Which player was responsible for the worst leg in the history of professional darts?

Which player was responsible for the worst leg in the history of professional darts?  There are a few contenders for what was arguably the worst leg in the history of professional darts and, weirdly, all of them involve an Australian. New South Walean Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock has twice staked his claim at the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) World Championship at Alexandra Palace, London. In December, 2018, he and opponent Martin Schindler missed 22 darts at a double between them in the third leg of their first round match, although Whitlock did average 87.42 and eventually won the match 3-1. In December, 2022, Whitlock and Christian Perez again missed nine darts apiece at a double in the third leg of the deciding set in their first round match, which Whitlock won on double 1 after 30 darts.

However, the player generally considered to be responsible for worst leg in the history of professional darts was Australian former professional Anthony ‘Fleety’ Fleet, who did so on his one and only appearance at the British Darts Organisation (BDO) World Championship at Lakeside Country Club in Frimley Green, Surrey. Drawn against former BDO World Champion Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams in the first round, Fleet was clearly overcome by nerves, to the extent that he not only had problems throwing his darts accurately, but also passing them from hand to hand and, at one point, even standing steadily at the oche.

His first twelve darts yielded 26, 41, 60 and 60, followed by an excrutiating passage of play in which he hit single 1, single 1, dropped his third dart on the floor and, having taken a moment to compose himself, hit treble 1 for a total of 5. At that point, commentator David Croft remarked, ‘A long way to go yet, but one of the worst starts I’ve ever seen a player make to a match here’. He wasn’t kidding; Fleet threw his next dart into double one.

Further haphazard throws of 22, 80 and 11 followed, before Adams finally put him out of his misery, although he needed 26 darts to do so, having missed three darts at double 12 and another at double 6. Fleet never recovered, losing the match 3-0 without winning a leg and recording a paltry three-dart average of 65.34.

Patrick Veitch’s Favourite Bets

Patrick Veitch’s Favourite Bets  As way of expanding on the previous post, I’m now almost three-quarters through the well-received book Enemy Number One by Patrick Veitch. There no doubt he has proven to be a very successful professional gambler and literally ‘Enemy Number One’ when is came to bookmakers laying bets. There weakness, mostly they didn’t realise it was him placing the bets via his many agents.

It comes as no surprise, that most professional punters make good money for one reason – they bet astonishing sums of cash. In fact, Veitch is probably one of the biggest bettors with only the likes of Harry Findlay wagering more. He had some massive bets in his time, some over £1M. One such bet on New Zealand to win the World Cup proved very costly indeed when they were knocked out in the semi finals by France.

Vietch has had individual bets ranging from the small thousands to almost £100,000. His winning sprees were prolific and he made a couple of million a year. It is reputed he won over £10M in an eight year period.

But what were his favourite bets:

Single Bets:

The vast amount of bets were placed on singles and each-way wagers. They were definitely the staple. He wasn’t against ante-post bets and made a killing over many years.

Flat & National Hunt:

He was predominantly a Flat racing professional although he bet on both codes of racing often using tips from others on the National Hunt. However, he liked to rely on his own judgment most of all.

Each Way Doubles & Trebles:

He enjoyed great success with some outlandish each way doubles and treble, often paying tens of thousands. I think a few went close to winning hundreds of thousands.

Trixies:

Another bet he enjoyed a combination of 3 horses in doubles and treble.

SCOOP 6:

A few big pay days with the Scoop 6 coming in one or two in the hundreds of thousands. Nice work if you can get it.

Reverse Forecast:

Once again, not scared to place a bet that few punters who consider. A decent reverse forecast on strong markets gave the possibility of really striking lucky if the win single came in.

Ante-post Bet:

As detailed above, he wasn’t against ante-post wagers including the Classics although he did bet on big handicaps too.

Book Reading: Enemy Number One by Patrick Veitch

Book Reading: Enemy Number One by Patrick Veitch  Professional gambler books.

Where do they start and end? In my case, there is no particular order, rhyme or reason. For example, Enemy Number One: The Secrets of The UK’s Most Feared Professional Punter by Patrick Veitch has been sitting on my bookshelf for years.

I’ve not read a word of this well-received tome.

It sits next to me as I write this article. The dust jacket depicting a photo of a man silhouetted walking past a sash window overlooking a garden of bushes, perhaps a pine tree and hedge in the distance. I’m sure the publishers said: ‘You can’t beat a black and white photo and that classic out-of-focus man-in-a-suit look tells a story punters want to read.’

It has taken a few years, but I’m just about the open the book and start reading. This is the equivalent of an unboxing on YouTube!

Enemy Number One: The Secrets of The UK’s Most Feared Professional Punter by Patrick Veitch was published in 2009 by Racing Post.

I’m not sure why I’ve been so slow to get stuck into this book. However, over the next couple of weeks I will read it from cover to cover. One or two of my horse racing friends have said it’s a good read. In truth, most professional gambler books detail the highs and lows of a gambling life via big bets wins and losses. That’s certainly been the case with Dave Nevison’s A Bloody Good Winner & Harry Findlay’s: Gambling For Life.

Have you noticed how all these books have pretty much the same tag lines. I guess being a professional gambler puts your musing within a box that is always square.

No doubt this publication came to fruition from the successes of former worthy reads.

Very few professional gambler books detail the ‘secret sauce’ to help punters find the method to making their betting pay. That’s been the case for Messrs Nevison & Findlay. Perhaps we need to look at my old friend Nick Mordin’s Betting For A Living, published in 1992. I’ve seen that sitting on my brother’s bookshelf.

Anyway, I will soon get stuck into Mr. Veitch.

The blurb on the inside cover gives hope of something more as he made £10M in a period of just eight years. Can the Cambridge mathematician and scholar prove he is the best of all modern-day professionals?

Let’s get reading and find out.

What was the longest-priced winner at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival?

What was the longest-priced winner at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival?  The 2022 Cheltenham Festival was the first since the government lifted all remaining Covid-19 regulations and, as anticipated, was attended by a record total of 280,627 racegoers over the four days. On the whole, the March showpiece was fairly kind to punters, with 12, or 43%, of the 28 races won by the starting price favourite, or joint-favourite.

The winning market leaders included Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle, Allaho in the Ryanair Chase and A Plus Tard in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Shishkin, who was sent off marginal odds-on favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, was never travelling well and was pulled up, leaving the race at the mercy of his main market rival, Energumene. Klassical Dream, favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle, looked the likely winner at one stage, but was less than fluent over the final flight and failed as much as anticipated on the run-in, eventually finishing fifth behind Flooring Porter, who was winning the race for the second year running.

Thus, all the ‘feature’ races of the week went, more or less, as anticipated by the betting market, but the notoriously difficult Festival handicaps were, largely, as impenetrable as ever. In fact, the eight handicap races, hurdles and steeplechases, yielded just one winning favourite, subsequent multiple Grade 1 winner State Man, in the County Handicap Hurdle. The other winners included, in ascending order of starting price, Cool Cody at 22/1, Third Wind at 25/1, Global Citizen at 28/1 and Chambard at 40/1.

Top of the shop, in terms of odds of reward, though, was Commander Of Fleet, trained by Gordon Elliott, who belied odds of 50/1 when scraping home by a short head in the Coral Cup. The eight-year-old gelding had popped up at 40/1 when winning comfortably, off an 8lb lower mark, at Navan in December but, after three unsuccessful starts in Graded company, was largely unconsidered at Cheltenham.