Crunching the Numbers – The Fate of the Number 1 Seeds

The PDC and BDO World Darts Championships are nearly upon us and both tournaments see their number one seeded players (van Gerwen in the PDC and Durrant in the BDO) heavily favoured by the bookies to win their respective events and with the form of van Gerwen and Durrant over the last year the odds certainly appear to be justified.

MVG and Durrant

There may be hope for the rest of the field in both tournaments though (No both MVG and Durrant aren’t going to be throwing with their wrong hand!).

Digging back through the archives I have discovered some interesting stats on players seeded number 1 at the World Championships and they have won the tournament less than you might think.

• The number 1 seed has won the PDC World Championship title only 7 times from the 22 tournaments played since the first PDC World Championships in 1994.
• The only 2 players to have done so are Phil Taylor (six times) and Dennis Priestley (once).

There have been 7 different players to have started a PDC World Championship as the number 1 seed, they are:
Dennis Priestley (3)
Phil Taylor (11)
Rod Harrington (1)
Peter Manley (2)
Alan Warriner-Little (1)
Colin Lloyd (3)
Michael van Gerwen (1)

• Coincidentally the number 1 seed has won the BDO World Championship title 7 times from 22 tournaments since the break away and formation of the PDC World Championships in 1994.
• Four players have done this; they are Raymond van Barneveld (three times), Martin Adams (two times), Mark Webster (once) and Stephen Bunting (once).

• The sequence doesn’t end there however, as prior to the breakaway of the PDC the number 1 seed won the World Championship 7 times in the 16 BDO World Championships from 1978 to 1993.
• The players winning the title when seeded number 1 were Eric Bristow (four times), John Lowe (once), Bob Anderson (once) and Phil Taylor (once).

So all in all from a total of 60 World Championship tournaments played, the number 1 seed has won the title only 21 times (35% overall).

This of course doesn’t mean that van Gerwen and Durrant won’t win their tournaments as it would take a brave man or woman to back against them.


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