Glen Durrant is evens to win a third straight BDO World Championship title.
The 48-year-old, having beaten Danny Noppert in the 2017 final, held his nerve to win a classic against Mark McGeeney 7-6 at Frimley Green last year.
Second seed Durrant is heading to Lakeside, where the action kicks off on Saturday, in form after winning the Finder Darts Masters for the third time in Holland last month.
Durrant has proved his class in the PDC in the past, impressing in the Grand Slam of Darts, and has hinted he could finally make the move across after the 42nd edition of the BDO event.
He will start his second defence against the winner of the qualifier involving Mark McGrath and Adam Smith-Neale.
Number one seed McGeeney is the second favourite at 10/1 to go one step further than last year and lift the trophy for the first time.
Former PDC players Andy Hamilton and Wes Newton are also taking part at Lakeside this time around following their drastic dip in form over recent years.
Lisa Ashton is also evens as she looks to emulate Durrant in the women’s tournament and win a third consecutive title.
Four-time world champion Ashton put ladies’ darts on the map in the PDC World Championship last month, making her debut at Alexandra Palace.
One of two women among the increased 96-player field, Ashton threatened an opening-night shock by rapidly taking the first set with an average of 107.
But she struggled to maintain that standard and ended up losing 3-1 to Jan Dekker.
Ashton told PDC.tv: “Hopefully this takes ladies’ darts forward, just to show that we are all playing well. Hopefully I did ladies’ darts proud.”
Fourth seed Anastasia Dobromyslova, winner of the title in 2008, 2012 and 2013, also exited in the first round at Ally Pally and is 9/2 to claim a fourth BDO crown.
Join bwin today and receive up to £20 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager at odds of 1/1 (2.0) or greater is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.
Stay close to the action with the bwin app. Access more markets than any other betting provider and scan our in-depth darts statistics menu to find and make your bet selections fast. Download now the best betting app.