Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams says he’s planning to enjoy himself at the BDO Lakeside World Championship.
The three-times BDO world champion is in first-round action in Frimley Green today (January 5, 1pm) when he meets Canadian Jeff Smith in a best-of-five sets match
Number two seed Adams, beaten in last year’s final by Scott Mitchell, is rated the second favourite to lift the trophy behind current world No 1 Glen Durrant, the Middlesbrough thrower who won the World Masters earlier this year.
And Adams insists there’s no pressure on him going into the sport’s blue riband event, and just as he did at the Grand Slam of Darts in November when he won over the crowd at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, ‘Wolfie’ plans to play with a smile on his face.
The 59 year-old from Deeping St James said: “If you don’t enjoy it, it becomes a chore - and nobody likes doing chores.
“You don’t throw your best darts when you’re tight, so the best thing to do is relax and try to enjoy it as much as possible.
“There’s less pressure on me now. The pressure is all on the defending champion and the number one seed. There was pressure on me before I won my first world title (in 2007), but that’s not the case now.
“I don’t play until Tuesday, so I have been able to watch a few games, enjoy the atmosphere and relax.
For Adams, this will be his 23rd consecutive appearance at the BDO world championship.
He’s practising around two hours every day in the countdown to the world championship and reports his form is good.
He was a finalist at the Finders Masters in Holland this month (DEC) where he lost to Durrant.
Last year, Adams beat Durrant in the semi-finals at the Lakeside Country Club and was millimetres away from the first nine-dart leg since Paul Lim in 1990 during a match that went all the way to a deciding 11th set.
Adams also won the world title in 2010 and 2011.
He faces a tough opening round tie against Smith who reached the semi-finals of last year’s World Championships.
Peterborough man Dennis Harbour will take on 10th seed Martin Phillips from Wales in his last-16 tie.