Michael van Gerwen has enjoyed an excellent 2012, most recently when entertaining the Sky viewers at the Blackpool World Matchplay where he managed a 9-dart finish when beating Steve Beaton.
The Dutchman finally appears to be living up to his potential and the bookies now make him favourite to win the World Grand Prix following an excellent second round win against Adrian Lewis where he led from start to finish.
Paddy Power offer a best price 4/1 about Mighty Mike although he has a tough quarter final match against Andy Hamilton who will be looking to use all his experience to beat the young maestro.
The Hammer appeared to be heading out of the competition on Thursday night with Steve Beaton in control of the match although the Stoke player doesn’t know when he’s beat and is never a nice opponent in tournament play. Perhaps Hamilton is the value at 11/2 with Blue Square.
Robert Thornton must be treated with respect after continuing his good form against Phil Taylor by beating the legendary player to earn his place in the last eight. The Scot now faces Mervyn King for a place in the semi-finals and he’s a 5/1 chance (Betfred bookmaker) to go all the way.
King is enjoying something of a renaissance and nearly beat Taylor himself at Blackpool before the The Power came through and ended up winning the tournament. His price of 7/1 (William Hill) is likely to be halved if he comes through this match.
Justin Pipe has beaten Simon Whitlock and Kevin Painter to reach this stage of the competition and the Englishman will fancy his chances of etching his name on the trophy, although opponent Brendan Dolan reached the final of this competition last year and beat Gary Anderson in the first round.
Dolan is the 18/1 (Boylesports) outsider to claim the 2012 title although this is a wide-open contest and it’s a surprise to see Paul Nicholson available at 16/1 when you consider the Australian Geordie beat Colin Osborne 3-1 to reach the last eight of the competition.
Nicholson faces Wes Newton in the quarters and the Warrior is now one of the tournament favourites at 5/1 (Ladbrokes) after a fine performance against the in-form Ian White which means we could get Newton up against Van Gerwen in the semi-final.