Starting the World Grand Prix as a 500/1 longshot, John Henderson sent shock waves around Dublin on Sunday as he spectacularly dumped the heavily odds on world number one, Michael van Gerwen out of the tournament in the first round.
It was a rare result and one of which no one was expecting, executed in brilliant fashion. The shock 2-1 victory represents one of the biggest upsets in darts history and as a result has blown the tournament wide open. With the victory, Henderson’s outright price has been slashed to 40/1.
Henderson victory opens up the field
Scottish Henderson, ranked number 32 in the world, took the deciding leg of the first set before van Gerwen came back to win the second set 3-0. The Dutchman then put in a horrorible performance in the final set as Henderson punished him twice for missing doubles to lead 1-0 and 2-1 before taking the match with a brilliant 17-darter.
With world number two Gary Anderson also a no-show — having pulled out due to the imminent birth of his next child — the rest of the field senses a real opportunity to win an event. Notably absent is 11-time World Grand Prix champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, who has skipped this event in order to focus on other potentially winnable majors before his retirement.
Action continues Thursday
Play continues Thursday at the Citywest Hotel Convention Centre with the quarter-finals where current favourite Peter Wright will match up against Mensur Suljovic. Snakebite is Bet365’s 15/8 favourite to win the double-start tournament which will provide him with his second televised major in the process.
Snakebite is also lucky to be alive in the tournament after nearly biting the dust after dropping the opening set in last night’s match with Mervyn King. Prior to the match he was seen suffering with a sore elbow picked up in the practice room. Despite the setback, Wright managed to bounce back in to win 3-1 to set up tonight’s meet with 5/1 Suljovic. Snakebite will be seeking revenge for the group stage defeat he suffered at the hands of the Austrian at last month’s Champions League of Darts. Suljovic has some momentum behind him as he aims to claim his third PDC title in three weeks.
In all, just three seeds remain in a wide open World Grand Prix, with all remaining hopefuls now believing they have a chance of winning the big one on Saturday.
With Betway still to publish, all of the following outright prices are bought to you by Bet365.
First out tonight is Simon Whitlock (11/1) v Benito van de Pas (14/1), followed by John Henderson (40/1) v Raymond van Barneveld (7/2). Then it’s on to Wright’s match – where he is 1/2 with Betway to win. This price sounds fair but don’t be surprised to see Suljovic emerge victorious (13/8). ShouldSuljovic win this tourney, he will move just behind Snakebite in the world pecking order at number four. Finally, Robert Thornton (20/1) v Daryl Gurney (9/2) are last out to wrap things up for the night.
Play takes place as a best of five sets with broadcasting getting underway on Sky Sports Main Event at 19:00 BST.