Welcome back to OpenOdds’ Darts Round Up, which this week looks at the finals and the fallout at the BDO World Championships, where one champion retained their title, the bookmakers were confounded in another event, and most of the players left the venue with questions unanswered. We’ll also have a look at the future of the BDO – will this tournament even be played in 2021, given how things have gone this year?
We’ll also have a look at the players who have declared for the 2020 PDC Q-School. Given how things are going for the BDO at the moment, how many players from the top of its rankings do you think are seeking the escape hatch of the PDC? (Spoiler alert: it’s a lot). With Glen Durrant having enjoyed a pretty strong year after joining the more prestigious tour, the people who come through from the qualifying event will have a pretty decent inspiration to follow.
Anyway, that’s enough preamble, let’s look at the mess that is the aftermath of the BDO World Championships…
Wayne Warren wins, worries where wonga went
As lead-ups for major tournament go, writing to each competitor telling them that you’ve only sold 15% of the total tickets and prize money will be reduced isn’t the best. The letter that the BDO composed also contained the admission that the organisation’s brand has become somewhat “toxic”. A good way to detoxify it might have been to tell their newly-crowned men’s champion how much prize money he would see for winning, or indeed when he might receive that purse. However, at the time of writing, Wayne Warren is still waiting on that information.
Warren, who at 57 became the oldest BDO champion, defeated fellow Welshman Jim Williams 7-4 in the final which was played on Sunday evening. However, speaking to BBC Radio Wales on Monday afternoon, the champion admitted he had received neither any payment from the BDO nor any indication of what was on offer. Warren has shown no indication that he plans to turn to the PDC Tour; with his vanquished opponent Williams looking at a move and currently 250/1 to win the PDC Championship at Paddy Power, it’s clear what an uphill battle the new champ would face if he did walk.
Suzuki retains women’s title, looks towards PDC future
In the absence of breakout star Fallon Sherrock, the favourite for the BDO Women’s Championship was Japan’s Mikuru Suzuki, and her chances only improved as other seeds pulled out injured or were surprisingly defeated in the early stages. Some Sherrock-like interest was created by the semi-final run of Beau Greaves, who celebrated her sixteenth birthday by defeating Aileen de Graaf, the third seed, in the last eight. This resulted in a semi-final against Suzuki, in which Greaves did take a set but was eventually defeated.
Suzuki then went on to contest the final against England’s Lisa Ashton, who was first seed and has won the title four times in the past. However, Suzuki – who came within a frustratingly small gap of beating Sherrock to become the first woman to win a PDC Championship match – whitewashed her opponent to retain the title. Whether she can do the same in 2021 remains to be seen; Suzuki is joining the PDC Q-School and will be aiming to win a tour card, which would rule her out of returning to the BDO championships in future. Meanwhile, she is 500/1 to win the PDC title in 2021 with William Hill.
What next for the BDO?
It’s been 28 years since the PDC split from the BDO, and over the years the greater prize money and more streamlined organisation have only seen the breakaway organisation leave its rival in the dust. However, the BDO has been seen as a key player in bringing through the next generation. Even this winter, we’ve seen the fairytale story of Greaves, while the men’s draw saw an impressive performance from 14-year-old Leighton Bennett. However, a move to the O2 Arena’s Indigo venue is felt to have hurt ticket sales in 2020, and one is left with the sense that outside of a major change of tack, the older federation is set to wither away.
Leading BDO pro Martin Adams has indicated that he would be interested in taking on the chairmanship of the organisation, and has some interesting ideas which include moving the championships to the spring. Hopefully, some accommodation will be found for ways to turn the ship around, because the BDO clearly still has a part to play. Just a year after winning his third BDO title, Glenn Durrant is now set to embark on a season in the PDC Premier League. At 28/1 with 888 he’s an outsider, but he’s proof that players can make the step up.