Michael Van Gerwen Wins Shanghai Masters, Plus Phil “The Power” Taylor Profile

With darts action taking a weekend off, we thought it would be a good time to look at the game’s top players – starting with (who else?) Phil “The Power” Taylor.

But first, a little note on last week’s Shanghai Masters.

Michael Van Gerwen wins Shanghai Masters

Michael Van Gerwin bests James Wade in Shanghai Masters

It feels more than little strange that, for the first time since we launched this column, Michael Van Gerwen has won an event. But that he did last week when he took down the Chinese leg of the World Series. His opponent in Sunday’s final was Englishman James Wade, who lost 8-3 at the Pullman Hotel.

It was the fifth international event win of the year for the Dutch number one, having missed out in Dubai and Auckland. Shanghai marks his first win since claiming the Darts Premier League in May.

On his way to the final, he saw off Singapore’s Paul Lim in round one before moving on to an altogether more familiar face in countryman Raymond van Barneveld, whom Van Gerwin outclassed on his way to an 8-4 win in the quarter-finals.

The semi-final stage of the event on Sunday afternoon matched the Dutch master with Dave Chisnall, who chucked his way into a 4-1 lead, which included checkouts of 148 and 150. Van Gerwen clawed things back soon afterwards, however; his eventual 8-5 victory came in part thanks to a 145 finish which launched a winning run of four successive legs.

Wade, on the way to his second World Series final of the season, had been paired with Gary Anderson. The Scot gave him a tough match before Wade eventually won 8-7 in the quarter-finals, almost repeating the score in the semi-final with an 8-6 victory over Phil Taylor.

“Every win means a lot to me but this is the first Shanghai Darts Masters so it’s very special,” said Van Gerwen. “Everything came together and I’m really glad I won this trophy. It’s been a very good week in China and it’s a pleasure for me to play in tournaments like this. Shanghai’s fantastic, and to get the win makes it even better.”

The PDC World Series of Darts continues with the Zipang Casino Tokyo Darts Masters on July 6-7, with the eight PDC stars set to take on eight Japanese qualifiers across two days at the Yoyogi Olympic Hall.

Profile: Phil “The Power” Taylor

When darts fans are gathered for a major event and (I’ve Got) The Power by Snap begins to play, they know that are in for a treat – that’s the walkout theme for arguably the greatest ever player to throw a dart, Phil “The Power” Taylor.

Phil "The Power" Taylor - darts' greatest ever
Hailing from the pottery city of Stoke-on-Trent, England, Taylor won the first of his record-breaking 77 PDC Premier events, including 16 World Championships, in 1995.

Born in 1965, Taylor honed his darts skills in local clubs before turning pro under the BDO towards the end of the 1980s. It wasn’t long before he took down his first major title, the 1990 Embassy Championship, when he defeated his mentor and five-time World Champion Eric “The Crafty Cockney” Bristow. Taylor briefly carried the nickname “The Crafty Potter” at this time. In the same year, he added the World Masters to his résumé.

By 1993, the PDC had formed and broken away from the BDO; this was a move that Taylor played a considerable role in. He has since become the dominant force of darts: he won his first World Matchplay title in 1995, repeating his success in 1997, but the best was yet to come as “The Power” went on an unprecedented unbeaten run in the event between 2000 and 2004. He claimed five successive titles before adding a record sixth and then seventh in 2013 and 2014.

It’s the World Championships that Taylor will really be remembered for, however; he presently holds sixteen titles dating back to 1995. This began a run of form the likes of which hasn’t been seen before or since: Taylor won again each year between 1996 and 2002, then notched up three further consecutive wins from 2004 to 2006. He has since added three more wins in 2009, 2010 and 2013, a feat which will almost certainly never be equalled.

Other noticeable successes include taking home the Las Vegas Desert Classic in 2002, 2004 and 2005; the first-ever UK Open in 2003 (not his last); as well as being unbeaten champion in the first-ever Premier League of Darts back in 2005.

Having seen off all comers until 2006, this was the breakout year for a rivalry that would shape the game for the next decade with the emergence of Holland’s Raymond van Barneveld. “Barney” was the first serious threat to Taylor’s domination and the two duly began to meet regularly in the latter stages of events.

Despite Taylor’s glorious track record, he countered this first of two Dutch threats (the second being today’s world number one Michael Van Gerwen) by changing darts. At a professional level, even miniscule changes in dart weight and shape can make all the difference; Taylor’s switch to 26g Target 9 Five Red Dragon Darts did just that, allowing him to maintain his challenge.

In total, the PDC have awarded Taylor their Player of the Year award six times, in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Unlike most darts players, Taylor has found fame away from the oche, including nominations for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in both 2006 and 2010 and an appearance on Coronation Street.

Taylor remains not only the best of all time but still one of the game’s top players, boasting a record that even Michael Van Gerwen is unlikely to breach.

If you fancy backing the game’s greatest-ever player for an outright World Matchplay win, you can get odds of 11/2 on “The Power” by visting Betway.

Phil “The Power” Taylor’s Major Honours

  • World Championships (PDC): 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013
  • World Matchplay: 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Las Vegas Desert Classic: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009
  • UK Open: 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013
  • World Series of Darts: 2006
  • The Masters: 2013
  • PDC US Open: 2007, 2008
  • World Darts Trophy: 2006
  • European Championship: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Premier League Darts: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012
  • Grand Slam of Darts: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014
  • PDC World Cup of Darts: 2012 with Adrian Lewis, 2013 with Adrian Lewis, 2016 with Adrian Lewis
  • PDC Player of the Year: 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013
  • PDC Fans’ Player of the Year: 2007, 2008, 2012

Inducted into PDC Hall of Fame in 2011

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Auckland Win For Darts Champion Gary Anderson

gary anderson banana suit

Scotland’s World Champion Gary Anderson roared to victory in New Zealand last weekend to claim his second World Series of Darts title of the season so far in back to back wins.

The Musselburgh born player gave an outstanding performance in Sunday’s final where he defeated reigning champion Adrian Lewis 11-7, having checked out 50 percent of his darts at double in the semi-finals earlier on the same day.

Having won last month’s Dubai Darts Masters title, Anderson followed things up in Auckland to make quite a run of awards for “The Flying Scotsman” over the last two seasons. Crowned world champion both this year and last, he also took home the 2015 Premier League of Darts trophy for the second time as well as finishing as runner up in the same year’s European Championship. On that note, Skybet have the player at 13/2 for the World Match play one month from now, which may well be worth some consideration.

On his route to the final, Anderson, 45, had beaten off challenges from New Zealand’s local lad Bernie Smith and countryman Peter Wright before meeting up with Raymond van Barneveld, whom he excellently saw off 11-7.

Once at the final, he summoned the very best of his ability to stage another performance of top level darts to take down the Englishman Lewis. In front of a thrilled Trusts Arena crowd, it was Anderson who banked eight 180s and took full advantage of Lewis’ dropped doubles ensuring the cup stayed north of Hadrian’s Wall.

Early doors however, it was Lewis that had looked the sharper of the two plan finalists. Indeed, the Stoke born player had the narrow early advantage as the pair shared out the opening six legs before “Jackpot” dropped several checkout doubles, misses that Anderson duly seized upon by finishing with 68 on double ten to break for the first time. Before long, the Flying Scotsman was in full flow, taking out two tops to open up a two-leg lead. Anderson, dug deeper still and clawed back into contention with a 121 on the bull but it couldn’t stop Anderson winning the following two sets to lead 7-4.

Lewis isn’t one to take things lying down and, never shirking responsibility, fought on, responding a third dart double nine wholesale jerseys and a 150 checkout to bring things closer at 7-5. With two magnificent 180s, it took just eleven darts for Anderson to take the next leg and widen the gap further still. Lewis had one more set left in him, wholesale jerseys but at this point was on his way to defeat which was all but confirmed by a miss placed shot at double 12 for a much needed 144 checkout.

Taking his chance superbly, Anderson wrapped things up with 86 on the bull for a 10-7 lead, including an astonishing eighth 180 of the Screen contest, which set up a double ten finish for title victory.

Afterwards Anderson had this to say:

“I’m absolutely delighted and I enjoyed this week. Adrian has played brilliantly too. He was great against Phil Taylor and he’s a very good friend of mine, and up on stage we try to have some battles – and the 180s and 140s and doubles came together tonight. Adrian missed a few of the big checkouts but that’s darts. It’s been absolutely brilliant and the fans have been fantastic. I loved it in New Zealand last year and again this time.”

In an unwanted record for Lewis, it was his second successive defeat in a World Series of Darts final but can be pleased with his efforts all the same which had, earlier on the tourney, allowed him to see off James Wade wholesale nba jerseys in the semi, with a high scoring 11-9 win that included Taylor a blazing dozen maximums before coming from 7-6 down to claim five of the final seven legs.

Such was the standard of play at the event that, in all, a aus ridiculous total of 108 maximums landed across the fifteen matches. Anderson himself posted eight of these, while his average of 111.37 is the Tips second best in World Series history. Darts Dutch legend Raymond Van Barneveld also played well before elimination in the last four, landing six 180s and achieving a 104.85 average in his match up with Gary Anderson.

Shanghai Darts Masters

The players now pick up their darts and head over to China for the Shanghai Masters, part of the same World Series and where Gary Anderson, having won the previous two events, will be shooting for three in a row. He will be competing against seven of the qualifying eight (himself being the eighth) who are made cheap nba jerseys up of all the usual names; Michael van Gerwen, Adrian Lewis, Phil Taylor, Peter Wright, James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld and Dave Chisnall.

Same as last week, the sixteen player event, this being the inaugural Shanghai hosting, will see the rest of the field made up from locally sourced and invited quartet of members which in this case are Singapore’s Paul Lim, China’s Yunfei Jiang and Hong Claim Kong pair Scott Mackenzie and Ting Chi Royden Lam, with the final four places to be won in Friday’s qualifier in Shanghai, after which the tournament’s draw will be made.

Then, on Saturday June 25th things get underway at the Pullman Hotel Shanghai South with the semi-final and final to be played on the Sunday.

For anyone interested in watching the event, coverage in the UK will be shown on ITV4 from 6.30pm BST.

PDC Darts World Series’ events schedule

For future reference, the original PDC World Series was launched in 2013. At the time, this was little more than the PDC’s top eight players sent to play in Dubai and Sydney in order to make the game more accessible for a global audience.

As darts has grown in popularity, the following three years has seen the participating nations swelling into six with the fixtures laid out as follows:

26-27/05: Dubai Darts Masters (winner Gary Anderson, SCO)

17-19/06: Auckland Darts Masters (winner Gary Anderson, SCO)

25-26/06: Shanghai Darts Masters

06-07/07: Tokyo Darts Masters

18-19/08: Sydney Darts Masters

25-26/08: Perth Darts Masters

05-06/11: World Series of Darts Finals

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Phil Taylor Claims Fourth European Tour Title In Vienna + Auckland Darts Masters Preview

phil taylor

Last week we told you all about young Englishman Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith and he duly delivered good each way value, although ultimately he fell just short against 9/2 second favourite Phil “The Power” Taylor.

26-year-old Merseysider Smith, who was appearing in his fifth European Tour final, came within two legs of victory in Vienna but ultimately went down 6-4 in Sunday’s final.

For the 16-time World Champion Taylor, it was a winning return to the European Tour on his first appearance in the event for two years as he came out on top of a field of 48 darts professionals. In the final, he saw off the challenge of our pick of the outsiders in a thrilling match at the Multiversum in Schwechat in Vienna to win his fourth European cheap nba jerseys Tour title and the £25,000 top prize.

The Final

In total, The Power used his wealth of experience to fire off a very decent seven maximums, breaking the throw three times to come out two legs on top of his younger rival. All this after Smith had taken the in opening leg, before Taylor hit D10 for his first break cheap nba jerseys of the match.

Smith rallied again and, incredibly, broke back before Taylor broke for the second time to give himself the 3-2 advantage. A determined Smith then capitalised on an uncharacteristic miss by Phil Taylor after he dropped five darts and pulled the final back to 3-3.

Shortly afterwards Smith amazingly pulled ahead 4-3 following a sublime 130 finish on the bull leaving the youngster within two legs of his first senior win. The Power, as he has done time and Wholesale Nike Washington Redskins Jerseys time again when facing defeat, dug deeper than ever to summon up his best darts, scoring an 11 and 12 finish respectively to move 5-4 in front before closing out the match with a 32 checkout to mark a successful return to European Tour Design action.

Austrian Open 2016

Elsewhere, world number one and tournament favourite Michael van Gerwen surprisingly exited at the Quarter-Final stage at the hands of Australian Kyle Anderson, clearing the way for the rest of the remaining field. No one seized on the opportunity fiercer than Smith who sailed past Nigel Heydon 6-5 and Terry Jenkins World 6-4.

For Heydon, this run to the Quarter-Finals was a personal best on the European Tour, while Terry Jenkins had already taken care of Scottish second seed Peter Wright before Smith proved a match too far in the Semi-Finals.

Earlier on in the tournament, Anderson, looking for his first PDC title, had seen off the challenge of local favourite Mensur Suljovic and Jelle Klaasen before eliminating MVG.

The victory represents Taylor’s first in the European Tour having fought hard to reach the final and being tested along the way. The victory comes after he had seen off Steve West 6-1 in the first round before being pushed all the way in the third round by Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts who ultimately lost 6-3. Stephen Bunting was the next to fall victim to Taylor’s arrows at the quarter final stage, losing 6-2 before moving onto Kyle Anderson, vanquisher of Van Gerwen, For in the semi-finals.

Anderson, had taken a Claim dramatic lead but, as the final later would prove, Taylor’s powers of recovery are up there with the best of all time and the potter fought back hard to take the next three straight legs leveling the match at 4-4 before ultimately things boiled down to just one dart which cost the Aussie and set up an all-English final.

Darts betting tips

For Michael Smith, the future looks good. The current world number eight will look to improve upon an impressive first half of 2016 and a first major honour cannot be very far away. Betway have the player at 28/1 for the Champions League of Darts and are paying a 1/3 of the odds for the top two. Something to keep in mind, if your bankroll needs testing.  While, on a similar note, Bet365 are offering 33/1 on Smith in the World Matchplay, at ½ the price for a top two finish.

Auckland Darts Masters preview and betting tips

World Series Darts returns to New Zealand this weekend as the second, now annual, three day long Auckland Darts Masters is held at The Trusts Arena. The event brings together eight of the world’s top stars and PDC representatives including the likes of Michael van Gerwen, Phil Taylor, Gary Anderson and reigning champion Adrian “Jackpot” Lewis who will joined by eight Oceanic qualifiers for the first round making a 16 player event.

The second of six international events in the World Series of Darts, The Auckland Darts Masters follows on from May’s Dubai Darts Masters, and precedes upcoming events that will be staged in Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Perth.

Things get underway on Friday June 17 with the first round where the eight PDC stars take on the eight Oceanic qualifiers. On the following Saturday, the quarter-finals take place before things finish up on the Sunday with the semi-finals and final.

As for the betting, Adrian Lewis is returning to the southern hemisphere and both Betway and Bet365 are offering 12/1 for “Jackpot” to successfully defend his crown, although the latter of the two, Bet365, offer better darts betting each way odds at ½ price for a top two finish.

Standing in his way will be “Mighty” Michael van Gerwen who is a best price of 11/10 at both Bet365 and Skybet and Phil “The Power” Taylor, available at 4/1. Beyond these two, there’s value to be found cheap mlb jerseys in backing Gary “The Flying Scotsman” Anderson at 9/2, Peter “Snakebite” Wright at 14/1 and Raymond van Barneveld who can be backed at 25/1 across the board.

However, if you’re looking for a more interesting bet, we recommend looking into cheap nba jerseys both or either of James “The Machine” Wade, 25/1, and Dave Chisnall, 20/1.

Of the eight qualifiers drawn from Oceania, New Zealander Cody Harris is favourite in the betting but prices range wildly from 66/1 (Skybet), 100/1 (Betway) to 200/1 with Bet365 so make Kolik of that what you will. Other Oceanic competitors making up the numbers are Warren Parry, Damon Heta, Rob Szabo, Ken Moir, Clinton Bridge, Bernie Smith and Stuart Leach who qualified this week by winning the the final DPNZ Qualifier.

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