WORLD DARTS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Swindon's Smith sets his sights on 'The Jackpot'

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon's Dennis Smith Swindon's Dennis Smith

DENNIS Smith has admitted victory over Adrian Lewis on the Alexandra Palace stage this evening would be the biggest achievement of his illustrious darting career to date.

The Swindon player takes on two-time winner Lewis in the first round of the World Championship tonight in what is his 16th appearance in the sport’s most prestigious tournament, having previously made a semi-final and two quarters.

The 44-year-old knows he goes into the contest as the underdog, and is likely to have to win over the 5,000 strong crowd, but if he can claim victory the former pheasant plucker knows it would rank as one of the biggest achievements of his life.

“I’m looking forward to this now and have put in a load of work and won a few tournaments, but now it’s time to deliver,” he said.

“I’m the underdog and I love it.

“There’s no pressure on me because I’m expected to get beat and all I can do is cause a shock.

“Adrian’s a great player but I would love to kick the hornet’s nest and turn everything around.

“I’ve worked all year to get here and I want to go as far as I can because we all dream of getting to the final and winning a world title.

“Beating Adrian Lewis, the world number three, at the Alexandra Palace in the World Championship would have to be right at the top of my career.

“I’ve beaten top seeds before but this is different because he’s in form, won two world titles and will be expected to win.”

Smith has seen the PDC World Championship grow first hand during his career, from the smoke filled, intimate, Circus Tavern to the spectacular palace it now calls home, and whatever happens tonight he already has a wealth of memories from the game’s biggest tournament.

“The World Championship means everything to me, although I have said Blackpool (World Matchplay) is my favourite tournament, but playing at the World Championship has so many memories,” he said.

“I have great memories at the old venue, the Circus Tavern, but the Ally Pally is amazing.

“It’s moved to a better place which is better for the darts and walking out on that stage is an experience you can’t describe unless you do it.

“The crowd don’t really bother me to be honest and it’s all about getting on and playing my darts.

“It’s important I don’t get sucked into playing his game and I need to make sure I stay calm and play my own darts.”

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