Who Will Win The 2013 Grand Slam Of Darts?
Will Phil Taylor claim another Grand Slam Of Darts crown in 2013? Today on the blog Tim Poole takes a look over this year's tournament commencing this weekend.
Has there ever been a sportsman more dominant than Phil Taylor? As James Wade and Adrian Lewis would attest, not many would come close. The duo were unceremoniously swept away by 53-year-old Taylor at the PDC Masters last weekend, both losing by a scoreline of 10-1 in the semi-final then final of the tournament.
But with the upcoming Grand Slam Of Darts presenting a longer, more gruelling format, the likes of Wade, Lewis, Michael van Gerwen and defending champion Raymond van Barneveld may hold more hope of success in Wolverhampton. It is still, however, a case of whether anyone can cut the Power.
Will Phil Taylor Win Again?
If you are looking for value, backing Taylor will not make you millions. Since the Grand Slam first appeared on the darting calendar, the veteran has won the tournament four times out of a possible six. This season, meanwhile, Taylor has triumphed in six out of eight competitions. Add to that the unforgettable statistic that the 53-year-old is a 16-time World Champion and you get a sense for what goes through the mind of his opponents.
The longest price you can get for the Power to clinch his fifth Slam in seven are odds of 2.38 and, reviewing his form at the Masters, you can see why. In his semi-final against Wade, Taylor averaged 106.35 and hit 40% of his doubles. And in the final against Lewis, he played even better, averaging 108.50 and checking out 56% of the time. The upcoming Grand Slam really is his to lose.
The Young Pretender
If there is one man who can rival Taylor for talent on the oche, it is Van Gerwen. Memorably, Mighty Mike came so close to dethroning the Power at the World Championship in January and has been a thorn in Taylor’s side ever since, beating him in the Premier League final and forcing him to work for his Champions League title.
Van Gerwen also knocked Taylor out in last year’s Grand Slam, going on to reach the final, only to lose to fellow Dutchman Van Barneveld 16-14. Widely tipped as a future World Champion, the 24-year-old is at odds of 4.33 to reach another Grand Slam final and ranges from 3.25 to 5.50 to go one step further this time around.
Could Barney Defend His Title?
You have to go all the way down to number 10 in the PDC Order of Merit to find a certain Van Barneveled in 2013. After publicly admitting he is struggling with diabetes, the 46-year-old has found life tough, failing to advance beyond a second round since the UK Open in June.
Barney did, however, reach the semi-finals of last weekend’s Masters, narrowly losing out to Lewis in the deciding leg. And the Grand Slam, meanwhile, will provide the Dutchman with nothing but good memories. In fact, last year’s edition of the tournament did more for Van Barneveld’s career than any other, saving him from the doldrums and restoring his confidence in his own game. Had the Dutchman not gone on to claim the title, speculation suggests retirement may have been a plausible outcome.
Barney can be found at odds of 13.00 to win this year’s Slam, while he is 6.5 to reach the final and 2.38 to win the third quarter of the draw.
Can Lewis Hit The Jackpot?
Ahead of Barney with the bookies is 2011 and 2012 World Champion Lewis. The man from Stoke, who ranges between 9.00 and 11.90 to win next week’s Grand Slam, has reached three finals this year and was a semi-finalist in Wolverhampton back in 2012.
His prowess is eye-catching. Since the PDC was formed, only three men have won the World Championship twice – Taylor, John Part and Lewis. And aside from Taylor, the Jackpot is the only man to win back-to-back titles.
The 28-year-old is also, arguably, in some form. During his semi-final in the Masters on Sunday, he hit 42% of his doubles, while also scoring with an average of 100 during that clash and the final. For Lewis, of course, those statistics may seem mediocre. But considering the fact that he performed to that level while suffering from the flu, one wonders what he will do when he returns to good health.
Bullseye For The BDO?
In the bookmakers’ top 20 list of potential Grand Slam winners, only three ply their trade in the BDO. That says little for the chances of the once dominant organisation in darts – and their odds say even less.
Christian Kist ranges between 67.00 and 152.00, while seasoned pro Tony O’Shea can be backed at prices between 67.00 and 133.00. But even 2010 champion Scott Waites is as high as 41.00 with most bookies.
If anyone from the BDO is to take the title, of course, it is most likely to be Waites, who remains the only non-PDC representative to triumph at the Grand Slam – famously coming back from 8-0 down to beat Wade in the final. His BDO World Championship title in 2013, moreover, will give him the belief that he has can still match the biggest names, while bookmakers are confident he will at least make it out of the group stage. Waites can be backed at 3.25 to win Group H, while he is 10.00 to reach the final.
If none of the above have you convinced, you can always take a punt on some of the more charismatic characters on the PDC. Wade can generally be found at 26.00 and, with five semi-finals under his belt already this season, is sure to cause a stir on the oche.
Australian Simon Whitlock, meanwhile, appears to have been patiently biding his time before waiting for a major breakthrough. The bookies are giving odds of 17.00 for that breakthrough to come next week.
At a similar price to Whitlock is World Grand Prix runner-up Dave Chisnall, who is seventh in this year’s Oder of Merit, while Paul Nicholson can be backed at 101.00 for a real long shot.
William Hill Grand Slam Of Darts Odds - Odds as at 7th November.
|Group||Win Grand Slam||Win Group|
|Michael van Gerwen||D||4.50||1.67|
|Vincent van der Voort||D||126.00||11.00|
|Raymond van Barneveld||E||11.00||1.57|
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