The final this year saw Scott ‘Scotty Dog’ Mitchell beat Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams 7-6 and claim his first title at the Lakeside. It was a tight match, with any break being replied to almost instantly until the final set.
As always, there were plenty of the usual comments about how the BDO darts is ‘rubbish’ and that they wouldn’t stand a chance in the PDC. The averages in the BDO Final were lower (Gary Anderson = 97.68; Phil Taylor = 100.69; Scott Mitchell = 92.61; Martin Adams = 92.55), but was it a bad match? Sure, there was plenty of poor finishing (Adams only found a double on about his 12th attempt), with darts sometimes a long way away from the double, or hitting doubles in the set-up when singles were needed. But a bad match? In quality (at times) perhaps, but certainly not in terms of interest. It was close throughout and the poor finishing (at times) arguably ensured that this remained the case. And a close match is surely the most important thing as no-one is interested in watching a procession (unless you’re a supporter of a particular player).
As always on Twitter, plenty of people announced that they would turn up next year and walk the tournament. I don’t doubt that there were some good players making these comments, but I would be surprised if any of them were averaging above 90 over 13 sets. One comment that I found interesting was along the lines that would a PDC player celebrate a win with an average in the 80s. I accept this is unlikely because to win a match in the PDC needs a higher average, but if it did happen, I am certain that the player would celebrate the victory, whilst acknowledging the need to improve. Would Gary Anderson have complained after the final if his average had been in the 80s, or would he have celebrated being the champion still?
I think what doesn’t help the BDO is the presentation; the commentators often talk up matches and performances that are not of the highest standard and some of Tony Green’s commentary gave the impression that he was desperate for Adams to win. The more subdued crowd also seems to result in a flat atmosphere, although close matches (or hitting 8 perfect darts and the wire with the ninth) does see a livelier atmosphere.
Do I think that the BDO is as good as the PDC? No. The standard in the PDC is higher. Can BDO players do well in the PDC? Yes. Stephen Bunting has had a good first year and will be in the Premier League. Will I watch the BDO World Championship again? Yes. Because I enjoy watching darts and seeing how the players cope with the pressure.