The standard continues to increase in the PDC but John Henderson is confident he can still compete.
The Highlander starts his World Championship challenge tomorrow afternoon at the Alexandra Palace in London against James Richardson.
Although the Huntly hurler will start the second-round encounter as favourite, due to his seeding of 30th, he says that does not mean it will be straightforward against Richardson.
The Englishman – ranked 62nd in the world – beat ladies world champion Mikuru Suzuki to get through and Henderson says the quality is such in the PDC that players way down the rankings can cause problems.
The 46-year-old said: “You look across the year and all the Pro Tour winners, some of them are quite far down the rankings and they’re all good players.
“I was speaking to somebody in the street and you tell them who won a Pro Tour and the person goes ‘who?’
“So the average fan may not know some of these players, but they are all good players.
“The standard keeps getting higher and everybody keeps putting in more effort because we’re all playing for life-changing money.
“Anybody in the top 64 is capable of winning a Pro Tour event and the standard has reached such a stage where I think anyone in the top 32 can win the World Championships.”
Henderson travelled to London yesterday ahead of his match tomorrow. As he prepares for his eighth PDC World Championships, Hendo feels for his friends still plying their trade in the BDO (British Darts Organisation).
With more players opting to move to the more lucrative PDC every year, interest in BDO tournaments has declined in recent years. However, now the organisation is facing the possibility of folding altogether.
The BDO took the bold move this year of shifting their World Championships from the iconic home of darts, the Lakeside Country Club at Frimley Green, to the O2 Indigo Arena in London.
Last month it emerged that fewer than 10% of the tickets had been sold for that tournament, which runs from January 4-12, with the players still in the dark over what prize money they will be competing for. Henderson, who switched to the PDC in 2011, added: “It’s really sad to see how the BDO is just now – 98% of the players in the PDC started in the BDO.
“It’s sad to hear about that and it was sad to see Olly Croft, the founder, pass away last month.
“The way it has gone is really sad. It’s the grassroots of darts and it’s where everybody started.
“I know most of us who have moved on have had a pop at the BDO at some time or another, but it is sad to see what’s happened.
“I was disappointed to see them leave Lakeside. People spoke about their World Championships, but it wasn’t the BDO World Championships, – everyone, from players to fans, called it Lakeside.
“That was the iconic venue and I didn’t think it would be the same.
“When you hear what’s happening it’s grim. The players don’t know the prize money and don’t know if the World Championships will go ahead.
“It’s a shame because I have a lot of good mates who still play in the BDO and it affects so many things, like the national teams and the inter-country leagues.
“I hope they can sort things out for the sake of everyone involved and it would be a real shame to see the BDO fold.”