Mark Webster admits he thrives on the occasion of the World Darts Championship and says he must replicate a similar level of commitment to all other major events if he is to restore his former glories.
The 2008 Lakeside champion holds a consistent record at the Ally Pally since switching from the BDO - notably reaching consecutive Semi-Finals at the sport’s blue riband event in 2010 and 2011, including a famous victory over Phil Taylor in the latter staging.
World number 25 Webster believes that a tailored preparation is a key factors behind his impressive showings, but concedes that he must apply the same work ethic towards all tournaments on the ever-growing PDC calendar in order to climb the Order of Merit.
“I love it here - it’s a fantastic tournament," said Webster. "It’s my eighth appearance and I’ve only lost once in the first round.
"I’ve had good draws and bad ones, but I always seem to rise to the occasion here.
“I generally put in a good performance at the Alexandra Palace, so I think I thrive on the event. I like the arena and it’s a good time of the year, where you’re relaxed anyway.
“I probably practise a bit more for this than the other tournaments, which is poor on me and sloppy because every PDC event is a massive opportunity. I need to address my commitment and balance my practise out.
“Maybe, I need to look at doing that over the rest of the year and, that way, I could be higher-ranked than 25th in the world.”
The Welshman began his latest campaign with a straight-sets victory over Joe Murnan in the opening round on Sunday.
Although, it turned out to be a slightly inconsistent display from the Spider who, despite enjoying a credible 82% checkout success, could only muster a three-dart average of 87.8.
Webster feels that the lack of consistency in his game is holding him back but, nevertheless, was happy to book his place in the Last 32, where he will play either Mensur Suljovic or Ron Meulenkamp on December 27.
“I either score and don’t finish or finish and don’t score,” he observed. “That’s where I’m not the complete player and I need to address that.
“But, I’ve got the chance to in the Second Round.”
The 33-year-old will certainly need to raise his game should he progress through the tournament, with world number one and Michael van Gerwen housed in the same quarter of the draw.
And while Webster admits he would relish the opportunity to play MVG on the biggest stage of all, he knows not to get too far ahead of himself.
“I know Michael’s in my quarter so, if I get to have a crack at him in the quarter-finals, I’d be delighted,” he added.
“But, you’ve just got to take one game at a time – a lot can change in darts.”