Michael van Gerwen Wins Players Championship Finals

Michael van Gerwen Wins Players Championship Finals

Michael Van Gerwen wins Players Championship

Another week means another darts tourney and yet another Michael van Gerwen victory in a televised competition. This time it was a third successive Players Championship Final victory. The world number one — it goes without saying — is now Betway’s 8/11 favourite to win the World Championship, which you will be pleased to hear is just a little over two weeks away.

Yet another victory for Gerwen

van Gerwen’s latest win came at the expense of unexpected finalist Jonny Clayton, who he beat 11-2 in Minehead. The victory comes on the back of three successive televised event wins at the European Championship, World Series of Darts Finals and the Grand Slam of Darts, stretching his run to 28 competitive match wins in a row dating back to October’s World Grand Prix.

Against Clayton, the Dutch maestro averaged 105.5 and landed five 180s and 23 doubles giving his opponent — a pre-tourney 250/1 shot who was appearing in his first ever TV final — no chance whatsoever to get into the match. Despite his loss, Clayton — who shot down Rob Cross in the semi-finals — comes away as an over-achiever that had previously never reached a quarter-final at this level.

The draw for the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship

The draw for the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship was made last night and we now know that Michael van Gerwen will begin his Championship defence against Betway’s extreme outsider Christian Kist, who is currently around 1000/1.

Two-time world champion, 2017 runner-up and 6/1 second favourite Gary Anderson will first face off against the winner of Jeff Smith (500/1) or 1000/1 hopeful Luke Humphries, but should meet MVG in the Quarter Finals if everything goes as expected.

This year’s second seed and UK Open champion Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright will begin his campaign against Brazilian Diogo Portela (2000/1). Wright is 9/1 with Betway, who hopes to topple the Dutch master in a likely final and win what would be his biggest event of his career.

After a very slight wobble a few months back, van Gerwen has returned to red-hot form at exactly the right time making the world no 1 again the man to beat as he hunts down a third world title priced 8/11. His half of the draw will also potentially pair him with countryman and 50/1 shot Raymond van Barneveld, who starts his campaign against Richard North (750/1).

Taylor, Gurney and Cross also draw attention for 2018 World Darts Championship

Of the 72-man field, all eyes will be on 16-time world champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, who takes to the Ally Pally stage for one last time in what will be his final competitive appearance before retirement. To advance, he will likely need to come through the 500/1 priced Justin Pipe and likely one of either James Wade (125/1) or Mervyn King (300/1). Taylor is looking to repeat his superb final victory at the World Matchplay earlier this year by claiming the Sid Waddell Trophy and exiting in true Taylor style. Betway have the sixth seeded legend at 10/1 to do so. The Power will start off the eventagainst Chris Dobey (500/1).

Elsewhere, Daryl Gurney and Rob Cross continue to impose themselves on the big four. In just a year, Gurney has replaced Adrian Lewis (33/1) — who is himself a two-time winner here — as fourth seed, while Rob Cross finds himself on the edge of the top 20 despite going from amateur to professional over the same time span. Betway are offering 12/1 on Cross and 40/1 on Gurney in the outright winner’s book.

Very much the jewel in the PDC crown, the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship will takes place at Alexandra Palace in London from Thursday December 14 to Monday January 1 and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

First Round Draw (seeds in brackets)

Top Half

  • Michael van Gerwen v Christian Kist
  • (32) James Wilson v Krzystof Ratajski
  • (16) Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts
  • (17) Ian White v Willard Bruguier/Cody Harris
  • (8) Dave Chisnall v Vincent van der Voort
  • (25) Steve Beaton v William O’Connor
  • (9) Raymond van Barneveld v Richard North
  • (24) Kyle Anderson v Peter Jacques
  • (5) Mensur Suljovic v Kevin Painter
  • (28) Robert Thornton v Alan Ljubic/Brendan Dolan
  • (12) Jelle Klaasen v Jan Dekker
  • (21) Stephen Bunting v Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • (4) Daryl Gurney v Ronny Huybrechts
  • (29) John Henderson v Marko Kantele
  • (13) Michael Smith v Steve Lennon
  • (20) Rob Cross v Seigo Asada/Gordon Mathers

Bottom Half

  • (2) Peter Wright v Diogo Portela
  • (31) Jonny Clayton v Kenny Neyens/Jamie Lewis
  • (15) Alan Norris v Kim Viljanen
  • (18) Kim Huybrechts v James Richardson
  • (7) Adrian Lewis v Aleksandr Oreshkin/Kevin Munch
  • (26) Cristo Reyes v Antonio Alcinas
  • (10) Simon Whitlock v Martin Schindler
  • (23) Darren Webster v Devon Petersen
  • (6) Phil Taylor v Chris Dobey
  • (27) Justin Pipe v Xiao Chen Zong/Bernie Smith
  • (11) James Wade v Keegan Brown
  • (22) Mervyn King v Zoran Lerchbacher
  • (3) Gary Anderson v Jeff Smith/Luke Humphries
  • (30) Mark Webster v Kai Fan Leung/Paul Lim
  • (14) Benito van de Pas v Steve West
  • (19) Joe Cullen v Jermaine Wattimena
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Mighty Michael van Gerwen wins Grand Slam of Darts

Mighty Michael van Gerwen wins Grand Slam of Darts

Michael Van Gerwen Grand Slam

On Sunday at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Michael van Gerwen beat Phil Taylor before taking down Peter Wright in the final to claim his third straight Grand Slam of Darts. The world number one now adds the title to his World Championship and Premier League crowns in what has become yet another imperious year for the Dutch master.

A strong final eight

The group stages had seen a number of spirited performances from some of the field’s outsiders, but in the end the final eight was about as good as could have been expected.

The Order of Merit’s top four – Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Gary Anderson and Daryl Gurney – all took their place in the Quarter Finals. They were joined by the 16-time world champion Phil Taylor, a 2017 televised major winner in Mensur Suljovic, BDO champion Glen Durrant and Rob Cross, considered by many to the game’s hottest emerging talent. This was not a view shared by Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor regarding Daryl Gurney, who when quizzed by Sky Sports if Superchin represented the future of Darts, laughed it off and humiliated his young opponent 16-4, 24-hours later.

Back to Sunday’s action and Peter Wright, who had earlier fought back from being six legs down to beat Gary Anderson 15-16 in the semi-final, couldn’t keep up with MVG in the final. van Gerwen averaged over 50% throughout the whole event and won six of the last eight legs to win 16-12 and claim yet another major televised title.

Only hours earlier, the Dutchman had beaten Phil Taylor, the only other man to win three Grand Slams, 16-8. The final paired the newly top ranked pair in the world who went on to share seven 100+ finishes before Mighty Mike hit the after burners and stormed off with the win becoming only the second man to lift the Grand Slam trophy on three successive occasions.

Looking ahead

As the players prepare for the Players Championship in Minehead this weekend, many eyes are turned towards Alexandra Palace and the World Championships, now little under a month away.

Michael van Gerwen heads into the Ally Pally chasing a third world title and his second in as many years. He currently a 4/5 favorite at Betway to do so. Gary Anderson (11/2) and ‘Snakebite’ Wright (7/1) in particular should be considered the biggest threats to the Dutchman’s growing immortality.

Elsewhere, the traditional top eight of the past few years is finally being threatened by Daryl Gurney, Mensur Suljovic and Rob Cross as they begin to challenge the likes of Adrian Lewis, Dave Chisnall and James Wade in hunting down the leading pack of Van Gerwen, Wright, Anderson, Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld. Come February, Wade, Lewis and Chizzy will have a battle on their hands when it comes to the Premier League matches and other majors.

That said, it’s inevitable that the departing legend that is Phil Taylor will be where the pre-tourney narrative is. He enjoyed himself in Wolverhampton, where he made life miserable for the Sky Sports’ cameras. During the event he playfully cursed live on air and dismissed the challenge of Gurney, whom he destroyed in the QF’s. On this form, he will not be going quietly come North London. Taylor is a respectable 8/1 at current prices for one last shot at World Championship glory.

The Power will not be at Minehead this weekend, where the PDC go it alone and where 27-year-old Rob Cross is the top seed. Cross’ good form continued with a run to the quarter-final last week, making it easy to forget that this is his first year on the circuit and was not even a professional this time last year. Now Cross, who has risen to world’s top 20, finds himself top seed and fourth favourite for a live televised event. If you fancy Cross to win live on ITV2 this weekend, get on him now at 9/1 at Betway. Or, of course, you’ll find the big three, MVG (10/11), Anderson (11/2) or Wright (8/1) also available.

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Michael van Gerwen Wins World Series of Darts

Michael van Gerwen Wins World Series of Darts

Michael van Gerwen World Series of Darts Win

As expected, Michael van Gerwen claimed his third successive World Series of Darts title, this time after beating Gary Anderson 11-6 in Sunday’s final at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow.

Andeson comes up short to MVG

MVG (Shanghai and Las Vegas) and Anderson, (Dubai and Perth) each won two World Series events each this year and followed the performance up with a final battle in Scotland’s second city over the weekend. Unfortunately for the Scot involved, the Dutch master had far too much class at the oche and the pre-tournament favourite duly won his third in a row.

Mighty Mike’s other victims of the weekend included German Max Hopp, Englishman Rob Cross and Northern Ireland’s Daryl Gurney before meeting up with The Flying Scotsman where two 11-darters and a 158-checkout helped to provide an 11-8 victory.

Anderson began the event poorly, missing three chances at double before MVG landed a 103 checkout that set him on an early path to victory, which soon found himself 4-1 up. The spirited Scotsman, fueled by a passionate home crowd, claimed three of the next four to shorten the difference momentarily before the World Champion banked four legs in a row to home in on yet another title victory.

Another brief surge from Anderson, one that this time included tops and double four, saw him pull back another two legs but in the end, it was all to prove futile. After missing his 132 target, the World number two could only watch on as his superior ranked rival took out 87 to retain the championship.

On his way to Sunday’s final, Anderson enjoyed victories over Chris Dobey, Gerwyn Price and James Wade. Anderson will now look to go one better in the weeks ahead, starting this Sunday at the Grand Slam of Darts.

Regarding the 2018 World Series of Darts schedule, the PDC confirmed on Sunday that Brisbane will host its first World Series next year alongside confirmed returns to Auckland, Shanghai and Las Vegas.

As for Van Gerwen, his win in Glasgow comes ahead of his attempt to win yet another event for the third time in a row when he starts his defense of the Grand Slam of Darts this Saturday.

Grand Slam of Darts Betting Tips

From November 11-19, at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall, the best in the world from the PDC compete with the best in the world from the BDO. The very best player of them all, Mighty Mike will begin said defense of the title he picked up in both 2015 and 2016 against Group A rivals Rob Cross, Joe Murnan and Ross Montgomery in the group phase.

In all, there will 32 darters participating, from which eight will represent the BDO, while the remaining 24 are all-stars of the PDC. The players are divided into eight groups of four players (listed below), with the top two from each group qualifying for the latter stages. The winner of Group A plays the runner-up of Group B and vice versa, so on.

Six time champ, Phil Taylor will make a return to action this weekend in one of his preselected winter tourneys that are worth his time. The Power goes in Group C, where James Wade represents his biggest threat. Another returning veteran will be Raymond van Barneveld, the seed from Group B hoping to top Gerwyn Price. I expect Price will make the cut, but Barney, a former winner here, will fancy his chances of claiming top spot, as do I.

Peter Wright and Gary Anderson can be found in groups E and H respectively. For Snakebite, Group E probably represents the fabled Group of Death where he comes up against Alan Norris, Corey Cadby and Glen Durrant but should prevail. In H, Anderson’s only threat will come from Simon Whitlock making it a much easier task for the second seed than his countryman faces.

Elsewhere, Mensur Suljovic is rightly the favourite in a tricky Group G that includes the highest ranked BDO representative, world number one Mark McGeeney, plus Michael Smith and James Wilson.

In a busy weekend, the recommended darts betting tips would be to do the obvious thing and back MVG to win the tournament at 5/6 but if you do for some reason favour the BDO then look into Glen Durrant (80/1) or Mark McGeeney (250/1) as each way bets at a half of the odds for a top two finish. Betway are also paying out 22/1 on ANY BDO player to win which would handsomely cover the both and others.

World number two Gary Anderson is 11/2 for the tourney, a few points shorter than Peter Wright at 15/2 while romantics will be hoping for Phil Taylor at 9/1 to win the event one last time.

Oh, and backing MVG, Taylor, Barney and Anderson to win their groups at Betway pays 4.29 to the £1 which should represent easy money, but throwing in world number three Peter Wright in the toughest group bumps that price up past 7s so I’ll leave that one with you.

Grand Slam of Darts Groups (Live on Sky Sports)

Group A

  • Michael van Gerwen
  • Rob Cross
  • Joe Murnan
  • Ross Montgomery

Group B

  • Raymond van Barneveld
  • Gerwyn Price
  • Steve Lennon
  • Jamie Hughes

Group C

  • Phil Taylor
  • James Wade
  • Robbie Green
  • Peter Machin

Group D

  • Daryl Gurney
  • Darren Webster
  • Mark Webster
  • Danny Noppert

Group E

  • Peter Wright
  • Alan Norris
  • Corey Cadby
  • Glen Durrant

Group F

  • Dave Chisnall
  • Stephen Bunting
  • Jeffrey de Zwaan
  • Scott Mitchell

Group G

  • Mensur Suljovic
  • Michael Smith
  • James Wilson
  • Mark McGeeney

Group H

  • Gary Anderson
  • Simon Whitlock
  • Berry van Peer
  • Cameron Menzies
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