Michael Van Gerwen Wins Third European Tour Title Of 2017

Michael Van Gerwen Wins Third European Tour Title Of 2017

Sunday’s Austrian Darts Open final at the Multiversum in Schwechat went predictably the way of the invincible Dutchman Michael van Gerwen.

European Tour: Michael Van Gerwen vs Michael Smith

Michael Smith was the latest victim, seen off after a fine display in which Mighty Mike ran out the 6-5 winner.

For the Dutchman, this was his third European title of the season so far, having landed wins in both Jena and Hamburg already in 2017. This time, MVG took home £25,000 for his dismissal of former World Youth Champion Smith.

Merseyside resident Smith enjoyed success in Gibraltar last month when he won the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, his second win of the year, which moved him into the top 11 players in the world.

Here, though, the 26-year-old was no match for MVG despite initially opening up a 2-0 lead against the world’s best player – even scoring a 13-darter featuring a 180 as he broke his brilliant opponent early on.

It wasn’t to last, as van Gerwen hit back to level. Smith remained upbeat and defiant when many others would crumble before an imperious van Gerwen on a mission. The Englishman hit 86 on the bull to stretch his lead to 3-2 before landing a magnificent 170 checkout to move even further ahead.

Mighty Mike isn’t one to tolerate such uprisings, though, and before long had struck back once again, this time courtesy of a 14-darter. Crucially, Smith then missed an all-important shot at the top allowing MVG to land yet another 13-darter, before going one better with a 12-darter in the deciding set to secure his 17th career European Tour win.

European Darts Open betting tips

It’s back to Germany for this week’s European Darts Open event, specifically the Ostermann Arena in Leverkusen.

The matches run from Friday to Sunday and the betting for is shaping up as follows.

No money to be made with Mighty Mike

As ever, there is little-to-no value on Michael van Gerwen who is 4/7 at Bet365, just ahead of Peter Wright at 4/1 with the same sportsbook.

Snakebite the Wright bet?

Snakebite” has gone quiet of late following a decent first half of 2017.

An early exit in Vienna last week only compounded his humiliation from the Darts World Cup a fortnight earlier when Scotland, for whom he paired with world number two Gary Anderson, bowed out early following a defeat to Singapore.

If the popular mohawked Scotsman is your pick, then know this: he is a half point higher in Betway’s book than any other; you can find him at 9/2.

No hair-raising bets

Sadly, there is no book running on which hairstyle Wright will be sporting on Sunday but with America’s Independence Day just days away, there is a good chance he might be stars and stripy.

Other darts bets

For anyone that might be thinking Michael Smith might go one better this time around or, at the very least, equal his Austrian heroics of last week, Bet365 are listing him at 33/1, which is decent enough for an each-way punt.

The same almost applies for James “The Machine” Wade who is a sturdy 40/1, as is Kim Huybrechts. While the book runs longer, I wouldn’t look beyond these chuckers if I were you.

Inside of these prices, you’ll find Dave Chisnall, 18/1, Mensur Suljovic, 20/1 (both at Betway), and Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis who is currently available at 28/1 with both Bet365 and Betway.

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Who Are The Best Darts Players Of All Time?

Who Are The Best Darts Players Of All Time?

As Michael van Gerwen seemingly moves from success to success practically unchallenged, we take a look at the biggest names in darts over the years.

Jocky Wilson

John Thomas Wilson, who for some reason preferred to be known as “Jocky”, was one of the game’s foremost personalities in his heyday and an all-time crowd favourite.

Hailing from Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Wilson was crowned World Champion in both 1982 and 1989 and was a throwback to the days of the pure pub player. Chain smoking and always with a pint on the go (not to mention “seven or eight vodkas”), Jocky, who more than once fell off the stage drunk, was a true darting character.

Such was his star at its peak that, even in a world filled with treble chins, moobs and stretched nylon, Wilson still managed to stand out. So much so, in fact, that he even appeared on the BBC musical TV show Top of the Pops.

The Scotsman was affectionately known as “Gumsy“, having lost his last tooth by the age of 28, which in turn led to him paying out for dentures – dentures that forced him to belch whilst drinking; one time in a live match shot clean out of the big man’s mouth and flew across the oche.

Ultimately, the notorious mouthpiece ended up finding employment as a ball marker in pool games with Eric Bristow. Sadly for Jocky, in his later years he became a council flat recluse, suffering from depression, diabetes and arthritis before his death in 2012.

Eric Bristow

Anyone idolised by Phil Taylor must be a champion chucker.

The Crafty Cockney certainly was, and is another pre-PDC player whose celebrity transcended the sport. Five times world champion, Eric Bristow won everything there was to win, achieving the World No. 1 rank on three separate occasions from 1980 to 1990.

Along with these titles, he was also World Masters title holder five times and played a crucial role in making darts the game it is today. He wasn’t just one of the top players to join the PDC at its outset in 1993, he was the top player to do so.

He retired a decade ago in 2007, almost 20-years after he was awarded an MBE by the Queen. Since then, he has appeared on the reality TV show “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” where he made the final four.

John Lowe

The only man to win three world titles in three separate decades, John Lowe was also the first player in the history of the sport to achieve a perfect nine-dart finish on live TV back in 1984.

Chesterfield-born Lowe was one of the most high-profile darts stars during the 1970s and 1980s and is one the very best pre-modern players. He proved this when he added a third World Championship to his trophy cabinet in 1993.

A player of huge skill, his achievements in the game all mark standout moments in darts history and make “Old Stoneface” one of the most significant players of all time.

Raymond van Barneveld

With five World Championships in the bag and success enjoyed across both codes, Raymond van Barneveld looked all set to be easily the greatest Dutch darts player and easily the best non-British thrower of all time.

Unfortunately for “Barney”, another Dutchman would soon emerge to take both of those titles away from him (guess who that could be?). All the same, Barney remains one of the finest, not to mention one of the most popular, darts player of all time. He played a starring role in the rise of darts in his homeland.

He is also a former holder of the Las Vegas Desert Classic and (twice each) the winner of UK Open, World Masters and the World Darts Trophy. He was crowned Darts Premier League Champion in 2014 to boot.

Michael van Gerwen

You will find strong arguments against this statement if you say it out loud, but Michael van Gerwen is not the greatest darts player of all time – yet. Of course, at 28 years old and with two World Championships to his name, there is a far more than reasonable chance that by his retirement he will be.

Current world number one “Mighty Mike” hasn’t looked back since his breakout year in 2013, collecting 23 major titles in his short career. Barely beaten over the past three three years, in just 2017 alone he has been crowned world champion, Premier League champion, Masters winner and (as part of a Dutch pair) World Cup champion.

Other than the UK Open, which he has won before, there isn’t a significant PDC event he hasn’t claimed in 2017 or 2016. It is a run quite like no other.

Phil Taylor

It goes without saying that Englishman Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is the greatest darts player of all time. With 16 World Championship titles, he has won everything there is to be won, most of them multiple times. In all, The Power has come out on top in 209 professional tournaments, including 83 major international titles.

It was as the king of the Ally Pally where he truly made his name. Between 1994 and 2007 he reached the World Championship final an incredible 14 consecutive times, winning eight times consecutively from 1995 to 2002.

But the records don’t stop there. In the 2010 Darts Premier League final, he hit duel nine-dart finishes – a feat still to be repeated. That same year, he became the runner-up of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award; not the norm for darts players. One year later (and long overdue), he was inducted into the PDC Hall of Fame.

Phil’s achievements over 25 years also include 15 World Matchplay wins and 11 World Grand Prix titles as part of the sport’s most successful career that leaves him the undisputed greatest player ever to throw a dart. He will be retiring from PDC darts after next January’s climax of the World Championship, bowing out at (where else?) the Ally Pally.

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Michael Van Gerwen Wins Again

Another week, another title for Michael van Gerwen!

This time, it was a European Tour title – his second of 2017. He beat Mensur Suljovic in the final of the European Darts Matchplay in Hamburg.

Van Gerwen’s Hamburg heroics

Opening with a 136 checkout to capitalise on Suljovic’s missed double 10 in the first leg, Mighty Mike never looked like faltering from there on.

In fairness, Suljovic started well enough himself, holding his throws until the fourth leg when the Dutch world champion broke by way of a 180 (his second) and a 25 checkout to move 3-1 ahead.

A third 180 allowed the Dutchman to further pull away a set later before Suljovic clawed a leg back. This proved futile. A 75 checkout in the final leg gave MVG his 16th European Tour title and the £25,000 top prize.

Earlier in the run, van Gerwen had dismissed Mervyn King in a 6-3 victory, landed a 5-0 win over Peter Hudson and eliminated Michael Smith to make it to the final.

The European Tour continues in a fortnight with the Austrian Darts Open in Vienna.

World Championship betting tips

As we reach the halfway point of the year and with no event this week, now seems as good as a time as any to take a quick look at the ante-post betting for December’s World Championship.

Michael Van Gerwen the obvious favourite

Unsurprisingly, MVG is the man to beat, something nobody has managed to do for a while now as he has racked up a pair of World Championship wins.

Since then he has remained pretty much invincible landing the Darts Premier League and, in partnership with Raymond van Barneveld, the Darts World Cup.

At 4/6 with both SkyBet and Betway and 8/15 at Bet365, even at this early stage there is no value on the Dutch master.

Is Anderson made of the Wright stuff?

Gary Anderson is a best price of 6/1 with SkyBet but it has been awhile now since he looked MVG’s closest challenger.

For our money, that title has gone to Anderson’s countryman Peter “Snakebite” Wright. As frustrating a player as he can be, has at least maintained some momentum in being this season’s bridesmaid. He finally landed his first televised PDC win back in March, when he claimed the UK Open.

Snakebite can be backed at 6/1 with both Betway and SkyBet and with each way bets paying a quarter of the odds, looks as good a bet as any to make money on, paying out at just over even money.

He’s got The Power

What about one last shot at glory for Phil “The Power” Taylor?

The legend will bow out from the game that he has served so well in January, when the Championships are over and will likely move onto the veteran’s tour or Sky punditry.

A win for The Power is an unlikely shot, but one which will appeal to arrow romantics and worth 18/1 with Betway.

Other World Championship contenders

The same sportsbook is offering 22/1 for Adrian Lewis – quite unlikely at first glance, but he has won twice at the Ally Pally before so shouldn’t be dismissed for nothing, however horrible his 2017 form has been.

Bet365’s 33/1 on Dave Chisnall has been matched by SkyBet for those interested, while Betway are laying 40 on James Wade.

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