Ending a rotten run of results versus Simon Whitlock could act as Kevin Painter’s platform for BetVictor World Matchplay success according to the player himself.
The Artist will arrive in Blackpool today as his preparations for the much-loved major at the Winter Gardens up a gear.
The UK Sports Management ace has been drawn against familiar foe Whitlock in Saturday evening’s second game, taking to the stage after Ian White and Terry Jenkins.
The clash will be the third between the pair in six weeks, with Painter having beaten the Australian Premier League favourite just once in eight encounters since October 2012.
Unicorn Darts player Painter said: “There were no easy draws there, anyway, with the world’s top 16 and top 16 qualifiers. Some draws were obviously easier than others, but every game is going to be a hard one, there’s no other way of looking at it.
“Simon Whitlock and I seem to be stuck together like glue at the minute, we can’t get away from each other, but you get periods like that. I’ve had it with Phil Taylor, I had it with Gary Anderson when he first came to the PDC.
“Now it seems to be that I’m playing Simon all the time and I need to stop what’s been a bit of a dodgy run as he’s won our last few games.
“I need to make sure I’m 100 per cent concentrated and ready for the match because I need to get the win to stop the rot.
He continued: “I’m going to go to Blackpool early. When you look at the draw, your name could have come out for the Saturday, Sunday or Monday. I like to come out later in the tournament so you can go to the venue, watch a few games and get a feel for the place.
“Coming out second game on Saturday night certainly didn’t help that. I’m going up to Blackpool on the Wednesday, chill out for a couple of days and get my practice done up there so I can get away from the usual stuff you have to deal with at home.
“I’m looking forward to going up a couple of days earlier to prepare as if I was travelling on the Friday to play on the Monday.”
With a 2010 run to the quarter-finals counting as his best performance in the £450,000 competition, Quantax-supported Painter is ready to earn more joy by the seaside.
“It’s a great tournament, but it’s never been a particularly kind one to me results-wise,” he said. “I’ve usually played well there and been beaten, I’ve regularly played well there and not got any reward for any of my performances.
“It’s a great venue. It’s an unusual place, and like an old theatre. But there’s a great atmosphere because you only get 1,400 or 1,500 people in there and most of those are therefore proper, dedicated darts fans.
“It’s not like the bigger events like the Premier League where a lot of them are just there to try and get on television.
“These are proper darts fans and that means you usually get the best of order and a bit of respect when you are throwing as well.”
Painter will go up against UKSM compatriots Ian White and Justin Pipe when one of last year’s most popular events returns in December.
Co-ordinated by the firm aiming to become the preferred darts management company, Apocalypse 2014 pits the trio against Betway Premier League ace Gary Anderson, Terry Jenkins and Steve Beaton, as well as fans’ favourites Keith Deller, Eric Bristow, Wayne Mardle and John Lowe.
Taking place at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre on Saturday 6 December and hosted by PDC MC Russ Bray, tickets are available from our online shop.