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King Arrives at the Palace

Mervyn King begins his 2011 PDC World Championship challenge when he concludes the night’s action at Alexandra Palace this evening.

King will face the winner of the Magnus Caris versus Dietmar Burger preliminary round match earlier in the evening and as well as concluding the night’s action will also bring to a close the first round matches. Tonight’s fixtures will conclude the make-up of the second round draw and mark the end of the darting action this side of Christmas, then the serious business begins when they return on December 27.

Andy ‘Pie Man’ Smith kicks off the evening when he takes on Shane Tichowitsch of Australia. Smith’s record in the event leaves plenty to be desired and he has been knocked out in the first round in each of the last three years. At odds of 1/4 the bookmakers appear to think that he has a prime opportunity to bring to an end that poor run of form with a win over the Aussie tonight.

The above mentioned preliminary round match will follow and it is the Swede Caris who is the 1/2 favourite to get the requisite four legs on the board before his Austrian opponent.

Next up is a player who is widely regarded as one of the best floor players in the game, Mark Walsh. Walsh has often struggled to recreate the form that he shows in tour events in front of the cameras, but if he can shake off that reputation he would be a real challenger in this event.

His first round opponent is world ranked number 47 Justin Pipe who will be making his PDC World Championship debut tonight. The bookmakers are quoting 1/3 on Walsh going through to the next round and 11/4 on Pipe causing an upset.

The penultimate match of the evening sees two-time World Champion Dennis Priestley take on German challenger Bernd Roith. Priestley has begun to gradually slip down the rankings in recent years and his progression to the second round is no guarantee. The bookmakers make the old warhorse a 4/9 chance to go through and 13/8 to be eliminated in the first round for the third time in four years.

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