John Henderson is hoping he won’t be at home for Christmas because it will mean he’s still in the PDC World Championship.
The Highlander faces Finland’s Marko Kantele in the first round of the tournament at Alexandra Palace this evening.
If he gets through Henderson will face Jonny Clayton on Sunday night for a place in the last-32.
The 47-year-old’s dream is to win both matches to still be in the World Championship after Christmas, even though it would mean he and wife Veronica spending Christmas Day in a London hotel rather than at home in Huntly.
Henderson explained: “Having spoken to Veronica about it, if I do reach that stage (third round), we’re going to stay at the PDC hotel for Christmas.
“Christmas is not going to be the same at home this year because normally we have all the family round and then at New Year go to Glasgow and see Veronica’s family, but we won’t be doing that.
“So if I’m still involved I’ll be staying in London, coming home for Christmas would mean I’d need to come back down two days before my game to get tested again in time.
“Hopefully we do spend Christmas in London, because if we are it means I’ve won two matches and I’m still in the tournament.
“That would be massive for me when things haven’t gone that great this year.
“I’ve been battering the practice board and playing in the Home Tour as well and I think my work has showed in the Home Tour because in the last two groups I’ve played I’ve been second and top.
“So that gives me a little boost going into the World Championships and hopefully I can take that confidence into this tournament.”
Could history repeat itself?
This is the first time Henderson has played in the first round of the World Championship since 2018.
In the past two tournaments he’s been one of the top-32 seeds and has received a bye to round two.
Ironically the last time he started off in the first round he defeated Kantele 3-0.
After a frustrating year in which he has dropped to 41st in the world rankings, Henderson is hoping a good run at the World Championship could be the start of an upturn in fortunes.
He added: “It’s the first time I’ve played in the first round for a few years because previously I’ve been in the top 32 and you start in the second round.
“I’ve got a hard game in Marko. I beat him three years ago in the World Championships, but he’s improved since then and he’s qualified again so his game seems to be going in the right direction.
“I haven’t had the greatest of years, but I feel like my form is coming back and hopefully I can get through.
“If I could have a decent run it would be a big thing in terms of the ranking and trying to get back towards the top 32 and it would set me up nicely for 2021.
“If you crash and burn in the first round, you stew over it during Christmas and January and it’s still in the back of your mind when things restart in February.
“So that’s all I’m thinking about is trying to get through the first round and then I’ll take it from there.”