Bookmakers are offering free bets and special offers on the Stan James sponsored World Matchplay Darts in Blackpool from 17 – 25th July.
Sporting Bet is offering betting odds of 14/1 for Raymond van Barneveld to win the competition after he nailed a nine dart finish on the opening night at the Winter Gardens.
The Dutchman was cruising along with an 8-1 lead over his opponent Dennis Ovens when he brilliantly registered the first nine-darter in the event since Phil Taylor in 2002.
Van Barneveld was returning to competitive darts after taking two months out when he spent time in South Africa watching his home nation Holland in the World Cup.
The former PDC and BDO World Champion admitted to being rusty at the start of the match before suggesting he now has the appetite to challenge Phil Taylor’s domination of the event.
He told Planet Darts: “I wasn’t playing too well in the first part of the game – in the first five or six legs I couldn’t find treble 20.”
"I don’t know where the nine-darter came from, but I’m so happy to have hit it. The feeling gets better every time.
"I have got the fire back in my belly now and the hunger to win."
He went on to win the match 10-1 and is joined in the second round by compatriot, Vincent van der Voort who beat Dennis Priestley 10-6.
The other first round matches played last night finished Wayne Jones 10-8 Colin Osborne and Ronnie Baxter 10-7 Jamie Caven.
The first round continues tonight from 7.00pm with the following matches:
Andy Hamilton v Co Stompe
Adrian Lewis v Mark Webster
James Wade v Andy Smith
Alan Tabern v Wes Newton