The 26-year-old Dutch star, who was memorably in tears after last year’s final loss to Phil Taylor, bounced back to win the £100,000 title 12 months on.
The world number one triumphed 18-12 in the decider, having seen off Benito van de Pas, Jamie Lewis, Ian White and Peter Wright to get there.
“This is fantastic, amazing for me and it’s a wish come true,” said an emotional van Gerwen afterwards. “It means a lot to me because after the World Championship this is the biggest ranking event.
“It’s totally different to last year. Everybody could see how emotional I was after that game and it means a lot to me to win this trophy.
“I knew what I had to do but we both struggled a bit and couldn’t get going for some reason, maybe the pressure of holding this title. James’ scoring power wasn’t there and he was hanging in there in the game with his finishing.
“He’s a difficult player to play against but my scoring was loads better than James’ and I wanted to take advantage of that. It doesn’t matter how you win a final, to win a final feels great.”
The first ten legs were shared before a brilliant five-leg burst from ‘Mighty Mike’, including finishes of 127 and 144 saw him lead 10-6.
van Gerwen kept daylight between himself and his opponent before going on to open up a commanding 15-9 lead.
Wade took two of the next three legs to keep his hopes alive but van Gerwen responded in kind, eventually bedding tops to seal an 18-12 success.