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Double in, sets, played in Ireland! What

The Unibet World Grand Prix

Posted: 30.09.16 in Tournament Analysis Blog category

Double in, sets, played in Ireland! What's there not to love?

Off we go again! Hot on the heels of the PDC’s brief flirtation with the Beeb last weekend we have another tournament that starts on Sunday. But this is not one shoe horned into the schedule to make the top 8 players richer. Oh no, this is a proper one, a competition that demonstrates there is some diversity at the PDC. The Unibet World Grand Prix

Last week’s Champions League winner has been dubbed Phil “The Poorer” Taylor by the tabloids after details of his divorce settlement were printed today. Phil is doing his bit to have some darts gossip in the red tops although his efforts pale in to insignificance when you consider the sustained assault this week on column inches put in by the ex England football manager. Big Sam was ably assisted by numerous others involved with the beautiful game.

Anyway, back to our beautiful game and jumping ahead of ourselves a bit, we will need to take into consideration when looking at the potential winner of this tournament next Sunday, whether the proceedings involving Phil and the former Mrs T will have any bearing, negatively or positively, on his state of mind.

But first of all let’s tell you again that this is one of our favourite tournaments in the whole of the PDC calendar. The format is sets, and it has the double in double out aspect that always produces shocks and drama by the bucket load. We usually see a white wash, darting car crash TV but unmissable and there are plenty of faces we don’t often get to see.

This year for example ex BDO star and World Trophy Champion James Wilson makes a welcome return to the big stage. Another ex BDO player who has also struggled since his defection has qualified, Kong, aka Robbie Green. The first game on Sunday sums the tournament up – Kyle Anderson v Cristo Reyes. That will be a cracker to get things started.

 James Wilson lifting the BDO World Trophy

We have been over the tactics and the strategy that should be employed in getting off to a fast start since we first blogged about this event in 2012! Click on the years to see what we have recommended. 2012   2013    2014    2015.

The WGP was also where we had our “man on the ground” for a couple of years. Our friend and DPC blogger Aidan Farrelly sent us some fantastic interviews over the period he covered the event. He is not there this year but will be rooting for his favourite, The Machine, James Wade! If you haven’t ever caught up with Aidan’s work in Dublin, take a look here and here.

The Winner

The odds don’t really reflect the bookies having any concerns about whether MVG has either dropped a notch or two or that Taylor has pushed forward a notch or two after last weekend’s victory for The Power in Cardiff. MVG is a best price 5/4 and Taylor can be backed at just over 5/1. Pretty much how they set off in Cardiff.

Anderson must be considered. He is a pretty laid back character but he can’t enjoy seeing Taylor getting the better of him again last week and will be wary of a Power surge on the rails to nab his number 2 ranking in the order of merit.

Next on the list are Lewis and Wade, they can be backed at 22/1. Lewis in particular is un-backable in his current playing state. Maybe a match against Gerwyn Price will fire him back in to action? Barney is back with something to prove at 40/1. Mensur at 50/1 will have some money on him. How he hits one double in a leg is miraculous let alone two so my plastic fiver will be staying in my wallet! Last year’s Champion, The Thorn can be backed at 80/1.

If you fancy backing a couple of outsiders then that man Price and Kyle Anderson may be worth considering. An “iceman” has form in this competition for a start. The original Ice man – Alan Warriner-Little won it in 2001. The latter day Ice Man is in the 4th quarter of the draw. He has to get past Lewis , Wade and Barney but at the moment that is potentially not the minefield it once was. He is 16/1 to top that group and if you’re really ambitious 50/1 to reach the final. He does have a tricky opener against Benito Van de Pas so be prepared for a rollercoaster if you pop your pound on Price.

Kyle Anderson is a systematically under rated player. We met Kyle at a tournament we were working at in Nottingham University.

Kyle and Chris running the DPC Shop

His laid back character will suit the pressure format and his scoring is as good as any one. He is quarter 3 but has his name sake Gary to contend with as well as Huybrechts, Diamond White and Bunty. He is also 16/1 to top the group and also 50/1 to reach the final.

MVG looks like he won’t have to break too much sweat to get out of his ¼. Michael Smith at 10/1 to win the group is the bookies idea of his closest competitor. Taylor will have to work for his opportunity to take on the Dutchman again in the semi -finals with Wright, Chizzy, Mensur and the Grand Prix legend Brendan Dolan to get past.

So will Taylor’s legal proceedings have any bearing on his approach? Personally I think it will fire him up and make him even more determined to succeed. But the ultimate judge of this tournament is that outer ring and the ability to hit it again and again, and that’s just to win one leg.

The tournament starts on Sunday 2 October and is live on Sky Sports. 

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Author: Paul Gillings ( paul@dartsperformancecentre.com )