Hungarian Darts Trophy Preview

Published on 22 September 2023 at 20:00

For three days The MVM Dome in Budapest will play host to 48 of the world's best arrow-smiths and with Grand Prix qualification places still up for grabs, it promises to be a cracker. Joe Cullen reigned supreme last year, but with nine different winners from eleven events in the European Tour so far, every player will surely fancy their chances of going all the way.



Starting on the 22nd and finishing on the 24th September, this year's Hungarian Darts Trophy has added incentive due to the upcoming World Grand Prix. Germany's Ricardo Pietreczko currently occupies the last spot but has England's, Luke Woodhouse, and Dutch wonderkid, Gian van Veen on his tail.

Despite the top 16 ProTour seeded players getting a bye to the second round, all three Grand Prix hopefuls have tough round one matches. Both Pietreczko and Woodhouse play against two homegrown heroes in Nandor Major and Gabor Jagicza. Meanwhile, van Veen will face the vastly experienced Brendan Dolan in what is, arguably, the pick of the first round fixtures.


Read more: Who is Gian van Veen? - the new Dutch darting superstar


Other notable round one matches include Daryl Gurney v Jose De Sousa and Northern Irish youngster, Nathan Rafferty against an in-form Stephen Bunting.



Second round draw

Rob Cross (6) v Gabor Jagicza/Luke Woodhouse

Peter Wright (11) v Madars Razma/Scott Waites

Luke Humphries (3) v Gabriel Clemens/Keane Barry

Martin Schindler (14) v Sebastian Bialecki/Mihaly Videa

Gerwyn Price (7) v Nathan Rafferty/Stephen Bunting

Joe Cullen (10) v William O'Connor/James Wade

Damon Heta (2) v Ricardo Pietreczko/Nandor Major

Nathan Aspinall (15) v Gian van Veen/Brendan Dolan

Josh Rock (5) v Mike De Decker/Andrew Gilding

Michael Smith (12) v Daryl Gurney/Jose De Sousa

Dirk van Duijvenbode (4) v Scott Williams/Richard Veenstra

Danny Noppert (13) v Vladimir Andersen/Anton Ostlund

Jonny Clayton (8) v Joe Murnan/Jermaine Wattimena

Michael Van Gerwen (9) v Robert Owen/Ross Smith

Dave Chisnall (1) v Andy Boulton/Scott Mitchell

Ryan Searle (16) v Rowby-John Rodriguez/Patrik Kovacs


Dave Chisnall has been in scintillating form on the ProTour and with a favourable second round draw, 'Chizzy' will most definitely fancy his chances in Budapest.

Stephen Bunting played with new darts last week and managed to reach the final of the German Darts Open. With no Krzysztof Ratajski to stop him this week, can 'The Bullet' go all the way?




In terms of Grand Prix qualification, I can't see van Veen managing to get past Dolan in what is a tough draw for the 21 year old. To make matters worse, the Dutchman would need to advance to at least the third round for Grand Prix qualification but has World Matchplay champion, Nathan Aspinall waiting on him in the second round, should he beat Dolan.


Read more: The Asp concludes the World Matchplay with a major


While I think Woodhouse will go further than Pietreczko in the tournament, it would take a massive performance from him to take the German's Grand Prix spot as he'd need to reach at least the quarter finals.

Of all the players not to win a ProTour event so far this season, Dirk van Duijvenbode or Damon Heta both have the ability to make it ten winners from twelve.

Overall, I'm backing Luke Humphries go all the way in Hungary. The Englishman has been Mr Consistent so far this year, reaching five finals of ProTour events. Despite this, his only tournament victory came at the European Masters but with the way he's playing, I fancy him to win another before the season ends.


Ally Gordon


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