STUART BINGHAM is looking forward to one of his guilty pleasures today as he makes what has become an annual trip to the World Darts Championship.
Snooker’s world No 2, who has been a big fan of the arras for over a decade, will take a seat in the VIP section at Alley Pally to watch some of the game’s greats battle it out from the oche.
Ballrun, who started going to the event when it was staged at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet in 2004, said: “I was actually going to give it a miss this year and just watch it on the telly because my wife Michelle is heavily pregnant.
“But my manager Gary asked if I was going to contact them so I sent them an email and they were kind enough to offer me a ticket.
“The darts has always been something I enjoy and it had become a bit of a tradition for me now, so I am really looking forward to another fun night.”
Bingham’s last match was on December 12, a very narrow 4-3 defeat to Mark Joyce at the Coral Scottish Open.
The Basildon pro made a couple of 100s and a 50 and a had a chance in the deciding frame but admitted it was just not his day.
He added: “It was a match and a defeat that I can’t really beat myself up over really.
“I played some elementary safety shots and scored well and I had a chance in the last frame. But I ran out of position and missed a cut back black and that let him get back in.
“He played well and the table played nicely and he raised his game to play me I guess and came out on top. So I can’t grumble with how I played.
“That said, it does not make the loss any easier to take.
“I played worse a few days earlier and won to get through to Germany. It does not matter if you don’t make a 30 if you win the match – that is the important thing.”
The Championship League starts in early January but Bingham – whose wife is due to give birth in early January – will not join that competition until February 20, where he will get underway in Group 5 alongside Judd Trump and Liang Wenbo.
Before then he will return to Ally Pally – but this time with his cue – as he bids to go one round better than last year and reach the final of the Dafabet Masters.
Bingham, who lost in the last-four against Ronnie O’Sullivan last year and starts this time against Joe Perry on January 16, said: “It’s a Monday night and I am looking forward to that.
“I’ve had a couple of weeks off since Scotland and I have had a new tip put on my cue so I’ll get back into practicing over the next few days to get ready for it.
“Then it will be into a busy February and then the run in to the Worlds. So it is an exciting 2017 ahead.”