Top 5 Most Disappointing Darts Players In 2023

Published on 29 November 2023 at 20:00

With just the World Championship left to look forward to in the 2023/24 darting season, it's time to reflect on what's been one of the most exciting years in the sport's recent renaissance period. A new major player has emerged in Luke Humphries, former World Champions like Michael Van Gerwen and Gary Anderson still look as prolific and dangerous as ever, and the sheer variety of major winners has been something to behold as well!


Unfortunately, for every Humphries that has broken onto the scene, there's a darts player who will look back on 2023 as a year to forget. Whether it be inconsistent performances or a lack of accolades and success, these are the five players who endured a truly torrid 2023, and will be looking to bounce back at the Alexandra Palace and beyond into 2024.


5) Dave Chisnall

Dave Chisnall the Pro and European Tour player is arguably one of the best in the world. but Chisnall on the big stage and in the major competitions however is a different story. 


Considering some of the upsets we've seen in the major televised events this year, it's been a surprise not to see Chisnall finally winning that elusive major as one of them: the fourth round of the UK open was the furthest the 43-year-old progressed in any major tournament this season, which included four exits at the very first hurdle. 


4) Peter Wright 

One year ago, Peter Wright was the reigning World Champion, and had looked to comfortably be in the 'elite' conversation of the sport's active premier talents. One third round exit at the World Championship later and Wright's season would soon devolve into arguably the worst of the last ten years of his career, including an 8th placed finish in the Premier League and a last 16 exit at the World Matchplay. 


The sole bright spot of Wright's 2023 was a miraculous win in the European Championship, where he most notably clung on to defeat Chris Dobey before dispatching of Noppert and Wade in trademark Wright fashion.  


3) Raymond Van Barneveld

Looking back at the 2022 Grand Slam of Darts, where two wins against the imperious Gerwyn Price looked to have people talking more and more about 'Barney' being back, looking to be entering a mini-career renaissance after his retirement at the close of the 2010s. 


Unfortunately for the former PDC and BDO World Champion, the good form never truly emerged like some had hoped. Barely mustering up a couple of wins across all major events, and not even qualifying for the Grand Slam, it may be a sad time to admit that a second retirement could be looming for the living legend. 


Read More: Can ANYONE Stop Luke Humphries Winning The World Championship?


2) Dimitri Van den Bergh

2023 looked to be a promising year for the young Belgian, with the former World Matchplay winner reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship before being emphatically whitewashed by a rampant Van Gerwen. And then, Van den Bergh almost disappeared from the mainstream darting conversation, barely heard from besides a handful of World Series events and all-too-brief cameos in the majors. 


Besides from a drama-filled World Cup campaign alongside Kim Huybrechts, where the pair somehow managed to reach the Semi-Finals, Van den Bergh truly could not capitalise on the fine form that took him to the semis of the World Championship and UK open, and it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see the 29-year-old dumped out by Florian Hempel should they meet in round 2 at the Alexandra Palace.


1) Michael Smith

THAT nine darter and final victory against Van Gerwen should have cemented Smith's place at the top of the darting mountain. The culmination of a decade long journey, Smith looked to have finally fulfilled his darting destiny as the best player in the world, and a future great.


Was it the weight of expectation? A questionable, contractually-obliged change in darts? Pure bad luck playing against players hitting a purple patch? Whatever it was that caused Smith to rapidly decline in form like almost no World Champion before him will need to be reversed if Bully Boy wants to stand any chance of retaining the Sid Waddell trophy in January.


Unprecedented early exits in otherwise favoured tournaments like the Grand Slam and European Championship, Smith's form appears eerily similar to the aforementioned Wright's, where they alternate performances every year where they just become consistently...inconsistent. 


Which player do you think has endured the most disappointing 2023 in all of darts? Let us know on all our official social channels today!


By Jaspar Shepherdson

(@jasparshepmedia on X/Twitter and Instagram)


Image Credit: Darts Actueel on YouTube

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