You, the readers, have voted Krzysztof Ratajski the February Player of the Month.

The Polish Eagle claimed a whopping 582 votes, 74 per cent of the total. It was a breakthrough month for Ratajski. A month after missing out on a Tour Card, he had his first ranking title. The first Pole to win on the Pro Tour did so at UK Open Qualifying 6. His first two UK Open Qualifying outings featured identical wins over Raymond van Barneveld. It was in the final event that he produced his best darts.

Rob Cross, Corey Cadby and Ian White were among those Ratajski brushed aside in Wigan. He met Daryl Gurney in the final. Ratajski kept his cool to claim a 6-4 win over the Northern Irishman. It sealed a UK Open spot, though that ended in a fourth round defeat to Cross. The World Masters champion stands a good chance of reaching the World Matchplay. And February saw a continuation of his usual Eastern European dominance in reaching European Tour events.

In second place, on 12 per cent, was Michael Smith. Bully Boy won UK Open Qualifying 3, but his Premier League outings earned him a nomination. He was one of the favourites to drop out after Judgement Night. But in February he maintained his 100 per cent record, beating fellow unbeaten star Simon Whitlock in Berlin. Next, on eight per cent, was Michael van Gerwen. A trifling four ranking event wins was clearly not good enough for Mighty Mike. Cadby took the final spot with five per cent. That means all four UK Open Qualifying champions earned a place on the list. His run to the UK Open final may well make The King a March Player of the Month nominee.

Stefan Straßenburg/PDC Europe

Photo: Stefan Straßenburg/PDC Europe

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Author: Edward McCosh