A total of 32 players will take to the ocke during the next nine days as a fine mix of PDC and BDO stars aim to win the Grand Slam of Darts, so we asked Sky Sports commentator, and regular betting.betfair columnist Wayne Mardle to preview the outright winner market...
"I think Robert Thornton can have another good run and reach the final again, last year he enjoyed a great tournament before losing to Taylor 16-6 in the final."
The Grand Slam of Darts, starting Saturday afternoon at the Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, is the only tournament of the year where players from both the BDO and PDC collide - 25 from the PDC this year to be precise, and seven from the BDO.
The usual suspects will be there at the last knockings no doubt, Michael Van Gerwen - available to back at 2.757/4 on the Betfair Sportsbook - and Phil Taylor (3.7511/4) are seeded to meet in the final, that said it's certainly not a given.
James Wade (10.09/1], Adrian Lewis (13.012/1), and Gary Anderson (13.012/1) will all have their say in the outcome no doubt. You have to go all the way down to odds of 67.066/1 to find the most fancied BDO players - Alan Norris and Scott Waites.
The difference with this competition as well as the participation of BDO players is that the first round is played over eight groups of four with the top two in each group progressing through to the knock-out stages.
There will be upsets that's for sure.
Van Gerwen is the favourite and rightly so, he's the man for the long formats and come the knock-out phase the match distances are long (best of 19 in the first knock-out round, best of 31 there after), and that has to play into his and Taylor's hands.
I think Robert Thornton can have another good run and reach the final again, last year he enjoyed a great tournament before losing to Taylor 16-6 in the final. The Thorn is consistent and a match for anyone on his day.
My own view is that Van Gerwen is the man to beat this week and if you're having just one outright winner bet then he's probably your man to side with, but I like Thornton at 34.033/1 as an eacy-way alternative, the talented Scot could go all the way to the final once more.
Recommended Bets (Sportsbook)
Back Michael Van Gerwen to Win @ 2.757/4
Back Roberth Thornton each-way @ 34.033/1