Mighty Mike To Strike Again!
Grand Slam Of Darts
Thirty-two qualifiers from PDC and BDO meet in this week’s Grand Slam Of Darts in the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton where current World champion, Michael van Gerwen heads the betting at 15/8.
The Season So Far
2014 has been all about the rivalry between Phil Taylor and the former pretender to his crown, Michael van Gerwen. Van Gerwen started the year strongly, claiming the number one ranking after winning the World Championship, and despite a summer fightback from Taylor, in which he won the World Matchplay and consecutive titles in Australia, van Gerwen has since strengthened his dominance, winning both the World Grand Prix and the European Championship.
Established in 2007, this is the only tournament in the United Kingdom where the top players from the PDC and a select few from the rival BDO go head to head, which means the winner in Wolverhampton this week can claim to be the nearest thing darts will get to an ‘overall champion’. The thirty-two qualifiers are divided into eight groups of four with the top two in each group progressing to the knock-out stages.
Who To Avoid
In the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts last year, Phil Taylor was involved in one of the greatest games of darts of all time, in which he saw Adrian Lewis race into a 7-0 lead, before putting together an astonishing eight legs in a row to win the game 8-7 en route to his fifth Grand Slam of Darts title.
But a year on and he doesn’t look quite so formidable. He’s been fighting hard to regain the world number one ranking, but it looks like being a losing battle. He clearly isn’t the force of old, and though he has shown flashes of brilliance this season, he has also looked shaky at times, most recently at the Masters where he lost out to James Wade in the semis. At 13/5, I’ll be against him this week.
Michael Van Gerwen goes into this event as the antepost favourite and it’s hard to argue with that.
Since becoming the world number one, he’s gone from strength to strength, winning ten titles this year, including three of the last five.
He’s yet to win this event, so will be keen to add it to his list of trophies, and in his current form, I can’t see too many players being able to live with him. Back him at 15/8.
Since losing out to Taylor in the 2010 final, James Wade hasn’t made much of an impact in this tournament, but that could change this year. He’s hitting form at the right time, winning the Masters last week thanks to a stunning comeback against Mervyn King, in which he came back from 9-2 down, to win his first major televised tournament in three years.
On the way to final he’d also dumped Adrian Lewis and Phil Taylor out of the competition and in that sort of form, he’s a solid bet at 10/1 – exclusive BEST PRICE with Boylesports!