Michael van Gerwen won a record seventh Premier League Darts title after beating Gerwyn Price 11-5 in the play off final at the O2 Arena in London last Thursday night.
Mighty Mike, who retains the trophy he won twelve months ago, which at the time equalled Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor’s six DPL crowns, overcame a shoulder injury to average 101 in his 10-8 semi-final victory over world number one Michael Smith before destroying The Iceman in a surprisingly one-sided finish to the 17-week long season.
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Price had topped the Premier League Darts table and thrashed Jonny Clayton 10-2 in the first of Thursday night’s semi-finals with a brilliant average of 107.54 but couldn’t find the same levels come the end of the night against Mighty Mike.
Come the final, The Iceman averaged 99.5 compared to The Green Machine’s 105.43 and also managed huge checkouts of 150 and 128 while also reeling in the big fish and landing five of the seven 180s in the match.
The win marks Mighty Mike’s 46th individual major trophy in an incredible career which has seen him win three PDC World Championship titles alongside three World Matchplay Darts victories.
In the final, the opening five legs all went with throw before van Gerwen struck the first decisive blow in the sixth leg, when he produced a superb 170 check out to build up a 4-2 lead.
That saw the Dutchman build up some momentum and before long he had extended his advantage to 7-2, following up a 13-dart hold of throw with a superb 128 finish to continue his run towards the title.
From there, The Iceman fired back in sensational style by pinning a brilliant 161 on the bull before cutting the deficit to 4-7 after MVG uncharacteristically wasted four darts at a double. Before long though Mighty Mike had restored his five-leg lead after Price missed double 12 for 144 and 98 checkouts. The Dutchman then landed a spectacular 150 checkout to move to the brink of victory.
The Welshman then missed two darts at tops and tens when given the opportunity to extend the contest in leg 16 allowing van Gerwen to duly capitalise and round off a dominant performance.
Earlier on in the night, Price had averaged over 107 to overcome his Welsh World Cup partner Jonny Clayton, where he threw in a stunning 131 checkout to bank an emphatic 10-2 victory.
Table topper Price started off Thursday night’s action with an 11-dart hold of throw to storm into a 5-leg lead before 2021 DPL champion, The Ferret, finally got going in leg six. Price extended his lead with a fine three-leg burst of 12, 14 and 11 dart legs, before rounding off an imperious display with that brilliant 131 finish, which culminated with a brace of double 20s.
In the night’s second semi-final, Michael van Gerwen survived a late fightback from Michael Smith to make it through to a record-breaking ninth Darts Premier League final, averaging 101 in a 10-8 success. The Bully Boy took the first two legs, the first courtesy of a superb 128 checkout but then MVG hit back with a run of five legs on the spin.
The World Champion then replied with 114, 86, 91 and 123 combinations in the game’s latter stages, but Mighty Mike’s superior scoring power saw him make it to the final where he went on to bank yet another major PDC title.
Michael van Gerwen’s Roll Of Honour
- 3x World Champion (2014, 2017, 2019)
- 3x World Matchplay champion (2015, 2016, 2022)
- 7x Premier League champion (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023)
- 6x World Grand Prix champion (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022)
- 3x UK Open champion (2015, 2016, 2020)
- 3x Grand Slam of Darts champion (2015, 2016, 2017)
- 4x European champion (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
- 5x Masters champion (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- 7x Players Championship Finals champion ( 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2022)
- 4x World Series of Darts Finals winner (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019)
- 1x Champions League of Darts (2019)
- 3x World Cup winner (2014, 2017, 2018)
Coming Up In The PDC World Of Darts
The World Cup of Darts gets underway next month on the 15th of June but before that all eyes are on New York for the bet365 US Darts Masters which takes place this weekend. This will be the fifth staging of a competition that is the third of six events in the 2023 World Series.
16 stars of the PDC, including holder and current world champion Michael Smith, reigning World Series of Darts Finals winner Gerwyn Price, Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall who won in New York in 2019.
These are joined by eight North American players who are headed by ex-Lakeside runner-up Jeff Smith, Matt Campbell, and Jules van Dongen. Jeff Smith claimed the CDC’s inaugural Cross Border Challenge earlier this month, but as The Silencer was already guaranteed his place in New York so beaten finalist Jim Long will make up the numbers. The final three spots will be taken up by Jason Brandon, Jake MacMillan and JT Davis.
Play will take place at The Hulu Theater, Madison Square Garden, New York City and lasts for two days from Saturday 2nd June to Sunday 3rd June.
This is the third of six World Series events over the course of the year. We have already had events in Bahrain and Copenhagen, which were won by Michael Smith and Peter Wright respectively, while competitions in Poland, New Zealand and Australia all follow the New York event.
This is the fifth running of the US Masters, the first three were held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas before moving to New York in 2019. The inaugural staging of the competition was in 2017 at the Tropicana Las Vegas and was won by Michael van Gerwen.
Mighty Mike goes into the tournament as the second favourite behind Gerwyn Price, but it’s Rob Cross who heads to the Big Apple as the PDC’s most recent winner after he picked up his maiden European Tour success at the Interwetten European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen at the weekend, beating Luke Humphries 8-6.
The win for Cross means that he will team up with Michael ‘The Bully Boy’ Smith for England at the World Cup, something that has left Humphries “devastated”. Despite this, Cool Hand himself is in buoyant mood and admits he is living his darting dream ahead of his bet365 US Darts Masters this weekend.
With world number two Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright woefully out of form and Jonny Clayton not among the PDC eight, it is hard to look beyond the big three of Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith for a winner. That being said, Cross’ recent win and Humphries’s desire to make up for his World Cup upset could see either of the pair prevail. The draw for the bet365 US Darts Masters will take place on Thursday, June 1st.
bet365 US Darts Masters 2023 Betting Odds
A look at the odds for the bet365 US Darts Masters betting odds:
- Gerwyn Price – 11/4
- Michael van Gerwen – 7/2
- Michael Smith – 4/1
- Luke Humphries – 15/2
- Rob Cross – 8/1
- Peter Wright – 9/1
- Nathan Aspinall – 12/1
- Dimitri van den Bergh – 14/1
- Matt Campbell – 66/1
- Jules van Dongen – 100/1
- Alex Spellman – 100/1
- Jeff Smith – 125/1
- Jason Brandon – 125/1
- JT Davis – 150/1
- Jim Long – 200/1
- Jake MacMillan – 250/1
QUICK GLANCE AT THE bet365 US DARTS MASTERS
Venue: The Hulu Theater, Maddison Square Garden, New York City
Dates: 2nd June – 3rd June, 2023
Format: Best of 11 & 15 legs
Current Champion: Michael Smith
Where To Watch: ITV 4
When To Watch: 17:30
bet365 darts betting odds for the 2024 PDC World Championship
Elsewhere, Michael van Gerwen’s return to form has seen him installed as the bet365 outright favourite to be crowned the 2024 world champion and is currently available at 3/1.
Arguably the best player in this year’s Premier League of Darts, Gerwyn Price is the second favourite at 7/2 while the reigning world champion Michael Smith can be backed at 4/1 to retain his title. Two times world champion Peter Wright is currently 14/1 for the event which will begin in the middle of December.
- Michael van Gerwen – 3/1
- Gerwyn Price – 7/2
- Michael Smith – 4/1
- Peter Wright – 14/1
- Josh Rock – 18/1
- Luke Humphries – 20/1
- Jonny Clayton – 22/1
- Dirk van Duijvenbode – 28/1
- Rob Cross – 33/1
- Dimitri van den Bergh – 33/1
- Gary Anderson – 33/1
- Dave Chisnall – 33/1
- Nathan Aspinall – 40/1
- Joe Cullen – 40/1
- Danny Noppert – 40/1