This Week In Darts – 9th of February 2024


Stephen Bunting’s Stellar Victory

Earlier this week, Stephen Bunting defeated Michael van Gerwen to win the Cazoo Darts Masters in Milton Keynes. Prior to his 11-7 win, which earned him his very first televised PDC title, Bunting topped both Peter Wright and Nathan Aspinall before reaching his maiden TV final.

As if that were not impressive enough, the St. Helens man also beat reigning PDC World Champion Luke Humphries and added Van Gerwen to his list after denying the Dutchman his sixth Masters title – a first since securing a fifth back in 2019.

Bunting told ITV: “I really deserved this trophy this week after beating players who are in the Premier League. That’s where I want to get my game back to. Let’s see what happens in the future.”

Congratulations on a well deserved win, Stephen!


Daryl Gurney’s Unexpected Masters Journey

Daryl Gurney, who was called up to the Masters as a last-minute replacement for Gerwyn Price, made the most of his call-up on Saturday by qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Gurney beat Joe Cullen in his opening match. 

The 37-year-old Irishman received a call from the PDC in the middle of this week. “I usually block them because it’s usually a DRA fine,” Gurney explained. “I was like ‘Right, I’ll answer this’ and yeah, they asked ‘do you want to play in the Masters?’”

And what of his form? “I was actually playing really well in the practice room earlier,” Gurney explains. “I thought to myself ‘Right, get up and get the show ready.’”

Gurney will next take on Nathan Aspinall in the quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon.


Luke Littler’s Pro Tour Debut

Teen sensation Luke Littler has made headlines this week with news of his first ever Pro Tour debut,

The 17-year-old Englishman won a PDC Tour Card by reaching the finals at the World Darts Championship and will be making his Pro Tour debut among such storied athletes as Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Nathan Aspinall, Stephen Bunting, Dave Chisnall, Rob Cross, Luke Humphries, Gerwyn Price, Michael Smith, James Wade and Peter Wright.

The first two tournaments of the new season, Players Championship 1 & 2, are scheduled for Monday, February 12th and Tuesday, February 13th in Wigan. So, be sure to mark your calendars!


Michael Smith’s Opening Night Win

Former world champion Michael Smith silenced the crowd after winning the opening night of the betMGM Premier League Darts – topping both Luke Littler and Gerwyn Price on his way to victory.

The St. Helens star denied seven-time Premier League champ Michael van Gerwen, 17-year-old Littler, home favourite Price and a volatile Cardiff crowd to cap off a strong performance in the Welsh capital and claim maximum points.

Smith began the night by edging out Van Gerwen in a last-leg decider before denying Littler a spot in the final by winning in a close call of 6-5. He would then complete a remarkable win by dusting 2023 runner-up Price in the final.

The Welshman, a runner-up in last year’s Premier League, drew first blood in the final with an 80 finish on tops, before Smith responded with a three-leg burst to seize control of the contest at 3-1. He would continue his charge with consecutive 120 and 107 combinations to move to the cusp of glory and cap off his impressive display with a 13-darter to round off a statement performance.


Van Gerwen’s Classy Gesture

After losing to Stephen Bunting at the Cazoo Darts Masters, Michael Van Gerwen took the opportunity to display a moment of class. Often labelled as a villain by fans, the Dutchman delayed his exit so as to congratulate Bunting’s son Toby, who had been invited to the stage by his father following an emotional win at the Marshall Area in Milton Keynes. 

Fans quickly took to social media to praise Van Gerwen for the gesture, hailing him a class act of the highest caliber. Despite not always presenting himself as the most respectful athlete in the field, it is clear his gracious actions this week did not go unnoticed. 

Van Gerwen even took things a step further with a tip of the hat to his opponent. 

“He put me under a lot of pressure,” the Dutchman said in a post-match interview. “Fair play to him. He played really well throughout the whole tournament.”

A valuable lesson in sportsmanship, to be sure!