Who Should I Back In The Forthcoming 2022 Grand Slam Of Darts?

PDC World Darts Championship

This coming weekend 32 of the top professionals in the PDC World Darts Organisation will compete at the 2022 PDC Grand Slam of Darts in Wolverhampton.

After a season-long qualification process, which has still seen a number of players ranked inside the top 32 in the world miss out, we now know which groups each of the 32 players will be competing in.

31 of those will be hoping to usurp Welshman Gerwyn Price as the champion, while the Welshman will be hoping to bag his fourth Grand Slam of Darts title in five years with a victory this year to follow his success last year.

The tournament was one of the few that allowed PDC Professionals to compete against their compatriots from the BDO, but with the BDO now no longer an organisation, the tournament has now become a PDC-only event in although players from other tours may be invited to the event.

Additionally, this year sees an increase in prize money too, from £550,000 to £650,000 with the winner now taking home £150,000, an increase of £25,000 on what Gerwyn Price banked last year.

Bet365 Sport is already offering extensive betting across the tournament in both the outright winner and first group game markets and of course once the action kicks off on Saturday afternoon, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide range of In Play bets on the tournament too.

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So let’s learn a little more about the history of this tournament.

Grand Slam of Darts – History

The first Grand Slam of Darts took place in 2007 and from its origins, it was an event which featured professionals from the PDC and BDO, until the BDO folded prior to the 2020 tournament.

For the past couple of years, it has been a PDC event, although professionals from other circuits can qualify for the event through a number of ways, including female players and players from countries where starts is still developing a following and presence.

The tournament is played using the legs format, but what makes it unusual is that the First Round of the tournament is a Group Phase.

The 32 qualifiers are drawn into eight groups of four, with one of the top eight seeds in the tournament allocated to each group. Each player then plays the others in their group once over a best of 11 format.

Two players from each group qualify for the Second Round, which is then a straight knockout competition, with the Second Round played best of 19 and from then on the remaining rounds are played best of 31 legs.

Previous Winners & Finalists

Just six players have won the tournament since it began.

  1. Phil Taylor – 6 wins (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014)
  2. Michael van Gerwen (2015, 2016 & 2017) & Gerwyn Price (2018, 2019 & 2021) – 3 wins
  3. Scott Waites (2010), Raymond van Barneveld (2012), Jose de Sousa (2020) – 1 win

Players that have finished runner up in the tournament include:

3 x runner upJames Wade (2010, 2016, 2020), Peter Wright (2017, 2019, 2021)

2 x runner up – Gary Anderson (2011, 2018)

1 x runner up – Andy Hamilton (2007), Terry Jenkins (2008), Scott Waites (2009), Michael van Gerwen (2012), Robert Thornton (2013), Dave Chisnall (2014), Phil Taylor (2015)

The heaviest defeat in a final was the 16-2 defeat experienced by Scott Waites against Phil Taylor in 2009, while the closest game was the 16-14 final in 2012 between Dutchmen Raymond van Barneveld and Michael van Gerwen.

There have been four nine-dart finishes in the history of the tournament, by James Wade (2008), Kim Huybrechts (2014), Dave Chisnall (2015), Dimitri Van den Bergh (2018).

Grand Slam of Darts 2022 – Group Stage

After the eight seeds were finalised and the final qualifiers decided, the draw for the group stage resulted in the following eight groups.

Group A

  • Gerwyn Price (1)
  • Dave Chisnall
  • Raymond van Barneveld
  • Ted Evetts

Group B

  • Danny Noppert (8)
  • Simon Whitlock
  • Mensur Suljovic
  • Christian Perez

Group C

  • Michael Smith (4)
  • Joe Cullen
  • Ritchie Edhouse
  • Lisa Ashton

Group D

  • Rob Cross (5)
  • Dirk van Duijvenbode
  • Martin Schindler
  • Adam Gawlas

Group E

  • Peter Wright (2)
  • Nathan Aspinall
  • Alan Soutar
  • Fallon Sherrock

Group F

  • Jonny Clayton (7)
  • Damon Heta
  • Jermaine Wattimena
  • Leonard Gates

Group G

  • Michael van Gerwen (3)
  • Ross Smith
  • Luke Woodhouse
  • Nathan Rafferty

Group H

  • Luke Humphries (6)
  • Ryan Searle
  • Josh Rock
  • Scott Williams

The tournament will start on Saturday 12th November with the first set of Group Games across all eight groups in two sessions, afternoon and evening.

Those games are highlighted below:

Group Stage – Match 1 Schedule – Saturday 12th November

Afternoon Session

  • 10pm – Simon Whitlock v Mensur Suljovic (Group B)
  • 35pm – Dirk van Duijvenbode v Martin Schindler (Group D)
  • 00pm – Joe Cullen v Ritchie Edhouse (Group C)
  • 25pm – Dave Chisnall v Raymond van Barneveld (Group A)
  • 50pm – Rob Cross v Adam Gawlas (Group D)
  • 15pm – Danny Noppert v Christian Perez (Group B)
  • 40pm – Gerwyn Price v Ted Evetts (Group A)
  • 05pm – Michael Smith v Lisa Ashton (Group C)

Evening Session

  • 10pm – Ross Smith v Luke Woodhouse (Group G)
  • 35pm – Ryan Searle v Josh Rock (Group H)
  • 00pm – Damon Heta v Jermaine Wattimena (Group F)
  • 25pm – Nathan Aspinall v Alan Soutar (Group E)
  • 50pm – Luke Humphries v Scott Williams (Group H)
  • 15pm – Peter Wright v Fallon Sherrock (Group E)
  • 40pm – Michael van Gerwen v Nathan Rafferty (Group G)
  • 05pm – Jonny Clayton v Leonard Gates (Group F)

*All times shown are UK time.

The second set of Group Stage games will pit the two winning players from Game 1 against each other, while the two losing players will also face off in each group. This ensures that there is at least one game in each group on which qualification matters when we reach the third game in the group.

At the end of the group stage of the tournament, the two players from each group that qualify in the top two positions advance to the Knockout Phase.

Knockout Phase

The Second Round begins the knockout phase of the tournament and from then on it is a straight knockout tournament until the winner is decided.

The Second Round is played over a longer format of the best of 19, with the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Final all played over a best of 31 format.

Who Is Missing From The Event?

A number of top ranking stars are missing for this event due to the unusual qualification nature for the tournament. Some of the playets who will be absent this year are:

  • James Wade
  • Gary Anderson
  • Jose de Souza
  • Glen Durrant
  • Mervyn King
  • Daryl Gurney
  • Dmitri Van den Bergh
  • Krzysztof Ratajski
  • Stephen Bunting
  • Chris Dobey
  • Callan Rydz
  • Adrian Lewis
  • Ian White

Who Should I Back To Win The Tournament?

A look at the odds for the tournament reveals the usual suspects as the favourites with Michael van Gerwen the 7/2 favourite and Gerwyn Price the 9/2 second favourite.

I don’t think you need to look outside this pair for the best player to back for the win as Gerwyn Price is in form, has won this event three of the last four years and is world ranked number 1. As such, at 9/2, he is the easy pick to land the win here.

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