Darts: Thousands of crazy fans flock to Ally Pally for first night of 2023 World Cup

Thousands of crazy fans flock to Ally Pally in fancy dress for the first night of the 2023 World Darts Championship as reigning champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright gets off to a winning start… in a special pixie outfit!

  • Thousands of rowdy supporters packed Alexandra Palace on Thursday night
  • Boozy fans flocked to watch the first night of the 2023 World Darts Championship
  • Reigning champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright eased past Mickey Mansell 3-0
  • Previously, Mansell, Grant Sampson and Nathan Rafferty won in London
  • There will be eight matches on Friday, with the likes of Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis

Thousands of alcohol-fuelled supporters packed into Alexandra Palace to watch the first night of the 2023 World Darts Championship on Thursday night.

Raunchy contestants flocked to London to see Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright comfortably win the curtain raiser event, with the vast majority of those in attendance dressed up and singing their hoarse.

Reigning champion Wright, from Scotland, won 3-0 against Michael ‘Clonoe Cyclone’ Mansell – but the best performance of the night went to the darts fans, who put on an incredible show of color and sound inside the Haringey arena.

Thousands flocked to Alexandra Palace for the first night of the World Darts Championship

Defending champion Peter 'Snakebite' Wright beat Mickey Mansell 3-0 in the second round

Defending champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright beat Mickey Mansell 3-0 in the second round

Boozy fans packed into the London Ally Pally arena to watch the 2023 competition curtain raiser

Boozy fans packed into the London Ally Pally arena to watch the 2023 competition curtain raiser

The vast majority of those present were dressed up (over) and singing themselves hoarse

The vast majority of those present were dressed up (over) and singing themselves hoarse

The fans were treated to four matches, three in the first round and one clash in the second round

These attendees got into the festive spirit as they dressed up in cozy Santa outfits (above)

These attendees got into the festive spirit as they dressed up in cozy Santa outfits (above)

Results: World Darts Championship, Day 1

Round 1: Michael Mansell (NIR) 3-1 Ben Robb (NZL)

Grant Sampson (South Africa) 3-1 Keane Barry (IRL)

Nathan Rafferty (NIR) 3-2 Jermaine Wattimena (NED)

Round 2: Peter Wright (SCO) 3-0 Michael Mansell (NIR)

The competition format involves the top 32 from the PDC Order of Merit taking part in the second round.

Prior to that, the 32 highest-ranked members of the PDC Pro Tour were not already eligible to join the first round.

The latter group faces 32 qualifiers from around the world in the first round.

The first three games saw two shocks as the crowd enjoyed a couple of surprising underdog victories.

After Northern Ireland’s Mickey Mansell beat New Zealander Ben Robb 3-1, South African Grant Sampson beat Ireland’s Keane Barry, with the same result line.

Mansell’s compatriot Nathan Rafferty then edged past favorite Dutchman Jermaine Wattimena in a 3-2 thriller.

Unfortunately for Mansell, his first round win pitted him against defending champion Wright in the second round – who didn’t drop a set on his way to a comfortable victory.

Among the players in action in the eight games on Friday are

Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis, who is a two-time PDC World Darts Champion (in 2011 and 2012) will face Daniel Larsson of Sweden.

Then last year’s losing finalist – beaten by Wright in the showpiece event – Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith takes on Rafferty.

Others led chants dressed in caveman garb while entertaining themselves between matches

Others led chants dressed in caveman garb while entertaining themselves between matches

Others dressed as video game characters Mario and Luigi while enjoying several drinks

Others dressed as video game characters Mario and Luigi while enjoying several drinks

Out of this world: a large group of astronauts and a space rocket appear in Haringey

Out of this world: a large group of astronauts and a space rocket appear in Haringey

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