Fresh from his first-ever World Championship win at the Alexandra Palace just over a week ago, Michael Smith is the headline act at the 2023 Bahrain Darts Masters. Here we take a look at Smith's chances and name our free darts betting picks in our preview of the two-day competition.
- What; Bahrain Darts Masters
- Where; Bahrain International Circuit
- When; Thursday, January 12th - Friday, January 13th
Yes, blink, and you might miss the Bahrain Darts Masters 2023 competition. The two-day event is fast and furious, and despite its truncated appearance on the darting calendar, it has managed to attract some of the biggest names in world darts.
The two headline acts are the new world number one, Michael Smith, and Gerwyn Price, who was world number one before Smith's win in the 2023 World Championship.
But it doesn't stop there. Also in attendance are Luke Humphries, Peter Wright, Jonny Clayton, and Dimitri Van den Bergh. While making an appearance at the event is darting royalty, Paul Lim and Raymond van Barneveld.
Betting to win 2023 Bahrain Darts Masters
You don't win the PDC World Championship by accident, so it's no surprise that the new champion has been installed as the darts betting favorite to win the event.
Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith is just +225 to win the 2023 Bahrain Darts Masters. Just behind Smith is the duo of Gerwyn Price and Luke Humphries, both at +400 to win the competition.
Jonny Clayton is next at +550, with Peter Wright (+700), Rob Cross (+900), and Dimitri Van den Bergh (+900) all following closely behind. Veteran Raymond van Barneveld makes up the top eight in the betting at +2000.
The above odds are taken from BetOnline. You can read more about them in our BetOnline sportsbook review.
|Bahrain Darts Masters 2023 Winner Betting||MyBookie|
|Dimitri Van den Bergh||+900||+900||+900|
|Raymond van Barneveld||+2000||+2000||+2000|
More information can be found on the bookmakers listed on our odds table on our sportsbook reviews page.
Bahrain Darts Masters Format
As you’ve already worked out, this is a short and sweet competition, lasting just a couple of days. The format is straight knockout starting with the First Round on Thursday, followed by the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, and Final on Friday.
There are no sets of betting in this competition (unlike the World Championships); it’s just a straight race to a set amount of legs.
- First Round - Best of 11 legs (First to 6 legs)
- Quarter-Finals - Best of 11 legs (First to 6 legs)
- Semi-Finals - Best of 13 legs (First to 7 legs)
- Final - Best of 15 legs (First to 8 legs)
The First Round draw is as follows:-
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Alain Abiabi
Rob Cross v Nitin Kumar
Luke Humphries v Man Lok Leung
Gerwyn Price v Paul Lim
Peter Wright v Toru Suzuki
Michael Smith v Abdulnasser Yusuf
Raymond van Barneveld v Yuki Yamada
Jonny Clayton v Basem Mahmood
This is the first time the PDC has played an event in Bahrain. And it is also the opening event of the 2023 World Series of Darts. The competition will see the eight PDC stars (on the left-hand side of the above draw) taking on eight Asian players, including two local players from Bahrain - Abdulnasser Yusuf and Basem Mahmood.
The idea is for the game to grow in more parts of the world, give local players a chance, and then get the big names competing for the top prize on the final day of action.
The darts is in Bahrain for the very first time... 🙌🇧🇭
Take a quick look behind the scenes at the media launch and draw of the 2023 Bahrain Darts Masters 📸
🎟️ https://t.co/Jb5RtMqmh8 pic.twitter.com/T9LkXOarWe
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 10, 2023
Further World Series of Darts competitions to follow in 2023 include the Nordic Darts Masters from Copenhagen, the US Darts Masters from New York, the New Zealand Darts Masters from Hamilton, and the New South Wales Darts Masters from Wollongong.
These five international events will be followed by the Jack’s World Series of Darts Finals from Amsterdam in September.
Bahrain Darts Masters Betting Picks
Despite the new world champion being in town for this event, it looks like a very open competition. I think Smith is worth opposing, though. He has just won the 2023 PDC World Championship, and I think it’s safe to assume his feet have barely touched the ground since.
MICHAEL SMITH IS CHAMPION OF THE WORLD! 🏆
The man who was born to be World Champion fulfils his destiny, as Michael Smith defeats Michael van Gerwen 7-4 to claim the biggest prize in darts and become world number one!
Dare to dream. pic.twitter.com/36PxPY5W8q
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) January 3, 2023
As well as writing off Smith, the eight qualifiers can be forgotten. This will come down to a straight shootout between the PDC guys.
Okay, so it might be naive to write off Smith. He can win this, but at +225, is he any value? I don’t think he is.
Peter Wright could be a man with a point to prove, though. As the defending PDC world champion, Wright went out disappointingly, losing 4-1 to Belgium's Kim Huybrechts in the third round.
Wright will be determined to bounce back with a win, and I think that makes him a value pick at +700.
As well as Peter Wright, I’m looking at a second pick for this event. Luke Humphries is ranked number 5 in the world and has been steadily climbing the PDC rankings for a number of years now.
He won four European Tour events in 2022 (similar short format), and although he would have been disappointed to go out of the 2023 World Championships in the 4th Round, he does look ready to take his tour events winning form into 2023. At +400, I make a small wager on Luke Humphries, my second Bahrain Darts Masters betting pick.