For many years, the Grand Slam of Darts was viewed by many darts purists as one of the most important tournaments in the calendar. Despite it not offering the prestige of a World Title win or even a World Matchplay trophy, the fact that this tournament was the only big event that saw PDC and BDO professionals competing against each other, made it very special.
However, with the BDO being dissolved back in 2020, the tournament organisers have had to have a rethink for the event, so in place of the usual invitations extended to BDO players, a number of invitations have been handed out to Youth, Challenge Tour, Development Tour and Women’s Series winners.
That makes for a hugely interesting tournament which will see a number of less familiar names lining up against some of the most talented darts players in the world today, with current World Champion Gerwyn Price, a two-time winner of this tournament, amongst the favourites to win the trophy and the £125,000 first prize.
Of course, darts fans will want to tune in to the action unfolding at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton between the 13th and 21st November and if you want to enjoy a wager on the tournament, or bet in play on any of the games, then bet365 Sport is a great choice.
Alternatively, if you follow the darts from the United States, then BetRivers Sportsbook is one of the better sites available across multiple states that offers a great selection of darts betting markets to its customers.
Let’s learn a little more about the history of this popular event.
Grand Slam Of Darts History
When the schism in darts first took shape in the early 1990s, when the PDC was formed and a bitter relationship with the BDO followed, players were split into two camps. And membership of one generally meant that you would be isolated from the other.
As such, the PDC developed its own set of tournaments, including a new World Championship, plus other events throughout the year and over time, as it’s star rose in the world of darts, so the BDO began to lose a lot of its lustre.
Over time, the PDC became the dominant force in darts, attracting the best players and bigger sponsors, while the BDO struggled on with smaller events and focusing more on the national and county levels of the game.
BDO players were barred from playing in PDC events for many years, but in 2007, a new tournament was proposed that would allow BDO players to compete against their compatriots in the PDC.
That was the Grand Slam of Darts.
While the BDO were initially lukewarm about the event in the first year or so, soon the more established BDO players began to take part and that led to Scott Waites becoming the first (and so far only) BDO player to win the event in 2010.
PDC players have won the tournament on every other occasion with Phil Taylor winning it six times, Michael van Gerwen three times, Gerwyn Price twice plus Raymond van Barneveld and Jose de Sousa have joined Waites in winning it once.
Over the years the total prize money has increased from £300,000 in the first event, to £550,000 over the last three years, including the 2021 tournament.
Grand Slam Of Darts 2021 – Competitors
This year’s event runs for nine days from the 13th to the 21st November and will be held back in Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.
The 32 players were seeded into one of four pools based on their rakings and then one player from each pool was drawn into one of eight groups.
Each player will play the other players in their group once during the opening phase of the tournament with the top two players in each group progressing through to the knockout stage of the tournament, which begins on the 17th November.
Each match is a best of nine legs match in the Group Phase.
The eight groups have been drawn as follows.
- Group A – Gerwyn Price (1), Krzysztof Ratajski, Martin Schindler, Nathan Rafferty
- Group B – Jonny Clayton (8), Mervyn King, Bradley Brooks, Rusty-Jake Rodriguez
- Group C – James Wade (4), Rob Cross, Boris Krcmar, Jim Williams
- Group D – Dimitri Van den Bergh (5), Stephen Bunting, Ryan Joyce, Rowby-John Rodriguez
- Group E – Peter Wright (2), Gabriel Clemens, Mike De Decker, Fallon Sherrock
- Group F – Jose de Sousa (7), Luke Humphries, Mensur Suljovic, Matt Campbell
- Group G – Michael van Gerwen (3), Joe Cullen, John Henderson, Lisa Ashton
- Group H – Gary Anderson (6), Michael Smith, Raymond van Barneveld, Joe Davis
A look at the latest betting to win the tournament outright sees the current PDC World Champion, Gerwyn Price as the slight favourite to win the event for a third time. The Welshman is 10/3 with bet365, just ahead of Michael van Gerwen, who would be a four-time winner of the tournament with a win this year at 7/2.
Jonny Clayton, the Welshman who has been in sensational form this year is a 5/1 chance and then the odds drift somewhat to Peter Wright and Dmitri van den Bergh, who are both 10/1 to win the event.
Last year’s winner Jose De Sousa is 16.1, Rob Cross is a 20/1 shot and then there are a number of big names that are out form and down the pecking order somewhat with Michael Smith a 28/1 chance, Gary Anderson 33/1 and three-time losing finalist at this event James Wade a 40/1 chance.
The rank outsiders for the event include the two World Youth Finalists, Nathan Rafferty and Joe Davis, along with female pro Lisa Ashton who are all 300/1 to win the tournament.
Who Are We Going To Back To Win The Grand Slam Of Darts 2021?
Looking at the odds and the form of the players heading into this event, it is notable that a relatively small number of players have won the event, Gerwyn Price does seem to be the smart pick for a number of punters but after the year he has had, I think Jonny Clayton at 5/1 is a great choice to back to win outright, while Rob Cross at 20/1, may be a very good each way bet.