Michael Van Gerwen Wins Masters For A Fourth Year In A Row

Michael Van Gerwen Wins Masters For A Fourth Year In A Row

MVG Wins Again

For the fourth time in a row, Michael van Gerwen, the world’s number one darts player, was crowned the Darts Masters champion at the Arena MK. This victory came via a brilliant 11-9 win over Raymond van Barneveld in a thrilling final in Milton Keynes on Sunday night.

In truth, it was a hard-fought battle as the 28-year-old came from 4-1 and 8-5 down against his fellow Dutchman, averaging 100 across all four of his Masters’ matches in total.

On the way to Sunday’s showdown, MVG had overcome Kim Huybrechts, demolished James Wade 10-2 before dispatching Gary Anderson in the semis.

50-year-old van Barneveld, who started out at the weekend as a 33/1 outsider, showed the form of his younger years when he too was world number one, beating Dave Chisnall, Peter Wright and Mensur Suljovic, who had eliminated Rob Cross in the quarters along the way.

In the final, Barney raced into an early 4-1 lead thanks to checkouts of 72, 76 plus a 13-darter. The gap remained the same after seven legs (5-2) before van Gerwen galvanised a response from himself and hit back to level by landing two 177 scores in an 11-darter and break-of-throw before scoring a 137 finish for a 12-dart leg.

However, RVB wasn’t giving up his well-earned lead without a fight, taking down another thee legs to maintain an 8-5 advantage, only for van Gerwen to strike a 124-bull finish. This was followed by a 12-darter allowing him to finally move ahead for the first time in the contest, from where he closed out the match courtesy of an 81 finish making for a title winning 12-darter.

In the end, van Gerwen posted a final average of 105.85 and a checkout percentage of 47.83%, compared to Barney’s 100.55 and 47.37%.

Darts Premier League betting tips

Defending champ Mighty Mike, bidding to win his fourth Premier League Darts title, now heads into the opening night of the new Premier League season in Dublin on Thursday as the Betway favourite at 4/5. No surprises there. Elsewhere, things have a fresh feel this year as the League welcomes a few debutants. World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney, Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic and 2017 UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price all come in for their first Premier League, as does World Champ Rob Cross.

Former champions Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld are joined by last year’s runner-up Peter Wright, while Simon Whitlock and Michael Smith both make a return. Making way are James Wade, Adrian Lewis, Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts.

World champion Rob Cross is second in the outright betting at 7/2 at Betway, while Gary Anderson can be picked up at 6/1. Backers of Peter Wright can do so for 9/1 before the long-range picks can be found, starting with Raymond van Barneveld at 33/1. He is followed by Daryl Gurney at 40/1, Mensur Suljovic at 50/1, Michael Smith at 80/1, Gerwyn Price at 125/1 and Simon Whitlock at 200/1.

The first matches

The night’s opener pits Mensur Suljovic against Simon Whitlock, for which we fancy the Austrian over the Australian, who could suffer against Suljiovic’s slow throws. Gary Anderson is next out against Michael Smith, and I can only see one winner – The Flying Scotsman. That is, of course, so long as his increasingly problematic back holds out.

Matchday one, game three sees the return of Barney fresh from his final appearance in last week’s Masters. His rival here will be Daryl ‘Superchin’ Gurney and the Northern Irishman should be able to get Dublin’s support behind him to make it an uncomfortable night for Barney, who should expect to win regardless.

MVG goes in the night’s fourth match of five, an intriguing re-match with newly crowned World Champion Rob Cross. The Englishman has something of an upper hand over the Dutch number one, something that van Gerwen must recognise as he has let his composure slip against his younger rival in the past. Cross’ inexperience at this weekly format might mean he takes a while to settle into the swing of things. If MVG plays to his usual ability, it should be enough to see him bank his first points on the board.

Up last is Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price. A lot is expected of Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright as he looks to avoid becoming one the game’s great “nearly” men. The Premier League suits him though and he should be backed to make the cut after judgment night. Snakebite has a great record against Price, and I’m going to back him in the last of the night’s action.

  • (10/11) Mensur Suljovic v Simon Whitlock (11/5)
  • (8/15) Gary Anderson v Michael Smith (7/2)
  • (13/8) Daryl Gurney v Raymond van Barneveld (5/4)
  • (4/6) Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross (3/1)
  • (8/13) Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price (3/1)

TV Channel: Sky Sports Action HD (1900 GMT)

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New Darts Season Gets Underway Starting With The Darts Masters 2018

New Darts Season Gets Underway Starting With The Darts Masters 2018


A whole new year of super darts action begins again this weekend as the Darts Masters get underway. Bringing together the world’s top 16 players, these select few will compete in the season-opening tournament being held from January 26 through 28 at the Arena MK in Milton Keynes with events due to be broadcast live on ITV4.

World number one Michael Van Gerwen has claimed the title for the past three years and with Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor now having left the oche, all eyes will inevitably turn to newly crowned World Champion Rob Cross to provide the biggest challenge to the Dutch master.

Cross begins his first tournament as World Champion in Friday’s opening night session against Ian White, while MVG will open his bid for a fourth successive title against Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts.

Last year’s runner up, Gary Anderson — who has recently sunk number four seed — will play Dutchman Benito van de Pas, while world number two Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright opens up against Alan Norris. World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney will also be making his Masters debut, facing off against Gerwyn Price. Intriguingly, Simon Whitlock will match up against James Wade, tournament winner here in 2014.

Elsewhere, Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic meets Michael Smith while Dave ‘Chizzy’ Chisnall with go head to head against 2015 finalist and now the tour’s senior most player, Raymond van Barneveld.

The tournament will conclude on Sunday, January 28, with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session and the semi-finals and final in the evening session at Arena MK.

Darts Masters Betting Tips

In a tourney with no low-ranked players in an event played early in the calendar year, this is never an easy one to call. That said, Mighty Mike has won the previous three, so it has been a while since the event threw up a surprise.

At an 8/11 outright price on Betway MVG doesn’t represent any value. In addition, just how well Rob Cross deals with his new status and its added pressure will be interesting to see. While we do expect Cross to have a very, very strong year, his first tourney since his World Championship will give us a clearer indication of his current mindset. Betway have him down as a 4/1 shot, which is hard not to be tempted by.

On the downside, he does have the tougher side of the draw but given the recent form shown by the next two favorites — Gary Anderson (7/1) and Peter Wright (8/1) — Cross remains a decent bet. Daryl Gurney follows next at the Betway sportsbook, but at 33/1 Gurney along with Raymond van Barneveld lead the distant chasers. Before discounting this group, remember that Rob Cross was himself, only one month ago, xx/1 to win the World Championships. Could he inspire others?

PDC Awards

On Monday night at London’s Dorchester Hotel, the PDC staged their annual awards ceremony. Although providing little in the way of surprises, we’ll quickly run through the winners here. Michael van Gerwen was named as the PDC Player of the Year, while Rob Cross was named Best Newcomer. This was one of four wins for Cross on the night, who also scooped the PDPA Players’ Player of the Year, the PDC Fans’ Player of the Year and the Televised Performance of the Year, awarded for his brilliant World Championship semi-final defeat of reigning champion Mighty Mike van Gerwen over 11 thrilling sets including a sudden-death finish.

Peter Wright’s was named as the PDC ProTour Player of the year and finally, 23-year-old Dimitri Van den Bergh was named as the PDC Young Player of the Year.

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Darts Betting Tips: Michael Van Gerwen To Win Third Darts Masters?

Normal business resumes this Friday as the fifth PDC Darts Masters event takes place at Arena MK in Milton Keynes. Running for three days, the tournament draws in all the usual big names to usher in a new season.

The two-time defending champion here, (yes, who else but Michael van Gerwen?) will begin as the obvious favourite, looking to lift the trophy for the third straight year. The world number one signed off 2016 with 25 tournament victories before finishing the season in due style by winning the 2017 World Championship. After a three-week break, he is ready to roll again.

Darts Masters Betting Tips
At 8/13 at Bet365, MVG is without doubt the hot favourite to land this (and every other major televised darts title in the foreseeable future). In his way stands the usual roll call of those hoping to scupper his bid for glory: the likes of Gary Anderson, Phil Taylor and Peter Wright.

Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is expected to take ‘the Barney route’ and enjoy a reduced schedule this year. The Power is waning and (as welcome as any success he enjoys would be) his declining force has rewarded us with the longest price I have seen on an outright Taylor win for as long as I can remember: 14/1 with both Betway and Bet365, so take your pick.

As proven earlier in the month at the Ally Pally, the closest threat to Mighty Mike will continue to come from Gary ‘The Flying Scotsman’ Anderson, two-time world champion and current world number two.

In the week of Burns’ Night, what price for a Scottish victory? That’ll be 5/1 according to both Betway and SkyBet, the latter offering an interesting 2/1 on an Anderson v MVG final. A look through the schedule below and this appears to be entirely likely, given the potential semi-final meet up between Anderson and Peter Wright.

Of course, the other challenger also counts as a Scot, despite a lacklustre 2016. As we enter the official 2017 schedule, nothing has changed for Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright. A major final or even title will surely happen for the guy this year, but will it come this early on or will he make us wait? I’m guessing the latter. Nevertheless, he is at 10/1 across the board and double figures on the world number three always looks inviting.

Adrian Lewis at 28/1, Raymond Van Barneveld at 28/1, Dave Chisnall at 33/1 and James Wade at 33/1 are the other standout names in the 16-player event, but I’ll go ahead and mark them down as “also rans” before a dart has been chucked.

The Masters has a top prize of £60,000 and will be broadcast live on ITV4.

The Masters Schedule

First round (best of 19)

Friday January 27 (19:00 GMT)

  • Dave Chisnall v Raymond van Barneveld
  • Phil Taylor v Michael Smith
  • Gary Anderson v Benito van de Pas
  • Peter Wright v Ian White

Saturday January 28 (19:00 GMT)

  • Mensur Suljovic v Jelle Klaasen
  • James Wade v Robert Thornton
  • Michael van Gerwen v Simon Whitlock
  • Adrian Lewis v Kim Huybrechts

Quarter-finals (best of 19)

Sunday January 29, Afternoon Session (12:45 GMT)

  • Taylor/Smith v Wright/White
  • Anderson/Van de Pas v Chisnall/Van Barneveld
  • Wade/Thornton v Lewis/Huybrechts
  • Van Gerwen/Whitlock v Suljovic/Klaasen

Semi-finals (best of 21)

Sunday January 29, Evening Session (19:00 GMT)

  • Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2
  • Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4

Final (best of 21)

  • Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2
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