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bet365 US Darts Masters review: Michael van Gerwen conquers New York

The bet365 US Darts Masters returned to Madison Square Gardens for the second time at the weekend and the New York locals were treated to several shocks, high-quality darts and North American representation throughout the event.

Eight of the leading players in the world made the journey to America to face the best that the US and Canada has to offer in what was a thrilling and intriguing tournament. 

North Americans such as Jim Long and Jeff Smith caused huge upsets to put their names on the map but it was ultimately Michael van Gerwen who lifted the title after a dominant display, capping an impressive 10 days in which he also took home a record seventh Premier League title.

What2024 bet365 US Darts Masters
WhereMadison Square Garden, New York
When7th-8th June 2024

Van Gerwen in red hot form

Van Gerwen has been in fine form in recent weeks, shrugging off a shoulder injury to secure a seventh Premier League title and the Green Machine continued in the same vein at the bet365 US Darts Masters. 

MvG opened with a 6-2 success over Jake Macmillan before repeating that scoreline against Long in the quarter-final. 

A ding-dong semi-final battle followed with the in-form Rob Cross before van Gerwen squeezed past him 7-6 to reach the final. 

The Dutchman then made light work of surprise finalist Smith, winning eight legs without response to secure a record-extending 18th World Series of Darts title. 

Van Gerwen dropped just 10 legs across the tournament, winning 27 of his own in response. With the Green Machine in such strong form, it is understandable that he is the 3/1 favourite for the PDC World Championship 2024, a competition he has not won since 2019. 

Smith shows he is real deal

Smith has long been one of the standout North American dart players but took his game to new heights on Saturday night. 

The Canadian took home the North American Darts Championship in the afternoon, beating fellow countryman Matt Campbell 6-5 in the final after seeing off Long by the same scoreline in the quarter-final and Jules van Dongen 6-1 in the last four. 

Smith continued that strong form into the evening's bet365 US Darts Masters, having got the better of Peter Wright 6-2 on Friday night, one of just two unseeded players to get a first round win. 

The Silencer then beat Nathan Aspinall in the quarter-finals 6-2 despite the Englishman averaging 99 in the process. 

Smith then got the better of hums in the semi-final in dramatic fashion, taking out 167 in the deciding leg to reach his first ever televised PDC final. 

After a long day's play, he ran out of steam in the final but can use the weekend's performances as a platform as he looks to retain his PDC Tour Card. 

The Silencer wasn't the only Canadian to put in an impressive effort as CDC Cross-Border Challenge Winner Long beat number one seed and reigning bet365 US Darts Masters champion Michael Smith in the first round. 

Long got the 6-2 win over Bully Boy before falling short to eventual winner Van Gerwen by the same scoreline in the quarter-finals.

Wright left reeling

Wright has had a difficult run recently and continued his underwhelming performances with a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Smith in the first round in Madison Square Garden, averaging 88 in that game.  

Snakebite finished rock bottom of the Premier League table this season, registering just nine points in the process. 

Wright was the only player not to win an individual night in that competition and was knocked out in his first match in 12 of the 16 nights. 

The two-time world champion continues to experiment with his equipment and is still world number two, although Van Gerwen is breathing down his neck on the PDC Order of Merit. 

Wright is now as big as 14/1 to win this year's World Championships, despite taking home the trophy in two of the last four seasons.

Return pencilled in

The PDC's trip to Madison Square Garden for the bet365 US Darts Masters has been confirmed for next year, with the event a success again this time around. 

Over 3,500 fans packed into the iconic arena to see Van Gerwen lift the trophy and they will be able to return again on 7th-8th June in 2024. 

The next World Series event of this season is the Poland Masters, which takes place on 7th-8th July in Warsaw.

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