PDC World Darts Championship Review
Michael van Gerwen proved that he truly is the number 1 darts player in the world with an emphatic 7-3 victory over Michael Smith to win the PDC World Darts Championship for a third time, becoming only the second player to achieve this feat. The Alexandra Palace crowd were behind the underdog Englishman Smith for the majority of the final but misses at crucial times from “Bully Boy” meant that the partisan crowd at Alexandra Palace were largely silenced.
The missed doubles from Smith was the story of the final as he couldn’t really get going enough to properly challenge the darts betting favourite MVG, who in all honesty was not playing anywhere near his best. Van Gerwen ended the final with a three-dart average of 102.21 as well as hitting 13 maximums. This victory means that “Mighty Mike” has won three of the last six World Darts Championship events.
With this victory, the great Dutchman pocketed a cool £500,000 alongside the glory of lifting the prestigious Sid Waddell trophy. Smith, as the losing finalist, went home far from empty handed as he claimed £200,000 for getting all the way to the last two.
Route to the Final
The Englishman had reached the final after coming through the wide open bottom half of the draw. After seeing off Ron Meulenkamp, John Henderson, Ryan Searle and Luke Humphries, Smith beat surprise package Nathan Aspinall at the semi-final stage to book his place in the final.
In fairness, Michael van Gerwen had a much tougher route to the final having beaten Alan Tabern and Max Hopp comfortably he then had to face two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis, who he blew away with a spectacular performance. Ryan Joyce then fell in the quarter-final before the clash of the titans pitted MVG against his old nemesis Gary Anderson. That was a surprisingly one-sided contest though, with the Green Machine proving far too good.
Tournament of Shocks
With an increase of players from 72 to 96, the world of darts was turned upside down by a number of shocks with top seeds crashing out of the tournament early. Raymond van Barneveld, starting off his farewell year, really struggled and fell against little known Lithuanian Darius Labanauskas in round two. Simon Whitlock was performing at a decent level but he was destroyed 3-0 by Ryan Joyce, also exiting in round two from the 1st quarter of the draw.
In the second quarter, Daryl Gurney was tipped to go far by many pundits but he could only reach round three before Jamie Lewis edged him out in a 4-3 thriller. Gary Anderson had successive Match of the Tournament candidates with Jermaine Wattimena and Chris Dobey before breezing past Dave Chisnall, who had looked impressive up until that point.
In the 3rd quarter, defending World Darts Champion Rob Cross came through tricky matches against Jeffrey de Zwaan and Cristo Reyes only to fall in a huge shock against Luke Humphries. Impressive Belgian youngster Dimitri van den Bergh also lost to Humphries, in what was an incredible tournament for the English outsider. Mensur Suljovic will be massively disappointed after falling at the first hurdle against Ryan Searle in what was a really poor performance.
The surprises did not stop there, as the 4th quarter saw some of the biggest shocks this tournament has ever seen. 6th seed and Grand Slam of Darts champion Gerwyn Price lost at the first opportunity against Nathan Aspinall, who would eventually go on to reach the semi-final. 3rd seed Peter Wright was the biggest early casualty in the early stages of the competition as he could not get going against Spaniard Toni Alcinas.
Darts Betting at Bet UK
In our World Darts Championship Betting Tips and Odds article, Bet UK’s resident darts expert correctly predicted Michael van Gerwen to win the tournament in a return to form as the odds represented good value. You can follow our darts betting tips for all of the major darts tournaments throughout the year, including the Premier League Darts, Darts Masters and World Grand Prix Darts. *All odds from Bet UK’s online betting feature were correct at the time of writing.
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