2023 Grand Slam of Darts: Group Stage Review and Permutations

Published on 14 November 2023 at 13:00

Noteworthy exits, a nine darter and a new champion confirmed: so far, the 2023 Grand Slam of Darts has been one of the most action packed, shock-filled tournaments of 2023! 

Groups A-D have finally been completed, and tonight (Tuesday 14th November), two players from each of Groups E-H will fill out the star-studded knockout bracket. 


From Group A, the defending champion Michael Smith was knocked out in spectacular fashion, despite winning the first two of his group games and starting the night as the favourite to progress. Despite being on an 18 game group stage winning streak, Krzysztof Ratajski's earlier demolition of Nathan Girvan meant only one of Smith or James Wade could join the Polish Eagle in the last 16. Wade's clinical performance on the doubles saw him beat a disheartened Smith 5-1, forcing the reigning World Champion to miss out on yet another major in 2023.


Group B saw yet another seeded player dumped out, as Jonny Clayton's hopes were crushed by Chris Dobey in Monday night's main event. With Josh Rock convincingly winning all three of his games, the Northern Irishman is looking like a firm favourite to go far in this year's tournament. And whilst Dobey hasn't looked as impressive as usual in all of his group games, 'Hollywood' remained composed to defeat Clayton, and if 2023 has been any indicator, Dobey performs at his absolute best in lengthy, leg format matches.


Group C, this year's proverbial 'Group of Death', didn't quite deliver the high-quality darting contests we had expected heading into the event, but Gary Anderson's progression will be sure to win the hearts of darts fans everywhere, with his opening day win over Dirk Van Duijvenbode proving crucial. Luke Humphries, arguably the best player in the entire sport in 2023, looked as imperious as ever, racking up wins by scorelines of 5-2, 5-1 and 5-1 en-route to first place. If there's going to be a new first-time name on the Eric Bristow trophy, Luke Humphries' is looking very likely to be that name. 


Read More: 2023 Grand Slam of Darts Preview: Who Will Win In Wolverhampton?


Gerwyn Price continued his dominance on the Grand Slam stage in Group D, with the former three time winner running away with all six points available to him. But the highlight of the group and the tournament so far belonged to Ryan Searle, when 'Heavy Metal' hit a game-winning nine dart finish against Nathan Rafferty to reach the knockout stage for the first time in his career. The prodigal Gian Van Veen, for many a dark horse to go far, failed to record a single point in the tournament. 


In Tuesday evening's session, both Beau Greaves and Fallon Sherrock have the opportunity to cause a major shock: Greaves will play Damon Heta, with the winner joining Nathan Aspinall in progressing from Group H, whilst Sherrock meets former World Champion Rob Cross in a straight shootout, after both previously lost to Michael Van Gerwen but beat Martijn Kleermaker.


Peter Wright finds himself in a precarious situation, as he must beat the in-form Stephen Bunting in order to avoid becoming yet another seeded casualty. Debutant Stowe Buntz looked mightily impressive in his wins over both men, and will now be looking to consolidate top spot against the already-eliminated Dave Chisnall.


And in Group F, no one has safely assured their qualification yet: a big win for Haruki Marumatsu over Andrew Gilding could see the Japanese star through, but he would then need Danny Noppert to do him a favour and beat Brendan Dolan by a big enough scoreline. 

Who do you think has been the best player of the 2023 Grand Slam of Darts so far? Who do you think will win the tournament? Let us know today!


Image Credit-Sven Mandel


By Jaspar Shepherdson

(@jasparshepmedia on X/Twitter and Instagram)


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