Weekend Winners: Tales of punting genius and Sporting Life's winning tips

Two of Chris Hammer's tips made the UK Open Final, with 125/1 shot Nathan Aspinall winning
Two of Chris Hammer's tips made the UK Open Final, with 125/1 shot Nathan Aspinall winning

Sporting Life Darts expert Chris Hammer was toasting a 125/1 winner at the UK Open while there was Value Bet success and a Sky Bet punter made an inspired cash out decision on the weekend's racing.

Magic of the Cup

It's not often big outsiders win major televised darts tournaments - especially in the eras dominated by Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen.

So it's a good job that when 125/1 shot Nathan Aspinall made it happen on a dramatic day of the UK Open, our tipster Chris Hammer had seen it coming.

In a tournament nicknamed the 'FA Cup of Darts' due to its shocks, random draw nature and the presence of 'non league' amateur players among a whopping field of 159, Chris felt there was plenty of potential value about and put up five chunky-priced selections including Aspinall, Rob Cross (18/1) and Gerwyn Price (20/1), who all remarkably reached the semi-finals.

The early exits of hot favourite Michael van Gerwen and defending champion Gary Anderson on Friday night paved the way to profits but the selected trio produced impressive darts across a hectic weekend to reach the last four on Sunday night, with the unbacked Michael Smith the only potential spanner in the works.

Each-way poke Aspinall saw off the new favourite Gerwyn Price in thrilling circumstances to ensure a decent pay-out before Cross saw off Smith for the best case scenario line-up.

The Stockport thrower, who was ranked 34 in the world before the tournament and only won back his Tour Card at the start of 2018, was marginal underdog heading into his first major final but cruised to an 11-5 victory which was sealed by a magnificent 170 checkout.

His pre-tournament preview secured 89.75 points of profit.

It's also worth noting this success was by no means a flash in the pan. In his profitable preview of the BDO World Darts Championship, all three of his pre-tournament tips reached the semi-finals as well!

Value Bet continues hot streak

Value Bet tipster Ben Linfoot has been in flying form himself of late and hot on the heels of a 20/1 winner at Kempton last week, followed up when his 7/1 selection Carole’s Destrier delivered the goods at Newbury on Saturday.

Ben will be doing a Value Bet preview for every day of the Cheltenham Festival starting a week today.

For Golf expert Ben Coley, it was a case of close but no cigar as 125/1 Oman Open tip JB Hansen came agonisingly close to glory.

A late stumble in the third round saw Hansen surrender the lead but having started the final day strongly to get his nose back in front with only 12 holes to play, he eventually finished two shots adrift after a bogey on the 18th.

Sky Bet punter wins big

One Sky Bet punter enjoyed a weekend to remember when scooping £6,500 from a mere 96p stake.

Having placed a 12-horse accumulator on Sunday's racing action, the Sky Bet customer wisely cashed out his bet after nine winners - a shrewd move as his final pick, Stonemadforspeed, was beaten in the 16.40 at Huntingdon.

A terrific effort all the same, with his 11 other selections all winning, and a good choice to take advantage of the Sky Bet cash-out feature.

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