Vice World Champion Michael Smith stopped his series of defeats in major finals and won his first major title at the Grand Slam of Darts. In the Wolverhampton final on Sunday evening, the “Bully Boy” beat his English compatriot Nathan Aspinall 16:5. Smith had previously lost eight major finals. In addition to the Eric Bristow Trophy, the 32-year-old won prize money of £150,000 (around €170,000).
Smith, who came second at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships, at World Matchplay 2019 and at this year’s European Championships, eliminated Dutch veteran Raymond van Barneveld in the afternoon’s semifinals (16:12). Two-time World Cup semi-finalist Aspinall beat Luke Humphries/England (16:12).
In the one-sided endgame, Smith got seven breaks against his overwhelmed opponent Aspinall. Smith, the “eternal runner-up” from St Helens, ended his final trauma with a dominant performance.
Martin Schindler (Strausberg/26) was the only German participant eliminated after the group stage with one win and two defeats. The highlight of the year is just around the corner: The World Championships in London begin on December 15th. In addition to Schindler, Gabriel Clemens (Saarwellingen) and Florian Hempel (Cologne) will be there.