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Mighty Michael van Gerwen

 

Is van Gerwen the greatest ever?

Over the past few weeks, the darts press has been dominated by two primary themes. One has been the all too familiar story of Michael van Gerwen powering his way towards yet another title. The other has been our sad farewell to another legend, Eric Bristow, who dominated the game in a way almost identical to that of MVG back in the 1980s.

 

The world is going darts betting crazy

With such incredible top names dominating the darts’ scene and with darts becoming more popular than ever on television, more and more people are putting money on their favourites to win. However, when players such as van Gerwen and Taylor dominate the sport, it doesn’t always pay to bet on the favourites as there’s not much to be gained from that. To get more from the game, people have started using better and more sophisticated darts betting strategies

So now, let’s doff our caps to MVG, the Crafty Cockney, and others who have made the oche their own over the years and were, in their pomp, pretty much guaranteed to be odds-on favourites at any bookie. To ask who is the greatest ever is a question that will always have some subjectivity to it. But we can, at least, have an affectionate look at some of the main suspects.

 

Michael van Gerwen

Let’s start with the man of the moment. Right now, MVG is simply the best darts player on the planet. It’s been twelve years since he exploded onto the scene, winning the World Masters as a teenager in 2006. Over recent years he has seemed nothing short of unstoppable. However, the scary thing for his competitors is that he hasn’t even turned 30 yet.

To date, van Gerwen has twenty-three PDC majors to his name and more minors than you can count. Just how good could he go on to be? Nobody can say for sure, but he has the talent to continue his domination for a long, long time. After all, if he follows in Phil Taylor’s footsteps and keeps playing till the age of 57, he’s got another 28 years in him.

 

Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor 16 Time World Darts Champion

Until van Gerwen got up to his tricks, most in the darts world felt that Phil, The Power, Taylor was a force the likes of which we had never seen before and would never see again. Taylor is a man of understatement, who has always let his darts do the talking, and the following three words say it all: sixteen world titles.

Throughout the nineties and noughties, he dominated the game in a way that had never been seen before and remained a force to be reckoned with right up until his retirement. But while he was certainly the best player of his era, van Gerwen’s domination could be even more comprehensive.

 

Eric Bristow

Eric Bristow MBE

 

Greatness isn’t all about titles and statistics, though. Ask someone who doesn’t follow sport to name a snooker player and they’ll say Steve Davis, even though Hendry and O’Sullivan have greater records. Ask them to name a darts player, and the chances are they’ll say Eric Bristow.

The Crafty Cockney entered our hearts, and our living rooms, right as the sport gained popularity in the early 80s – and at the same time, incidentally, as Davis was dominating the green baize. His professional career was cut short by dartitis, but he still dominated the game in the 80s every bit as much as Taylor and van Gerwen have in more recent years.

 

Raymond Van Barneveld

The Dutchman arguably had more success than anyone on both sides of the great PDC and BDO divide. He has five World Championships to his name and was arguably the greatest non-British player of all time... until another Dutch player threw his name into the equation.

After completely dominating the BDO in the late 90s and early 00s, he made the transition to the PDC specifically to prove himself better than Taylor. The 2007 PDC final is often called the greatest darts match of all time and it was Barney who came out on top. Ultimately, Taylor had the longer run of success, but there and then, van Barneveld was at the top of the world.

 

John LoweJohn Lowe

John Lowe is another name that would be familiar to darts fans back in the day. However, his success spanned over thirty years and he was the only darts player to ever win three World Championships in three separate decades - a huge achievement by anyone’s standards.  Not only this, but he was also the very first player in the history of darts to achieve the sought after nine-dart finish on live television - all the way back in 1984.

Lowe was mainly on the darts scene in the 1970s and 1980s but managed to win his final World Championship in 1993, when many believed he was past his best. This is a player with a huge amount of skill which was reflected in his many achievements. It would therefore be unfair not to mention ‘old stoneface’ as he has proved to be one of the most significant players in the history of darts.

 

 

Gerwens major titles to date:

 PDC Main Events
 World Ch'ship  2014, 2017
 World Matchplay  2015, 2016
 World Grand Prix  2012, 2014, 2016
 Grand Slam  2015, 2016, 2017
 Premier League  2013, 2016, 2017
 European Ch'ship  2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
 UK Open  2015, 2016
 Players Ch'ship Finals  2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
 The Masters  2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
    
 Other tournament wins
 Gleneagle Irish Masters  2008
 Jägermeister Open  2011
 Killarney Pro Tour  2012
 Northern Ireland Open  2005
 Norway Open  2005
 Open Holland  2006, 2007
 Open Nederhemert  2011
 Open Willemstad  2013
 WDF Europe Youth Cup  2006
 Welsh Open  2006
 World Cup of Darts  2014, 2017
 World Darts Event  2006
    
 European Tour Events
 Austrian Darts Open  2013, 2017
 Dutch Darts Masters  2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
 European Darts Grand Prix  2016, 2018
 European Darts Matchplay  2015, 2017
 European Darts Open  2013, 2016, 2018
 European Darts Trophy  2016, 2017
 German Darts Championship  2015
 German Darts Grand Prix  2017, 2018
 German Darts Masters  2015, 2016, 2017
 Gibraltar Darts Trophy  2015, 2016
    
 World Series of Darts Events
 Dubai Darts Masters  2013, 2014, 2015
 Perth Darts Masters  2016
 Shanghai Darts Masters  2016, 2017
 Singapore Darts Masters  2014
 US Darts Masters  2017
 World Series of Darts Finals  2015, 2016, 2017
    
 BDO Major Events
 Winmau Masters  2006

 

 

 

 

 

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