THE FAMOUS double-start tournament at Dublin's Citywest Hotel from October 2-8 will see 32 of the finest toe the oche in attempting to take the top prize in the £400,000.
Very rarely will layers take too much notice of a visibly burnt out player let alone MVG, who lost both of his games to Taylor at last weekend’s Champions League of Darts, but will know he should have at least 4 days off the oche minus any media appearances before toeing the oche next Monday versus the recent Matchplay semi-finalist Steve Beaton.
Robert Thornton, who beat MVG in last year’s tourney defends his crown and has the task of seeing off Stephen Bunting as Thornton heads off at 100/1 with Coral in retaining his crown. Robert’s form since winning the title twelve months ago had gone downhill post grand prix, but appeared in somewhat refreshing confidence in last weekend’s Champions League of Darts.The schedule of play has been announced, but before we get to see the format will be thus:
- First Round – Best of three sets
- Second Round – Best of five sets
- Quarter-Finals – Best of five sets
- Semi-Finals – Best of seven sets
- Final – Best of nine sets
With MVG’s apparent fatigue going into the Champions League of Darts it seemed as though Michael’s participation in a triple header win at the midweek pro tour events had taken its toll. MVG was misfiring when he played Taylor, failing to maintain throw in the opening encounter, and again in the final.
Taylor is no stranger to this event and has won multiple times (11) over the years and will be confidently backed into this event.
The top eight players fancied by the bookmakers for the event are thus:
- MVG – 6/5 Bwin
- Taylor – 11/2 Paddy Power
- G Anderson – 6/1 Betfred
- A Lewis – 22/1 888sport
- Wade – 22/1 Betfred
- Wright – 28/1 Coral
- Chisnall – 33/1 Coral
- Barneveld – 45/1 10bet
Outside the top three above you are achieving in excess of 22/1 so there is plenty of value out there. When you consider the top two favourites are in the same half of the draw and Anderson in the other half, the potential value will be on the quarter where Anderson could seed himself with in the semi-final.
The standout seed is James Wade, a former two-time champion (three time finalist), and could face Adrian Lewis again in the quarter finals. Wade has the credentials at the moment with his performances over the Champions League. His double finishes will diminish any power scoring advantage held by players weaker on doubles and James could go some distance.
Wade and Anderson notably played two years ago, where the machine came from 3-1 down in the semi-final to win 4-3 against Anderson in a stunning display after defeating Phil Taylor in the quarter final. Wade’s comments on the match were “”Gary blew me completely out of the water in the first two sets,” admitted Wade. “At 2-0 down I was preparing myself for a losers' speech, and I thought I was beaten. Wade continued: “I held on for dear life and to win the third set was massive for me because when Gary's playing well, only Adrian Lewis can live with him, but I'm quite fortunate that he eased up and allowed me back into the game. Wade concluded: “I'm pretty good with pressure and I made the most of my opportunities.”
Players to keep tabs on are Mensur Suljovic, who has had another good 2016 campaign and made the semi-finals in 2015 disposing of Wade, Whitlock and Van der Voort before being edged out by eventual winner Robert Thornton.
In regards to round one betting early pricing suggests Ian White is priced correctly versus Kim Huybrechts as well Alan Norris potentially a little short in beating Smith, although will be taken by some to beat Michael Smith. Caven could potentially take a set versus Gary Anderson and Jelle Klaasen on fire could upset Jackpot Adrian Lewis. Could you discount Terry Jenkins at 12/5 against Wade at 1/3?
Looking at some of the ante post outrights what would you rather go with if you had to choose?
A 170 checkout at 1/5 or NO nine dart finish at 1/6 in the event you had to choose might be tough, as there has been three perfect finishes since 2011, with it only happening at two events in total. Namely 2014 both Robert Thornton and James Wade made double in history being the first to both his perfect legs in this format.
170 finishes were achieved in 2015 with Mensur Suljovic, Kim Huybrechts in 2014. NO 170 in 2013 and two finishes in 2012 and 2011! The reason the nine dart finish is as short is due to the double in format, and to finish must hit the bullseye. Similarly with the 170, although as proved the 170 has been achieved in all but one of the last five events.
I like the look of Mensur Suljovic for this event, and will be in a tough scenario possibly facing Taylor in round two after his performances recently. I will stick with Gary Anderson for this, as his side of the draw is less clogged than the top half in terms of probable and winnable matches and at 6/1 will give us a run for our money! The longer the format, will suit Gary and it is a tourney he is yet to win and believe he will be well backed as long as James Wade at 22/1.
- Gary Anderson to win the World Grand Prix – 6/1 BetVictor 1pt