Jaymes Monte picks out his best bet from round two of the Players Championship Finals...
The conduct of spectators whilst a player is throwing is an eternal debate in PDC darts. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that the players need to just 'get on with it'. Of course, in an ideal world we'd have a bit of hush whilst a player is at the oche, but we need to be realistic.
The PDC have marketed the sport as a 'lads night out' and that is, unquestionably, a huge factor in the reason that the sport has become so big in recent years. Fuel groups of 20-35-year-olds with generous amounts of amber nectar and they aren't going to stay quiet for long. And if you insist that they do stay quiet, then you lose a huge part of what makes 'a night out at the darts' so appealing to the vast majority of those that pay to attend these big venues.
As a direct result professional darts players benefit greatly in many, many ways, not least financially. And therefore players must roll with the punches when it comes to the 'problem' of spectators shouting out and jeering during matches. If you don't like it, go back to the BDO, play one big tournament a year at the Lakeside and get a job in an office or as a tradesman in order to pay the bills.
One man who I know won't agree with me is Mervyn King. Once upon a time The King enjoyed playing up to the bad boy image, but not any more. Now, as soon as the crowd begin to mutter whilst he's throwing, he spits the dummy. That attitude is the reason he lost the World Grand Prix final to Michael van Gerwen recently, and it could turn out to be the cause of many more downfalls to come.
Which is a shame, because King is in some of the best form of his career.
Today he plays Steve Beaton, and I expect Mervyn has already got the hump with the schedulers after the match was programmed in for the final slot in the evening session. A time when the crowd will naturally be at their most inebriated and raucous.
Beaton showed, as he sporadically does, that he can still mix it with the top players, by beating Grand Slam champion Raymond van Barneveld in the first round. On form King is a deserving favourite, but his rapport with the crowd could be his undoing once again. Beaton, a crowd favourite, is more than capable of punishing him and certainly a value bet at odds of 2.6413/8.
Back Beaton to beat King @ 2.6413/8