Darts Betting 2
THE EMBASSY This was the championship that superseded the News of the World as the big one in darts.
Not any more. Since the split the Embassy has struggled to capture the imagination with fewer and fewer household names taking to the stage in Frimley Green. Now it hasn't even got Embassy after the Government changed the rules on tobacco sponsorship.
But what the Lakeside World Professional Darts Championship does have is betting opportunities galore and with Taylor so dominant across the rubicon, this is the tournament where darts shrewdies would hope to make big profits. Since Taylor won his second Embassy title in 1992, there have been ten different winners of the crown ranging from 4-1 favourite Ray Barneveld to John Walton (50-1), John Part (66-1) and Tony David (66-1). Part, Les Wallace and Andy Fordham took glory despite not being seeded.
David was a classic example of a player who the bookies simply couldn't evaluate. The Australian arrived with little more than decent form but while he was in England awaiting the start of the Embassy he threw superb darts at league level - performances that went unseen by the odds-setters.
Those with an ear to the ground got on and got rich, those who didn't were left to wait for another chance.
And given that of the 32 players who take to the Lakeside stage probably about three-quarters of them could win it - in stark contrast to PDC events - no wonder this is the tournament that the value-seeking darts punter cannot wait for.