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PDC Darts: Gibraltar Darts Trophy

The PDC's top darts stars are off to The Rock for the Gibraltar Darts Trophy, the final qualifying event for this month's European Championship.

Michael van Gerwen, fresh from victory at the World Grand Prix, heads a high-class field for three days of high-class darts at the Victoria Stadium.

Each member of the 48-man field will fancy they can get their hands on the trophy and pocket the £25,000 winner's cheque, while others will just be trying to nail down a place at the European Championship in two weeks' time.

What:Gibraltar Darts Trophy
Where:Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar
When:Friday 14th – Sunday 16th October, 2022
How to watch:PDC.tv
Odds:Michael van Gerwen , Gerwyn Price , Luke Humphries , Chris Dobey

 

Van Gerwen's love affair with Gib

This is the ninth running of the Gibraltar Darts Trophy and safe to say it's an event Michael van Gerwen thoroughly approves of, having won it three times.

The Green Machine didn't win it last year, however, that honour going to Gerwyn Price, who thrashed Mensur Suljovic 8-0 in the final.

But van Gerwen clearly has a great record at Victoria Stadium, has a good record on this year's European Tour with three wins to his name and has to be super-confident after returning to top form in some style in Leicester last week at the World Grand Prix.

Stakes are high for boys on the bubble

The Gibraltar Darts Trophy is the 13th and final qualifying event for this month's European Championship, the third big autumn major in the PDC calendar after the World Series in September and the Grand Prix.

Van Gerwen, Price and many of the usual suspects have already booked their place in the 32-man field at the Westfalenhallen from 27th-30th October where Rob Cross will be the defending champion.

But for many more this will be a tense weekend. Chris Dobey and Wesley Plaisier, for example, find themselves on just the wrong side of the line but at least they have qualified for the shootout in Gibraltar so have a chance to make it to Dortmund.

James Wade, the champion in 2018, is currently 26th in the standings but not in Gibraltar so will be looking nervously over his shoulder, though the English left-hander ought to be okay.

Daddy Cool has been a Euro star

Top of the European Tour Order of Merit is Luke Humphries, who has come of age on the continent in 2022.

Cool Hand has won four ET events, triumphing in Munich in April, on successive weekends in Prague and Stuttgart in May and then completing his four-timer at the European Darts Matchplay in Trier in July.

The former UK Open finalist has also won a pair of Pro Tour events, is up to No.12 in the Order of Merit and you have to think that a decent winter will earn him a place in the Premier League.

And if that wasn't enough good news, he and his partner have just celebrated the arrival of a baby boy, Rowan Ellis Humphries.

Chizzy charged up after Belgian binge

Humphries and van Gerwen have between them won seven of the 12 ET events this year but the most recent winner was Dave Chisnall.

Chizzy, a multiple major finalist but never a winner, had gone three years without a title of any kind before arriving in Wieze in Belgium at the end of September, and duly stormed to glory, chucking in a nine-darter against Danny Noppert in his semi-final for good measure.

He beat Andrew Gilding in the final, Gilding suddenly vaulting from nowhere to guaranteeing a place in this month's European Championship on the back of that one sparkling run.

If that doesn't show what's possible in Gibraltar for some of those outside the top 32, then nothing will.

Among other players to look out for in Gibraltar have to be Nathan Aspinall – confidence restored after reaching the final of the Grand Prix – and Josh Rock, who won for the fifth time on the Development Tour earlier this month and is surely on the verge of a big breakthrough.

Rob Cross has reached three European Tour finals this year and lost the lot, Dimitri van den Bergh two and also been beaten both times. Maybe this is their chance to sign off the schedule with an overdue success.

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