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bet365 US Darts Masters review: MvG conquers MSG

Recap all the action from the bet365 US Darts Masters, as Michael van Gerwen defeated Jeff Smith in the final at Madison Square Garden's 'The Theater.'

Michael van Gerwen is the bet365 US Darts Masters champion!

When the bright lights of New York City is your stage, nothing short of a dazzling performance will suffice. 

The 2023 bet365 US Darts Masters obliterated expectations and did so in style, replete with dramatic action and emphatic fanfare during the event held on Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3.

Over 200 production staff had transformed the iconic theatre at Madison Square Garden into a coliseum of green and gold, a venue worthy of the darting gladiators about to throw down arrows. With thousands of bet365 branded foam fingers thrust into the air, it was clear to see that the sports fans of Manhattan gave darts their approval.

Superstars players like Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Jim Long and Jeff Smith repeatedly wowed the elaborately costumed crowd, who gleefully responded with chants of “180” and spirited cheers throughout the tournament.

The Opening Night festivities set the tone for a memorable weekend with shocking results that saw epic longshots upset two longstanding favorites. 

Unexpectedly, current reigning champion Michael Smith bowed out against Canadian veteran Jim Long 6-2, despite producing five 180s. Long landed three 180s and converted 97 and 115 checkouts during his brilliant play. Prior to the match, Smith was a -2000 favorite vs Long +1000, which speaks to the absolute astonishment of the result. 

The evening’s theme of David defeating Goliath continued when Canadian Jeff Smith dispatched world number two and fan favorite Peter Wright 6-2.  Smith, the CDC Cross-Border Challenge Winner, put together a consistently solid match, his confidence building en route to the landmark victory. Wright was favored -450, while Jeff Smith’s odds were at +333. 

Saturday’s matchups featured two sessions of frenzied action that saw Smith continuing his inspired play, earning the North American Champion crown, the second of his career, 6-5, over Matt Campbell.  

In the final match of an electrifying 2023 bet365 US Darts Masters, van Gerwen secured his second US Darts Masters glory on Saturday night by defeating Smith in the final 8-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of over 3,500 fans. van Gerwen, the three-time World Champion, showed glimpses of his dominance in the early legs with consistent closeouts, building a 5-0 lead en route to the dominating win. 

Without question, the 2023 bet365 US Darts Masters was astounding success with over 6500 fans, young and old, creating a phenomenal atmosphere resulting in an unparalleled and unforgettable experience. 

The tournament plans to return to New York City on June 7-8, 2024. 

Here’s a match-by-match recap of the weekend’s drama...

Jeff Smith shocks Humphries, advances to final 

Jeff Smith is an upset machine!

The Silencer pulls off a comeback victory, capped by a sensational 167 checkout in the all-important 15th leg, against Luke Humphries to set up a date with Michael van Gerwen in the final.

Both semifinals went the distance in front of a rocking MSG!

MvG downs Cross, advances to final

Michael van Gerwen def. Rob Cross, 7-6

What a match! 

van Gerwen trailed 2-0, then 6-4, but Cross couldn’t put Mighty Mike away.

Cross missed bullseye on 167 checkout opportunity that would have won him the match before MvG shut the door.

‘The Silencer‘

It’s been quite the weekend at Madison Square Garden for Jeff Smith.

On Friday, a 6-2 round one win over World No. 3 Peter Wright.

The Silencer then conquered the North American Championship on Saturday afternoon, edging out fellow Canadian Matt Campbell in a 6-5 final.

Smith is now onto the semis against Luke Humphries after downing Nathan Aspinall, 6-2.

Humphries eliminates Price 

The tournament favorite is out!

Cool Hand Luke is into the last four at the expense of Price, who entered the day as a 2/1 favorite to take the title in NYC.

Humphries was +162 to win the match.

Price averaged 104.37 to Humphries‘ 98.61, but the 28-year-old went 6-for-11 on checkouts en route to a 6-4 win.

van Gerwen, Cross onto semis

Michael van Gerwen def. Jim Long, 6-2

Rob Cross def. Dimitri van den Bergh, 6-2

van Gerwen and Cross will face each other in the semifinals having dispatched of their quarterfinal opponents Jim Long and World No. 10 Dimitri van den Bergh.

Long sent World No. 1 Michael Smith out in the first round, but another monumental upset over Mighty Mike wasn’t in the cards.

Voltage was hugely impressive in his victory over the Dream Maker, capping off the final leg with an 11-darter.

First round results

The first round of the bet365 US Darts Masters pitted eight PDC superstars against eight North American representatives.

Continue reading for all first round recaps, including the remarkable upsets of both Michael Smith (World No. 1) and Peter Wright (World No. 3).

van Gerwen caps off night one 

Michael van Gerwen def. Jake Macmillan, 6-2

The World Nos. 1 and 3 were eliminated in the two matches leading up to van Gerwen’s bout at The Theater. 

That didn’t phase the 3x World Champion, who took care of his Friday night duties with a 6-2 triumph over Jake Macmillan.

van Gerwen is now the highest ranked player remaining in the US Darts Masters.

Long stuns defending champ Smith

Jim Long def. Michael Smith, 6-2

One match after World No. 3 Peter Wright was eliminated, World No. 1 Michael Smith is out of the tournament in stunning fashion.

Smith was third-favorite to win the event, having won both the US Masters and the World Championship in 2022.

Long was +1000 to win the match.

Snakebite falls in round one

Jeff Smith def. Peter Wright, 6-2

The first round of the US Darts Masters was not to be without an upset.

World No. 3 and two-time world champion Peter Wright‘s time in New York is done at the hands of Canadian Jeff Smith.

Smith was +333 to win the match.

Iceman shows why he’s the favorite 

Gerwen Price def. Jules van Dongen, 6-2

There was little doubt tournament favorite Gerwyn Price would be on his game out the gate.

Perhaps it was a surprise Jules van Dongen won two legs against the world No. 4. 

The Iceman averaged 105.6 per visit and logged three 180s in a routine first round victory, securing his spot in the QFs.

Aspinall fights off the Canadian Campbell

Nathan Aspinall def. Matt Campbell, 6-4

What a match!

Aspinall was really tested by Campbell, as the two were knotted at 4-4 after eight legs.

The 2019 US Masters champion then played brilliantly down to stretch in a 6-4 win.

The Asp was -275 to advance.

Cool Hand Luke onto the QFs

Luke Humphries def. Alex Spellman, 6-2 

Cool Hand Luke is onto the quarterfinals in New York City!

Spellman’s 117 checkout in the fourth leg was the best of the match, but Humphries held on to progress.

van den Bergh cruises 

Dimitri van den Bergh def. JT Davis, 6-2 

The 27-year-old American put up a valiant effort in front of a favorable crowd, but Dimitri van den Bergh showed his class in a 6-2 victory. 

Davis hit a 114 checkout to get back to 4-2, but errors over the final two legs allowed van den Bergh to cruise to a first round win. 

van den Bergh was -700 to advance.

Voltage takes opener

Rob Cross def. Jason Brandon, 6-2 

‘Voltage’ got things started in front of a rowdy crowd at The Theater by downing American Jason Brandon, 6-2. 

Cross was -1000 to win the match.

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