2023 Grand Slam of Darts Preview and Predictions: Who Will Win In Wolverhampton?

Published on 10 November 2023 at 13:00

It’s one of the toughest tournaments on the darts circuit today, featuring the best of the very best in a unique tournament style. The 2023 Grand Slam of Darts kicks off this weekend in Wolverhampton, and there’s perhaps never been a more level playing field of talent vying for the esteemed Eric Bristow trophy!


Michael Smith won the 2022 edition of the event, scooping his first televised major tournament win in what provided some much needed momentum for ‘Bully Boy’ that saw him later go on to win the World Championship just two months later.  


The Grand Slam historically has been the launchpad win for many established names in the PDC: BDO representative Scott Waites notably won the tournament in 2010, whilst each of Gerwyn Price, Jose de Sousa and the aforementioned Smith won their first televised majors at the event. 


With the draw for the 2023 tournament being made earlier this week, here’s our official preview of the events to unfold over the next week in Wolverhampton, including who we think will progress from each of the eight highly-competitive groups.


Group A: Michael Smith, James Wade, Krzysztof Ratajski, Nathan Girvan


Defending champion Smith hasn’t been handed a particularly easy draw, and bar a few select performances has failed to produce that ‘World Champion’ standard on the tournament circuit that many would have expected this year. Wade is riding a wave of momentum after reaching the European Championship final last month, and is a three time runner up at this event.


The potential star of this group is Ratajski however, who has enjoyed a quietly successful year on the circuit, and the former World Youth Championship finalist Girvan could cause an upset in one of his group games, though is unlikely to progress beyond this stage. With no clear frontrunner to emerge in this group, anyone expecting a shock will likely see it come from Group A.


Prediction: (1) Wade (2) Ratajski (3) Smith (4) Girvan


Group B: Jonny Clayton, Chris Dobey, Josh Rock, Berry Van Peer


For match quality, Group B stands head and shoulders above almost every other group. After a difficult year both on and off the oche, Clayton will be looking to cement his status as a force to be reckoned with in time for the Alexandra Palace. Josh Rock made headlines last year with his 9 darter against MVG, and Chris Dobey has produced some of the finest performances from any player on the planet this year, particularly in the Masters, Matchplay and Grand Prix.


Berry Van Peer returns to the Grand Slam after a six year absence, and is arguably the most formidable ‘Pot 4’ player in the competition. Expect plenty of 180s and big checkouts in this group, but no shift in the darting status quo, with the two biggest names should be comfortably sailing through.

Prediction: (1) Dobey (2) Clayton (3) Van Peer (4) Rock


Group C: Luke Humphries, Dirk Van Duijvenbode, Gary Anderson, Steve Lennon


Like any group stage in any sport, there's one pot 3 or pot 4 player you just don't want to face: Gary Anderson is that textbook definition of that player. Playing perhaps his best darts of the last five years, Anderson will likely send one of Humphries or Van Duijvenbode home earlier than anticipated.


Of those two players, who've enjoyed many excellent games against one another in recent times, Humphries slightly edges out the big Dutchman, based purely off his consistency and experience in the major events in 2023. A real group of death in which anyone who progresses must be considered a favourite to win it all. 


Prediction: (1) Anderson (2) Humphries (3) Van Duijvenbode (4) Lennon


Group D: Gerwyn Price, Ryan Searle, Gian Van Veen, Nathan Rafferty


Aside from Michael Van Gerwen, there's perhaps no better active player in this tournament's history than Gerwyn Price. A former three time champion, if there was ever an event to end the Iceman's major drought, it will be at this year's Grand Slam. 


However, the prodigal Gian Van Veen will be out to take another major scalp, having dumped out MVG in last month's European Championship, his recent form is scarily similar to what we saw from Josh Rock this time last year. Ryan Searle and Nathan Rafferty round a relatively even group where truly anyone can beat anyone. But experience and form should surely take the wins here.


Prediction: (1) Price (2) Van Veen (3) Rafferty (4) Searle 


Group E: Peter Wright, Dave Chisnall, Stephen Bunting, Stowe Buntz


Despite Wright winning the European Championship in fine form, and having a slightly easier group on paper: the reality is that Wright heads into Group E as one of the seeded 'frontrunners' to exit the competition at the first hurdle.


Dave Chisnall will be looking to overcome his disappointing first round exit at said European Championship, and Stephen Bunting is playing the best pure darts of his career right now. Stowe Buntz, himself a showman like Wright, is one of the regarded Pot 4 talents, and will be a formidable obstacle to overcome.


Prediction: (1) Bunting (2) Chisnall (3) Wright (4) Buntz


Group F: Danny Noppert, Andrew Gilding, Brendan Dolan, Haruki Muramatsu


Having just scraped through qualification for this event, Danny Noppert has been handed a rather favourable group to emerge the winner from. Producing some stellar performances at the European Championship en-route to the semi final, it's likely the Dutchman will take the full six points. 


Of the remaining three players in Group F, Gilding and Dolan have the potential to deal damage, but are otherwise too inconsistent and have arguably been riding the coattails of other standout performances this year. There's always a major shock at the Grand Slam, and Muramatsu might just be the man to make it happen, particularly after the heroics he produced to even make it to this stage.


Prediction: (1) Noppert (2) Muramatsu (3) Dolan (4) Gilding


Group G: Michael Van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Martijn Kleermaker, Fallon Sherrock


The group that has everyone talking. Boasting two former World Champions, an ever-dangerous Dutchman, and most well-known women's player on the planet, we could see something truly special unfold in Group G.


Whilst Sherrock and Kleermaker will have the crowd's support against the two clear favourites, Van Gerwen does his best when his back is against the wall, and will be eager to once more re-affirm his status as the darting world's no.1


Prediction: (1) Van Gerwen (2) Cross (3) Kleermaker (4) Sherrock


Group H: Nathan Aspinall, Damon Heta, Ricardo Pietreczko, Beau Greaves


A spirited run from frankly anyone in this group could be something scary for everyone else in the competition: Nathan Aspinall was imperious in the World Matchplay and World Series Finals, Damon Heta was one of the best players on the pro tour in 2023, Pietreczko won the hearts and minds of many in Germany recently, and Beau Greaves is well on her way to establishing herself as the premier force in women's darts. 


Greaves never really got going in her last foray into the men's game at the World Championship, and it will take some effort from her to take points from the in-form Heta and Pietreczko. Between the Australian and the German, we're going with the latter to take that coveted 2nd place spot. 


Prediction: (1) Aspinall (2) Pietreczko (3) Heta (4) Greaves



By Jaspar Shepherdson 

(@jasparshepmedia on Instagram and X/Twitter)


Image Credit: Wikipedia User Aethelred

Add comment


There are no comments yet.