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UK Open Darts 2012 Betting Preview - The Outsiders

Can Dave Chisnall pick up from where he left off at Ally Pally? (credit: Lawrence Lustig/ PDC)
The UK Open is renowned for its giant killings, with many established stars making a name for themselves in this event; this year a fresh contingent of challengers step up to the mark.

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The relatively short format and unique intense atmosphere created in the compact venue at the Reebok Stadium offer a leveller for the lesser known players to make an impact and there is no shortage of potential dark horses this year.  

The format is likened to a Players Championship event in that matches are played over a similar length and there are eight boards in action simultaneously, with successful players playing more than one game in a session. 

Aside from the top 32 seeds, the event will see around 150 other players compete in the 'FA Cup of darts', many of whom have vast experience of playing on the PDC ProTour and are ready to step up their game in front of the TV cameras. 

The fearless qualifiers can also never be written off, with many unknown quantities emerging as the tournament goes on. 

Here is a look at the potential dark horses for glory in Bolton: 

Dave Chisnall 25/1 Betfred

Dave Chisnall has come a long way since making his PDC televised debut in this event a year ago.

The Former BDO Lakeside finalist has burst into the big time and comes into the tournament as one of the most in form players on the circuit.

The 31-year-old from St Helens may be camera shy but is not afraid to showcase his natural talent in front of the TV cameras, with his defining moment coming at the World Championships in December when he dumped out Phil Taylor by four sets to one.

Chizzy is in a rich vein of form and sits on the periphery of the world's top 16, breaking the £100,000 prize money barrier courtesy of a sensational ProTour title double in Crawley a fortnight ago.

He offers good value as a 25/1 chance and could take some beating should he remain solid throughout the rounds.

Justin Pipe 28/1 Ladbrokes

Few players have made quite an impact in the PDC over the past 12 months as former tree surgeon Justin Pipe, who in May, broke into the top 16 for the first time and continues to go from strength to strength.   

The man from Taunton is proving that life really does begin at 40 as he continues to produce scintillating performances week-in, week-out on the PDC ProTour circuit.

Since joining the PDC in 2008, methodical thrower Pipe has established himself as one of the most dangerous 'floor players', an ever present in the later stages of Players Championship ranking events across the country.

Many feel he is now ready to transfer his red hot floor form onto the main stage and he is well fancied to do some damage in Bolton as a 28/1 outsider.

Wes Newton 33/1 Boylesports

Fleetwood ace Wes Newton enjoyed the best moment of his career to date in reaching last year's UK Open final only to lose out to James Wade.

He will be eyeing to go one step further and continue his surge up the order of merit as he establishes himself as one of the hottest new properties in the game.

Now world number five, Newton is renowned for his consistency in floor events, but it is surely a matter of time before he steps up to the plate on a regular basis on the big stage.

He starts at a much shorter price than in 2011 and the bookmakers will be wary of the threat he poses, with the mixture of floor and stage matches suiting The Warrior down to the ground.

Terry Jenkins 66/1 William Hill

Multiple ranking finalist Jenkins has gone under the radar in darting terms having missed out on a Premier League place this year but could be a potential dark horse in Bolton.

The Raging Bull picked up his first title for three years in May after winning a UK Open qualifying event from a field of 200, proving he still possesses the grit and determination needed to succeed at this level.

He has never been beyond the Quarter-Final stages of this event, but will be eyeing a good run this time around should he carry his improving ProTour form onto the stage.

Paul Nicholson 66/1 Coral

The Asset will be hoping to follow up his infamous run to the Quarter-Finals last year with another string of top performances at a venue that brings out the best in him.

The Geordie Aussie put to bed Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor last year, proving he has the darts to match his bold claims but is often let down by his temperament which has seen him involved in unsavoury scenes with the crowd in previous years at the Reebok.

Nicholson is a fearless character and offers good each way value at 66/1; he will be hoping to bring what has been a sluggish start to the season to life by bringing his bad-boy image to the forefront. 

Michael Smith 200/1 Ladbrokes

Young guns often excel at the UK Open with the short format offering a level playing field for them to showcase their fearless attitude and raw talent in front of the TV cameras.

This year, a host of new young stars will compete, with many benefiting from the expansion of the PDC Youth Tour and already having played the big guns in floor events.

Michael Smith has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months and looks set to burst onto the scene in 2012 having enjoyed fine runs in Players Championship events which all but ensure his presence in the World Matchplay and World Championship. 

The confident 22-year-old has has taken many big scalps already on the tour and has also produced a nine darter, making him a formidable opponent and one to avoid on the outside boards for many big names.

He made the last 32 in 2011 and could be a outside each-way bet should he be handed a run of kind draws. 

Glen Durrant 750/1 Bet365

Durrant may be an unknown quantity to many, but he has proved to be a dominant force in the North East area and was recently rewarded for a series of impressive performances in BDO events with a call up to the England squad.

The Teessider is no stranger to this event having appeared on the main stage in 2009, only to lose out to Terry Jenkins in round three.

The man known as 'Duzza' topped the BICC county averages last season and is a solid all round player not to be taken lightly.

Rileys qualifier Durrant faces a tough test against fellow England star Stephen Bunting the Preliminary Round, but is capable of going far should he conquer the nerves of the occasion.

His long price also reflects the possibility of a second round clash with defending champion James Wade, but the quick-fire format could work in his favour with the pressure firmly on The Machine.

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UK Open Darts 2012 Betting Preview - The Outsiders

The UK Open is renowned for its giant killings, with many established stars making a name for themselves in this event; this year a fresh contingent of challengers step up to the mark.

Read more »