2023 bet365 US Darts Masters preview

Michael Smith (PDC)

The 2023 bet365 US Darts Masters begins in New York on Friday, as the sport’s biggest names return to the iconic Madison Square Garden.

The fifth staging of the US Darts Masters takes place at The Theater from June 2-3, with 16 players competing for £60,000 in prize money and the third World Series title of 2023.

World Champion Michael Smith headlines the star-studded field, which also includes newly crowned Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen and World Series of Darts Finals winner Gerwyn Price.

Reigning champion Smith takes on former World Cup quarter-finalist Jim Long in Friday’s first round, and the world number one is eyeing a repeat performance on his return to the Big Apple. 

“That title [US Darts Masters] was up there with one of the biggest things I have ever won,” insisted Smith, the top seed in New York following his victory in January’s Bahrain Darts Masters.

“It was massive. All the players wanted it backstage and to get my name on that trophy, it was an unreal feeling.

“I saw the billboard with my face on in Times Square. It’s a weird feeling – it feels like you shouldn’t be up there.

“It is mad thinking about it, but it’s so good to be back and hopefully I can see my name on that title again, it would mean everything to me.”

Smith could renew his rivalry with Van Gerwen in Saturday’s quarter-finals, as the Dutchman prepares to open his challenge against Canadian newcomer Jake Macmillan.

Van Gerwen defeated Smith en route to celebrating his record-breaking seventh Premier League crown last Thursday, and the 34-year-old now has further silverware in his sights.

“It's always nice to be back - it's a huge city and darts is getting bigger and bigger over here,” said Van Gerwen, who won the inaugural US Darts Masters in Las Vegas back in 2017.

“It's good for darts globally and to be back here at Madison Square Garden is always nice.

“Last week [Premier League] was phenomenal for me. I turned up with my A-game and I showed my class again.

“You need to make sure you produce at the right moments and I did that. I know what I am capable of, but this is a different tournament and I need to make sure I am focused."

The draw – which was made at Edge at Hudson Yards, also pitted World Series of Darts Finals champion Price against American number one Jules van Dongen.

Price is the 11/4 pre tournament favourite with title sponsor bet365, having followed up back-to-back World Series finals in Bahrain and Copenhagen by topping this year's Premier League table.

Another eye-catching first round tie has pitted world number two Peter Wright against Canadian veteran Jeff Smith, as Wright begins his bid for a second World Series title of 2023.

The Scot defeated Van Gerwen, Smith and Price to lift January’s Nordic Darts Masters title, and he’s hoping to put a disappointing Premier League campaign behind him on his return to New York.

Elsewhere, 2019 champion Nathan Aspinall will play Canada’s number one Matt Campbell, as the Stockport star makes his first appearance on American soil since his success in Vegas four years ago.

Luke Humphries will make his Madison Square Garden debut against CDC Continental Cup winner Alex Spellman, while two-time World Series winner Dimitri Van den Bergh meets big stage debutant JT Davis.

Van den Bergh is also making his first appearance in America, and after signing off from this year’s Premier League with victory on Night 16 in Aberdeen, the Belgian is in buoyant spirits.

“I’m ecstatic and over the moon to be part of this tournament” said Van den Bergh, who prevailed in Copenhagen and Amsterdam on the World Series of Darts circuit in 2022.

“It's amazing. I've hungered for a long time to come to USA and it's really incredible to be here.

“Recently I have been playing at a really high-level again. I’ve been throwing a lot of ton-plus averages and I’m definitely on a high after my win in the Premier League.

“If I do the right things at the right time, anything is possible. I like to win on my debut, so it would be extraordinary for me to keep that trend going.”

Meanwhile, fourth seed Rob Cross opens Friday’s action against Tennessee’s Jason Brandon, having clinched his maiden European Tour title at last weekend’s European Darts Grand Prix.

The opening round takes place on Friday June 2, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final on a blockbuster evening session on Saturday June 3.

In addition, the bet365 North American Championship takes place on Saturday afternoon, as the eight North American challengers compete for the coveted title and a place in this year’s World Darts Championship.

Canadian World Cup partners Campbell and Smith headline the eight-player field, alongside Dutch-born American star Van Dongen.

CDC Continental Cup winner Spellman is also amongst the seeds, with former World Championship qualifier Long and debutants Brandon, Davis and Macmillan the four CDC Qualifiers.

The bet365 US Darts Masters and North American Championship will be broadcast live through DAZN in the US and Canada, as well as in various other worldwide territories and exclusively in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Other live global coverage will be broadcast through Viaplay in various territories including the Netherlands, as well as via PDCTV in all countries outside Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

PDCTV Subscription options include a £25 Summer Pass which includes live coverage of the remaining four global World Series of Darts events from June-August through PDCTV.

ITV coverage in the UK will be as follows:
1730-2100 BST Saturday on ITV4 - showing First Round
1600-2000 BST Sunday on ITV3 - showing Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Final

2023 bet365 US Darts Masters Draw Bracket
(1) Michael Smith v Jim Long
Michael van Gerwen v Jake Macmillan
(4) Rob Cross v Jason Brandon
Dimitri Van den Bergh v JT Davis
(2) Gerwyn Price v Jules van Dongen
Luke Humphries v Alex Spellman
(3) Peter Wright v Jeff Smith
Nathan Aspinall v Matt Campbell

Schedule of Play
Friday June 2 (1900 EST)
bet365 US Darts Masters 
First Round
Rob Cross v Jason Brandon
Dimitri Van den Bergh v JT Davis
Luke Humphries v Alex Spellman
Nathan Aspinall v Matt Campbell
Gerwyn Price v Jules van Dongen
Peter Wright v Jeff Smith
Michael Smith v Jim Long
Michael van Gerwen v Jake Macmillan

All matches best of 11 legs

Saturday June 3
bet365 North American Darts Championship
Schedule of Play
Quarter-Finals (1300 EST)

Matt Campbell v Jason Brandon
Alex Spellman v JT Davis
Jeff Smith v Jim Long
Jules van Dongen v Jake Macmillan

Campbell/Brandon v Spellman/Davis
Smith/Long v Van Dongen/Macmillan


All matches best of 11 legs

2023 bet365 US Darts Masters
Evening Session (1900 EST)

Quarter-Finals - best of 11 legs
Semi-Finals - best of 13 legs
Final - best of 15 legs