Jaymes Monte looks to round off a profitable punting week at the Grand Slam of Darts...
"Van Gerwen is energetic and bounces about the stage and around the board with his darts, Van Barneveld's throw is smooth as silk as he threads his arrows into their target."
Amazingly, there has only once previously been an all-Dutch final in a PDC televised major, ever. But that could be about to change this evening.
So often in the history of major tournaments players fall at the next hurdle after beating Phil Taylor. The emotion and intensity required to beat The Power often takes so much out of a player that they are drained for their next match. Not Michael van Gerwen.
The young Dutchman reiterated the notion that he is now the man to beat in darts by producing another mesmerising performance against an equally inspired Scott Waites. Waites was throwing beautifully, but just couldn't handle Van Gerwen's relentless brilliance. The BDO man would win a mini-session 4-1 to pull himself back into the game, but then MVG would rattle off the next 5-0. One-hundred-and-seventy finishes were commonplace, and there were more than 60 visits to the board where the youngster scored 100+.
And although Dean Winstanley is playing some of the best darts of his career, I don't see how he can do any better than those who have gone before him this week. It's not so much the moments of brilliance that hurt his opponents, although they do leave a scar, but the speed and persistence with which he hits big scores.
At odds of 1.21/5 for the victory Van Gerwen is a fair price. But we can enhance our returns by putting him in a double with his fellow countryman.
When at his best Raymond van Barneveld is a joy to watch. Unfortunately he has rarely been at his best in recent years, fortunately last night he looked very close to it.
The contrast in styles between the two Dutchman couldn't be more obvious. Van Gerwen is energetic and bounces about the stage and around the board with his darts, Van Barneveld's throw is smooth as silk as he threads his arrows into their target.
Barney spoke of feeling tired towards the end of his quarter-final match with Christian Kist, and I think that could ultimately be his downfall when it comes to tonight's final. But I do fancy him to make that final as he comes up against a player in this afternoon's semi-finals that hasn't beaten him in their previous 17 meetings.
Andy Hamilton has had a fantastic week, and showed that he is a worthy top-8 player these days. But Barney's got a bit of sparkle back and can extend his remarkable record against The Hammer with another win here.
Back Van Gerwen & Van Barneveld win double @ 1.9520/21