgium which should get by the Czech Republic.  Belgium has 8-time WC competitor Kim Huybrechts who is joined by Dimitri Van den Bergh.  This pair has outperformed their seeding with 2 semis and a quarter, losing to the eventual champs on two occasions.

With Gerwyn Price currently playing at his best Wales (ranked #2) should get by Russia’s Boris Koltsov and Aleksei Kadochnikov.  Wales will then have to raise their game to beat Scotland (Henderson and Thornton) for a trip to the elite eight. The Guys Who Scare Sheep should then move on to a final four showdown with #7 Republic of Ireland after they beat Australia.  The Republic of Ireland was unseeded last year and made it all the way to the final where they lost 3-1 to Scotland. The team of William O’Connor and Steve Lennon return for yet another try.  O’Conner has played in every World Cup.

#3 Netherlands (Michael van Gerwen and Danny Noppert) gets a great draw, Brazil in the first round.  Then it’s on to Spain (Cristo Reyes and Toni Alcinas) after they’ve taken out Italy.  The Spain guys will make it close because they’re both veterans of the Cup.  The win by the Wooden Shoes Guys puts them in the semis against #6 Germany, if Germany gets by Greece (which will likely struggle but survive against Sweden).

OKAY, BUT WHO’S GOING TO WIN?

One has to love #7 Republic of Ireland to prevail over #3 Netherlands in the semifinals.  Michael van Gerwen is no longer “The One.”  It’ll will have been up to Danny Noppert (and a good draw) to have gotten the Dutch this far.

In the top half of the draw the ODC sees #1 England losing to #8 Austria in the quarters then Austria falling to Belgium in the semis.

Drum roll please…

Take the Republic of Ireland to win their first PDC World Cup.  Well done lads.

How good is the ODC with predictions?

He took the Allies giving points on December 7 in 1941.

Stay thirsty my friends.

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Howie Reed
The one and only Howie Reed (the Old Dart Coach) goes back decades with the legends of our sport - he knows where the skeletons are buried. Just ask any of the ADO and WDF old-timers! His widely popular column, Toeing the Oche, is a must-read.
Howie Reed

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