Grand Slam of Darts: Double Dutch for Barney and Mighty Mike
The £100,000 winners share of the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts edges into view as the Wolverhampton tournament reaches the last eight.
Young Michael van Gerwen is the heavy favourite to pick up that winners cheque at 5/4, but first he must negotiate his way past Scott Waites in the quarter finals.
Van Gerwen has been in inspired form recently and could add to the World Grand Prix he won last month in Dublin with a win at Civic Hall.
The Dutchman won all three of his group stage matches here, before completing a 10-5 knock-out of defending champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in the second round.
He now faces Waites, who edged Taylor to top spot in Group A and narrowly overcame Robert Thornton 10-8 in the first round of eliminators.
As expected, Van Gerwen will be a popular choice with punters priced at 2/5 for victory, while Scotty 2 Hotty is a 7/4 outsider.
Waites is 7/1 to win the tournament himself, but it would be a major shock if he was to upset the rampant Dutchman at this point of the competition.
Mighty Mike was the youngest player in history to win a major televised tournament at the age of just 17, and has already won two world titles at 23.
In the other match-up Raymond van Barneveld takes on Christian Kist for a spot in the last four, with fans favourite Barney odds-on at 2/5 to progress.
If the experienced 45-year-old makes it to the semi-finals then his current price of 5/1 to lift the trophy would begin to look very valuable indeed.
Barney did lose to Kist in the group stage but managed to finish top of Group H, and followed that up but comfortably beating Wesley Harms while second placed Kist toiled to victory against Wes Newton.
But the man known as ‘The Lipstick’ will be no pushover and is available at 7/4 to overcome his compatriot again in the semis, and is also 12/1 for outright tournament triumph.
However Kist did lose to Mark Walsh in the group stage, a man Barney crushed 5-0, hinting at the erratic nature of the Hardenberg-born thrower.
Elsewhere Andy Hamilton can’t be ignored for the title at 5/1 if he overcomes John Part (25/1) earlier in the day, whilst Dean Winstanley (12/1) faces Kevin Painter (20/1) in the other quarter.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.