Top 5 Most Prestigious Darts Tournaments

Top 5 Most Prestigious Darts Tournaments

PDC Darts Tournaments

In a normal year, darts tournaments are running most weeks meaning there is pretty much always something going on and darts bets to make.

But the game has been running on a bit of a broken and beaten schedule for the past few seasons and it’s easy to lose track of which tourneys are the biggest and most prestigious in the game.

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So, for those new to the sport or for experienced bettors simply looking to refresh here is a quick run-through of the best tournaments that darts has to offer.

With an uncomplicated scoring system and a simple list of rules, darts must be one of the easiest sports to start following. After all, “It’s just fat blokes throwing arrows at a board.”

There really is no need for you to be an expert on all things tungsten to get involved with darts betting as you can pick things up pretty quickly.

Here then are the top 5 most prestigious darts tournaments.

PDC Grand Slam of Darts

PDC Grand Slam Of Darts

The darting highlight of November and the last big tourney before the almighty World Championships are held in December, the PDC Grand Slam of Darts was a darts tournament organised by the Professional Darts Corporation that originally encouraged entries from the British Darts Organisation (BDO). This agreement folded when the BDO collapsed into liquidation in 2020.

Since 2015, the PDC have given this event ranking status. The event is held each year in Wolverhampton, for the most part at Wolverhampton Civic Hall and later, temporarily, at Aldersley Leisure Village. Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is the event’s most successful ever player with six wins.

It was actually Stoke-born Taylor that won the first three Grand Slam titles, beating Andy Hamilton, Terry Jenkins, and Scott Waites in the first three ever finals. Michael van Gerwen won this event three times in a row from 2015 through 2017 after which Gerwyn Price won back-to-back titles, the only two so far to be held at Aldersley Leisure Village.

Grand Slam participation is made up of finalists from the PDC’s televised events over a 12 month period. Ten of these places have already been taken and there are only four tournaments – The World Cup of Darts, World Grand Prix, European Championship and World Series of Darts – remaining.

If all 16 places have not been filled from those televised events then winners from the PDC’s European Tour and Players Championship events can receive entry into the Grand Slam. There will also be eight players selected from the PDC Tour Card Holder Qualifiers, plus UK and European Challenge and Development Tour Orders of Merit, as well as two Women’s Series qualifiers.

Venue: Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton

Format: Best of 9 legs, 19 legs and 31 legs

Current champion: Jose De Sousa (Portugal)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (6 wins)

Prize money: £550,000

PDC World Grand Prix

PDC World Grand Prix Darts

The World Grand Prix is a PDC darts tournament that takes place each October in Dublin, Ireland. The event has been held in Ireland since 2000 when it was originally held at the Crosbie Cedars Hotel in Rosslare, County Wexford. A year later, the tournament was moved to the Citywest in Dublin.

When the World Grand Prix was launched in 1998, it was designed to replace the World Pairs tournament, which only lasted for three seasons. The most successful player in this event is, unsurprisingly, Phil Taylor, who claimed this crown a record 11 times. That said, The Power was actually knocked out in round one five times during his career.

Venue: Citywest, Dublin

Format: Best of 3 sets, 5 sets, 11 sets, 13 sets and 15 sets

Current champion: Gerwyn Price (Wales)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (11 wins)

Prize money: £450,000

PDC Premier League of Darts

PDC World Darts

The third part of the darts triple crown, the Darts Premier League traditionally gets going in February to help kick the darts season, which begins with the Darts Masters at the end of January. The action takes place weekly until May when the play offs are held at the O2 in London. 

When the tournament was launched in 2005, the event was contested by seven players in a series of fortnightly fixtures. Today, there are ten players involved each year, drawn from the top four players in the PDC Order of Merit plus six wildcard selections.

For the first round, event nights are staged in various venues across the UK and Ireland, plus now there are some European nights too. The players all take on each other over these fixtures with earned points being added to the ten-man table. On Judgment Night (around night nine), the two bottom-based players will be eliminated from the tournament while the remaining eight players attempt to qualify for the London play offs, which take place over the May bank holiday.

There have been six overall winners of the Premier League so far in its history. Phil Taylor has dominated the Premier League, winning six out of the thirteen tournaments he starred in and actually went unbeaten in his first three seasons. Taylor eventually lost to James Wade after 44 matches.

Michael van Gerwen has also won the event multiple times with five wins to his name. James Wade, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, Glen Durrant and Jonny Clayton are the other players to lift the Premier League of Darts trophy. 

Venue: Numerous host cities, London play offs

Format: Best of 12, 19 and 21 legs

Current champion: Jonny Clayton (Wales)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (6 wins)

Prize money: £825,000

PDC World Matchplay

PDC World Matchplay

Dart’s second-largest event and part of the Darts Triple Crown, the prestigious PDC World Matchplay is held in Blackpool each year in July. This is another event that is famed for the fans who really make it what it is inside the Winter Gardens, its home since its inaugural event in 1994. The tournament itself is built around a legs format and is the third of seven ranking events of the year.

The field is made up of 32 darters, 16 of which are the highest-ranked in the game. These are then joined by 16 unseeded ProTour Order of Merit qualifiers. When the event was first held, it was won by an American darter called Larry ‘The Bald Eagle’ Butler, who won against Dennis Priestley 16–12 in the first-ever final back in 1994. 

In 1997, Phil Taylor won the Matchplay for the first time and would go on to collect a trophy haul of 16 Matchplay titles over his career, some 14 more than Rod Harrington and Michael van Gerwen, who have two wins each. Following The Power’s retirement in 2017, the PDC renamed the Matchplay trophy the Phil Taylor Trophy in honour of the completion’s record-breaking champion. 

Venue: Winter Gardens, Blackpool 

Format: First to 10 legs, 11 legs, 16 legs, 17 legs and 18 legs 

Current champion: Peter Wright (Scotland)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (16 wins)

Prize money: £700,000

PDC World Championship

PDC World Championships

The biggest, loudest, messiest and most lucrative darts tournament on earth and one that has established itself as essential British Christmas viewing, the PDC World Championship takes place each year in mid-December and finishes sometime around the new year lasting for around three weeks. 

The action comes from North London’s Alexandra Palace, known lovingly by darts fans as the Ally Pally, which has been home to the tournament since 2008, and basically acts as an inebriated celebration of all things darts at that special time of year. The atmosphere in the crowd is strictly party time but on the oche, fierce rivalries emerge as the world’s best darters slug it out for the biggest prize in the sport.

Around 96 players enter the event in the hope for winning the Sid Waddell Trophy, which is named in honour of the legendary darts commentator Sid Waddell who passed away in 2012.

The tournament is the final leg of the Darts Triple Crown and dates back to 1994 as a result of the split in darts, which saw the eventual emergence of the PDC. The PDC was born out of the World Darts Council following their break from the now defunct BDO.

Over the years, there have been ten different winners of the World Championships including one-time winners Dennis Priestley, Raymond van Barneveld, Rob Cross, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price, who won in 2021. There are also two times winners John Part, Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson, plus three times winner Michael van Gerwen.

No one has won this tournament more than the now retired Phil Taylor who, in 25 appearances, took the crown a stunning 14 times, to go with his two alternative world titles.

Venue: Alexandra Palace, London

Format: Best of 5 sets, 7 sets, 9 sets, 11 sets and 13 sets

Current champion: Gerwyn Price (Wales)

Most successful darter: Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor (14 wins)

Prize money: £2.5 million

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Why Gerwyn Price Is Likely To Win His Third Grand Slam Of Darts In A Row

Why Gerwyn Price Is Likely To Win His Third Grand Slam Of Darts In A Row

It’s back to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for this year’s Grand Slam of Darts Finals, the 14th year of the event. The 2020 event will run from 16-22 November and include players from both the PDC and BDO, the only tournament to do so.

Can Gerwyn Price make it three in a row?

There are 32 players drawn from both codes in competition and all of the big hitters will be there including Gerwyn Price. The past two years of the Grand Slam have provided The Iceman with his first two PDC televised wins and this year he is aiming for a third in a row.

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Right now, the Welshman is playing like the best player in the world and only last week, along with Johnny Clayton, picked up the World Cup of Darts for Wales after beating England in the final. 

Will it be thrice for Price? Highly likely yes.

The former Rugby man is playing like a machine right now, landing almost every arrow on point. And with Michael van Gerwen dropping off ever so slightly from his brilliant best, Price looks a good shout for next month’s World Championship also.

He has always enjoyed this event but has really stepped up his game of late, scooping the World Grand Prix title last month before absolutely owning the World Cup of Darts. In 2020 so far, he has eight titles to his name. Should The Iceman win on Sunday, he would join Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen in the unique achievement winning the same major in three consecutive years.

The Welshman is now the joint favourite at 7/2, a half a point ahead of Michael van Gerwen, while the 2019 runner-up Peter Wright is also available at 4/1. 

There is little point, we believe, in looking beyond the Welshman who, aside from appearing the best around right now, can overcome any early shocks he may come across from his fellow Group G members Mikuru Suzuki, Ryan Joyce and his Welsh World Cup winning partner Johnny Clayton. It’s a decent draw and one that will not worry him.

The rest of the field

I think Rob Cross’ group of Dave Chisnall, Luke Humphries and Justin Pipe is a whole lot harder, which is a shame. Voltage’s heavy price of 35/1 might have tempted otherwise. 

He may have had a horrible year form-wise. but he has won both the World Matchplay Darts and the Darts World Championship before. As a player that thrives on confidence – of which admittedly he has none right now – a couple of gimme wins in the group stages might have set the ball rolling for a deeper run than we have seen from him this year.

The advantage of groups is that there are a minimum of three games to be played which is about the same amount of wayward shots Gerwyn Price has thrown of late. Plus, by the second round, the games develop into a much longer format and play to a best of 19 legs before upping the ante to a best of 31 legs.

Right now, in a longer game, only MVG looks capable of matching The Iceman but on current form you would, for the first time in years, bet against the Dutchman. MVG remains world number one and will no doubt find his form before long, but his last victory came all the way back in March when early exits have been the order of his day. 

Glenn Durrant, Peter Wright and Michael Smith are also others worth monitoring.

In the Grand Slam, each darter plays all other group members in a best of nine leg match worth two points. The top two will then move on to the knockout rounds. 

Mighty Mike is drawn in Group A, while Gary Anderson will lead Group B. Group C is led by Michael Smith and Rob Cross takes Group D with Peter Wright back in Group E. James Wade and Glenn Durrant have both landed in Group F and finally Nathan Aspinall finds himself in Group H. 

Grand Slam of Darts 2020 Draw

Group A

  • Michael van Gerwen (4/1)
  • Joe Cullen (40/1)
  • Gabriel Clemens (40/1)
  • Adam Hunt (200/1)

Group B

  • Gary Anderson (16/1)
  • Simon Whitlock (66/1)
  • Ryan Searle (125/1)
  • Adam Gawlas (500/1)

Group C

  • Michael Smith (16/1)
  • Krzysztof Ratajski (18/1)
  • Jose De Sousa (20/1)
  • Lisa Ashton (500/1)

Group D

  • Rob Cross (35/1)
  • Dave Chisnall (25/1)
  • Luke Humphries (66/1)
  • Justin Pipe (250/1)

Group E

  • Peter Wright (4/1)
  • Ian White (40/1)
  • Devon Petersen (22/1)
  • Dirk van Duijvenbode (100/1)

Group F

  • James Wade (33/1)
  • Glen Durrant (16/1)
  • Jermaine Wattimena (100/1)
  • Damon Heta (33/1)

Group G

  • Gerwyn Price (7/2)
  • Jonny Clayton (50/1)
  • Ryan Joyce (150/1)
  • Mikuru Suzuki (750/1)

Group H

  • Nathan Aspinall (11/1)
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh (40/1)
  • Ricky Evans (150/1)
  • Wayne Warren (200/1)

Odds from bet365.

Grand Slam of Darts 2020 Schedule 

Monday November 16

Best of 9 legs

  • Rob Cross v Justin Pipe
  • Dave Chisnall v Luke Humphries
  • James Wade v Damon Heta
  • Simon Whitlock v Ryan Searle
  • Glen Durrant v Jermaine Wattimena
  • Nathan Aspinall v Wayne Warren
  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Ricky Evans
  • Gary Anderson v Adam Gawlas
  • Jonny Clayton v Ryan Joyce
  • Joe Cullen v Gabriel Clemens
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Jose De Sousa
  • Michael Smith v Lisa Ashton
  • Michael van Gerwen v Adam Hunt
  • Gerwyn Price v Mikuru Suzuki
  • Peter Wright v Dirk van Duijvenbode
  • Ian White v Devon Petersen

Tuesday November 17

Best of 9 legs

  • 16 Group Matches

Wednesday November 18

Best of 9 legs

  • 16 Group Matches

Friday November 20

Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • 4 Matches

Saturday November 21

Second Round (Best of 19 legs)

  • 4 Matches

Sunday November 22

Quarter-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 4 Matches

Monday November 23 (7pm)

Semi-finals (Best of 31 legs)

  • 2 Matches

Tuesday November 24

Final (Best of 31 legs)

QUICK GLANCE AT GRAND SLAM OF DARTS 2020

Venue: Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Dates: 16/11/20 to 24/11/2020

Format: Best of 9, 19 and 31 legs

Current Champion: Gerwyn Price

Where To Watch: Sky Sports

When To Watch: (1300 GMT)

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The Price Is Wright As Gerwyn Wins Grand Slam of Darts

The Price Is Wright As Gerwyn Wins Grand Slam of Darts

Gerwyn Grand Slam of Darts

In a memorable final to last week’s brilliant Grand Slam of Darts, an imperious Gerwyn Price outplayed a rejuvenated Peter Wright to successfully defend the Eric Bristow Trophy, a title he won one year ago. Price, who knocked out Michael van Gerwen at the 20th attempt earlier in the afternoon, will now be a lot of people’s favourite for next month’s World Championship, such was the manner of his performance.

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It was here in Wolverhampton 12 months ago that The Iceman beat Gary Anderson in the final and where he established himself as the game’s bad boy. The boos have followed him from tourney to tourney this past year, but the Welshman is now turning those boos into cheers as spectators and commentators alike begin to appreciate his talent.

A look back at the Grand Slam of Darts

Price rounded out a memorable week in Wolverhampton with a 16-6 victory over Snakebite. Price threw 11 maximums, averaging almost 108 as he dominated the final, threatening nine-darters on numerous occasions. On both of these, however, he lost the leg and on the second occasion, it allowed Wright to cut the deficit to 7-5.

Any hopes Wright might have harboured that that leg win and see the Iceman melt were quickly dashed as the former rugby player reeled off eight legs in succession. Aside from Snakebite, who performed well all things considered, claiming one leg back, the game was as good as gone and all wrapped up inside the hour.

Price was even within range of breaking Phil Taylor’s record 109.04 average for a Grand Slam final — set in a 16-4 triumph over Gary Anderson in 2011 — but three missed match darts put an end to that.

The Iceman’s success is his second major trophy, the same as his first, and comes in his fourth televised final. A win in this week’s Players Championship Finals will shorten his second favourite World Championship odds of 7/1 further still.

As for Snakey, he can take comfort in a campaign in which he rediscovered the form that was missing in the first part of the year. An improvement, and perhaps a win on Sunday in Minehead for 2019’s last trophy, will definitely put a happy ending on an otherwise horrible year.

Players Championship Finals Betting Tips

The last trophy of the year is on the line this weekend as the players take their final run out before next month’s PDC World Championships at the Alexandra Palace, Ally Pally to you and me. This year’s Players Championship Finals will be taking place at the Butlins Minehead Resort.

Running from Friday November 22 through to Sunday, all of the action will be broadcast on ITV 4 as Daryl Gurney bids to defend the title he won against Michael van Gerwen 12 months ago. The Dutchman is understandably Betway’s 6/4 favourite to win the event for the fifth time, but many will have been impressed with Gerwyn Price last weekend and so his price of 13/2 will be tempting.

The Iceman became only the seventh player in history to successfully defend a PDC televised title with his Wolverhampton win last week where he also took down Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright. Price will now look to ride the momentum to another title as the best possible warm-up for the World Championships.

The first two rounds here are fought over 11 sets so there isn’t much room for errors, which more than anything else explains why longshots often do well here. Defending champion Daryl Gurney is a 25/1 shot and well worth considering as is Dave Chisnall, who also put in a good show at the Grand Slam of Darts and is a slightly shorter 22/1, both with Betway.

Last week’s runner up, Peter ‘Snakebite’ Wright, can be confident given the quality he showed last week but in a punishing event, the tourney’s third seed could end up regretting missed chances. That said, should the real Snakebite stand up, his 12/1 price tag will look generous.

World number two Voltage Rob Cross is available at 14/1, Michael ‘Bully Boy’ Smith can be picked up for 22/1, while Glen Durrant and Mensur Suljovic can be backed at 25/1 for the pair, all at Betway.

Players Championship Finals Schedule

Friday November 22

First Round (Best of 11 legs)

  • Dimitri Van den Bergh v Stephen Bunting
  • Jose de Sousa v James Richardson
  • Glen Durrant v Scott Baker
  • Max Hopp v Jelle Klaasen
  • Chris Dobey v Cristo Reyes
  • Jeffrey de Zwaan v Simon Whitlock
  • Michael Smith v Martin Schindler
  • Ian White v Devon Petersen
  • Harry Ward v Darius Labanauskas
  • Justin Pipe v Mervyn King
  • Brendan Dolan v Ross Smith
  • John Henderson v Ryan Joyce
  • Keegan Brown v Andy Boulton
  • Steve Beaton v Ricky Evans
  • Danny Noppert v Ryan Searle
  • Dave Chisnall v Matthew Edgar
  • Krzysztof Ratajski v Steve Lennon
  • Gerwyn Price v Mickey Mansell
  • James Wade v Ted Evetts
  • Mensur Suljovic v Kim Huybrechts
  • Daryl Gurney v Luke Woodhouse
  • Michael van Gerwen v Luke Humphries
  • Peter Wright v James Wilson
  • Nathan Aspinall v Raymond van Barneveld
  • Jonny Clayton v Ryan Meikle
  • Joe Cullen v Kyle Anderson
  • Vincent van der Voort v Arron Monk
  • Gabriel Clemens v Mark McGeeney
  • Adrian Lewis v Josh Payne
  • William O’Connor v Steve West
  • Jermaine Wattimena v Jamie Hughes
  • Ron Meulenkamp v Rob Cross

Saturday November 23

Second Round (Best of 11 legs)

  • Price/Mansell v Brown/Boulton
  • Wade/Evetts v Beaton/Evans
  • Suljovic/Huybrechts v Noppert/Searle
  • Gurney/Woodhouse v Clemens/McGeeney
  • Lewis/Payne v Van Gerwen/Humphries
  • Wright/Wilson v Dobey/Reyes
  • Aspinall/Van Barneveld v Cullen/Anderson
  • Wattimena/Hughes v Meulenkamp/Cross
  • De Zwaan/Whitlock v Henderson/Joyce
  • Clayton/Meikle v Ward/Labanauskas
  • De Sousa/Richardson v Van den Bergh/Bunting
  • White/Petersen v Van der Voort/Monk
  • Ratajski/Lennon v O’Connor/West
  • Durrant/Baker v Hopp/Klaasen
  • Chisnall/Edgar v Pipe/King
  • M Smith/Schindler v Dolan/R Smith

Sunday November 24

  • Quarter-Finals (Best of 19 legs)
  • Semi-Finals (Best of 21 Legs)
  • Final (Best of 21 legs)

QUICK GLANCE AT THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Venue: Butlin’s Resort, Minehead
Dates: Friday 22.11.2019
Format: Best of 11, 19. 21
Current Champion: Daryl Gurney
Where To Watch: ITV 4
When To Watch: (1245 GMT)

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