Van Gerwen set for success in Dubai
Barry Hearn’s quest for world domination continues as the traditional English pub game of darts breaks into an entirely new market as it enters the Middle East for the Dubai Duty Free Masters.
The top eight players in the world have been invited over to the Dubai Tennis Centre in an innovative outdoor event that has ,000 available for the winner. The bookmakers are expecting that winner to be the newly crowned Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen, although with a field of Phil Taylor, James Wade, Adrian Lewis, Simon Whitlock, Raymond van Barneveld, Wes Newton and Andy Hamilton, there is nothing guaranteed for Mighty Mike.
The eight men go straight in to a quarter-final round in which it is a set of best of 19 contests which are then followed by a final four and a final which are best of 21 legs. The line-up for the last eight is as follows: James Wade taking on Simon Whitlock, Adrian Lewis meeting Raymond van Barneveld, Michael van Gerwen playing Wes Newton and Phil Taylor facing Andy Hamilton.
Four men are odds-on favourites for their quarter-finals, those being Wade, Barney, MVG and Taylor and other than perhaps Wade it would be a fairly big surprise if those four were not making up the semi-finals.
The seeding would see the final four being a tantalising prospect of Wade taking on Barney and sensationally a repeat of the World Championship and Premier League finals as Taylor will be set to meet MVG.
With the young Dutchman having won that showpiece at the Premier League it is no surprise that he is the favourite for this one, especially given his form on the tour events this season as well. He is a best price of 7/4 with Boyle Sports to become the first ever Dubai Duty Free Masters champion and given his results over recent months that looks like a very tempting price indeed.
Taylor is next in at 3/1 with Bwin and really anyone else would really be a huge shock given how far ahead of the field the top two in the world seem to be ahead of the field.
Of course only one of them can reach the final though so the market on finalists looks like it could be a profitable one. The favourites for this are MVG and Barney and at 4/1 with Sky Bet this could be an excellent option for the pre-tournament betting.
The quarter-finals are set to be played on Thursday evening (5pm BST) and the semis and the finals at the same time the following day. This might be the start of a new fruitful relationship with darts and Asia or it could be a spectacular failure, either way it will be well worth watching.