At the start of January, Welshman Gerwyn Price conquered the world of darts with his victory at the 2021 PDC World Darts Championship. His defeat of Gary Anderson in the final was the first time the Welshman had landed the top honour in darts. He is just one of 24 of the best players in the world back in action this weekend at the 2021 Masters.

A stellar field that features all the top names in the PDC will ensure that this non-ranking event is every bit as competitive as any ranking tournament, Played from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st January, the tournament serves as a warm up to the 2021 Premier League of Darts tournament which is scheduled to get underway in a few weeks time.

Darts betting has proven to be hugely popular in the UK in recent times and many fans enjoy a flutter on the tournament outright, as well as the individual matches. If you would like to have a wager and need to sign up with a sportsbook to do that, then the bet365 New Customer Offer is a great place to start.

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Let’s now take a look at the history of the Masters tournament, which only first came into being a few years ago.

A History Of The Masters

Although the name of the tournament may make it sound like it has been around for manyyears, The Masters tournament, a non-ranking event in the PDC, has only been played since 2013. This makes it one of the younger tournaments on the schedule.

However, it has always attracted a stellar field to compete in it and that is clearly evident from the players that have won the event. The legend Phil Taylor was the first winner back in 2013, when he beat Adrian Lewis in the final. A year later it was James Wade’s turn to taste victory when he beat Mervyn King 11-10 in a classic.

Over the next five years, Michael van Gerwen dominated the event winning all five tournaments from 2015 to 2019 inclusive. He beat Raymond van Barneveld twice (2015 and 2018) as well as Dave Chisnall, Gary Anderson and James Wade to clinch those wins.

The Dutchman’s stranglehold on the tournament was broken last year when Peter Wright followed up his world title win with a fine 11-10 win over Bullyboy Michael Smith in another very exciting final.

This year, the tournament has been expanded to 24 players from 16, necessitating the addition of an extra round, plus the top 8 seeds now receive a bye into the sec

ond round. Prize money has also been increased, up to £220,000 from £200,000 last year. The winner still receives £60,000 with the runner up taking home £25,000.

The 2021 Masters Seeds & First Round Draw

As we mentioned previously, the 2021 tournament has been expanded from 16 players to 24 players and this has necessitated a slight change to the format of the tournament. This year, the top eight seeds will receive a bye into the second round.

The remaining seeds (from 9 through to 24) are pitted against each other based on their seed and are then placed in brackets with each of the top eight seeds.

The eight seeded players that have already earned a place in the second round are:

  1. Gerwyn Price (Wal)
  2. Michael van Gerwen (Hol)
  3. Peter Wright (Sco)
  4. Rob Cross (Eng)
  5. Nathan Aspinall (Eng)
  6. Dave Chisnall (Eng)
  7. James Wade (Eng)
  8. Gary Anderson (Sco)

And the draw for the first round of the tournament, together with the seeded player the winner of that match will face, is outlined below:

  • Joe Cullen (16) v Stephen Bunting (17) – Winner faces Gerwyn Price (1)
  • Michael Smith (9) v Adrian Lewis (24) – Winner faces Gary Anderson (8)
  • Glen Durrant (13) v Mervyn King (20) – Winner faces Rob Cross (4)
  • Ian White (12) v Mensur Suljovic (21) – Winner faces Nathan Aspinall (5)
  • Jose de Sousa (15) v Jonny Clayton (18) – Winner faces Michael van Gerwen (2)
  • Dmitri Van den Bergh (10) v Chris Dobey (23) – Winner faces James Wade (7)
  • Krzysztof Ratajaski (14) v Simon Whitlock (19) – Winner faces Peter Wright (3)
  • Daryl Gurney (11) v Jeffrey de Zwaan (22) – Winner faces Dave Chisnall (6)

Betting For The 2021 Masters Tournament

As you can see from the odds for the outright winner of the tournament, five-time champion Michael van Gerwen (5/2) is the bookmakers favourite to land the title for a sixth time, although he is just ahead in the betting of current world champion Gerwyn Price(3/1).To be honest, these two players are the standout players in terms of form and ability in recent times and it is hard to argue with either being the most sensible option if you fancied a flutter on the outright winner market.

However, there may be better value available to you in the Each Way market which is also available and which will offer you a return should your selection reach the final or even win the tournament itself.

A player in form is always a good bet and at the moment, Gary Anderson (14/1) is on a good roll. The Scotsman reached the World Championship final against Price despite him not playing his best darts. Anderson has promised to dedicate this year to trying to rediscover his best game and the signs are good that he can. At 14/1, he is a very good each way bet.

A Big Outside Each Way Bet

Another player in form and even longer odds than Anderson, is Stephen Bunting (100/1). The St. Helens player reached the World Championship semifinals, losing narrowly to Price in what was a very entertaining game. He hasn’t won a big tournament in the PDC as yet but he did reach the quarterfinals of the Masters in 2019. He has also won several big BOD titles including the Masters and World Championship.

This should be a cracking tournament and will serve as a great warm up to the forthcoming PDC Premier League which kicks off in a few weeks and of which we will have regular coverage throughout the many weeks of action.

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 as of 2pm on Monday 25th January 2021. 

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