Every year, millions go flocking to Las Vegas in hopes of winning big. Michael van Gerwen might be the only one who’s odds-on to actually succeed.

The world number one is fully focused on getting back in the winning habit at the US Darts Masters. Van Gerwen was unable to recapture the World Cup of Darts alongside Jermaine Wattimena, and most recently lost in the last 32 at the Czech Darts Open.

“It’s a really important tournament, and I want to win this,” van Gerwen told Live Darts at the Mandalay Bay.

“Last year of course, Gary [Anderson] won, but the year before I did really well.

“I want to get back to winning ways.”

US challenge

Van Gerwen kicks off his tournament against American veteran Darin Young, and finds himself in the same half of the draw as Gary Anderson, Gerwyn Price and Michael Smith. He could play Anderson in the semi-finals, in a first meeting since the Scot’s successful return from injury.

“Americans, they can play darts. Simple as that,” said the world number one.

“You need to make sure you prepare yourself. It’s only short form, best of 11 legs [in round one]. You can’t justify yourself to not concentrate, 100 per cent, to win the match.

“Me and Gary, we know what we have over each other. We always play good games. I look forward to playing against him again, but first we both need to get so far!”


Photo: PDC

Blackpool goal

For now, all eyes are on success in Las Vegas. But it’s Vegas’ much more glamorous English equivalent that Mighty Mike’s attentions will turn to soon. Van Gerwen has been found wanting in recent editions of the World Matchplay, and the Dutchman is determined to put that right.

“This is a nice tournament to play in, here in Vegas. The most important one is coming in a few weeks’ time, the World Matchplay.

“The last two years, I went into the tournament not 100 per cent prepared. Too much travelling, too many time differences. It didn’t do me any good.

“This year, [I’ve had] different preparation and I want to make sure I’m 100 per cent focused before the tournament.”

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Author: Ed McCosh