World Matchplay 2015 - 2

Get into the mood
It is not really hot these days in Blackpool. Different from Germany the temperatures are around agreeable 20. But that's not enough to go swimming as the wind is too strong. The Irish Sea is turbulent and during high tide the spray come up over the balustrade of the promenade. So I returned salt caked from my first walk along the sea.

After I had removed the salt it was already time to walk over to the Winter Gardens but not to the Empress Ballroom but to the Spanish Hall to the PDC Fans Forum. There is no entrance fee for this comparatively new event but you have to enrol for it and all visitors were greeted friendly and ticked on a list with around 150 names. On the way to the Spanish Hall you first walk through a long, carpeted gangway with mirrors and marble columns into a huge and light room with stuccoed ceiling and bar before you enter the softly lit Spanish Hall. What a room! Almost scenery!

Punctually Nigel Pearson begins the Fans Forum which was streamed live on you tube. First Erik Bristow come on stage and betting odds and possible tournament winners are the topic. Bristow bets on Taylor "because it is his tournament". But he nevertheless sees Michael van Gerwen as a possible candidate as well. In his opinion Anderson was only "lucky" to win his two majors - well, the fans saw it slightly different. Asked whether he thinks Peter Wright could be a possible winner he answers with a clear no but adds that he likes his walk-on and his show very much. Bristow compared him to Bobby George who had a great show as well but never really won anything. The fans reacted amused.

Generally it is Bristow who supplies the entertainment in this hour. James Wade and Kim Huybrechts who than come on stage as well answered most of the time factual. Wade answers even delicate questions fair and square. When asked about his reaction on not being nominated for Premier League last year he said he was very disappointed and even thinking about finishing his career. Beside he describes that the live if a darts player can be rather lonely - all is well when it is working but as soon as problems turn up you are very much on your own.

Neither Wade nor Huybrechts feel the young upcoming players are a danger for them though those are not intimidated by the big names as they had been formerly. But because of their experience they both feel they are predominant. Both players agree that they neither do anything special for such a tournament as the World Matchplay nor practice more.
Both go with confidence into the first round. Wade thinks Kyle Anderson is a good player but he has never before played in the World Matchplay while he even had won it and the World Matchplay is his favourite tournament because of the venue and the format.
Huybrechts answers the question whether there is less pressure on an unseeded player that he feels the pressure is always the same and that he's always nervous before a match anyway.

The time flew by fast and the fans than queued for autographs including the one of Jelle Klaasen who had turned up as well. Really a nice idea that fans forum and it will be repeated in Dublin, Wolverhampton and London again!

I walked away and strived against the wind back to my hotel.

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