World number one Michael van Gerwen was crowned the winner of the Darts Premier League for the third time in five years.
Darts Premier League finals
The conclusion of an epic evening at The O2 Arena saw the brilliant Dutchman gifted a get out of jail free card by a generous Peter Wright.
Final: Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright
Mighty Mike fought back from a 3-0 deficit and then a 7-2 deficit to steal an 11-10 victory over Wright, who once again dropped much-needed double shots – in this case a horribly frustrating six (six!) championship darts.
Heartbreak for Snakebite fans came in the 20th leg when Wright failed to land a double 16 before incredibly missing two more shots, then another three on his next visit.
Van Gerwen, who has now made the final of every Darts Premier League, is not the man you want to let back into a game. The Dutchman duly capitalised, taking full advantage and landing a double 10 before closing with a 12-darter to claim the £250,000 first prize.
Semi-final: Michael van Gerwen vs Gary Anderson
Earlier on Thursday, we also watched the semi-finals play out. The first match of the day allowed MVG to despatch the twice World Champion Gary Anderson 10-7 courtesy of a pivotal MVG break of throw late on in the match.
Anderson had taken the opener, and the game remained a tight, tense match until van Gerwen’s decisive snatch in the sixteenth leg.
Semi-final: Phil Taylor vs Peter Wright
Elsewhere, the Darts Premier League said goodbye to crowd favourite (and the greatest darts player of all time) Phil “The Power” Taylor as he gave way to Peter Wright.
Both The Power and the crowd had been hoping the six-time winner could claim a seventh before retirement but Wright wasn’t reading from the script and eliminated Taylor in a 10-9 victory.
Wright had romped into a 4-0 lead before Taylor showed his true class to bring the game level, preceding a break of throw that sent The Power into an amazing 9-8 lead and within touching distance of a final spot. Sadly, though, it wasn’t to be as Taylor missed a match-winning dart to allow Wright to take the final place.
Darts betting tips for Dubai Masters
Both MVG and Wright will turn out again this Wednesday in the Dubai Masters where the former is an outright winner’s price of 4/6 across the board – but for which Wright is an intriguing best price of 5/1 with SkyBet.
Phil Taylor will also be making an appearance in the Middle East this week. Bet365 are offering 14/1 on an outright win for The Power.
Dave Chisnall, who will make his World Cup debut for England next week, is an overall price of 22/1 in the same sportsbook, while James Wade can be selected for an outsider’s price of 33/1.
Anderson, for those interested, can be picked up for a Dubai tournament win for 11/2 at Betway where you will also find Raymond van Barneveld at 25/1.
Dubai Masters schedule
Wednesday’s Dubai Masters order of play is as follows:
Peter Wright takes on Dave Chsinall before MVG meets RVB in an all-Dutch clash.
This preceds a match between Anderson and Taylor before James Wade meets Gerwyn Price, 80/1 at Betway, to close the night’s opening round.
More PDC tournaments in 2017
- Betway World Cup of Darts – Frankfurt, June 1-4
- World Matchplay – Blackpool, July 22-30
- Champions League of Darts – Cardiff, September 16-17
- World Grand Prix – Dublin, October 1-7
- European Championship – Belgium October 26-29
- World Series of Darts Finals – Glasgow, Nov 4-5
- Grand Slam of Darts – Wolverhampton, Nov 11-19
- PDC World Championship 2018 – Alexandra Palace