What does it take to win a Pro Tour darts event?

lewis-uk-open1 - 2015

Many amateur darts players and fans wonder what it takes to play and win at the professional level. Some wonder if they are good enough or to what standard they must get? Answers are usually vague and consist of saying that you must get a certain number of legs in less than 18 or 15 darts. Other answers centre on averages and suggest that a consistent average of say ninety five points for every three darts over the duration of the competition would be a high professional standard.
Whilst these answers are all well and good and give a general idea they do not illustrate the full requirements of winning events at the highest level.
I decided to follow the first PDC UK Open qualifier event from Wigan this weekend. These events are open to a huge number of entrants and the top players in the world have to qualify just the same as the rest. Thus the only concession to ranking is that the top 32 players on the PDC order of merit are exempt until the last 128.
In order to see what it really takes to qualify for this major TV event, and indeed to win the £10,000 prize on offer each day, I elected to follow a player from the middle of the draw who was not exempt and would start in the round of 256.

I select a match from the middle of the draw, the only factors I used were that the board looked like it would flow smoothly and that the match statistics would be available all through the draw. I then selcted the player who won the bull to be the one we follow. From here on in it will be somewhat like “the road to wembley”. We shall follow our player ( Player A) or his conqueror through the rounds and see what is required at every stage.

Round 1 (256)
Stats:
Player A 6 vs 2 Player B
100+ – 14 v 13
140+ – 3 v 8
180+ – 1 v 0
Average: 83 vs 76
Darts Used (Winning Legs)- 99

Round 2 (128)
Player C 6 vs 4 Player A
Stats:
100+ 10 v 16
140+ 13 v 7
180+ 2 v 1
Average 94 vs 92
Darts Used (Winning Legs) -95

Round 3 (64)
Player D 6 vs 3 Player C
Stats:
100+ 11 v 16
140+ 8 v 6
180+ 1 v 2
Average 97 v 104
Darts Used (Winning Legs) 90

Round 4 (32)
Player D 6 v 3 Player E
Stats:
100+ 15 v 9
140+ 8 v 5
180+ 2 v 4
Average 91 v 95
Darts Used (Winning Legs) – 91

Round 5 (16)
Player F 6 vs 2 Player D
Stats:
100+ 6 v 10
140+ 7 v 5
180+ 4 v 3
Average 94.5 v 94
Darts Used (Winning Legs) – 93

Round 6 (Qtr Final)
Player G 6 vs 3 Player F
Stats:
100+ 12 v 10
140+ 1 v 8
180+ 1 v 3
Average 91 v 102
Darts Used (Winning Legs) – 94

Round 7 ( Semi Final)
Player H 6 vs 5 Player G
Stats:
100+ 7 v 12
140+ 6 v 4
180+ 5 v 3
Average 97 v 91
Darts Used (Winning Legs) – 91

Round 9 (Final)
Player I 6 vs 1 Player H
Stats:
100+ 12 v 9
140+ 2 v 6
180+ 3 v 1
Average – 106.5 v 104.5
Darts Used Winning Legs (83)

Additional Stats:
Bull up winner wins 5 times out of 8 games.
For Player A to go all the way:
Average : N /A (would not work as a stat as the player with the higher average lost the match on 3 occasions and on 2 more it was within 1 point.)
Darts Used : 98, 94, 89, 90,92, 93, 90 and 82 (one less than the winner in every match)
Total 730 Darts for 48 legs which is a fraction over 15 darts per winning leg over 8 matches.

The imaginary Player A would therefore be best advised to win the bull more than half the time, and complete the legs in 5 / 6 visits in the early rounds. This must then be reduced to consistent 5 visits or add in some 4 visit ( 12 dart legs). This will get you to the final, once there you must win the bull and then hold in 5 visits or less. This will result in a 5-5 match and a last leg shoot out with you having the darts whilst averaging well over 100 against Adrian Lewis who will also be averaging at least the same.

Good Luck in your last leg!

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