Michael Van Gerwen Makes It Three In A Row


Michael Van Gerwen chalked up a hat-trick of European Championship victories with a thumping 11-1 win against Austria’s Mensur Suljovic at the Ethias Arena in Hasselt, Belgium on Sunday.

Taking just over 30 minutes to do the job, Van Gerwen’s 111.62 average was the highest in a televised final and a record in a European Championship decider.

Suljovic put on an impressive performance in his first televised final. Despite having seen off Peter Wright in the semi-finals as well as Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in the quarter-finals, he was no match for a dominant MVG who took the £100,000 first prize as well as the ranking points he does not need.

Suljovic, on the other hand, moves up to seventh in the PDC Order of Merit after winning £40,000 in prize money, his best-ever scoop.

Van Gerwen vs Suljovic: as it happened

Mighty Mike opened with 174, taking the opening two legs before Suljovic claimed a solitary leg back, leaving the Dutchman to pull clear. He began to run away with the match after breaking Suljovic twice with 12-dart finishes, including two 180s in one leg, before striking a 157 checkout to lead 7-1.

He remained unchallenged, landing a further three 180s and missing just four darts at the double on the way to his record-breaking win. His victory here, his 22nd of the year, follows hot on the back of successes in the UK Open, World Matchplay and World Grand Prix.

Ladbrokes World Series Finals Schedule

This weekend will once more see Michael Van Gerwen defending a title, something he and we have become familiar with, as the World Series of Darts Finals take place at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow. Last time out, MVG defeated Peter Wright 11-10 in the inaugural staging of the tournament.

Now in its second year, the £155,000 event marks the conclusion of the world tour which has visited Dubai, Auckland, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Perth. It begins just after midday on Saturday.

MVG, like the other top seeds, won’t begin playing until round two and will face the winner of the Gerwyn Price vs Steve Beaton tie.

Likewise, World Champion Gary Anderson will open against either Joe Cullen or Joe Murnan, while, interestingly, Phil Taylor could face off against his recent vanquisher Mensur Suljovic, should he bypass Robert Thornton.

Adrian ‘Jackpot’ Lewis returns to action having missed out on last weekend’s European Championship and will meet Germany’s Max Hopp or Spain’s Cristo Reyes, while last year’s beaten finalist Peter Wright will meet either Josh Payne or Daryl Gurney.

The last three seeds given a bye into the second round are Dave Chisnall, who faces a tough draw against Dutchman Jelle Klaasen or Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts, Raymond van Barneveld who is most likely to meet Simon Whitlock if he makes his way past Brendan Dolan and James Wade who will step up against one of Benito van de Pas or Michael Smith.

World Series of Darts Betting Tips

We’re long past the point where the bookies need to run a favourite-free book eliminating MVG from the betting, such is his dominance.

I can’t find one, however, so let’s just say that Michael Van Gerwen is odds on everywhere.  Him aside, we’ll look to the two Stoke players with a point to prove to, at the very least, make the final.

With Phil Taylor having been dumped out at the quarter-final stage last week by Mensur Suljovic (40/1 at SkyBet this week), The Power will be a man on a mission this weekend in Glasgow and is a decent 7/1 at SkyBet to do so.

Similarly, Adrian Lewis didn’t qualify for last weekend’s event so also returns with a point to prove and is a best price of 18/1 at Bet365. The only other potential winners will be either Gary Anderson and Peter Wright who, as a Scotsman, will have home advantage and the backing of a hostile crowd to boot.

The best you can get on Anderson is 7/1 at both Bet365 and SkyBet, while Wright can be backed at whopping 25/1, which may be worth considering given the bookmaker involved, SkyBet, are paying half the odds for a runner-up position.

If you are split on the two, then Betway are taking bets on the nationality of the winner with 9/2 on offer should a Scotsman emerge victorious in Glasgow.

The tournament will be broadcast live on ITV4.

2016 Ladbrokes World Series of Darts Finals (Glasgow’s Braehead Arena)

Saturday November 5

First Round, Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm) Best of 11 legs

  • Max Hopp v Cristo Reyes
  • Benito van de Pas v Michael Smith
  • Jelle Klaasen v Kim Huybrechts
  • Brendan Dolan v Simon Whitlock
  • Mensur Suljovic v Robert Thornton
  • Joe Murnan v Joe Cullen
  • Gerwyn Price v Steve Beaton
  • Daryl Gurney v Josh Payne

Second Round, Evening Session (7pm-11pm) Best of 11 legs

  • Adrian Lewis (5) v Hopp/Reyes
  • James Wade (6) v van de Pas/Smith
  • Dave Chisnall (4) v Klaasen/Huybrechts
  • Raymond van Barneveld (8) v Dolan/Whitlock
  • Phil Taylor (3) v Suljovic/Thornton
  • Gary Anderson (2) v Murnan/Cullen
  • Michael van Gerwen (1) v Price/Beaton
  • Peter Wright (7) v Gurney/Payne

Sunday November 6

  • Quarter-Finals: Best of 19 legs
  • Semi-Finals: Best of 21 legs
  • Final: Best of 21 legs
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Tokyo Darts Masters Kicks Off

Peter Wright at the Tokyo Darts Masters
After a week away, it’s nice to be back amongst some top-level darts once again.  Returning to the World Series, we have moved on to the fourth leg in Tokyo, Japan.

The Japanese leg of the Masters, a returning fixture on the series, will this time play out at the Yoyogi Olympic Hall in Tokyo, which replaces last year’s host city of Yokohama. The event concludes on Thursday, with round one matches having been contested over the best of 11 legs; quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final will all be best of 15.

As well as looking to find some form before the World Matchplay later this month, the players will once again battle it out for World Series ranking points which count towards November’s finals in Glasgow. At the same time, event sponsors Zipang Casino have put forward a £50K bonus for a nine-dart finish and have also pledged £1,000,000 for two 9-darters in the same match by the same player.

The Usual Suspects Win Round One

As with previous events in the series, competitors have been drafted in from the top ranked eight players, plus eight local qualifiers.  Last year saw Phil “The Power” Taylor beat Peter Wright in the final to take home the trophy and this year’s draw saw Taylor paired with PDC Tour Card holder Haruki Muramatsu to begin the defence of his title.

Despite being Japan’s most experienced player, Muramatsu didn’t provide his rival with any real competition and the Englishman, with an average of 97.35, duly won out 6-2. The first round also saw Dave Chisnall face off against Shintaro Inoue and, averaging 96.64, he emerged as the 6-1 winner.

Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld overcame Keita Ono by the same score, while an impressive Peter Wright took on Chikara Fujimori and hit 100% of his double attempts on the road to a whitewash victory. Adrian Lewis and James Wade both won 6-1 against event debutants Tsuneki Zaha and Masahiro Hiraga respectively.

Following on from victory at the Shanghai Masters, Michael van Gerwen met Masumi Chino and the Dutchman made surprisingly hard work of things; he was broken twice but still managed to win by six sets to three. Scotsman Gary Anderson, winner in both Dubai and Auckland, took on Seigo Asada, who took part in both the Lakeside Championship and BDO World Trophy earlier this year, and also beat his Japanese competitor 6-1.

Looking Ahead To The Quarter-Finals

This all leaves the next round of matches looking very tight indeed. Gary Anderson and Raymond van Barneveld go heads up in the Thursday opener before Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright step up to the oche. Next up is event favourite Michael van Gerwen, who must see off Dave Chisnall, after which James Wade will take on Phil Taylor.

Anderson went into the event leading the World Series Rankings four points ahead of Van Gerwen before suffering defeat to James Wade in the Shanghai quarter-final. From a darts betting perspective, we are always looking for the best value and with eight players remaining it becomes easier to look at the draw.

Finding The Best Value For The Tokyo Darts Masters

For an outright win, there is even money to be made on the bookmakers’ clear favourite Michael Van Gerwen but after that, prices (even on the big names) begin to drift. To that end, why not take a look at Skybet’s offer of 5/1 on Taylor, who took the crown in Japan last time around. James Wade stands in Taylor’s way at the quarter-final stage and can be backed for 5/2 for that match at Bet365 against the much shorter-priced Taylor at 3/10.

That said, Van Gerwen’s compatriot Raymond Van Barneveld is an outright winner best price of 20/1, also at Skybet. This looks a peach of price given the form he is capable of, especially when each way pays 1/3 of the odds for a top two finish.

The very same bookmakers are also offering the same price on both Dave Chisnall and James Wade, which is well worth some thought. Peter Wright, who is hoping to end a run of three consecutive quarter-final defeats, is a best price of evens at bet365 to buck the trend at the fourth attempt and overcome Adrian Lewis.

In the UK, coverage of the event will be shown on ITV4 at 8pm BST on Thursday July 7.

As we stand, the current World Series of Darts Rankings are as follows:

  1. Gary Anderson (27pts)
  2. Michael van Gerwen (23pts)
  3. James Wade (16pts)
  4. Adrian Lewis (14pts)
  5. Phil Taylor (13pts)
  6. Dave Chisnall (13pts)
  7. Raymond van Barneveld (11pts)
  8. Peter Wright (9pts)
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