Martin Adams (born 4 June 1956) is an English professional darts player who plays in World Darts Federation (WDF) events. Nicknamed "Wolfie", he is a three-time BDO World Champion and three-time World Masters champion. He represents Cambridgeshire at county darts level and was the captain of England from 1993 to 2013, the longest any player has held that role. From his debut in 1994, Adams made a record 25 consecutive World Championship appearances, before failing to qualify for the first time in 2019. Adams was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2016,[3] but by the end of the year he was given the all-clear. As well as playing, he also acted as a regular pundit and commentator for televised coverage of BDO events.

Martin Adams
Personal information
Nickname"Wolfie"
Born (1956-06-04) 4 June 1956 (age 68)
Sutton, London, England[1]
Home townDeeping St James, Lincolnshire, England
Darts information
Playing darts since1981
Darts22 Gram Datadart "Martin Adams" M3
LateralityRight-handed
Walk-on music"Hungry Like the Wolf" by Duran Duran
Organisation (see split in darts)
BDO1988–2020
WDF1988–2022
Current world ranking(WDF) 932 New entry (14 November 2023)[2]
WDF major events – best performances
World Ch'shipWinner (3) 2007, 2010, 2011
World MastersWinner (3) 2008, 2009, 2010
World TrophyRunner-up: 2004, 2006
Int. Darts LeagueSemi-final: 2003, 2005
Finder MastersRunner-up: 2005, 2009, 2015
Dutch OpenWinner (4) 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016
PDC premier events – best performances
World MatchplaySemi-final: 2001
World Grand PrixQuarter-final: 2001
Grand SlamLast 16: 2015
WSDT major events – best performances
ChampionsSemi-final: 2023
Other tournament wins
Antwerp Open 2001, 2013
BDO International Open 2010, 2014
Belgium Open 1997, 1998, 2013
British Matchplay 1996
British Open 1994, 2004
British Pentathlon 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019
Denmark Open 2000
Dutch Grand Masters 1996
Dutch Open 2010, 2011, 2015, 2016
European Grand Masters 2000
Finnish Open 1996, 2002
French Open 2002
German Gold Cup 2000, 2001, 2002
German Open 2001, 2007
Granite City Open 2005, 2007
Haaglanden World Top 16 1999, 2000
Hal Open 2012, 2014, 2015
IDBT Open 2014
IDPA Lakeside Classic 2009
Italian Open 2018
Okells Jubilee Trophy 2010
Scania Open 1999
Scottish Open 2005
Sunparks Masters 2000, 2009
Swiss Open 1996, 1999
Welsh Open 2014
WDF Europe Cup Singles 1996
WDF Europe Cup Pairs 1996, 2002, 2008, 2010
WDF Europe Cup Team 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004
WDF World Cup Singles 1995, 2001
WDF World Cup Pairs 1995, 2003, 2011
WDF World Cup Team 1995, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2011
WDF World Rankings 2010
MODUS Online Darts League 7 2021
MODUS Online darts League 1 2021
MODUS Online darts League 3 2021

Darts career

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1994-2006

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Adams was born in Sutton, Surrey and started his darts career in pubs. He still plays pub darts, currently playing for The Bell Tavern in Market Deeping, Lincolnshire.[4] After being made redundant by Lloyds Bank, he turned professional in 1992.

Adams made his BDO World Darts Championship debut in 1994, the first world championship staged after the infamous split in darts, in which the top-16 players left the BDO to form the World Darts Council. As the departing players were also banned from county darts, Adams also took over the role as England captain in 1993 and remained captain until March 2013, becoming the longest reigning England captain ever.

For many years, Adams was known as the nearly man at the Lakeside tournament, often reaching the latter stages but without winning it.[5] On several occasions, he lost crucial matches from winning positions or an opponent making a great comeback. In the 1999 world championship quarter-finals, he lost 5–4 to Chris Mason, having led 4–1 and missed nine match darts. He twice lost a semi-final in a deciding set, against Raymond van Barneveld in 1995 and Tony David in 2002. Against David, Adams recovered from a 1–4 deficit to tie the match at 4–4. In the deciding set, Adams missed two darts at double-16 to save the match, and David then hit double-top to advance to the final. Adams also suffered first round exits at Lakeside in 1997 (to Roger Carter), 1998 (to Robbie Widdows), 2000 (to Steve Coote) and 2004 (to Ritchie Davies).

In 2005, Adams reached the world final at the 12th attempt. He beat Davy Richardson 3–2, John Henderson 3–2, Ted Hankey 5–3 and Simon Whitlock 5–0 before losing 6–2 against van Barneveld in the final. The following year, he reached the semi-finals, and again was beaten 6–2 by van Barneveld.

In the BDO's second biggest major, the Winmau World Masters, it was a similar story. Adams reached four semi-finals, losing to Steve Beaton in 1994, Erik Clarys in 1995, Les Wallace in 1998 and van Barneveld in 2005. In 2006, Adams reached his first Masters final, where he lost to 7–5 to 17-year-old Michael van Gerwen, having led 5–2 in sets and despite averaging 107 for the first nine darts of each leg.

Adams has won many BDO Open events and twice won the WDF World Cup singles. In the Grand Slam BDO events, other than the World Championship, Adams was beaten 6–4 in the 2004 Bavaria World Darts Trophy final by Raymond van Barneveld and lost the 2006 Bavaria World Darts Trophy final to Phil Taylor 7–2.

Adams reached the semi-finals of the revived News of the World Darts Championship in 1997, where he lost 2-1 to Phil Taylor.

2007

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Adams reached his second world final in 2007. He was number one seed for the second time in his career and put out Tony O'Shea, Co Stompé, Ted Hankey and Mervyn King in his run to the final where he faced qualifier Phil Nixon. The two oldest players in the tournament (they were both 50 years old) reached the final. Adams stormed into a 6–0 lead, before Nixon produced an incredible comeback to level the match. Just when it looked like Adams was heading for another dramatic defeat, having already missed four match darts, he went on to win all three legs in the final set to take the match 7–6 and finally claim the world title that he said he had been chasing for 14 years.

2008

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In the draw for the 2008 BDO World Championships, Adams was again paired with Nixon in the first round. In the match, Adams beat Nixon 3–0. After the game, Adams was clearly emotional in an interview following his victory, citing the memories of the 2007 final as the reason (the first time he had won comfortably).[6] In the second round he came up against Martin Phillips. It was easy pickings for Adams, who cruised to a 4–0 victory with Phillips paying the price for many missed doubles. In the quarter-finals he played a fiercely fought match against Masters champion Robert Thornton, whom he led at one time 4–2. Thornton fought back to make it 4–4 but Adams eventually took control of his visible nerves to win 5–4. Adams went on to lose in the semi-finals to number-one seed Mark Webster, who eventually won the tournament.

Adams defeated Scott Waites in the World Masters final of 2008 to record his first Masters victory and his second major (after the 2007 Worlds), in another epic 7–6 encounter.

2009

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At the 2009 World Championship, he reached the semifinal for the fifth successive year, where he was narrowly defeated by eventual champion Ted Hankey. Later that year, he won his second successive Masters title, once again by a 7–6 scoreline in the final, over Robbie Green after Green led by 6–3 and had a dart for the title. This win made Adams the first man to retain the Masters title since Bob Anderson in 1988. Adams joined Eric Bristow, Richie Burnett, Bob Anderson and John Walton as the fifth player to win them in the same season.[7]

2010

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In the 2010 World Championship he beat a visibly nervous Anthony Fleet in the first round without losing a leg, followed by further comfortable victories over Daryl Gurney and Garry Thompson. In the semi-final he let a 5–1 lead slip over Welshman Martin Phillips before finally winning 6–4. He then defeated unseeded Dave Chisnall 7–5 in the final to win a second World Championship in a rematch of their first round match a year earlier.

In February 2010 he won the Dutch Open title for the first time in his long career. The England captain triumphed 3–1 over international team-mate Scott Waites in the men's singles final in Veldhoven.[8]

Adams won his third successive World Masters title in 2010 by defeating Stuart Kellett 7–3 in the final, becoming only the second player in history to win three consecutive World Masters titles, the other being Bob Anderson.

2011

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Adams reached his fourth World Championship final in the 2011 tournament, defeating Tony West, John Walton, Ross Smith and Martin Phillips to get there. The match against Walton was especially memorable as it went to a sudden death leg, which Adams won despite Walton having the advantage of throw. Adams played Dean Winstanley in the final, the 3rd seed - marking the only time Adams played a seed in either the 2010 or 2011 World Championship - and won 7–5 to become the first player since Raymond van Barneveld to successfully defend the BDO World Championship.

Later in January, Adams successfully defended his Dutch Open crown, once again defeating Winstanley in a close final (3–2 in sets). Adams then reached the singles final at the WDF World Cup where he was defeated by Scott Waites, and also won the doubles event with Waites. At the 2011 World Masters, the three-time defending champion was beaten by eventual champion Waites 5–3 in the semi-finals.

2012

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Adams was the top seed at the 2012 World Championship. He beat Scott Mitchell and Gary Stone without dropping a set, but was defeated 5–2 in the quarter-final by former runner-up Tony O'Shea, who went on to reach the final.

Adams had a difficult season in 2012, losing in his first match at the Masters 3–1 to Rune David before being eliminated in the group stage of Zuiderduin Masters without winning either of his matches.

2013

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At the 2013 World Championship, Adams was beaten 3–2 by teenage débutante Jimmy Hendriks. During the season Adams had been very much focused on his personal life. He lost weight and gave up smoking. Adams eventually refound his form.

2014

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At the 2014 World Championship, Adams reached the quarter-finals with comfortable wins over David Cameron, Tony O'Shea (in which O'Shea failed to win a leg) and Ross Montgomery before losing 5–2 to Jan Dekker. Adams got back to world number two and won a number of key tournaments. At the 2014 Winmau World Masters, Adams narrowly missed out on reaching the final for the first time since 2010 as he let a 5–2 semi-final lead slip against Jamie Hughes, also missing 10 match darts in the ninth set.

2015

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He opened his 2015 World Championship campaign with a 3–1 victory over Jan Dekker, setting up a tie against Jim Widmayer in the second round. He whitewashed Widmayer 4–0 to advance to the quarter-final stage, where he would face Ross Montgomery. He comfortably beat Montgomery 5–1 to go through to the semi-finals, to play Glen Durrant, who he edged out 6–5 to reach the final. Adams had a near nine darter hitting the treble 20 7 times and hitting the treble 19 but missed the double 12, if he had hit it, he would have been the first person to hit a 9 darter at the BDO World Championship in 25 years since Paul Lim in 1990. In the final, he was narrowly defeated by Scott Mitchell 7–6 in a deciding set.

In November 2015, Adams made his first PDC tournament appearance since 2007, at the 2015 Grand Slam of Darts, where topped his group with three wins of out of three, with victories against Ian White and two former BDO World Champions in Jelle Klaasen and Steve Beaton.[9] In the last 16, Adams faced Kim Huybrechts where he narrowly lost 10-9. Adams rallied from 6-3 and 9-7 deficits to force a decisive leg which Huybrechts won on a 13 darter. In his post-match interview, Adams praised the crowds and said he would likely return to the tournament next year if invited.[10]

2016

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Adams was the number two seed going into the 2016 World Championship, but was handed a tough first round draw against Canadian Jeff Smith, who had reached the semi-finals the previous year. Ultimately, Adams was whitewashed for the first time ever at Lakeside, suffering a 3 sets to nil defeat. He recovered from this setback by winning the Dutch Open just a few weeks later, beating Danny Noppert in the final.

At the 2016 Grand Slam of Darts, Adams was grouped with Michael van Gerwen, Brendan Dolan and Max Hopp. He lost all three matches and finished bottom of the group. To date, this marks his last appearance at a PDC televised tournament.

2017

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Adams was the 5th seed for the 2017 World Championship, and was drawn to play the winner of a preliminary round match, which Ryan Joyce won beating Dennis Nilsson. Adams narrowly defeated Joyce 3–2 in sets to set up a rematch against Jeff Smith, who had whitewashed him the previous year. Adams was able to avenge his loss with a convincing 4–1 win over the Canadian. He would eventually go out at the quarter-finals stage to 4th seed Jamie Hughes, in a thrilling 5–4 defeat.

2018

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Adams qualified for the 2018 World Championship, but was not seeded and thus was handed a difficult first round draw against the number two seed Mark McGeeney. Despite a gallant effort, Adams would lose 3 sets to 2 in a close match.

2019

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Adams failed to qualify for the 2019 World Championship, making it the first that he would miss the event since making his debut in 1994. It ended a run of 25 consecutive appearances. He did, however, win his first ranking tournament for nearly three years by clinching the Italian Open.

2020

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In the 2020 World Championship, Adams lost 3–2 in the first round to Scott Waites.

2022

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Adams reached the final of the 2022 World Seniors Darts Championship losing 5–1 to Robert Thornton at the Circus Tavern. He participated in his 27th World Championship at the 2022 WDF World Darts Championship at Lakeside where he lost to Jarred Cole in the first round.

Stance on the Professional Darts Corporation

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Adams played in three major PDC television events in 2000–2001, which were the 2000 World Matchplay (losing to Shayne Burgess in the first round), the 2001 World Matchplay (losing to Phil Taylor in the semi-finals), and the 2001 World Grand Prix (losing to John Lowe in the quarter-finals). Adams also won a non-televised Players Championship tournament, the 1999 Scania Open, where he beat Phil Taylor in the final.

When eligibility rules for entry into PDC television tournaments changed at the start of 2002, Adams was unable to compete in them as he decided to remain a BDO player. After the 2001 World Matchplay, it would be over five years before Adams faced Taylor in a match again, in the final of the 2006 World Darts Trophy (a BDO major), where Adams lost 2-7 in the final of the Dutch competition which invited five PDC players that year.[11][12]

Since the 2001 World Grand Prix and the subsequent change in the eligibility rules for entry into PDC television tournaments from 2002 onwards, Adams did not compete in a PDC event again until 14 years later. When the Grand Slam of Darts began in 2007, Adams turned down the invitation to compete in the PDC event and continued to decline the offer to compete in subsequent years. The PDC's Board of Directors ruled that Adams will no longer be eligible for invitations into the tournament in future.[13] Adams brushed off their decision, saying that it would simply save him the time in having to refuse them.[14] Commentators at the 2009 Grand Slam confirmed that they had once again unsuccessfully invited him to that year's event.

Rumours of a possible appearance at the 2011 Grand Slam began following an interview with BBC commentator David Croft just before the 2011 BDO World Championship. Adams said that "he had held discussions with the BDO and certain political issues had been sorted regarding the other side of the game" when asked by Croft about whether in theory a match could take place with the winner of the respective PDC World Championship.[15] Despite the rumour, Adams never competed at the 2011 Grand Slam.

However, Adams was invited to the 2015 Grand Slam. In Adams' debut at the Grand Slam, he went undefeated in the three group matches of the first round but lost 9-10 (best of 19) in his second round match with Kim Huybrechts.

World Championship results

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BDO/WDF

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WSDT

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Career finals

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BDO major finals: 14 (6 titles, 8 runners-up)

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Legend
World Championship (3–2)
Winmau World Masters (3–1)
British Matchplay (1–0)
World Darts Trophy (0–2)
Zuiderduin Masters (2–3)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score[N 1]
Runner-up 1. 2004 World Darts Trophy   Raymond van Barneveld 4–6 (s)
Runner-up 2. 2005 World Darts Championship   Raymond van Barneveld 2–6 (s)
Runner-up 3. 2005 Zuiderduin Masters   Mervyn King 4–5 (s)
Runner-up 4. 2006 World Darts Trophy   Phil Taylor 2–7 (s)
Runner-up 5. 2006 Winmau World Masters   Michael van Gerwen 5–7 (s)
Winner 1. 2007 World Darts Championship   Phill Nixon 7–6 (s)
Winner 2. 2008 Winmau World Masters   Scott Waites 7–6 (s)
Winner 3. 2009 Winmau World Masters   Robbie Green 7–6 (s)
Runner-up 6. 2009 Zuiderduin Masters   Darryl Fitton 2–5 (s)
Winner 4. 2010 World Darts Championship   Dave Chisnall 7–5 (s)
Winner 5. 2010 Winmau World Masters   Stuart Kellett 7–3 (s)
Winner 6. 2011 World Darts Championship   Dean Winstanley 7–5 (s)
Runner-up 7. 2015 World Darts Championship   Scott Mitchell 6–7 (s)
Runner-up 8. 2015 Zuiderduin Masters   Glen Durrant 2–5 (s)
  1. ^ (l) = score in legs, (s) = score in sets.

Seniors major finals: 1 (1 runner-up)

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Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 2022 World Seniors Darts Championship   Robert Thornton 1–5 (s)

Performance timeline

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Tournament 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
BDO World Championship DNQ QF SF QF 1R 1R QF 1R 2R SF 2R 1R F SF W SF SF W W QF 1R QF F 1R QF 1R
Winmau World Masters DNP 3R DNP QF 1R SF SF 2R 4R SF 1R 4R 4R 4R 4R QF SF F QF W W W SF 5R 5R SF SF 5R 1R 4R
British Professional 1R Not held
Finder Darts Masters Not held ? W Not held W QF QF QF RR F NH QF RR F SF SF RR RR QF F QF RR RR
World Darts Trophy Not held 2R QF F SF F QF Not held
International Darts League Not held SF QF SF QF RR Not held
BDO World Trophy Not held QF 1R 2R QF DNQ
World Matchplay NYF DNP 1R SF Non-PDC
World Grand Prix Not held DNP QF Non-PDC
Grand Slam of Darts Not held DNP 2R RR DNQ
News of the World DNP Not held SF Not held
Performance Table Legend
DNP Did not play at the event DNQ Did not qualify for the event NYF Not yet founded L# lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals SF lost in the semi-finals F lost in the final W won the tournament

High averages

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Martin Adams televised high averages
Average Date Opponent Tournament Stage Score Ref.
110.52 7 December 2007   Steve Coote 2007 Zuiderduin Masters Group stage 5-0 (L)

References

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  1. ^ Lamont, Tom (4 January 2009). "How I got my body". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  2. ^ "WDF Men's Rankings Table". WDF. 14 November 2023. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  3. ^ "BDO Legend has prostate cancer". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  4. ^ The Publican - Home - What I love about pubs: Martin Adams
  5. ^ []https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/wolfies-hungry-446599 Wolfie's Hungry
  6. ^ Jacob, Gary (7 January 2008). "Water gates open after Martin Adams swiftly topples Phil Nixon". The Times. London. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Other Sport... - Darts - Darts results". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 October 2000. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  8. ^ BBC - Martin Adams adds 2010 Dutch Open title to honours
  9. ^ "SINGHA Beer Grand Slam - Tuesday". PDC. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. ^ "SINGHA Beer Grand Slam - Thursday". PDC. 12 November 2015. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  11. ^ Phil Taylor "Powers" over Martin Adams
  12. ^ Darts Database Head-to-Head v Phil Taylor darts database
  13. ^ PDC ruling Archived 1 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Adams bites back at the other half". Peterborough Evening Telegraph. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
  15. ^ Martin 'Wolfie' Adams ready to defend Lakeside crown David Croft Interview bbc.co.uk
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