He came, he saw, he conquered – as expected, Michael van Gerwen took down his second World Series of Darts title inside a week after beating Daryl Gurney 8-6 in the final of the inaugural US Darts Masters in Las Vegas.
It was another imperious display for Mighty Mike, putting on a show in Sin City, dropping only the one leg as he dismissed Chris White, Dave Richardson and Gerwyn Price before moving onto Gurney.
Northern Irishman Gurney, making his first appearance in a World Series event, had overcome two out of the world’s top three in both Peter Wright and Gary Anderson to make it to the final. Once there, he fared little better than the others paired with MVG, immediately going 2 legs to zero down, the first of which was closed out by the Dutchman with a 124 checkout. Gurney rallied though, just as he had against world number two Gary Anderson in the semis, and took five of the next six legs to move into the lead.
By the tenth leg, however, MVG was back in charge courtesy of a 112 finish and a 13-darter, after which the Dutch star won four straight legs on the bounce to put him 7-5 ahead, before a closing and definitive leg was taken by van Gerwen by way of a 98 average and 12-darter finish to treat the Nevada crowd and help himself to back-to-back World Series triumphs.
2017 Darts World Matchplay Betting Tips
This Saturday at the Winter Gardens Blackpool, the biggest darting event of the summer gets underway as the 2017 Darts World Matchplay takes place from July 22-30, live on the Sky Sports Action HD. This year the tournament boats a new record £500,000 prize money, £115,000 of which will be awarded to the champion, with a £10,000 bonus on offer for a nine-dart finish.
As for the match action, it’s another ex-champion, James Wade, along with top stars Gary Anderson and Peter Wright, who will go in the tournament’s first session on Saturday. In all, 32 players will be competing with the first-round split across the opening three days with a double session on Sunday. It’s the second of these sessions that legendary 15-time Matchplay champion Phil Taylor gets his final ever Blackpool challenge underway before retirement, when he takes on UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price.
The same session also sees Dave Chisnall and Raymond van Barneveld launch their campaigns before Monday night when Michael van Gerwen, the 4/6 favourite with Bet365, begins his quest for a third successive World Matchplay win, and, as ever, it’s hard to disagree with the rampant Dutch giant.
The second round is split across Tuesday and Wednesday with the ever-thinning field progressing to the quarter-finals which are then split across Thursday and Friday, with the semi-finals on Saturday before Sunday’s final.
Scottish star Gary Anderson has seen his Betway odds cut to 5/1 following a kind draw, with Wright the third favourite at 6/1 with Bet365. Taylor on the other hand can be picked up for 22/1, also at Bet365, as he seeks a golden goodbye in Blackpool. Be warned though, that neither Taylor, who could face Raymond van Barneveld in round two, or MVG who will likely meet Kyle Anderson or Simon Whitlock on Wednesday, have been given the easiest of routes to the final.
Traditionally, there have been early eliminations for seeded players in round one here so be on the lookout for potential upsets again this year. Can Steve Beaton rewind back the clock and overcome Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis? It’s worth 9/4 with Skybet. Also, do any one of Sunday night’s fixtures have the potential to cause causalities to the big names? That said, Skybet are offering 5/2 on either Peter Wright or Gary Anderson facing off against MVG in next Sunday’s final in separate forecast bets that are worth looking at. Likewise, you can get 33/1 on either of the Scottish pair meeting up with Phil Taylor.
Now 24 years old, the Matchplay has still only ever been won by seven different players in its lifetime. Larry Butler, Colin Lloyd, Peter Evison and James Wade have one title each, while Rod Harrington has another two. The other seventeen tournaments have been split 15-2 between Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen. If you fancy this record to be broken then pay attention to Skybet’s ‘new winner’ special worth 5/4 should anyone but those two win the tournament.
It’s also worthy of mention that the same sportsbook is offering nationality bets on the winner, 5/4 Dutch, 6/4 Scottish, 3/1 English and 16/1 other.
Saturday July 22 (7pm)
- Michael Smith v Steve West
- James Wade v Darren Webster
- Gary Anderson v Christian Kist
- Peter Wright v James Wilson
Sunday July 23
Afternoon Session (1pm)
- Jelle Klaasen v Justin Pipe
- Robert Thornton v Cristo Reyes
- Benito van de Pas v Daryl Gurney
- Mensur Suljovic v John Henderson
Evening Session (7.30pm)
- Dave Chisnall v Mervyn King
- Phil Taylor v Gerwyn Price
- Raymond van Barneveld v Joe Cullen
- Kim Huybrechts v Alan Norris
Monday July 24 (7pm)
- Simon Whitlock v Kyle Anderson
- Adrian Lewis v Steve Beaton
- Michael van Gerwen v Stephen Bunting
- Ian White v Rob Cross
Tuesday July 25 (7pm)
- Suljovic/Henderson v Klaasen/Pipe
- Wade/Webster v Smith/West
- Anderson/Kist v Van de Pas/Gurney
- Wright/Wilson v Thornton/Reyes
Wednesday July 26 (7pm)
- Chisnall/King v Huybrechts/Norris
- Lewis/Beaton v White/Cross
- Taylor/Price v Van Barneveld/Cullen
- Van Gerwen/Bunting v Whitlock/Anderson
Thursday July 27 (7pm)
- 2x Quarter-Finals
Friday July 28 (7pm)
- 2x Quarter-Finals
Saturday July 29 (7pm)
Sunday July 30 (7pm)