Darts World Grand Prix Traders View
The autumnal darts season gets underway next week, with the third Darting Major of the year, the World Grand Prix, live from Dublin. This unique double in -double out tournament really separates the men from the boys, and the question is, can Michael van Gerwen give Phil Taylor something to think about after his crushing defeat at the World Matchplay?
Phil Taylor's record at the World Grand Prix suggests he will be there or thereabouts come the business end of the tournament, and he is 9/4 top price to complete the job. He comes into it fresh after not playing in the last two European Tour events so will be hungry to add to his major titles. He is 4/6 top price in the industry to win his quarter.
Michael van Gerwen's form since the World Matchplay has been reasonable given his exceptionally high standards. He got to the final of the last European Tour event, which he lost to Michael Smith, however he won a tournament floor event. This tournament is a different kettle of fish, with all eyes on the Green Machine and people expecting a reaction. He is 3/1 to win the tournament. Both Taylor and MVG against the field is 10/11, with a MVG - Taylor final a top price 4/1 shot.
This is arguably the best field ever in the history of darts, and there are several other players with major ambitions of their own. Gary Anderson's form has been exceptional this year, he is 10/1. The renaissance of James Wade continues, he is an 18/1 shot. If you are looking further afield however, Michael Smith at 28/1 is the form player on the circuit, having reached two European Tour finals last month, and the youngster from St Helens seems to have come of age with his recent displays.
What of the Irish chances at the country's premier darts event? Brendan Dolan flies the flag, he loves the venue and doesn't really feel the pressure of playing in front of his home crowd, as evidenced by his unique 9 Darter in Double In - Double Out format. Another tournament 9 Dart Finish is 5/1 for every player in the tournament. He has a tough opening draw, playing Gary Anderson on the opening night where he is 7/4 to win, but he is fully capable of winning and putting a run together and going deep. He is 50/1 to deliver the tournament in front of his home crowd.
As for Round 1, Lewis, Taylor, Wade and Anderson will all play on opening night in Dublin. This means MVG, Barney, Whitlock and Wright top the bill on Tuesday night. This tournament has the capability to throw up some almighty shocks, with the format as it is, the top seeds should be under enormous pressure as favourites to deliver and for some it may be too much to handle. However, inevitably, the eternal darting question remains, can anyone stop The Power?